The Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center

Programs, Seminars & Lectures Previously Offered

Cultivating Emotional Courage: The Work Neville Symington

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley, LCSW, Robin Lynk, Ph.D. and Paul Koehler, LCSW

TThis seminar will be structured around the reading and the study of Neville Symington's 1996 book, The Making of a Psychotherapist. We will consider the distinction Symington makes between psychoanalysis proper and psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy: that the goal of psychoanalysis is self knowledge, while the goal of psychotherapy is emotional healing.

Symington asserts that emotional healing can only follow what he calls an inner emotional act on the part of the patient and that that internal act can be facilitated by a similar internal act on the part of the therapist which entails his finding the courage to face and to speak to the truth of the patent's emotional injuries and difficulties.

We will consider Symington's views on the personal qualities necessary for the making of a psychotherapist, how training programs do and do not facilitate the strengthening of those qualities, and the dangers that emerge when theoretical orientations ossify into ideologies that inhibit rather than strengthen the internal freedom, the imagination, and the creativity necessary or the sound practice of psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be encouraged to share relevant case material for illustration and elaboration of the themes we will be studying.

Retreat and Emergence: The Work of John Steiner

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley, LCSW, Robin Lynk, Ph.D. and Paul Koehler, LCSW

This seminar will be structured around the reading and the study of two books by John Steiner: Psychic Retreats (1993) and Seeing and Being Seen: Emerging from a Psychic Retreat (2011).

In these books Steiner describes the psychic retreat as a psychic structure -- that is, a highly-organized set of interlocking defenses geared toward alleviating what are felt to be unbearable anxieties and toward protecting the patient from the catastrophic persecution, fragmentation, and depression that are feared will follow if those defenses are given up. He illustrates how primitive feelings of shame, humiliation, and narcissistic injury arise as the defenses of the psychic retreat begin to shift, and he emphasizes the importance of mourning in facilitating emergence from the retreat.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material for illustration and discussion.

The "I" of the Hawk: One Woman's Journey of Mourning, Dreaming and Self-Discovery

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley, LCSW, Robin Lynk, Ph.D. and Paul Koehler, LCSW

This seminar will be structured around the reading and the study of Helen Macdonald's recent memoir, H Is For Hawk. In that book, Macdonald chronicles her coming to terms with the sudden death of her father. An experienced and life-long falconer, she decides, in the aftermath of his death, to train, for the first time, a goshawk. As a part of that endeavor, she studies T.H. White's account of his attempt to train a goshawk decades before. Macdonald also explores and describes how White's abusive childhood impacted both his life and his finally failed attempt to train his hawk, and she contemplates and contrasts his story as a shadowy subtext to her own.

We will augment our study of Helen Macdonald's book with selected papers on mourning, dreaming, and the mid-life passage by Freud, Thomas Ogden, Elliott Jaques, Otto Kernberg, and Jay Greenberg.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material for illustration and elaboration of the themes we will be studying.

OVERCOMING TRAUMA: THE WORK OF BESSEL VAN DER KOLK

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley, LCSW, Robin Lynk, Ph.D. and Paul Koehler, LCSW

This seminar will be structured around the careful reading and study of Bessel van der Kolk's recent book, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. In this book Dr. van der Kolk describes how recent advances in neuroscience have increased and sharpened our understanding of the ways in which trauma not only affects but leaves a palpable imprint on the brain, the mind, and the body of the victim. His book provides a comprehensive approach to the treatment of trauma victims that integrates traditional talk therapy with psychopharmacology, body therapies, and EMDR.

Psychodynamic Understanding of Trauma and Its Aftermath

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley, LCSW and Paul Koehler, LCSW

This seminar will be structured around a careful reading and discussion of the book, Understanding Trauma, edited by Caroline Garland. The primary focus of each of the chapters in this book is to explicate the many and complex ways in which traumatic events are experienced by -- and interpreted by -- each particular individual according to the structure and nature of his or her internal world. We will consider modes of treatment and choices of interventions that might best facilitate the integration of the traumatic event into an overall narrative or view of the individual's self and life. We will also consider therapeutic strategies for engaging trauma-related themes such as identification with the aggressor, difficulties in symbolizing the traumatic experience, grievance and the wish for justice, restitution and/or revenge, mourning for the lost, pre-trauma self, and the symbolic repetition of the traumatic event in the transference/countertransference.

Reason, Passion, and Freedom of Thought: the Work and the Legacy of Hanna Segal

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

In this seminar we will read and study some of the major papers by Hanna Segal, who was one of the most influential psychoanalytic thinkers of the twentieth century. In studying these papers we will follow Segal's careful and concise explication of the work of Melanie Klein as well as her own expansion and elaboration of Klein's ideas. We will give particular attention to the many ways in which Segal links Kleinian theory to the clinical situation and how Kleinian concepts can be useful in guiding and structuring our interventions and interpretations.

In the course of our discussions participants will be invited to share clinical material to highlight and illustrate the concepts and ideas we will be studying.

Going to Extremes: Ethical Perspectives on Unusual Interventions

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

This seminar will be structured around the careful reading and study of Salman Akhtar's recent book, Unusual Interventions: Alterations in the Frame, Method, and Relationship in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

Each of the nine contributors to this volume present their views on a particular unusual or unorthodox intervention. We will study each of these contributions and consider the ethical issues and dilemmas that the use of these interventions contain and imply. We will not so much judge each unusual intervention as being right or wrong as we will seek to establish guidelines for ourselves when we consider such interventions, in order to help us to distinguish when those interventions might indeed be useful to our patients and clients and when they might reflect countertransference reactions and/or may further contribute to enactments that might be better handled by means of containment and symbolization.

We will also consider how to listen for our patients' unconscious, symbolic commentary on our interventions--both usual and unusual--in their material following an intervention as a way to help us to determined how our interventions have been received.

Work, Play, and Paradox: The Enduring Legacy of D.W. Winnicott

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

This seminar was co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work and by the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center, an affiliate chapter of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC.

This seminar was structured around the careful reading and study of 15 of Winnicott's most lasting and useful papers. The seminar was designed both to introduce Winnicott's ideas and theories to those who are unfamiliar with his work and to deepen the understanding of those already familiar with his contributions. A major focus of the course was to explicate and illustrate the ways in Which Winnicott's ideas are manifest and applicable in the clinical situation.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants were invited to share relevant case material for illustration and elaboration.

Seeing It Through: Essential Elements for Establishing, Protecting and Sustaining Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

This seminar was co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work and by the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center, an affiliate chapter of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC.

This seminar focused on the clinical and technical issues involved in establishing the conditions and parameters necessary for a dynamic psychotherapy to come to life and to grow and develop. We will also consider the ways in which therapy founder or come to impasse when those conditions and parameters are not properly established and/or sustained. We gave particular attention to engaging situations where patients are about to terminate treatment prematurely or precipitously.

The seminar was structured around a careful reading of Salman Akhtar's book, Turning Points in Dynamic Psychotherapy, as well as several chapters from Herbert Strean's book, Don't Lose Your Patients!: Responding to Patients Who Want to Quit Treatment.

Suffering & Sacrifice in the Clinical Encounter: a one-day conference

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

PRESENTED BY THE PHILADELPHIA PSYCHOTHERAPY STUDY CENTER CO-SPONSORED BY CHESTNUT HILL COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY AND PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY FOR CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK.

The evolution of psychotherapy has revealed a component of the self that seems to consider suffering and sacrifice to be absolute psychic and moral necessities. We will explore the historical and clinical contexts of these states and the ways we might begin to consider them anew. The deep sources of guilt, masochism and trauma, in both patient and therapist, sometimes seek to transform the therapy into the sacrifice of one or both of the parties, or of the therapy itself. We will examine Suffering and Sacrifice in historical, anthropological and mythological forms to seek the psychic significance they possess for the patient and therapist.

Contemporary Perspectives on the Oedipus Complex

  • Instructors: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

This is to announce a CE seminar: Contemporary Perspectives on the Oedipus Complex. This seminar will be co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work and by the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center, an affiliate chapter of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC.

This seminar will focus on contemporary theoretical and clinical perspectives on the Oedipus Complex, the theory that Freud formulated over a century ago. We will read and discuss selected papers by such contemporary writers as Hanna Segal, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Hans Loewald, Ron Britton, John Steiner, Thomas Ogden, David Bell, and Bela Grunberger.

We will consider how these writers have extended the more traditional psychoanalytic understanding of the Oedipus Complex to include the confrontation with a variety of developmental necessities, such as the relinquishment of primitive omnipotence and the transformation of infantile narcissism; the recognition of limitation, otherness and the realities of time and the cycle of the generations; and the assumption of responsibility for oneself, one's life and one's particular history. We will explore how the resolution of the Oedipus Complex goes hand in hand with the working through of the depressive position and with achieving the shift from concrete to symbolic thinking, as described by Klein, Segal and others. We will examine how these aspects of the Oedipus Complex continue to reverberate--potentially to be re-worked--throughout the life cycle.

We will give particular attention to identifying Oedipal issues in the material that our patients present to us and how those issues manifest themselves in the transference-countertransference as well as to determining specific treatment strategies and interventions aimed at their resolution.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material for illustration and elaboration.

The Developmental Significance and the Clinical Uses of Fairy Tales and Folk Tales

  • Instructor: Paul Koehler

This seminar will be structured around a careful reading of The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, the classic text by Bruno Bettelheim.

Very instructively, Bettelheim discusses the classic fairy tales in something of a developmental order. We will follow and study his analysis of those well-known tales, focusing especially on his understanding and elaboration of the particular developmental issues, conflicts and tasks that each story presents and portrays.

The seminar will also include a discussion of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, as well as a discussion of the lesser-known fairy tale, Iron John, as explicated by the poet, Robert Bly. We will conclude the seminar with the study of Martin Widzer's wonderful paper, "The Comic-Book Superhero: A Study of the Family Romance Fantasy", in which the superhero stories are likewise presented and elaborated in developmental order.

By growing to understand the deeper, more unconscious meanings of these familiar tales, we will then be better able to make use of them as pre-conceptions - that is, as potentially organizing paradigms - for recognizing the particular variations on the universal themes of the Oedipus Complex and the Family Romance that our patients bring to us for understanding and assistance. In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material for illustration and discussion.

Minding Time: Psychodynamic Perspectives on Time, Aging and Mortality

  • Instructors: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

The seminar will focus on the experience and the representation of time in the internal world of the individual and on how those experiences and representations are manifested it the clinical encounter. We will use as our texts two volumes of selected papers: Is It Too Late?: Key papers on Psychoanalysis and Ageing, edited by Gabriele Junkers; and The Experience of Time: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, edited by Leticia Glocer Fiorini and Jorge Canestri.

We will consider what is distinctive about truly living "in" time and being sufficiently cognizant of--and also able properly to mourn--the passage of time, the realities of aging, and the inevitability of death.. We will contrast this with the tendency--latent in all of us but often very present in our most difficult patients----to try to live "outside" of time.

We will also consider how the respective--and sometimes very different--stages of life of the therapist and the patient might affect the experience of the transference and the countertransference and, consequently, the course of the therapy.

Object Relations Clinical Supervision Group

  • Instructor: Karen Fraley LCSW

Therapists of all levels of clinical experience are welcomed to join fellow colleagues in a supportive and nurturing atmosphere to discuss cases and clinical experiences, using an object relations approach.

  • We will pay particular attention to the principles of projective identification and the therapist's use of the self as the cornerstones of the therapeutic process.
  • Working with projective identifications is the bread and butter of our work. However these phenomena can be particularly difficult to contain because they are often unconscious communications, and representing split off parts of the self which are outside our patients' conscious awareness.
  • Using object relations theory and techniques, we will discuss and play with the concept of projective identification, and explore the implications for the therapeutic relationship of these powerful experiences.

Finding the Words: The Use of Language in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

  • Instructors: Paul Koehler and Karen Fraley

This seminar will focus on the therapist's use of language in the clinical encounter. The seminar will be structured around a careful reading of Thomas Ogden's book, Reverie and interpretation. We will also read selected papers by Antonino Ferro, Danielle Quinodoz, and others.

We will consider how the therapist decides-- exactly and particularly--what to say to a patient or client when offering a comment, an observation, an interpretation or some other intervention. We will give particular attention to the importance of using language that is simple, lively and accessible. We will consider what factors contribute to our deciding when and how to note an observation, offer a reflective comment, ask a tentative or so-called leading question, or voice a more hard-edged statement. We will also consider the elements involved in the craft of making fuller interpretations that bridge the patient's or client's current life, past experience, and the here-and-now of the therapeutic relationship.

On Approaching the Unconscious

  • Instructors: Charles Ashbach, Karen Fraley, and Paul Koehler

An open house presentation to introduce the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center and its 3 staff members. Come join us for an afternoon of thinking, reflecting and sharing ideas about the problems of approaching and encountering the unconscious. We take a broad approach to the unconscious and will be sharing some of the ways that our study methods and perspectives might be of help in dealing with the unconscious in the clinical encounter.

Our presentations will focus on the myths of psychoanalysis; the question of symbolism, and dreams. We will explore the role of the self of the therapist in trying to bring a richer and deeper perspective to the once or twice-a-week psychotherapy process. Sharing of clinical experiences of all participants is a central aspect of the experience.

Klein, Bion and the Clinical Encounter

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley and Paul Koehler

This seminar will focus on the elements of psychoanalytic psychotherapy technique, using the theoretical concepts developed by Klein and Bion, and explicated by James Grotstein in his 2 volume book: "...But At The Same Time and On Another Level."

We will take an in-depth look at the role of the therapist, setting the frame, management of defenses and pathological organizations, and the use of the container-contained paradigm.

The first part will focus on psychoanalytic theory and technique underlying and supporting the therapist's work in listening, containing, and effectively intervening in understanding the patient's internal world.

The second part of the course will focus on clinical applications of modern psychoanalytic thinking using detailed case studies written by experts in the field.

Klein, Bion and the Clinical Encounter, Part 2

  • Instructors: Karen Fraley and Paul Koehler

This seminar will focus on the basic elements of therapeutic technique, using the theoretical concepts of Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, as conceptualized by James Grotstein in volume 2 of his book, "...But at the Same Time and on Another Level..." The seminar will take an in-depth look at the role of the therapist, particularly the setting of the frame, the elements of listening and recognizing and managing defenses and pathological organizations, and the use of the container-contained paradigm to organize the therapist's understanding and inform the choice of interventions.

We will particularly focus on the clinical application of modern psychoanalytic thinking by studying the detailed case studies written by Thomas Ogden, Ron Britton, Antonino Ferro, Albert Mason and others, contained in Grotstein's book.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material for discussion and illustration

More Information

  • Continuing Education (CE) Credit Information

    All programs are eligible for continuing education credits. Please contact us to find out exact information for each program.

    The International Psychotherapy Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. IPI is recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors to offer continuing education for counselors (provider #6017).

    We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. Application will be made on a per program basis to provide continuing education for social workers. IPI is a California Board of Behavioral Sciences approved continuing education provider for MFCC and LCSW licensure (approval #PCE 1508).

  • Distance Learning Seminars

    PPSC is able to offer distance learning opportunities through the use of computer assisted telephone conferencing. Currently seminars and programs on Klein, Bion, Transference and Counter-transference are conducted with various groups throughout the country. If you, your group or institution is interested in this form of distance learning please contact us.

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