This course will introduce central theoretical concepts in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and their importance in effective clinical work. An underlying premise of the course is that therapeutic action occurs within the relationship between therapist and patient, two individuals who struggle together to reclaim and deepen their shared humanity. While theory is essential to the task of providing responsible clinical care, it is understood that it always follows deeply attentive, empathic observation, not only of the patient, but of the psychodynamic processes that occur between the therapist and patient. Theory helps to ‘hold’ and ‘contain’ the therapist as she enters the unique, often strange and at times disturbing inner world of the person who seeks her help. Theory must always be held lightly while it is actively operative in the mind of the therapist as he navigates his way through the world that emerges within the analytic setting. A solid grounding in psychodynamic theory helps the therapist maintain a calm receptivity to the patient in the midst of unknowing, which most often characterizes the immediacy of clinical work. It also helps the therapist cultivate and sustain a reflective use of herself that establishes a safe and supportive professional framework that holds and protects both parties in the clinical dyad.
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Hours per Week: