2017-2018 Seminar Series

Each year the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center presents brief seminars on special topics of particular interest to members of our faculty. In the spirit of collaborative inquiry fostered by Stephen Mitchell, each seminar aims to engage participants in the ongoing project of learning and expanding Relational thinking and clinical work.

Seminars meet for one to three sessions and offer participants an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in a collegial and informal small-group setting. All seminars are taught by members of the Mitchell Center faculty and designed for Mental Health professionals and trainees.

Continuing Education: 4.5 credits offered per seminar for New York State LCSWs. Full attendance is required for CE credit. All certificates will be sent by post after the conclusion of the seminar.

Cost per 3-Class Seminar: $225.00- general public; $150- candidates and graduate students. Please note that we do not accept checks.

No refunds one week prior to start date.

Mitchell Center Seminar
Are you a NYS LCSW and do you require CE Credits?
Seminar Title:

To register for any seminar, please enter the seminar's full title in the blank field above,
and click on "Pay Now."

Ferenczi and the Application of His Ideas to Contemporary Relational Technique

Anthony Bass, Ph.D.
Tues, Nov 28, Dec 5 & 12, 2017
330 W. 58th Street, Suite 507, NYC, 10025

This seminar will explore Sandor Ferenczi's clinical ideas, as reflected in several classic papers, including "The Confusion of Tongues," "The Elasticity of Technique," and his clinical diary. We will consider their influence on contemporary relational thought and technique. We will focus on several of Ferenczi's key contributions to an analytic theory of technique, including the expressive and implicit uses of countertransference, the uses of enactment, the elasticity of technique, and the potentials and limits of mutuality within the psychoanalytic dyad.

Readings will include classical papers along with contemporary ones applying Ferenczi's ideas. The emphasis on clinical theory and its applications to challenging therapeutic moments will be suitable for experienced therapists as well as those newer to the work.

Anthony Bass, Ph.D., is on the faculty of the NYU Postdoctoral Program for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, the NIP National Training Program, the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, and the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center, where he serves as president. He is an editor-in-chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives and a founding director of the International Association for Relational Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

This seminar is now closed to registration.

The Next Wave: Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Integration

Kenneth Frank, Ph.D.
Monday, Jan 15, 22 & 29, 2018
250 West 57th Street, 5th Floor, NYC

It is often unnecessarily limiting, even artificial, to follow psychoanalysis (or any other single therapeutic approach) exclusively or too narrowly. In this seminar, we'll use two points of departure to explore the integration of non-analytic modalities with psychoanalysis:

  1. The distinction between psychoanalysis as an approach to understanding personality, and as a prescribed treatment method.
  2. The assimilation of non-analytic methods into analytic work in the service of advancing psychoanalytic change, and especially the use of experiential approaches.

First, we will review relational perspectives on psychoanalytic change. Participants will then be helped to explore basic rationales and some methods of several currently popular non-analytic approaches (cognitive-behavioral, body-based, and mindfulness-based methods, as well as contributions from Internal Family Systems and other trauma focused approaches). We will see that although they were developed independently, each with a brilliance of its own, these modalities have progressively converged with one another and with psychoanalysis. We will consider how, working analytically, we can expand our clinical repertoires and creativity through familiarity with additional therapies and that a relational psychoanalytic model of personality and change offers a uniquely useful framework for integrating such methods. We will grapple with treatment issues such as when and how to introduce outside methods, how to distinguish a sound clinical alternative from a problematic enactment, and "cost-benefit" considerations in adding complementary approaches.

By the end of the seminar, participants will acquire an appreciation of a psychoanalytically-based, integrative psychotherapy approach that draws from outside modalities to activate important processes necessary for analytic change.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring case material. We will read Bresler and Starr, Bucci, Frank, Goldfried, Norcross, Stricker, and Wachtel, among others.

Kenneth Frank, Ph.D., is a Co-Founder and Board Director of NIP, and also Founder and Co-Director of NIP's Psychoanalytic Training Program in Psychotherapy Integration, in which he teaches. He is a former Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at Columbia University in the City of New York. He has published approximately 60 journal articles, chapters, and books and is currently completing another book on psychoanalytic integration. He has lectured internationally on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy integration. He practices in New York City and Englewood, New Jersey.

This seminar is now closed to registration.

Therapeutic Action From a Relational Perspective

Stefanie Solow Glennon, Ph.D.
Wednesday, Mar 14, 21, & 28, 2018
330 West 58th Street, Suite #206, NYC

"Relational" was originally (and still is, perhaps to a lesser extent) an umbrella term that included clinicians from various theoretical orientations. To quote Emmanuel Ghent, one of the founders of the Relational Track at NYU Postdoc: "There's no such thing as a Relational analyst. There are only analysts whose backgrounds may vary considerably, but who share a broad outlook in which human relations- specific, unique human relations- play a superordinate role in the genesis of character and of psychopathology, as well as in the practice of psychoanalytic therapeutics." It is therefore not possible to present a completely unified view of therapeutic action from a Relational orientation.

The intention of this seminar is to examine the writings of some of the most often cited clinicians in the Relational psychoanalytic world in an attempt to ferret out their various views of therapeutic action, which are frequently not explicitly stated. Differences and commonalities between these theorists will be focused upon. In addition, ways in which core aspects of the Relational perspective differ from classical and contemporary Freudian perspectives on therapeutic action will be underlined. Extrapolation to differing models of mind will be attempted. Some of the theorists who will be discussed are:

Aron, Bass, Benjamin, Bromberg, Davies, Ehrenberg, Hirsch, Hoffman, Levenson, Ogden, Slochower and Donnel Stern.

It is the instructor's hope that this seminar will result in clarification of current views on therapeutic action thereby enabling participants to think more clearly about what they have found to be mutative or confusing in their own work with patients. Another positive outcome would be that exposure to differing modes of engagement, and their rationales, results in participants deciding to incorporate new ways of working with some patients in their practices- at least as a trial.

Participation will be strongly encouraged.

Stefanie Solow Glennon, Ph.D., is a graduate of and supervising analyst at the NYU Postdoctoral Program, is on the teaching faculty of the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center and is teaching faculty, supervising analyst and serves on the Training Committee at ICP in New York City. Dr. Glennon serves on the Editorial Board of Psychoanalytic Dialogues where she has been a reviewer of articles since the journal's inception. She has written in the areas of immediate experience, obesity, mourning, artistic expression, therapeutic action, solitude, termination and neuroscience and psychoanalysis. Dr. Glennon is in private practice in New York City and works with adult individuals and couples.

Seminar is now closed to registration

The Analyst's Self-Disclosure

Steven Kuchuck, LCSW
Saturday, April 28, 2018
222 West 14th Street Suite 5M

This daylong workshop will focus on helping psychoanalytic therapists at all levels of training and experience to identify and track the impact of their life experiences, crises, and psychological makeup on their clinical work. Particular attention will be paid to exploring areas of overlap and differentiation between two phenomena that are often confused: self-disclosure and the larger issue of the therapist's subjectivity.

The seminar's primary focus will be on exploring the analyst's use of self via various forms of self-disclosure. In a related vein, we will define both the obvious and more subtle distinctions between inadvertent and deliberate self-disclosure, the impact of analysts' multiple self-states and their relationship to disclosure as these states arise in various clinician-patient dyads, conscious and unconscious reasons therapists choose to disclose or attempt to refrain from deliberate sharing, analyst fantasies around control of what patients know or learn about us, and differentiating between the analyst's needs and the patient's needs for the analyst to deliberately share or attempt to conceal disclosures.

The workshop will include a combination of readings, lecture and discussion, and for those who are interested, informal sharing of participants' clinical material. Readings will be distributed prior to the start of the seminar:

  • Lew Aron- "On Knowing and Being Known: Theoretical and Technical Considerations Regarding Self-Disclosure" (Chapter 8 in A Meeting of Minds: Mutuality in Psychoanalysis by Lew Aron).
  • Steven Kuchuck- "Do Ask, Do Tell? Narcissistic Need as a Determinant of Analyst Self-Disclosure." (The Psychoanalytic Review, 96:1007-1024).
  • Hillary Grill- "The Importance of Fathers" (Chapter 14 in Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst's Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional, Edited by Steven Kuchuck).
  • Steven Kuchuck- "Guess Who's Going to Dinner? On the Arrival of the Uninvited Third" (Chapter 11 in Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst's Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional Edited by Steven Kuchuck).

Steven Kuchuck, LCSW, is Editor-in-Chief, Psychoanalytic Perspectives; Co-Editor, Routledge Relational Perspectives Book Series; Incoming President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and Board Member; supervisor, faculty, Co-Director of Curriculum for the psychoanalytic training program at NIP; and faculty/supervisor at the NIP National Training Program, Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center, the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia and other institutes.

Seminar is now closed to registration

Challenging the Motherhood Mandate: Contemporary Thinking Concerning Desire, Agency & Choice

Hillary Grill, LCSW
Friday, May 4, 11 & 18, 2018
141 East 33rd Street, Suite 1A, NYC

While gendered presumptions have waned in recent years, somehow such presumptions still hold when it comes to women becoming mothers. Little latitude for examination of thoughts, feelings and desires cause us to wonder if choice and agency are illusory. This seminar delves into the meanings that live quietly below the surface- of the desire for motherhood, the fantasies and experience of being a mother- and alternative paths to parenting, including the absence of such desire.

Exploring maternity, avoiding reductive singularity for women, we will look most closely at the pull toward and away from motherhood. Potency, generativity and immersion in a powerful relationship are maternal possibilities- yet the desire for motherhood is often at odds with other desires, goals and self-states. It remains a struggle for women to become mothers without fearing, or indeed in actuality, losing parts of themselves- as they are challenged to easily navigate multiple self-states. The culture at large continues to idealize and denigrate motherhood with negative, maternal images juxtaposed with the glorification of the all-giving mother, and the fantastical all-doing super-woman, effortlessly caring for children, career and partners. Mainstream psychoanalysis has been disinterested.

Stubbornly fixed binaries about the maternal have been jostled by feminism, gender and queer theory, and the technological advances of assisted reproduction. Our thinking will be informed by this, and by contemporary family configurations such as same-sex parenthood, single parenthood by choice and child-free arrangements. We will take note of the impact of reproductive technologies-offering hope and liberation, while entrapping many in an often obsessive, seemingly limitless quest for a baby.

Our format will include readings, lecture, discussion and case material drawing upon the work of Jessica Benjamin, Adrienne Harris, Muriel Dimen, Luce Irigaray, Donna Basin, Daphne de Marneffe, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva, Nancy Chodorow and others. Select readings will be distributed in advance.

Hillary Grill, LCSW, is a supervisor and faculty member at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies, the Institute for Expressive Analysis and the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center. She is executive Editor of Psychoanalytic Perspectives, presents widely, author of various articles, the book: Dreaming for Two: the Hidden Emotional Life of Pregnant Women and "The Importance of Fathers" in the book Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst's Life Experience.


Seminars will be closed to registration when full or four days prior to the first session, whichever comes first.

Seminar Co-Directors

Lisa Lyons, Ph.D. & Kim Bernstein, Ph.D.

Board of Directors

Anthony Bass, Jessica Benjamin, Margaret Black, Jody Messler Davies

Contact us for more info: stephenmitchellcenter@gmail.com