Seminar Series



Lisa Lyons, Ph.D. and Hillary Grill, LCSW, Co-Directors

The Seminar Series consists of brief seminars dedicated to understanding and expanding Relational Psychoanalysis. In the spirit of collaborative inquiry fostered by Stephen Mitchell, each seminar is designed as an interactive forum that aims to inspire creative thinking and to bring theory to life. Seminar topics span the gamut from in-depth explorations of foundational relational concepts to cutting-edge psychoanalytic thinking.

Seminars are designed for mental health professionals and trainees and meet for one to three sessions. Our intention is to offer participants an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in a collegial and informal small group setting.

All seminars are taught over Zoom by Mitchell Center faculty, many of whom are leaders in the field and have contributed to the development of relational theory from its inception.

Race in Clinical Space

Kathleen Pogue White, PhD & Jill Salberg, PhD
Sunday, October 29, November 5 & 12, 2023
10a - 12pm USA EST

This seminar attempts to raise awareness of unconscious states of mind around race in clinical work using a variation of the Balint method. This Method utilizes group engagement with a case problem brought by a case holder who describes a clinical vignette. The short vignette narrative can be a significant moment in working with a BIPOC person, either as the therapist or as a supervisor for the therapist. It can also be when both people in a dyad are white, and race is in the material, sometimes expressed, often not fully engaged. For example, the case holder feels stuck around a particular racial enactment, is puzzled by a racialized countertransference, or is curious about excessive positive or negative feelings towards the BIPOC client/patient. Additionally, if/when both parties in the dyad identify as white, a case holder may have become aware of a gap, an absence of material relating to race.

In response to the case vignette, the group's work is to make their associative life available to the case holder in such a way as to connect to and open up their own countertransferential experiences. The Balint hypothesis is that the unconscious of all participants will be resonant and provide access to new possibilities as to feelings and ways of seeing things.

Each session will consist of a) an opening group plenary where a senior faculty person offers a vignette describing a "compelling, unforgettable moment" in their work with a patient of color, with a white patient, or with a training case with a person of color or white supervisee. The focus is on collective deep listening to and clarifying the presenter's experience of working and thinking in the area of racial differences, encounters, and enactments. The following two sessions provide opportunities for two volunteer Seminar members to bring case vignettes. b) Working in smaller break-out groups, the participants will use their associative life to frame a response to the presenters' posed question. The goal is learning and enlightenment about what race means in the context of clinical work, as highlighted by these examples.

Participants (candidates, faculty/supervisors, graduates, and guest colleagues) will commit to attending all three sessions. Readings will be sent out a week in advance.

Kathleen Pogue White, Ph.D., Educator, and Reflective Practitioner, is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, and Principal at Pogue White Consultancy, LLC. Kathleen is a Supervising Analyst, Postdoc, Consultant, Holmes Commission, APsaA; Distinguished Member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, Founding Member of WAWI Organization Program; Founding Member of Black Psychoanalysts Speak; Founding Member of The Chocolate Salon. Kathleen authored Surviving Hating and Being Hated (2001).

Jill Salberg, Ph.D., ABPP, is faculty and supervisor at NYU Postdoctoral Program, Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis, and a member of IPTAR. Her books include Good Enough Endings: Breaks, Interruptions, and Terminations from Contemporary Relational Perspectives (2010) and Psychoanalytic Credo: Personal and Professional Journeys of Psychoanalysts (2022). She co-edited with Sue Grand, The Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma (Gradiva Award 2018). Her forthcoming co-written with Grand book Transgenerational Trauma: A Contemporary Introduction is forthcoming this Winter 2024 published by Routledge. She is in private practice in Manhattan and online.

The Psychotherapy Relationship, Dialogues of the Unconscious and the Uses of the Self in Contemporary Relational Therapies

Anthony Bass, Ph.D.
Monday, December 4, 11 & 18, 2023
7:30p - 9p USA EST

In this workshop we will explore the nature of the psychotherapy relationship, emphasizing unconscious relations between therapist and patient. We will deepen our grasp of unconscious dimensions of therapeutic relating through our engagement with difficult treatment moments.

Along with Dr. Bass, participants in the workshop may present material themselves or work with others' clinical vignettes. They will gain experience using emotional responses to patients to identify and work through enactments, impasses and other challenging countertransference obstacles at the heart of psychotherapy. Implications for how we make use of ourselves, the way we respond to our patients, and how this contributes to our therapeutic intentions and sense of 'technique' will be explored.

We will focus on patients with whom we have felt especially emotionally affected, i.e., those who have evoked intense, disturbing or arousing reactions: patients about whom one dreams at night, or becomes preoccupied by day, or who evoke anxious or counter-resistive responses, such as fighting sleep, or falling asleep or becoming bored; patients who arouse us to anger, disgust, shame, or sexual or other body experiences.

Such experiences, often at the heart of enactments in psychotherapy, provide special opportunities for gaining access to the ways in which the unconscious life of patient and therapist emerge and interact, creating special challenges and special opportunities for deepening and furthering the work.

Please come prepared to share some clinical moments if possible.

Tony Bass, Ph.D., is a founder and president of Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center. He is an adjunct associate professor and clinical consultant at the New York University Postdoctoral Program, as well as a training and supervising analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is a founding editor and editor emeritus of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and the International Journal of Relational Perspectives.

Putting Practice into Context: Psychoanalytic Writing

Kim Bernstein, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 15, 22 & 29, 2024
2p - 3:30p USA EST

In this course, we will explore writing in the context of clinical psychoanalysis and the literature of the field. I specify "clinical psychoanalysis" because so much of what constitutes psychoanalytic writing in the broader world is neither about nor informed by contemporary therapeutic work with patients. By contrast, we will focus specifically on writing that includes case material, an important, highly complex, and consequential part of the psychoanalytic literature that remains unique within the arts and sciences. Relatedly, we will consider the analyst's subjectivity in the context of such writing, as well as desire at the intersection of clinical work and authorship. While this course is not a writing workshop per se, its focus should prove useful for those who want to write in the field.

Kim Bernstein, Ph.D., LP, NCPsyA, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York. She is faculty and supervisor at the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies, where she heads the writing component of the National Training Program. Prior to becoming a psychoanalyst, she worked as a professional editor for over 15 years in academic and commercial publishing; she is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Couples Therapy through a Relational Lens

Stacy Malin, Ph.D.
Thursday, March 7, 14 & 21, 2024
7:30p - 9p USA EST

This love business: Bringing in the body, relational thinking and our own messy countertransference when working with couples. In homage to Stephen Mitchell's final work, Can Love Last?, which shone a probing lens on love and romance, this seminar with revisit romantic coupling, this time from the perspective of a relational and somatically-trained couples therapist. In this seminar, we will dip a toe in the burgeoning field of couples therapy, with a particular consideration of the non-verbal, implicit register between partners and therapist, the role of the couples therapist's own subjectivity in this three-person system, and the daunting countertransference reactions that unavoidably arise in this work.

The first meeting will offer a cursory primer on couples therapy and consider a few different theoretical approaches. Emphasis will also be placed on some essential differences between couples therapy and individual therapy, the opportunity for individual growth through couples therapy and the couples therapist's function as both participant and observer, or insider and outsider in the couple's interpersonal sphere. Readings may include those by Nielsen, Shaddock, Gerson, Johnson and Ringstrom.

In the second meeting, we will explore the implicit, non-conscious, highly-patterned psychobiological system co-created by a pair bond. Based on this implicit patterning, nonverbal body-based strategies will be highlighted. We will integrate ideas from PACT (a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy), Shimmerlik, Fishbane, infant development (Beebe) and others.

In our final session, we will delve into the subjectivity of the couples therapist as she sits with couples' heated, aching or passionate interactions. In what ways, we will question, might the therapist's own romantic and relational history influence her emotional responsiveness to the pair? How might her unconscious beliefs about being a couple influence her work? (Mary Morgan) We will examine the risk of "secondary traumatization" (Goldner) to the therapist while sitting with warring partners, the possibility of vicarious joy as partners resuscitate and expand their romantic connection, and even the chance that the couple may serve as a kind of couples therapist to their therapist.

Stacy Malin, PhD: A psychologist and graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Dr. Malin is also a passionate couples therapist. Her interest in systemic work dates back to college, when she worked on Salvador Minuchin's research team at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. That, and her own divorce at age 40, inspired her, years later, to take a deep dive into the practice of couples therapy, and she has since completed training in multiple approaches, including a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Gottman Couples Therapy, Relational Life Therapy (RLT) and the psychoanalytically-focused Advanced Specialization in Couples and Family Therapy at NYU. To aid in work with dysregulated partners, Dr. Malin has also pursued training in the treatment of trauma; she holds a Certificate in Somatic Experiencing (SEP) and also trained in Attachment-Based Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Laurel Parnell. Influenced by all these perspectives, Dr. Malin now incorporates relational, systemic, psychoeducational, trauma-focused, attachment-based, and somatic approaches in her work with couples. Dr. Malin is on the faculty of both the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center and the Couples Therapy Training and Program at the William Alanson White Institute and also serves as clinical consultant to the Philadelphia Couples Therapy (PCT program). She is a past board member of Section VIII, the Couple and Family Therapy section of Division 39. Dr. Malin is currently most interested in exploring creative, transformative, present-moment interventions in the therapy room, and also in pulling back the curtain on the therapist's own inner/personal life and its impact on the therapy. She maintains a private practice in NYC, where she works with both individuals and couples and runs supervision groups.

Clinical Implications of the Shift to a Relational Perspective

Jody Davies, Ph.D.
Thursday, April 4, 11 & 18, 2024
7:30 - 9p USA EST

This seminar will explore the theoretical underpinnings of working clinically from a relational perspective. In the first class we will look at exactly what those theoretical shifts are, and how they impact the way we work with patients. The second class will look more closely at the multiple self state model of mind and and how our clinical interventions shift if we work using this model. An extended clinical example will be offered and participants will be encouraged to bring in their own clinical work. The third class will explore the concept of traumatic dissociation. Again, an extended clinical example will be presented and participants will be encouraged to bring in their own clinical experiences. As always, within a relational perspective, an emphasis will be on understanding transference-countertransference paradigms, enactments, and the inter-subjective field unique to each unique dyadic encounter.

Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D. is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, and current associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: A Journal of Relational Perspectives; Faculty , Supervisor and former co-chair of the Relational Track, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; Founding Vice President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, Founding Member of the Stephen A Mitchell Center for Relational Psychoanalysis. Dr. Davies is co-author (with Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea) of Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Psychoanalytic Perspective. Dr. Davies has written over 50 published papers on the topics of trauma, dissociation, multiplicity of self organization, erotic aspects of transference/countertransference termination from a relational perspective, psychoanalytic imagination, and analytic love. She is currently at work on a new book: Transformations of Desire and Despair: Clinical Implications of the Theoretical Shift to a Relational Perspective.

Therapeutic Action from a Relational Perspective

Stefanie Solow Glennon, Ph.D.
Thursday, May 9, 16, & 23, 2024
7:30 - 9p USA EST

"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, Hoffman, Levenson, Mitchell, 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 and supervising analyst 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.

Survey of the Works of Jessica Benjamin

Victoria Demos, Ph.D.
Saturday, June 8 and June 15, 2024
12-2:30pm USA EST

This course will focus on tracing the evolution of the seminal ideas and works of Jessica Benjamin. The readings and discussions will include both theoretical and clinical materials. In specific, students will have the opportunity to explore the foundational ideas of subjectivity, recognition, doer - done to, feminism and gender, and thirdness, as well as the connection of these concepts to early attachment patterns.

Related to this, we will examine how these states emerge in the inter-subjective space between analyst and patient. From reading Benjamin's articles and her books Bonds of Love, The Shadow of the Other, and most book Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity, and The Third, we will discuss how her concepts emerge within the therapeutic dyad and learn how to identify, recognize, and work with these theoretical and clinical concepts.

Mitchell Center Seminar
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Your PayPal receipt serves as your registration confirmation. You will receive an email with zoom and orientation information a week prior to the start of the seminar.

-The Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0261.
The Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts #P-0055.
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Total available credits earned per seminar is 4.5. Full attendance is required for CE credit. Certificates will be sent by email within 2 weeks of conclusion of the program.



Seminars will be closed to registration when full or four days prior to the first session, whichever comes first. All payments are final. In special circumstances refunds may be offered if requested at least one week before the seminar start date. We do not accept checks.

*If you would like to attend a seminar but are unable to afford the fee, please contact us to discuss options.

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A complete list of the Mitchell Center Faculty can be found here: Faculty Information