Leader: Paul Steinberg, MD
January 12, March 2, March 16, May 11, 2018
~ This course is a continuation of the course with the same name offered in the fall of 2017. Having attended Part 1 of this course is not necessary to benefit from attending Part 2.~
This seminar series consisting of four three-hour seminars will focus on the importance of hearing and using feedback from our psychotherapy patients, especially when there is a difficulty or impasse in the work. Casement combines a relational approach with the theories of Winnicott and Bion. He expresses himself in plain English, free of psychoanalytic jargon. Casement outlined many important practical psychotherapeutic applications of the above theories. He consistently encourages the therapist to put her- or himself in the patient’s shoes, and try to see things from the patient’s point of view.
The seminar leader will begin each seminar by briefly summarizing some of the important points in the reading material assigned for that seminar. The major part of each seminar will consist of participants presenting clinical material for discussion, with a focus on the theme of the course, “learning from the patient”, attempting a specific focus on the assigned reading material. It is expected that 2 or possibly even 3 presentations will be made in each seminar.
This course is not focused on didactic teaching, but on the interaction between participants and leader, based on the notion that “many heads are better than one”, and that the experience of thinking together about our patients can generate ideas that we would be unlikely to come up with on our own. The Talmudic idea that if one wants to study, “First get a friend”, applies. An ongoing emphasis will be to explore what message or supervision the patient may be unconsciously providing us with, and looking at what may make it difficult for us to hear the patient. Of course, this will include a consideration of countertransference.
This series of seminars will utilize the fifth to tenth chapters of Casement’s first book, On Learning from the Patient. All page references are from the Routledge Mental Health Classic Edition of On Learning from the Patient, 2014 (originally published by Tavistock Publications in 1985).
The following readings are assigned:
- January 12: Chapter 5, Listening from an interactional viewpoint: a clinical presentation, pp. 88-112.
- March 2: Chapters 6 & 7, Key dynamics of containment, and Analytic holding under pressure, pp. 113-144.
- March 16: Chapter 8, Processes of search and discovery in the therapeutic experience, pp. 145-163.
- May 11: Chapters 9 & 10, The search for space: an issue of boundaries, and Theory rediscovered, pp. 164-189.