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47th ATPPP Scientific Session

47th ATPPP Scientific Session

The clinical importance of curiosity in the therapeutic dyad: Engaging the other through radical openness.

Presenter: Anton H. Hart, PhD, FABP

Discussant: Claire Lunney MD, CCFP

Saturday, November 11, 2017: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cost: $100

Open to all by registration. Preregistration is required.

Starting from the premise that racial, ethnic and other forms of discrimination and negation represent dissociative defenses involving a profound failure of curiosity, this presentation addressed matters issues of difference and “othering”, as they emerge and might be taken up in the psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic situation. We will examine both the resistances to, and the necessity for, psychoanalytic engagement and prioritization of issues of diversity and the experience of otherness, even as both patient and psychotherapist may not believe such issues as playing a central role in their identities or their lives. Anxieties associated with authentic, curious, exploratory dialogue pertaining to difference and otherness will be identified. A clinical stance involving the psychotherapist’s radical openness, a stance that involves willingness to lose cherished, securing aspects of oneself in the process of an undefended psychoanalytic exchange, will be described.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session participants will be able:

  1. Develop an understanding of the anxieties associated with engaging issues of diversity, difference and otherness.
  2. Recognize the central roles of curiosity and radical openness as antidotes to cultural ignorance and insensitivity, and be able to cultivate such qualities in themselves and in their patients.
  3. Recognize pitfalls and breakdowns that can occur in diversity-related explorations and find ways to use these in the service of the restoration of open dialogue.
ATPPP Scientific Committee

Marco Posadas, MSW, RSW Chair
Doron Almagor, MD, FRCP
Claire Lunney, MD, CCFP
Susan K. Moore, PhD, RP, FIPA

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Anton H. Hart, PhD, FABP

Anton H. Hart, PhD, FABP, is a Training and Supervising Analyst and on the Faculty of the William Alanson White Institute in New York City. A member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) and the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), he is the recently appointed Chair of APsaA’s Department of Education’s Diversities Section. A Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis, he supervises at Teachers College, Columbia University and at the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Psychoanalytic Psychology and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He teaches in the Department of Psychology at Mt. Sinai/ St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, and at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. He has published papers on issues of mutuality, disruption and safety and has work in press on issues of diversity and racism. He served as Associate Co-producer for the film, “Black Psychoanalysts Speak,” in which he was also featured. He is a Co-Founder of the White Institute’s Study Group on Race and Psychoanalysis. He is writing a book, to be published by Routledge, entitled, Beyond Oaths or Codes: Toward Relational Psychoanalytic Ethics. He is in full-time private practice in New York City.

Claire Lunney, MD , CCFP

Dr. Lunney is a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is on the faculty of the TIP and ATPPP as well as a founding member of Lacan Toronto.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are available. This event is an accredited group learning activity (section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certificate Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, approved by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA). The specific opinions and content of this event are not necessarily those of the CPA, and are the responsibility of the organizer(s) alone. As per the Royal College standard, each presentation provides a minimum of 25% interactive learning.

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2017/2018 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount.

Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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