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Presenter: Judith E. Levene, PhD

Wednesday, September 14, 2022: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

TPS Scientific Meeting: Open to Members, Affiliates/Guests, TIP Candidates, and ATPPP Trainees Only

** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – Registration deadline is one week prior to the meeting. Preregistration is required.

When a patient enters the consulting room for the first time, we agree to collaboratively enter a sort of “unknown zone,” a liminal space in which empathy and understanding are tentative, potential, and emergent. Empathy, the capacity for attuned listening, hearing, and understanding the emotional experience of another, is an essential component of the analytic relationship for all analysts.

If we study the history of psychoanalysis through the lens of conceptualizing empathy, we can trace a theoretical shift from empathy as a unidirectional property of the analyst, toward a postmodern understanding of empathy as a diffuse and decentered property of the analytic field described by Interpersonal/ Relational Field Theory.

In this paper, the conceptual history of Empathy will be exemplified and discussed in the context of the case of Elyse.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. After this presentation, participants will develop an understanding of the major tenets of Interpersonal/Relational psychoanalysis including an understanding of Interpersonal Field Theory
  2. Participants will develop an understanding of the historical evolution of the concept of empathy from Freud to Interpersonal Psychoanalysis;
  3. Participants will develop an understanding of empathy as a process that takes place, not in the mind of the analyst, but a process that evolves from the Interpersonal Field.
Judith Levene, PhD

Associate Professor Emerita from Wilfrid Laurier University where she was a professor in The Faculty of Social Work until her retirement in 2011. Throughout, she has been a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Prior to her tenure at Laurier, Dr. Levene was Chief Social Worker of Adult Inpatient Services at CAMH (then the Clarke Institute) after serving as Senior Social Worker at the children’s mental health clinic known as the Family Court Clinic, Clarke Institute, during the 1970s and 1980s. A graduate of the TIP, she has been in private practice as a psychoanalyst since 1997, and as psychotherapist since 1975. She has been a faculty member at the TIP, the ATPPP, the TICP, and IASP, and a board member of the ATPPP. She is the author of 19 publications, the recipient of ten research grants, and has presented 27 refereed papers. Her current interests include Relational Psychoanalysis, and Interpersonal/Relational Psychoanalysis in particular.

This event is eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour). 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.

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