Special Extension Program Workshop – Safe and Effective Use of Self: Psychodynamic Approaches to Building Strong and Effective Therapeutic Relationships with Diverse Populations

Special Extension Program Workshop - Safe and Effective Use of Self: Psychodynamic Approaches to Building Strong and Effective Therapeutic Relationships with Diverse Populations

Course Coordinator: Marco Posadas

Course Leaders: Marco Posadas, Elizabeth Tuters, Deborah Britzman, Michelle Flax

Wednesday, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm: September 21, October 19, November 16, December 7, 2016, January 25, February 15, March 22, April 19, May 17, May 31, 2017

Fees: $450

Preregistration is required.


This course examines how internalized cultural/social biases can obstruct the appropriate use of the therapist’s self to effectively contribute to the development of a solid therapeutic alliance when working psychodynamically with persons who are members of groups who have experienced oppression resulting from their demographic differences (race, ethnicity, sexual identity, disability, among others). The impact that internalized oppression (in the form of racism, classism, sexual prejudice, etc.) has in clinical process (intersubjectivity, therapeutic alliance, enactments, transference & countertransference, defenses) with such patients, will also be examined. Using case material from their own practice, participants will have the opportunity to reassess the impact of their clinical interventions with members from these population groups, using a variety of perspectives.

This course will draw on psychoanalytic theory to strengthen mental health clinicians’ understanding of the safe and effective use of self as a clinical competency that can support the psychotherapeutic work with marginalized and oppressed populations. It will particularly explore basic concepts of Drive, Attachment, Ego Psychology, Object Relational and Self Psychology theories as departing points to define the use of self in clinical practice and understand our “blind spots”.

This course is intended for mental health practitioners who have clinical experience, psychotherapists, and regulated mental health professionals who perform the controlled act of psychotherapy.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the course the participants will be able:

  1. To develop more awareness of the effective use of the therapist’s self in establishing the therapeutic alliance with the broad spectrum of patients that belong to a different social group than ourselves.
  2. To describe the impact of clinical processes (such as forming a therapeutic alliance, transference & countertranference, intersubjectivity, enactments and defenses) when establishing a working alliance with patients who are members of oppressed population groups.
  3. To explore the influence of the clinician’s own cultural identity and cultural “norm” while working with diverse and different populations.
  4. To clarify the process for repair of an impasse and/or rupture when different social/cultural “norms” run into each other.

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Marco Posadas

Marco Posadas, MSW, RSW, Psychoanalyst in private practice in Toronto; Chair, Scientific Committee ATPPP; Faculty TPS, where he teaches the integration of cultural, gender and sexual diversity, and anti-oppressive attitudes in psychoanalytic practice; He is currently adjunct faculty at Smith College of Social Work. Faculty, TPS&I.

Elizabeth Tuters

Elizabeth Tuters, MSW, RSW, FIPA, Child/Adult Psychoanalyst in Private Practice. Team Leader, Infant Program, Hincks-Dellcrest Children’s Centre/Institute; Officer, Board of Directors; Canadian Association for Psychoanalytic Child Therapists. Faculty, TPS&I

Deborah Britzman

Deborah Britzman, Ed.D, FRSC, RP, is Distinguished Research Professor at York University, and Psychoanalyst (and RT) in private practice. She is author of nine books. Guest of the TPS.

Michelle Flax

Michelle Flax, PhD, CPsych, is a Psychologist and Psychoanalyst in private practice in Toronto, treating individuals and couples; she is a Board member and Faculty at the ATPPP; she is a supervising analyst and faculty at the TICP Essentials Program. Guest of the TPS.

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 2016/2017 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: torontopsychoanalysis.com or email info@torontopsychoanalysis.com