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104 Ethics – 2 seminars

Seminar Leaders: K. Klement, J. Kohl, R. Ruskin, and S. Thomson

Course Description

These two Seminars comprise the first section of an Ethics Course, which is taught over the four years of the Curriculum. The first seminar explores the importance of establishing the treatment frame, appropriate boundaries, and analytic neutrality, for the therapeutic relationship. Boundary configurations with different types of patients are described. The Course demonstrates the essential role of confidentiality in facilitating trust and growth in the therapeutic relationship. The Course Readings show the role of boundaries in maintaining a non-judgmental stance, helping the analyst to observe himself, the patient and the developing process, and to generate professional therapeutic responses to intense need or emotion in the patient.

The second seminar examines the intersection between anti-oppressive practice and ethical practice psychoanalysis. This seminar examines how internalized cultural/social biases can obstruct a psychoanalytic stance and the development of a solid therapeutic alliance when working psychoanalytically with persons who are members of groups who have experienced oppression resulting from their demographic differences (race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual identity, sexual orientation, ability and disability among others). The impact that internalized oppression (in the forms of racism, classism, sexual prejudice, etc.) has in our listening is an ethical question that is weaved throughout psychoanalytic method. The clinical processes (intersubjectivity, therapeutic alliance, enactments, transference and counter-transference, the use of defenses) with such patients will also be examined. Using case material from their own practice, candidates will have the opportunity to reassess the impact of their clinical interventions with members from these population groups using a variety of

Course Objectives

Candidates will learn:

  1. (4.2) To read descriptions of different basic structures essential to psychoanalytic setting, including: frame, boundaries, confidentiality, neutrality and free association, all-important in establishing a therapeutic relationship (1.2), and establishing its safety (4.2). To apply an ethical decision making process (3.2). To understand the important determinants of cultural, ethnic, linguistic, gender differences and non-binary fluidity, in psychoanalytic work as they apply to psychoanalytic processes in individual/group contexts.
  2. (4.2) To discuss how these structures might be established under varying clinical conditions, depending on the patient’s need for a particular process, while maintaining appropriate therapeutic boundaries.
  3. (4.4, 4.5) To recognize some legal and ethical limitations to the application of neutrality and confidentiality, and to discuss examples together.

Seminar 1

Basic ethics in psychoanalytic technique

Required Readings

Gabbard, G.O. & Lester, E. (1995). Chapter 2: Boundaries and the psychoanalytic process. In Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Gabbard, G.O. & Lester, E. (1995). Chapter 3: The analytic frame, analytic boundaries and analytic process. In Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Seminar 2

Basic understanding anti-oppressive practice in psychoanalysis

Required Readings

Davids, M. F. (2003). The internal racist. Bulletin of the British Psychoanalytical Society 39(4), 1-15.

Young-Bruehl, E. (2010). Chapter One: The anatomy of prejudice. In Childism, (pp. 18-54). New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press

Leary, K. (2007). Racial Insult and Repair. Psychoanalytic Dialogues,17(4), 539-549.

Supplementary Readings

Lacan, J. (1959-1960). The Ethics of Psychoanalysis – Book 7. London: Routledge.

Kirshner, L.A. (2012). Toward an ethics of psychoanalysis: A critical reading of Lacan’s ethics. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(6), 1223-1242.

Scarfone, D. (2015). The Unpast. New York, NY: The Unconscious in Translation.

Poland, W.S. (2017). Ethics and the psychoanalytic hard problem. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(4), 414-422.

Akhtar, S. (1995). A third individuation: Immigration, identity, and the psychoanalytic process. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43(4), 1051-1084.

Akhtar, S. (2014). The mental pain of minorities. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30, 136-153.

Benjamin, J. (1998). The shadow of the other subject: Intersubjectivity and feminist theory. In Shadow of the Other: Intersubjectivity and Gender in Psychoanalysis (Chapter 3: pp. 79-108). New York, NY; London: Routledge.

Berzoff, J., Flanagan, L.M., & Hertz, P. (2011). Inside Out And Outside: Psychodynamic Clinical Theory And Psychopathology In Contemporary Multicultural Contexts (3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Bonovitz, C. (2005). Locating culture in the psychic field: Transference and countertransference as cultural products. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 41(1), 55-75.

Bryant-Davis, T. (2007). Healing requires recognition: The case for race-based traumatic stress. The Counseling Psychologist, 35(1), 135-143.

Comas-Diaz, L. & Jacobsen, F.M. (1995). The therapist of color and the white patient dyad: Contradictions and recognitions. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, 1(2), 93-106.

Comas-Diaz, L. (2006). Latino healing: The integration of ethnic psychology into psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 43(4), 436-453.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2004). Psychodynamic perspectives: Responding to the assessment needs of people of color? Smith College Studies in Social Work, 74, 315-332.

Perez Foster, R.M. (1999). An intersubjective approach to cross-cultural clinical work. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 69(2), 269-291.

Roughton, R.E. (2002). Rethinking homosexuality. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 50, 733-763.

Tummala-Narra, P. (2009). The relevance of a psychoanalytic perspective in exploring religious and spiritual identity in psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 26(1), 83-95.

Scarfone, D. (2017). On “that is not psychoanalysis”: Ethics as the main tool for psychoanalytic knowledge and discussion. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(4), 392-400.

Suchet, M. (2007). Unraveling whiteness. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 17(6), 867-886.

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