Upcoming Events

All programs except for the symposia are free and meet on Sundays, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM unless otherwise stated.

We will continue to offer online meetings. Instructions for registering and receiving a link will be posted soon.

These presentations are open to all interested persons, regardless of their level of experience or knowledge of psychoanalysis. For in-person meetings, there is no registration needed for the monthly presentations except where noted. If you would like to get CEs or CEUs, you can sign up for them at the reception table when you arrive when we resume in-person meetings.

Two social work CEUs and psychology CE credits are available.  There is a fee for non-members.

*The Michigan Council for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Click here to see our certificate.The Michigan Council for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  

* None of the planners and presenters of this continuing education program have any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

    • 16 Oct 2022
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual


    This detailed clinical narrative relates critical moments negotiated in a therapeutic relationship. The patient’s life and our process were challenged by the grip of her discrete dissociated self-states that haunted, restricted, and threatened to deaden living potential during a painful but tenuously hopeful period of the patient’s life. In this extensive account of my work with “Rachel,” I illustrate how the early object relations experiences that populate us, and give shapes and recurrent patterns to procedural memory, may be brought into intersubjective and, eventually, intrasubjective play. Beginning “where all the ladders start [quoting Yeats], in the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart,” I illustrate the interactive and at times playful clinical process through which patient and analyst may discover, through lived experience in the therapeutic relationship, ways to climb to fresh levels of healthy self-cohesion and experiential freedom, thereby softening the self-destructive power of ungrieved object relations legacies and unbridged self-states that threaten repeatedly to monopolize and sabotage a robust life.

    Learning Objectives

    At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:
    1. Discuss the potential usefulness of forms of playing in the treatment of highly

    intellectualized, dissociated or “ethereal” patients.

    2. Apply in practice a stance toward therapeutic negotiation ranging from gentle

    accompaniment to colloquial playing, all in the service of the patient’s emergent

    enlivenment and freedom.

    3. Understand the grip of object relational legacies that shape deadening repetitions.


    Stuart A. Pizer, Ph.D., ABPP is a Founding Board Member, Faculty, Supervising and Personal Analyst, and former President of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis; Assistant Professor of Psychology (part time) in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; Faculty, Supervising and Personal Analyst at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia; Visiting Faculty and Member of the Advisory Board at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis; Honorary Faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles; member of the Contemporary Freudian Society; and Adjunct Analyst member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He is an Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, as well as Past-President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is the author of Building Bridges: The Negotiation of Paradox in Psychoanalysis (The Analytic Press, 1998), which Routledge reissued in 2021 as a Classic Edition, and dozens of articles on analytic process as a negotiation, the state and stance of the analyst, impasse, playing, ethics, and the analyst’s generous involvement. He teaches, presents, and supervises nationally and internationally. His private practice is in Cambridge, MA.


    Cooney, A. & Sopher, R. (eds.) (2021). Vitalization in Psychoanalysis. London & New York: Routledge

    Pizer. S.A. (2022). Building Bridges: The Negotiation of Paradox in Psychoanalysis. Classic Edition. London & New York: Routledge (originally published in 1998)

    Salberg, J. (ed.) (2022). Psychoanalytic Credos. London & New York: Routledge.

    • 6 Nov 2022
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)
    • Virtual


    It’s startling that, while we no longer use Freud’s theory carte blanche, the acceptance of a defining maternal instinct, or drive, has persisted. Psychoanalysis remains influenced by gendered presumptions, promulgating a lack of curiosity regarding the breadth and depth of the experience of motherhood. Like many fathers of his generation, Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, gave little thought to the experience of mothers. Seen simply as bearers of the next generation, mothers were relegated to the sidelines of psychological investigation—devoid

    of subjectivity, silent and invisible. This presentation will explore the impact of the unthought known of the feminine imperative that mandates motherhood and is then passed through generations and introjected from our mothers.

    Psychoanalytic theory and practice have placed great importance on the mother from the perspective of the ways in which mothering affects development—not as a developmental stage in its own right. The psychological and emotional processes leading to decisions about motherhood are almost nowhere to be found in psychoanalytic theory. Maternal desire and ambivalence are clinically hidden. This presentation challenges the tacit acceptance of “motherhood for all (women).” The psychological complexities of childbearing will be explored,

    giving voice to the meanings and experiences of motherhood that lurk quietly below the surface.

    Learning Objectives

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

    1. Apply techniques that can be used to encourage patients to verbalize their conflicted

    thoughts and feelings about parenthood.

    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the developmental stage of motherhood.

    3. Utilize knowledge about the subjectivity of mothers in their clinical work.


    Atlas, G. (2016) The Enigma of Desire. London, UK and New York, NY: Routledge.

    Balsam, R. H. (2019) On the natal body and its confusing place in mental life. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 67(1), 15-36.

    Gentile, J. (2016). Feminine Law. London, UK: Karnac.

    Grill, H. (2019). What women want: A discussion of “childless.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29(1), 59-68.

    Raphael-Leff, J. (2020). Absolute hospitality and the imagined baby. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. 73(1), 230-239.

    • 22 Jan 2023
    • 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)
    • Virtual

    More information to come

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software