What Remains of Value to Therapists in the Work of Sigmund Freud?
Description: Outside the psychoanalytic community, Freud’s writings are often dismissed as passé; inside psychoanalysis, they are frequently regarded as reflecting a socially constructed paradigm that the “relational turn” has effectively challenged and replaced. Yet well over a century after the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams, and despite many efforts to marginalize it, Freud’s work remains fascinating, controversial, and arguably relevant to therapeutic challenges. Unconscious cognition, affect, and behavior are central findings of contemporary neuroscience, and even non-psychodynamic approaches to therapy are inventing terms that capture what Freud meant by concepts such as resistance, transference, countertransference, and intrapsychic conflict. This seminar will consider what in Freud’s writings remains of use to twenty-first-century therapists who see widely diverse clients.
Learning Objectives: After this seminar, participants will be able to:
1. Identify a Freudian ethic that continues to drive psychotherapies of all theoretical orientations;
2. Describe at least three ways in which Freud’s personality issues and cultural context framed his formulations;
3. Enumerate at least five areas in which Freudian concepts remain central to the practice of psychotherapy.
About the Speaker: Nancy McWilliams teaches at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and has a private practice in Flemington, NJ. She is author of Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (1994; rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2004), all with Guilford Press. She has edited or contributed to several other books, and is Associate Editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006; rev. ed. due 2016). She is a former president of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association and is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Psychology. A graduate of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, Dr. McWilliams is also affiliated with the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey and the National Training Program of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York City.
Awards include the Gradiva prize (1999), the Goethe Scholarship Award (2012), the Rosalee Weiss award for contributions to practice (2004), the Laughlin distinguished teacher award (2007), the Hans Strupp Award for teaching, practice and writing (2014), and the Division 39 awards for both Leadership (2005) and Scholarship (2012). She has given commencement addresses for the Yale University School of Medicine and the Smith College School for Social Work. The American Psychological Association chose her to represent psychoanalytic therapy in a 2011 remake of the classic film, “Three Approaches to Psychotherapy,” and asked her to be a plenary speaker for the 2015 APA convention in Toronto.
Dr. McWilliams is an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society, and the Warsaw Scientific Association for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Her writings have been translated into twenty languages. Dr. McWilliams specializes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and supervision; the relationship between psychodiagnosis and treatment; alternatives to DSM diagnostic conventions; integration of feminist theory and psychoanalytic knowledge; the application of psychoanalytic understanding to the problems of diverse clinical populations; altruism; narcissism; and trauma and dissociative disorders.