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Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis with Roy Barsness, PhD

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Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis with Roy Barsness, PhD

Saturday, October 12, 2019 9:00am to 1:00pm
Laurelhurst Community Center
4554 NE 41st St.
Seattle, WA 98105
Sponsored by: 

The Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study is the local chapter of Division 39, American Psychological Association. NWAPS is committed to the study of psychoanalytic psychology and the encouragement of its interests in the professional and general communities. It is a multi-disciplinary, nonprofit educational membership organization open to all mental health professionals. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This presentation also meets the requirements of WAC 246-809-620 (definition of recognized categories of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers).

Inspired by his graduate students, Professor Roy Barsness was motivated to create a primary text that could assist them in understanding the often complex and abstract models of Relational Psychoanalysis. Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2017) is a concise and clearly presented handbook, a foundational curriculum of sorts, for those who wish to study, practice, and teach the core competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis, offering primary skills in a straightforward and useable format.

Barsness offers his own research on technique and grounds these methods with superb contributions from several master clinicians in the relational field (Lew Aron, Daniel Shaw, Stuart Pizer, Karen Maroda, to name a few), each expanding upon one of seven identified primary competencies: therapeutic intent, therapeutic stance/attitude; analytic listening/ attunement; working within the relational dynamic, the use of patterning and linking; the importance of working through the inevitable enactments and ruptures inherent in the work; and the use of courageous speech through disciplined spontaneity.

Barsness’s editorial oversight carefully grounds this work in its own history, an introductory section of the book which includes chapters detailing the research behind the core competencies and offering an analysis of Relational Psychoanalysis’s treatment effectiveness in relationship to other (read “EBT”) models. In addition, the book proposes a new relational ethic, which includes an emphasis upon self-care in working within the intensity of such a model.

Barsness wisely makes room for a provocative critique by Jon Mills, and he does not avoid the vexing questions posed by issues of race, culture, gender, and sexuality. Likewise, it would be naïve to imagine such a book without some attention given to the current research on neurobiology and its impact on the development of the relational model (Schore).

The reader will find the offerings lucid and accessible, and more importantly, perhaps, immediately applicable within the therapeutic setting. The book’s wide appeal is enhanced by its practical emphasis, offering non-analytic clinicians a window into the mind of the analyst, suggesting that the model can be applied to a variety of settings and patient populations, thus facilitating integration with other therapeutic orientations.

Dr. Barsness holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology – Los Angeles, an MA in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, a Postgraduate Certificate in Family Studies from the Los Angeles Family Institute, and has completed an intensive training program in Psychoanalytic Theory from the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Studies. Dr. Barsness has been a therapist in private practice for more than 25 years.  Additionally he is a professor of counseling psychology at the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology and teaches at the Brookhaven Institute. Dr. Barsness was previously Director of Clinical Training at Seattle Pacific University and has also taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, Antioch University, and the University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided at 8:30 am and our program will begin at 9:00 am.  We will have a limited number of Dr. Barsness' books for sale at the registation table.  

Saturday's Program:  

  • Getting Located:
    • Why are we interested in this work and what has formed us into relational practitioners? 
    • How do people change?
  • Framing Our Learning Together
  • An Overview of the Text:
    • Part I: How it came to be - the research
      How it is assembled and why
      Psychoanalysis as "evidence-based" treatment
    • Part II: The Seven Core Competencies and the Coda of Love
    • Part III: New Frontiers
  • Three Particular Competencies
    • Chapter Four: Therapeutic Intent
    • Chapter Six: Deep Listening/Affective Attunement
    • Chapter Ten: Courageous Speech/Disciplined Spontaneity 
  • Group Process - What will we take away, what do we wish to share, what questions remain

Accommodations: The Alliance strives to host an inclusive event that enables all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability, to comfortably attend and access presentation materials.  So we can better meet your needs, please let us know at least two weeks in advance if you have a special accommodation request. 

Financial Need: If you are experiencing financial need and would like to discuss reduced admission, please let us know within two weeks of the event. 

Participants: This event is designed for graduate level students in mental health and all mental health professionals from introductory to advanced levels.  The presentation is geared for clinicians who wish to advance their knowledge and expand their skill base in psychodynamic clinical work.  

Directions: Click here(link is external) for a map to the Laurelhurst Community Center.

Refund Policy: Refunds less a $15 administrative fee will be given up until two weeks before the event. 

Program Committee: Erin Carruth, MA, LMHC, Chair.  Cheryl Henry, MA, LMHC. Deb Gruber, MA, LMHC. John Allemand, PhD, LICSW.

This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 4 continuing education credits.  Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities.  Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles for Psychologists.  Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program.  If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Erin Carruth, MA, LMHC (206-267-3090).  There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.  Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program's content.


Contact Person: 
Erin Carruth
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