Key Figure: Harry Stack Sullivan
Key Concepts: Centrality of Anxiety as Motivator/ Emotional Contagion/ Self-System / Integrating Tendencies / Security Operations / Good-Me, Bad-Me, Not-me / Participant-Observation / Needs for Satisfaction & Security / The Detailed Inquiry / Chumship, the Malevolent Transformation, & Other Developmental Phenomena / Isomorphic Transformations / The Field
Harry Stack Sullivan was the groundbreaking progenitor of the Interpersonalist orientation in psychoanalysis. His influence can be felt -- explicitly or implicitly-- in almost all contemporary analytic thinking, the relational perspective in particular. Impressed with the (heretofore undersung) role of complex cultural and psychosocial factors at play in psychic functioning, Sullivan and his colleagues (among them Clara Thompson, Erich Fromm, and Frieda Fromm-Reichmann) replaced the classical Freudian emphasis on biological drives as determinants of human functioning with a close look at the relations among internal images of self and other, and the interpersonal relating that helps shape them. Interpersonalists and their disciples track the "red thread of anxiety" running through each person's psychic functioning, and work with it in the therapy session itself. They concentrate on the intricacies of lived human experience, which makes their clinical practice especially compelling, personal, and accessible. This session will familiarize attendees with the central operating concepts of Interpersonalist thought in Sullivan's time and our own, including ideas like personifications, security operations, the detailed inquiry, forbidding gestures, unformulated experience, and micro-traumatic patterns. Participants will see how the understanding and application of an Interpersonalist-inflected perspective enhances the psychotherapeutic engagement.
Instructor Margaret Crastnopol (Peggy), Ph.D. is on the faculty of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and a supervisor of psychotherapy and faculty, William Alanson White Institute in New York City. She is a training and supervisory analyst at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy-Los Angeles. She is also an associate editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and on the editorial board of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Dr. Crastnopol is on the executive committee and the board of directors of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She is the author of Micro-trauma: A Psychoanalytic Understanding of Cumulative Psychic Injury, Routledge, 2015, and other publications on the analyst’s and patient’s subjectivity and related topics.
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**Program content has been submitted for approval for 4.0 CEUs per lecture for Licensed Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists by the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work.