Education & Events

Speaking Relationally: From Interpretation to Complex Dialogue in Relational Psychoanalysis with Dr. Roy Barsness

This event has passed.

To learn about upcoming events, visit the Events page or the calendar.

Speaking Relationally: From Interpretation to Complex Dialogue in Relational Psychoanalysis with Dr. Roy Barsness

Friday, November 12, 2021 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Sponsored by: 

Contemporary relational psychoanalysis’ shift to understanding the patient through the interactive effects of the therapeutic dyad requires a different language from the more historical objectivist stance that relied on authoritative interpretations by the analyst.

Based on the theory of intersubjectivity, relational psychoanalysis has huge implications for the practice of psychotherapy.  Shifting the emphasis of the objective therapist with whom the patient projects dissociated aspects of the self onto the therapist, and the therapist interprets, intersubjectivity, understands the therapeutic relationship as one of mutual influence – two subjectivities at work.  Consequently, the therapist shifts their cognitive formulations “about” the patient turning their attention to the interplay of deep affective states and experiences stirred within the therapist.  This orientation often results in a mutual regression whereby the therapist, enters deeply into the patient’s experience, feels it (literally), and at some level matches the patient’s experience. 

As most methods are cautious in articulating to the patient their experience of the patient - this is one of the most difficult shifts to make when working within a relational model. Learning a new way of articulation, involves speaking to the emotional field evident within the therapeutic space. 

This course seeks to provide the language that is useful when working relationally. The course will focus on speaking to the analyst’s experience of the patients, the links and patterns that are emerging, the replications that are occurring and the working through and negotiating of the inevitable impasses and enactments that are occur.

The course will wrestle with the risks of relational speech as it considers courageous speech alongside disciplined spontaneity.  It will address the need for the analyst’s radical openness of their own affective and unconscious states as the major artery to the patient’s own states of being. The course will address the art of metabolization and encourage the therapist to risk their thoughts, affects and experience on behalf of the patient.

About the Instructor

Dr. Barsness is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Professor and the Founder of Relationally-Focused Psychodynamic Therapy (RFPT). Dr. Barsness is the author of Core Competencies in Relational Psychoanalysis: A Guide to Practice Study and Research (Routledge, 2018; Italian trans. 2020). He has also published in Psychoanalytic Psychology; Journal of Contemporary Psychoanalysis; the journal Otherwise of International Federation of Psychoanalytic Education; the Italian Journal: Psichiatria e Psicoterapia; Journal of Psychology and Christianity; Journal of Theological Education and several online journals. Dr. Barsness is a frequent presenter at national conferences was formerly the Clinical Director of the Psychology Doctoral Program at Seattle Pacific University and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington- School of Medicine. He has been a member of the NWAPS for 30 years.

Learning Objectives

Participants completing this seminar will be able to:

  1. describe the differences between an objective interpretation and an intersubjective dialogue;
  2. compare and contrast the difference between the historical objectivist psychoanalytic perspective and the theory of intersubjectivity
  3. apply new language within the therapeutic encounter informed by the relational model
  4. apply responsible and ethical use when working relationally within the relational method.

Fees:  Members: $85; Non-Members: $105

Refund Policy: Refunds less a $10 handling fee will be given up until one week before the class.

Class Size: Class is limited to a maximum of 15 participants. (Registration closes on 11/10/21)

The instructor will send participants the Zoom link before November 12th.

Contact Person: 
Dr. Roy Barsness
Contact Email:
Contact Phone Number: 
Browse our list of classes and find one that best fits your needs
Ongoing development of a new generation of clinicians
Specifically designed for students and those in their first decade of practice
Aids to help you with your classes