Education & Events

The Unconscious Goes Back to School - A Class on Teaching

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The Unconscious Goes Back to School - A Class on Teaching

Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Thursday, March 5, 2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Thursday, March 19, 2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm
4020 East Madison #230
Seattle, WA 98112
Sponsored by: 
The Alliance and SPSI

Sorry, the class has filled.  If you would like to be added to a waiting list in the event of a cancellation, please send an email to  

Teaching psychoanalysis, like practicing psychoanalysis, is both an art and a science. This 5-week course, taught by psychoanalysts, is designed to educate, enhance and encourage the people who teach psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically- informed psychotherapy in our community. By meeting with other educators who are passionate about both the practice and the teaching of psychoanalysis this 5-week course will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet and deepen relationships with other psychoanalytic instructors and to learn and to refresh their knowledge of effective educational principles.

Week One focuses on key characteristics of inspiring teachers and how to create lesson plans with specific learning objectives. The goal of this session is to help teachers create clear learning objectives that contribute to a learning environment in which new ways of thinking and dreaming can emerge.

Instructor Barb Sewell, MaMFC, MDIV, MRE, PsyA is a psychoanalyst and graduate of Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She teaches in NPSI’s Psychoanalytic and Psychotherapy Training Programs and is the current Chair of Curriculum. She maintains a private practice in Bellevue where she sees adults in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Her clinical work and teaching is informed by British object relations theory. 

Week Two focuses on the role of the instructor in actively orchestrating a well-functioning learning environment. Participants will learn specific ways to help students come together to form and maintain a work group.


Instructor Melissa Stoker, MS, LMHC is a psychoanalyst on the faculty of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute where she teaches in the Psychoanalytic and Psychotherapy Training Programs. She maintains a private practice in Madison Valley where she sees adults and adolescents in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Week Three focuses on the use of assigned readings as a framework for exploring classroom dynamics. Participants will review the forces that contribute to and impede active learning. The session explores approaches to classroom discussions that authorize students as active interpreters of texts.


Instructor Matthew Brooks, LICSW is a psychoanalyst with a private practice in Seattle working with adults and adolescents. With a background in HIV/AIDS social work, his current interests include trauma, sexuality, and personality disorders. He is a graduate of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where he teaches in the Psychoanalytic and Psychotherapy Training Programs.

Week Four focuses on the inevitable disruptions, conscious and unconscious, that unfold in classrooms between teachers and students. Rather than viewing disruptions as something ‘gone wrong’, we will broaden our framework so as to understand how questioning of authority is a natural part of the learning process. Using Dawn Skorczweski’s paper Questioning Authority in the Psychoanalytic Classroom and Deborah Britzman’s paper, Why Return to Anna Freud, we will explore what it means to be the one who ‘knows’.

Instructor Rachel Newcombe, LICSW is a psychoanalyst in private practice on Orcas Island and in Seattle. She is on the board of the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education and is the recipient of their 2018 Distinguished Educators Award. Her writing has appeared in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, The Psychoanalytic Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is particularly interested in the intersection between psychoanalysis and education.


Week Five:  This final class brings all four instructors together to answer questions, explore ideas further, deepen what you have learned and help you think about how you will apply your newfound knowledge in our community. 

This series is limited to 15 participants!  We hope you will participate in this dynamic exchange of ideas as we explore the roles of teachers in enlivening students and engaging them in a psychoanalytic exploration.

Contact Person: 
Erin Carruth
Contact Email:
Contact Phone Number: 
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