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Our Difficulties with Otherness: A Psychoanalytic Approach - Anton Hart, PhD

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Our Difficulties with Otherness: A Psychoanalytic Approach - Anton Hart, PhD

Saturday, January 19, 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm
Seattle Pacific University
Gwinn Commons- Queen Anne Ballroom
3310 6th Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119
Sponsored by: 
Alliance and SPSI

The Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study and the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute & Society are pleased to join together to bring Anton Hart to our local community:   

Morning Session: Psychoanalysis is a discipline that explores the unspoken and the unknown, yet often does not extend its reach to the outside world. The psychoanalytic community at large has routinely been reluctant to employ its power to use its customary stance of curiosity, and its capacity for insight, to address issues of racial, ethnic, sexual, and socioeconomic otherness. This presentation will examine the necessity for psychoanalytic engagement with -and prioritization of - issues of otherness, difference and diversity, and will identify the resistances that often arise. Some of the root anxieties associated with genuine, curious, exploratory dialogue are identified. Dr. Hart argues for cultivating a stance of curiosity in relation to difference, and for learning from those moments where diversity-related communication—in the psychoanalytic classroom, supervisory, and clinical setting—seems to break down.

A psychoanalytic stance, with its inclination to prescribe free, open, exploratory thought and speech in response to dread (and its dissociative defenses), represents an antidote to the oversimplifications of prescribed, mastery-based approaches to the fear and anxiety of otherness. Proceeding from the premise that racial, ethnic, sexual, socioeconomic and other forms of prejudice and discrimination represent dissociative defenses and failures of curiosity, this workshop focuses on how issues of difference and “othering” can be fruitfully engaged in psychoanalytically oriented treatment. Finally, we will explore the presenter’s concept of “radical openness” as a counterpart to the cultivation of curiosity in the psychoanalytic situation. 

Afternoon Session: Video Screening and Discussion: Excerpts from (1976) Archival Footage of Ellis Toney and Ralph Greenson Discussing Their Cross-Racial Psychoanalysis

In 1976, Drs. Ralph Greenson and Ellis Toney, former analyst and analysand, respectively, came together to publicly discuss the psychoanalytic work they had completed more than 25 years before, when Dr. Toney was a candidate at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Greenson was white and Dr. Toney was black, making theirs one of the earliest cross-racial training analyses, and the racial issues that this analytic dyad encountered were of their time, yet would persist into our present moment. These selections from unique, grainy-but-audible, archival footage of a panel presentation between the two offers an all-too-relevant glimpse into the challenges psychoanalysts may encounter as they try to address issues of race with their patients and with each other. The presenter will direct particular attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle moments of dialogic breakdown and will address them as dreaded yet expectable. Dr. Hart will develop a conceptualization of these breakdowns as psychoanalytic opportunities, both in the clinical, pedagogical and collegial contexts. 


About the Presenter: Anton H. Hart, PhD, FABP, is a Training and Supervising Analyst and on the Faculty of the William Alanson White Institute in New York City. He is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) and the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). A Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis, he supervises at Teachers College, Columbia University and at the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Psychoanalytic Psychology and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He teaches in the Department of Psychology at Mt. Sinai Hospital, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, and at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. He has published papers on issues of mutuality, disruption and safety, and also racism, diversity and otherness. He served as Associate Co-producer for the film, “Black Psychoanalysts Speak,” in which he was also featured. He is a Co-Founder of the White Institute’s Study Group on Race and Psychoanalysis. He is completing a book, to be published by Routledge, entitled, Beyond Oaths or Codes: Toward Relational Psychoanalytic Ethics. He is in full-time private practice in New York City.


Saturday's Schedule:

  • 9:00—Introduction
  • 9:15—Turning Towards the Strange Other, Part I: The Dangers of Curiosity
  • 10:00—Discussion
  • 10:15—Coffee break
  • 10:30—Turning Towards the Strange Other, Part II: Radical Openness
  • 11:15—Discussion
  • 11:45—LUNCH
  • 12:45—Video Screening and Discussion: Excerpts from (1976) Archival Footage of Ellis Toney and Ralph Greenson Discussing Their Cross-Racial Psychoanalysis
  • 1:45—Case material (presented by Julie Cake, MA, LMHC) and discussion
  • 2:50—Closing remarks

Refund Policy: Refunds will be provided until 1/5/19 less a $20 administrative fee.  

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 4.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
This presentation also meets the requirements of WAC 246-924-240 (Definition of Category of Creditable CPE).
“This program has been approved for 4.75 CEUs by the NASW Washington State Chapter.” Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible. Provider number is #1975-144. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. This program is funded in part by the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Contact Person: 
Erin Carruth
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