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learningOur Lectures & Seminars encompass a wide range of topics for Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals and community lectures of timely interest.  Here’s what’s happening in the first part of 2018 — simply click on the title for more details and course objectives:

Spring 2018

A Special Community Lecture – Part of the Centene Charitable Foundation

    Speakers Series…

Us & Them: How a Psychoanalytic Viewpoint Can Help Us Live with Today’s Turbulent Times

us vs themFrancisco J. González, MD

Thursday, March 15, 2018

7:00 p.m.  Fee:  $35 for 2.0 Credit Hours/$25 for no Credit Hours/Certificate  Ethical Society of St. Louis Auditorium

We live in a time of considerable social turbulence: uncertainty, tension, and anxiety rule the day. Drawing from thinkers in anthropology and psychoanalysis, Dr. Francisco González provides a framework for thinking about the current moment: globalization and social media shrink our planet, technology outpaces our ability to keep up.  We are constantly confronted with those who are different from us, sometimes so different we cannot even make real sense of who they are and why they are behaving as they do.

But who are “we” and who are “they”?

In our shrinking and pressurized world, belonging is a matter of great importance, but because every “us” needs a “them,” belonging has a dark side, sometimes unleashing violent forces.

It is no longer enough to think just about power and policy, our politics must also take up emotions.  Psychoanalytic thinking can help us here. In addition to its focus on the unconscious and the importance of relationships, contemporary psychoanalysis is increasingly recognizing the social part of our nature.  We have slowly learned that minds are never just individual: it always takes other minds to make any mind.  These new frontiers in psychoanalysis help us imagine how we can better learn to live together in a shrinking and diverse world.


For Anyone Who Works with Children – The Second Annual Child Development Conference

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Conflict with Today’s Children

Child Development Conference LogoAlexandra Harrison, MD

Monday, February 19, 2018 – Presidents’ Day

An incredible day-long conference   Fee:  $65   Ethical Society of St. Louis Auditorium

Today’s children are confronted with an over-stimulating, polarizing, and sometimes violent, world.  Caregivers of young children – parents, teachers, or psychotherapists – struggle to help them become “socialized”, without crushing their individuality and agency. In their landmark book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Fisher et al lay out six negotiation skills that can help adults in conflict reach an agreement. These foundational skills can also be useful to child caregivers in their efforts to help the confused, frustrated, and aggressive child. Alexandra Harrison, a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been consulting to child caregivers for decades, sees a change in the challenges facing parents, teachers, and therapists. Drawing insights from Fisher’s book, she suggests guidelines for finding one’s way through the trials of parental multitasking, screen time, and cultural disorganization.




The Essential Facts of Life

Bernard Feinberg, MD

Wednesday, March 21, 28, April 4, 2018

6:30-8:00 p.m.  4.5 Credit Hours   Fee:  $150

According to Money-Kyrle, there are aspects of reality a person must recognize in order to lead an engaged and creative life.  He describes them poetically as: ‘the recognition of the breast as a supremely good object, the recognition of the parents’ intercourse as a supremely creative act, and the recognition of time and ultimately death.’  This course will show how the misrepresentation of these essential facts impede a person’s development. It will attempt to demonstrate how a grasp of these facts can be applied interpretively by the analyst and analytically informed psychotherapist to work through impasses in treatment.

Prerequisites:  A previous Community Education course in Kleinian theory, the course in contemporary Kleinian theory and technique in the Institute’s analytic curriculum, or the equivalent.


On Absence

Peter Ruderman, MSW

Tuesdays, April 10, 17, 24, 2018

7:15-8:45   4.5 Credit Hours   Fee:  $115

Psychoanalysis is well versed with the idea of absence. The focus of this three week course will be on the impact absence can have, as viewed through the lens of Andre Green’s landmark paper The Dead Mother. For Green, absence is not absent, it leaves a presence. In addition to reading Green, participants will be exposed to the ideas of Thomas Ogden, Christopher Bollas, and Daniel Stern.

Adolescent Passage

Jacqueline Langley, PhD

Wednesdays, April 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 2018

7:00-8:30 p.m.   9.0 Credit Hours   Fee:  $150

One of the most challenging journeys for both girls and boys is their transition from childhood to adolescence. This course will look carefully at this journey, contrasting the line of development of the healthy adolescent with the adolescent who experiences a more difficult and darker course that could lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self mutilation and/or substance abuse. Children in the early adolescent stage contrast widely from those in adolescence proper and late adolescence in their ability to think and reason and regulate their complicated and rapidly changing emotions.  This course will address the emotional and cognitive changes occurring from preadolescence, through adolescence proper and then to late adolescence, emphasizing how therapists treating the early adolescent will communicate differently than those who treat the late adolescent. All readings will cover the subjects described above and film will be used as a medium helpful in comparing and contrasting the stages of development discussed in this seminar.

The Psyche and the World Outside

J. Todd Dean, MD

Thursday, April 12, 2018

7:30-9:00 p.m.   1.5 Credit Hours   Fee:  $35

Why are eating disorders so much more prevalent today than they were a few decades ago?  Why does mental illness afflict the poor so much more than the affluent?  Why do college students engage mental health services far more today than they did even ten years ago?  Why is suicide epidemic among war veterans after 9/11?

There are many different theories of what causes mental illness, from genetic disturbances to chemical imbalances to Oedipal disturbances and imbalances, and beyond.  But, given the evidence, it is hard to argue that there is not something in the here-and-now of social life that influences at least the prevalence of mental disturbances at any given time.  In the 1930s a group of German intellectuals, including Theodor Adorno and Erich Fromm, among others, began theorizing how the world outside influenced the inner one.  In this lecture, I hope to touch on how the psychic life of the individual is effected by the Big (Br)Other that this larger world means for all of us.