Presenting the 2018  Paul A. Dewald, MD, Lecture

Learning to Cope: Lessons from the Movies

Presenter:  Volney Gay, PhD

This event has SOLD OUT.  Thank you!


Centene_Charitable_Foundation_smallPart of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series


V GayDate: Thursday, November 15, 2018

Time:  7:00 p.m.

Location: At the Institute, 8820 Ladue Road, 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63123

Fee: $30 per person   (non-refundable)

 This program, when attended in its entirety,  is offered for 2.0 Credit Hours




In this fascinating lecture you’ll view scenes from 20 different recent movies, used by Dr. Gay to illustrate 20 different types of defenses or coping mechanisms that you may recognize in yourself or others.  These coping mechanisms can be grouped by three distinct types:  1) primal, the most basic type of mechanism; 2) moderate coping mechanisms, which correspond to greater development of the individual; and 3) the most mature of coping mechanisms which you may be surprised to learn includes something our speaker refers to as mature religion.  Dr. Gay will conclude by showing how psychoanalytic treatment fosters mature defenses, including mature religion.


  1. Discuss the continuity of Freud’s earliest notions of “defense” with those of Paul Dewald and both with contemporary psychoanalytic and cognitive theories.
  2. Distinguish ‘primal’ ego defenses from ‘primitive’ ego defenses.
  3. Conceive of mature defenses and mature religion.

Volney Gay, PhD, is a member of the Faculty of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, and is Professor and Chair Department of Religious Studies, Professor Department of Psychiatry; Professor Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University.