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Keep-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 Fall of our 2019-20 academic year — simply click on the title for more details and course objectives:



FALL 2019


Sex Chatting to Expand Sexual Self-Efficacy:

Integrating Sexual Health Conversations in Psychotherapy

Susan Stiritz, PhD

Thursdays, September 26, October 3, 2019   7:00-8:30 p.m.

$80  3.0 Credit Hours

This short course in sex chatting provides theory, tools, skills, and attitude clarifications that can help people expand their sexual self-efficacy. Sexual self-efficacy is the confidence one has that they will experience the results that they want the next time they have a sexual interaction. Taboos against talking about sexuality represent significant barriers to the sex lives people would like to have. Sex chatting, the focus of this workshop, is an intervention developed to help professionals talk about sexuality in ways that will help their clients to develop greater sexual self-efficacy. Sexual self-efficacy is an aspect of total health that impacts the mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual health that psychotherapists focus on.  Available for distance learning; contact the Institute or see website for details.



The Body in Psychotherapy

Gail Glenn, MAEd

Fridays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 2019   2:00-3:30 p.m.

$120 + $60 Resource Fee   12.0 Credit Hours

Psychoanalysis was considered a treatment of the body since Freud’s earliest conception of the “talking cure” (Anna O). Over the years analysts and therapists meandered around the subject of the integration and meaning of the mind and the body as a unit- each directing, effecting the other. For Freud, according to Leowald , (1980) the “instinct and the life of the body are one- bodily needs, habits, functions…smells, slights, body noises, sensations, pain and pleasure, are in the context of human life.” Our bodies and our psyches are interdependent, understanding the psyche is predicated on understanding the mind body connection. This course is designed to explore these relationships in our clinical practice. We will discuss nonverbal cues, body awareness, the capacity to verbalize, to use metaphor, then integrate our understanding in work with our patients. Please be prepared to discuss clinical work during the course.  Available for distance learning; contact the Institute or see website for details.


Recent Perspective on Sex & Gender: The Sexual Lives of Trans People

Gary L. Hirshberg, MSW, LCSW

Saturday, October 12, 2019   9:00 a.m. – Noon

$75   3.0 Credit Hours

In this class we will take up understanding the inner world of trans people. We will explore some of our assumptions and biases we bring to these patients and challenge ourselves to develop more current ways of understanding both gender and sex. Much of our thinking can be seeped in very traditional and sex negative ideas as well as informed solely by a binary view of gender. This course will move the practitioner to a more enlightened view that reflects recent understanding of both sex and gender. Available for distance learning; contact the Institute or see website for details.


The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Close Psychodynamic Reading of the Book

by Rev. Dr. James Cone

Patrick Cousins, MA

Tuesdays, October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, 19

$75 (does not include book)  9.0 Credit Hours

“The cross and the lynching tree are separated by nearly 2,000 years. One is the universal symbol of Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on a cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections.” (xiii) This six-week study of The Cross and the Lynching Tree by Rev. Dr. James Cone, the founder of black liberation theology, seeks to explore with both a theological and psychodynamic eye the ways in which American culture and Christian theology reinforce and dismantle white supremacy, both historically and in contemporary context.


Windows into the Therapy Process

Stuart Ozar, MD & Juliana Varela, MSW

Wednesdays, October 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20, December 4, 11, 2019  7:00-9:00 p.m.

$175 (includes textbook)   14.0 Credit Hours

For clinicians or mental health students who are curious about what it is that psychodynamic therapists actually do, we offer a “window” into the process and a chance to connect an introduction to theory with actual clinical material.  Each class will begin with a brief theoretical description of a core clinical concept, followed by the presentation and discussion of material from a long-term psychotherapy process.  We welcome lively discussion, dialogue and debate.

We encourage therapists working from within other theoretical frameworks to take this class. Some knowledge of psychodynamic theory and practice is helpful but not required.


Presenting the 2019  Paul A. Dewald, MD, Lecture

Embrace Your Neuroses! Illusions of Everyday Life

Presenter:  Chris Heath, MD

Centene_Charitable_Foundation_smallPart of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series


Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:00 p.m., Location: tba

Fee: $25 per person   (non-refundable)

Join us for an entertaining evening as Dr. Heath mixes sound psychoanalytic concepts with humor and humanity.

A whole new way of looking at your anxieties!

What is your anxiety trying to tell you? We love, we hate, we idealize and devalue. There’s a whole world of fantasy, a waking dream, affecting our perceptions and choices all the time. It can lead to anxieties and inhibitions, but it adds color to life.

But wait, we live in fantasy? How can that be? Psychoanalyst Chris Heath will walk us through everyday examples of our fantasies being lived out. And recognizing the power of the fantasies helps us deal with anxiety, and more richly enjoy the wonder of life.

Join Chris Heath, MD, psychoanalyst and creator of the Freudalicious Mind / HeathMD YouTube channel, as we attend to the messages our anxiety is trying to give us.



The Reflective Parent

Edmund Sprunger, MSW, LCSW

Thursdays, November 7, 14, 21, 2019   7:30-9:00 p.m.

$75 (Includes Book)  4.5 Hours For Early Childhood Educators, include your MOPD ID number when registering

This series will focus on the book The Reflective Parent: How to Do Less and Relate

More with Your Kids, by Regina Pally, MD. Through her decades of experience practicing psychiatry and through her own experience as the parent of three children, Pally realized that the idea of a “right way” of doing things left even the most dedicated caregiver feeling discouraged and inadequate when real life doesn’t measure up. Instead, Pally presents an approach to successful parenting that focuses on learning to slow down, reflect, and recognize that parents have many worthwhile options.

Pally synthesizes the latest neuroscience research to show how our brain’s natural tendencies to empathize, analyze, and connect with others are what is needed to be a good parent.

Parents, teachers, caregivers, and professionals working with parents and/or children, will find this accessible and engaging book helpful in fostering fortifying relationships with children.



Treating Chronic Illness with Psychotherapy: A Guide for Clinicians and Patients

Katie Willard Virant, JD, LCSW

Tuesdays, December 3, 10, 2019  7:00-8:30 p.m.

FEE: $40   3.0 Credit Hours

This seminar explores how psychotherapy can improve outcomes for people living with chronic illness.  We will turn our attention to the lived experience of chronic illness, identifying the domains of stress associated with chronic illness, the distinct phases of chronic illness, and the inevitability of meaning-making in living with disease.  We will address how psychotherapy can assist people in coping with chronic illness, paying particular attention to facilitating narrative about disease.  Clinicians who work with chronically ill patients are welcome, as are non-clinicians living with or otherwise affected by illness.   Available for distance learning; contact the Institute or see website for details.



Co-constructed Racial Realities: African American Experience and psychodynamic Understanding in Modern America

Carol Robinson, MEd, NCC, MA

Saturdays, January 18, 25, February 1, 8, 25, 22, 29, March 7, 2020   9:00 a.m.- Noon

Fee: $120+$60 Resource Fee   24.0 Credit Hours

This course will provide information on the definition and historical underpinnings of Anti-blackness in American culture. We will use psychoanalytic writings as well as additional sources to explore and discuss the ways in which psychodynamic/psychoanalytic thought conceptualizes racial minority mental health in general and work with African American clients in particular. The course will provide participants with opportunities to explore their own ways of understanding and interacting with African American individuals and clients through introspective journaling and case presentations.



                 Please see individual course descriptions online to determine specifics on the accrediting bodies for each individual lecture.