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The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education

Treating Eating Disorders in an Analytic Context: Clinical Conundrums

  • 31 Jan 2015
  • 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • St. Joseph’s University, The Haub Center


  • Defined as 5 years post terminal degree

Registration is closed

The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education (PCPE) proudly presents

Treating Eating Disorders in an Analytic Context: Clinical Conundrums

Keynote speaker:

Jean Petrucelli, Ph.D.

Jean Petrucelli, Ph.D. is Director and Co-Founder of the Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions Service since 1995, Supervising Analyst, Teaching Faculty, White Institute Conference Chair, and Founding Director of the EDCAS one year educational certificate program at the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Institute in NYC. She is on the Teaching Faculty and is Co-Chair of the Faculty and Course Selection committee for the Interpersonal/Humanistic Track at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; and is an Associate Editor for the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Dr. Petrucelli is Editor of the books; Body-States: Interpersonal and Relational Perspectives on the Treatment of Eating Disorders (Routledge, soon to be released-2014);  Knowing, Not-Knowing & Sort-of-Knowing: Psychoanalysis and the Experience of Uncertainty (Karnac Books, 2010); Longing: Psychoanalytic Musings on Desire (Karnac Books, 2006); and Co-editor of the book Hungers and Compulsions: The Psychodynamic Treatment of Eating Disorders and Addictions (Rowen & Littlefield., 2001 & 2009). She is in private practice on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

Program Description:

Eating disorders present particular treatment challenges to clinicians in how they engage with and welcome bodies -- their patients and their own -- into the therapeutic dialogue. Interpersonal treatment with patients struggling with eating disorders involves an ongoing complicated negotiation. This negotiation is between attending to the direct intervention of the symptom while simultaneously stepping away from the pull to do so. The goal is to explore what an intervention means to the patient and ultimately to understand what role the symptom plays in the patient’s intra-psychic and interpersonal world.

Dr. Jean Petrucelli will present an approach to the treatment of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder beyond symptom alleviation with the initial phase involving direct symptom intervention within the framework of an interpersonally based analytic treatment. With an eye towards understanding the neurobiological underpinnings and the implications of these findings in treatment, the concepts of attachment theory, self regulation, affect regulation, dissociation, and the multiplicity of self-states and body-states theory will be viewed as interpersonal constructs. Cultural influence, etiology, clinical conundrums, countertransferential reactions, roadblocks and treatment goals will be considered in developing an understanding of how to reach these often "unreachable" patients. Issues related to body obsession, diagnosis, assessing the level of care, appetite, creating contracts and food charts will be presented as part of the bridge one builds to enter the ritual-filled world of the eating disordered-patient.

Patients with eating disorders notice so much about bodies and convey so much by talking and also not-talking about bodies. Attending to the sensitivity of eating disordered patients’ reactions to the therapist’s body can often illuminate unarticulated enactments and fuel productive therapeutic dialogue. The emphasis on clinical interaction and mutual influence allows us to explore the bodily aspects of communication where the joining of minds and bodies can be both embodied and embodying. Our aim is to welcome bodies into the therapeutic dialogue.


Barbara L. Goldsmith, PsyD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia and Rosemont, PA. She is adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and is on the faculty of the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis in Philadelphia. She is a training consultant for the University of Pennsylvania's Counseling and Psychological Services, and was founding president of the Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education.

Denise Lensky, PhD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Center City.  She was formerly the Director of the Eating Disorders Program at the Belmont Center in Philadelphia and the Deputy Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a candidate at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia.

Learning objectives:

1. Utilize interpersonal perspectives in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders.

2. Conceptualize eating disordered patient's capacities to self--soothe and regulate internal experience, then work more effectively with the relational component of the eating disorder as it plays out in treatment and in the world.

3. Describe the concept of dissociation and at least one dimension of the theory related to its use in clinical work with patients with eating disorders.

4. Conceptualize how disordered eating is the psychic inability to care for one's self and to make better clinical use of this perspective through the contexts of attachment, self-state and body-state theory, self -regulation and affect regulation issues.

5. Effectively apply action-oriented techniques to enhance clinical treatment with

patients with eating disorders.


9:00 - 9:30       Registration

9:30 - 9:45       Welcome and Introductions

9:45 - 11:15      Interpersonal Treatment of

                       Eating Disorders

11:15 - 11:30    Break

11:30 - 12:30    Bodies in Interaction  

12:30 - 1:30      LUNCH PROVIDED

1:30 - 3:30       The Interface of Neurobiology,

                       Attachment, Affect Regulation,

                       and Clinical Conundrums

                       encountered in Treatment of

                       Eating Disordered Patients

Dates and Times:

Saturday, January 31, 2015

9 am to 3:30 pm


St. Joseph’s University, The Haub Center

Parking: Hawk's Landing lot (accessed via 54th Street)

Directions to the Eating Disorders Workshop on Jan 31st 2015  at St. Joseph's University (5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19131) Located in  McShain Hall

Download the St. Joe's Campus Map (PDF Version) @ www.sju.edu

The Parking Facility is on 54th street at Hawks Landing (#52 on the campus map)
From the Parking Lot, walk up to City Ave and then turn Left (walking south on City Ave) to McShain Hall (#29 on the campus map) which is the stone building attached to the footbridge over City Avenue. You can either take the footbridge across or you can turn right onto Lapsley Lane and take your first left to McShain Hall. McShain is on the suburban side of City Avenue.

Once in the building,  take the elevator up to the 5th floor to the Haub Executive Center.

Registration begins at 9:00am 

CE Credits:

Four and one-half (4.5) are available to participants.

Registration Fees and Information:

Registration Fee: 

$95 for PSPP Members

$120 for Nonmembers of PSPP

$75 for Early Career Professionals

$10 for Graduate Students

To register, please go to pcpeonline.org or by mail to: PCPE c/o Dr. David Ramirez; 500 College Avenue; Swarthmore, PA 19081.

Educational Prerequisites

PCPE welcomes all mental health professionals who hold advanced degrees in their fields, work with psychodynamic approaches in their practices, and have familiarity with the psychoanalytic literature. Individuals from other fields who hold doctoral degrees and who work with psychoanalytic ideas in their scholarly endeavors are also welcome to participate. PCPE does not discriminate according to age, gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or physical challenge.

Continuing Education for Psychologists

The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PCPE maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education for Social Workers

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors now designates APA-approved Continuing Education Sponsors like PCPE as pre-approved providers of continuing education courses and programs for social workers and clinical social workers.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We reserve the right to cancel a program if there is insufficient enrollment, at which time all fees will be refunded. Registration fees will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee, if you cancel your registration at least three weeks prior to the start of a program.

Special Needs Policy

If you have any special needs related to your participation in our program offerings, please contact Jay Moses, Ph.D., at 267-254-0791, or at mjaymoses@gmail.com.

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