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Ferenczi and His Heirs: The Evolving Role of the Analyst’s Subjectivity in Clinical Practice

  • 20 Oct 2016
  • 12 Nov 2016
  • Conference Room, 1528 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.


Registration is closed

Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia (IRPP) and Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education (PCPE)

Fall 2016

Ferenczi and His Heirs: The Evolving Role of the Analyst’s Subjectivity in Clinical Practice


Steven Kuchuck, LCSW

Annette Leavy, LCSW, BCD

Instructional Level

This workshop is appropriate for advanced/intermediate participants.

Course Description

While the therapist’s subjectivity plays a central role in current psychoanalytic thinking, it was also a hallmark idea for psychoanalytic founding father, Sandor Ferenczi. Prescient in emphasizing the role of trauma and early attachment in development, Ferenczi remains most thought provoking where he is most controversial, in exploring the unconscious dialogue between patient and analyst and the mutuality, which he came to believe therapy required.

This workshop and reading seminar will use Ferenczi’s pioneering writing as a springboard to understand the impact of the analyst’s life experience on her work as an analyst.  Readings will pair current writers on the analyst’s subjectivity with Ferenczi’s contributions in order to think about how an analyst’s history and development, her culture and politics, identity and sexuality, self-understanding and blind spots give shape to her work.

Editor of both Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional and (with Adrienne Harris) The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor, guest presenter, Steven Kuchuck will bring his expertise and long-standing interest in both Ferenczi and the analyst’s subjectivity to his daylong workshop. He will focus on how events in the clinician’s childhood and adult life impact clinical choices and the tenor of the therapist’s presence in the consulting room. In addition, he will explore the relationship between the therapist’s subjectivity and his theoretical interests and the differentiation between the larger issue of the analyst’s subjectivity and more specific questions about self-disclosure. Finally, Steven Kuchuck will examine how dissociated subjectivity limits clinical effectiveness, and offer group participants ways to track their own subjectivity to further therapeutic action. (Tosone, C., McTighe, J.P., & Naturale, A. (2011). Shared traumatic stress and the long-term in pact of 9/11 on Manhattan clinicians. Journal of traumatic stress, 24(5), 546-552.)

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop and reading group, participants will be able:

1. To describe Ferenczi’s contributions to contemporary relational ideas about the central role of the therapist’s subjectivity in clinical practice.

2. To describe Ferenczi’s emphasis on the role of trauma in early childhood development and its impact on psychotherapeutic technique.

3. To identify Ferenczi’s concept of the confusion of tongues between adults and the child and to apply it to moments of miscommunication between themselves and patients.

4. To distinguish between Ferenczi’s concept of mutual analysis and the use of mutuality in current clinical practice.

5. To develop a working model for incorporating self-knowledge into their work with patients.

6. To identify at least 2 ways in which their life experience affected a theoretical choice or clinical intervention that they made.

7. To list 2 reasons why it is important to track their subjective experience with patients.

8. To give at least one example of how identifying a moment of their own subjectivity impacted a clinical choice and led to therapeutic gain.

9. To give at least one example of how experiencing their own subjectivity in a clinical setting required further personal exploration of their own blind spots.

10.To distinguish between the role of subjectivity in practice and specific clinical choices regarding self-disclosure.

11. To cite at least one example where increased self-understanding led to a specific decision regarding self-disclosure.

12. To develop a model for working with unexpected extra-therapeutic encounters with patients and their impact on treatment.

Steven Kuchuck, Biography

Steven Kuchuck, LCSW is the Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Associate Editor of Routledge’s Relational Perspectives Book Series, Board Member, supervisor, faculty and Co-Director of Curriculum for the training program in adult psychoanalysis at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), and faculty/supervisor at the NIP National Training Program and the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies. He is on the Board of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and is on the steering committee for the 2017 APA Division 39 annual conference.  His writing focuses primarily on the analyst’s subjectivity and appears in numerous psychoanalytic journals, books, and the New York Times Couch Series. Most recently, he is a contributor to and editor of Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst’s Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional (Routledge, 2014), The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor (co-edited with Adrienne Harris, Routledge, 2015), and an upcoming volume of psychoanalysts writing about the professional impact of their own analysis (Routledge, in press).  He is in private practice in New York City, where he also leads study, supervision, and writing groups. More information is available at www.stevenkuchuck.com.

Annette Leavy, Biography

Annette Leavy, LCSW, BCD is a Board Member, Faculty Member and Supervisor at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia. In the past, she has served as faculty, supervisor and training analyst of the Psychoanalytic Training Program of the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City and the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She is the former editor of the journal, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and a faculty group leader at New Directions: Writing with a Psychoanalytic Edge, of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. Her interest in Ferenczi began while teaching “Freud in a Relational Context” at IRPP. Her conviction about the centrality of the analyst’s subjectivity emerged from her interest in female development, which in turn emerged from her life experience as a girl and a woman. 

Dates and Times

Seminars: Thursday, October 20, 27, November 3, 10, 2016, 7:30-9 pm.

Location: Conference Room, 1528 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Workshop: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 9:30am-4pm.

Location: The Martin Luther King Room, Third Floor, Friends Center 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Discounted parking available at the lot across from the Friends Center at 15th and Cherry Street. Travel directions are available at www.friendscentercorp.org.


Note: Annette Leavy will provide copies of the articles to participants via email one week prior to the beginning of class. Prior to class please read the Editors’ introduction to The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi: From Ghost to Ancestor.

Week 1:

Bass, A. (2015). The dialogue of unconsciouses, mutual analysis and the uses of the self in contemporary relational psychoanalysis in Harris, A. and Kuchuck S., Eds. The legacy of Sandor Ferenczi. London and New York: Routledge, 235-250.

Diary excerpts January 31, 24-27; March 8, 51-53; April 12, 83-86; May 3, 95-96; May 5, 96-100; June 18, 129-131 in Dupont, J., Ed. (1995). The clinical diary of Sandor Ferenczi. (1995). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Week 2:

Atlas, G. (2015). Confusion of tongues: trauma and playfulness in Harris, A, and Kuchuck, S., Eds. The legacy of Sandor Ferenczi, 187-203.

Ferenczi, S. (1933). Confusion of tongues between adults and the child in Balint, M., Ed. (1955). Sandor Ferenczi: Final contributions to the problems and methods of psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth Press, 156-67.

Week 3:

Kuchuck, S. (2012). Please (don’t) want me: the therapeutic action of male sexual desire in the treatment of heterosexual men. Contemporary psychoanalysis, 48, 544-562.

McKay, R. K. (2016). Bread and roses: from empathy to recognition. (Submitted for publication, July 2016).

Week 4:

Kuchuck, S. (2014). Guess who’s going to dinner: on the arrival of the uninvited third in S. Kuchuck, Ed. Clinical implications of the psychoanalyst’s life experience: when the personal becomes professional. London and New York: Routledge, 135-145.

Ullman, C. (2014). The personal is political, the political is personal: on the subjectivity of an Israeli psychoanalyst in Kuchuck, S., Ed. Clinical implications of the psychoanalyst’s life experience, 98-111.


Members of PSPP: $190. Non-members: $225; IRPP Students/Foundations graduates: $150.

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

Registration is limited to 25; if registration has closed, please contact Annette Leavy, LCSW

If you have questions, please contact Annette Leavy LCSW, 215-636-0550, annetteleavylcsw@gmail.com.

CE Credits

Twelve (12) CE credits are available.

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. Twelve (12) CE credits will be awarded to psychologists who attend the Reading Seminar in its entirety. 

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. Twelve (12) CE credits will be awarded to social workers who attend the Reading Seminar in its entirety.

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.

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.

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