Washington Square Institute
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Scientific Meeting

Revisiting Drive Theory in the Psychoanalytic Clinic

Thursday, March 20, 2014, 8:30pm-10:00pm

No Fee: Refreshments served

Freud's Theory of the Drives is one of his most important contributions to psychoanalysis. It is arguably also the most contested and misunderstood of his fundamental metapsychological concepts. Revisiting Freud's writings in this regard can be enormously helpful in framing the psychotherapeutic session and directing the treatment. Consequently, in this presentation I will outline the central tenets of Freud's Theory of the Drives and use clinical examples from my practice to demonstrate the concept's continued relevance in the contemporary psychotherapeutic setting. More specifically, I will show that through the patient's elaboration of their presenting problems (e.g. social anxiety, eating disorders, addictive behavior, etc.) the root of the symptom is revealed in a fixation of the drive component which, in turn, can either obstruct the therapeutic process (for example, through negative therapeutic reactions or resistance to treatment) or serve as the basis for subjective transformation and change.


Peter Gillespie, LMSW, MA, BFA, is a staff psychotherapist at Washington Square Institute. He received a Masters Degree from Hunter College School of Social Work specializing in Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families, a Masters in Psychoanalytic Studies from Deakin University, and a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art. He is also a member of Après Coup Psychoanalytic Association in NYC.


Marc E. Angers, MA Oxon, LCSW, LP, NCPsyA, was an American Keasbey Fellow and received his MA in Philosophy and Politics at Oxford University in 1975. He received his MSW from Hunter College, and his certificate in Psychoanalysis from Washington Square Institute in 2000, where he is a member of the faculty and a Training and Supervising Analyst. He is the Editor of Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology and has published numerous reviews and articles for the journal: Issues in Ego Psychology. He is a member of both NASW and NAAP and maintains a private practice in Manhattan.


Washington Square Institute
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th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Susan A. Klett, LCSW-R, BCD, NCPsyA,
Co-Director WSI, Director of Continuing Education
Email: sk409@columbia.edu  email

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