Washington Square Institute
Upcoming Events


Presented by: Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW, BCD, CGP

Wednesdays, April 23 and 30, 2014
10:00am - 11:30am for both Sessions

At Washington Square Institute, 41 East 11th Street 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003

To Register see below.

WSI Two Part Seminar:
The Value and Misuse of Forgiveness
in Healing from Traumatic Bonds

While the subject of forgiveness is often neglected in the training of psychotherapists, global "forgiveness movements" exist in countries ravaged by war. For example, the Forgiveness Project unites perpetrators and victims of unspeakable crimes, providing an opportunity for the victim to confront the perpetrator, and the perpetrator to make amends, thus attempting to forge some reparation between the parties.

From the perspective of our clients' healing process, what is the role of forgiving- especially for adults with histories of childhood abuse as well as other experiences of relational tyranny and neglect, including those who endured domestic abuse and infidelity? When might forgiveness be premature or potentially iatrogenic towards the recovery process? Further, what is the value of self-forgiveness, independent of forgiving the perpetrator?

Borrowing from the work of various authors including Judith Herman, Salman Akhtar, and Daniel Shaw, as well as her dialogues with patients and therapists, through workshops she has led on this subject, Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW, BCD, CGP, will facilitate a discussion on these psychotherapeutic, philosophical and moralistic inquiries.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Defining what forgiveness is and is not;
  2. Discussing the concerns and controversy over "forgiveness" therapy;
  3. Exploring when forgiveness is appropriate and/or not appropriate;
  4. Discussing for whom forgiveness may be important-including oneself;
  5. Determining when forgiveness may be premature or pathological;
  6. Discussing issues in which a client decides not to forgive, and both the positive and potentially negative consequences of that decision.


Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW, BCD, CGP

Gwenn A. Nusbaum, LCSW, BCD, CGP, is a Relational psychoanalyst in private practice in the East Village, as well as supervises and consults with other therapists. For over 25 years, she has specialized in treating in individual and group therapy, women having histories of childhood sexual abuse and related traumas. She has presented widely at various Manhattan institutes and conferences on the treatment needs of these women, as well as internationally at the International Ferenczi Conference. Her papers on the efficacy of group therapy, the relationship between sexual abuse and eating disorders, and the developmental need for defiance for this population, have been published in Group and Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology, and she has been quoted on these subjects by other authors. Gwenn is on the board of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society, chair of the Trauma Studies and Treatment Committee for the New York State Society of Clinical Social Workers, and senior supervisor and faculty in the Group Therapy Training Program of the Institute of the Postgraduate Psychoanalytic Society. Her poems appear in Psychoanalytic Perspectives as well as several other literary journals, and have received a National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis Gradiva Award Nomination, Pushcart Nomination and Honorary Mention. Gwenn's first chapbook of poetry, NORMAL WAR, will be released this spring and available on-line.


Psychoanalytic Community $40/session ($75 for both)
WSI Faculty and Staff $20/session ($35 for both)
Students/Candidates $10/session
No Fee for Candidates at WSI

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

To pay by mail send check to:

Washington Square Institute
41 East 11th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003

or pay online using PayPal below:

PayPal Registration:

or call with credit card information: (212) 477-2600

Washington Square Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Washington Square Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. Participants in the conference will receive 3 CE credits.

Chartered by the New York State Board of Regents     -     Contact Us for more information     -      © WSI, updated May 30, 2019