Washington Square Institute

42ND Annual Scientific Conference
Relational and Freudian Psychoanalysis:
Convergence and Divergence

Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D.
Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D.

Sunday, April 15, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 3:45 PM

Registration Begins At 9:30 AM
4.5 CE hours for psychoanalysts, social workers, and psychologists

Morning Session: 10:00 AM — NOON

Welcoming Remarks:

Dir. of Training, Marilyn Tauber, MA, LP, NCPsyA


Relational Psychoanalysis: Conceptual Dimensions and Technical Implications
Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D.

Relational psychoanalysis began to emerge in the mid 1980's, in part as a synthesis of interpersonal, object relations and self-psychology traditions, and in part as a critique of what had become the orthodoxy of the American ego psychology (the dominant form of psychoanalysis in North America at the time). Since that time, relational psychoanalysis has continued to evolve in conversation with other psychoanalytic approaches, feminist and postmodern thinking, and a variety of other disciplines. Although relational psychoanalysis does not consist of one unified theory, in this presentation I will summarize some of the key principles and assumptions shared by most relational psychoanalytic theorists.

At the end of this presentation participants should be able to:

  1. Conceptualize transference and countertransference from the perspective of a two-person psychology
  2. Understand both the mutual and asymmetrical dimensions of the analytic relationship
  3. Understand the analytic process in terms of the dialectical interplay between ritual and spontaneity

Lunch Break: NOON — 1:15 PM

Afternoon Session: 1:15 — 3:45 PM


Reclaiming Freud's Foundational Contributions
Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D.

Freud's thinking runs contrary to ordinary logic and tends to be misremembered by friends and critics alike. The Relational school is making valuable contributions to the understanding and treatment of patients, yet no one gains by losing sight of Freud's most valuable insights. Four insights will be revisited as potentially congruent or dissonant with Relational thinking: the meaning of drive; Freud's understanding of treatment technique; and the dynamics of transference and countertransference. From a Freudian perspective, the distinction between remembering and repeating remains key.

At the end of this presentation participants should be able to:

  1. Identify how, in the Freudian paradigm, ordinary and expected feelings and fantasies toward patients may or may not morph into problematic countertransference.
  2. Recognize the Freudian dynamic of transference as pertaining, not to feelings towards the analyst, but reactions to anticipatory disappointment in some other domain.
  3. Realize that the value of dialogue between Freudian and Relational schools lies, not in differing theories, but in the way each generates implications for future gain and pathways for achieving it.

Discussion with Q&A:

Marilyn Tauber, MODERATOR


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

Bios in Order of Presentation

Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D.

Jeremy D. Safran, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research, and former Director of Clinical Psychology. He is also on faculty at The New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis. Dr. Safran is Past-President of The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy. In addition to his journal articles and chapters he has published several books, including: Negotiating the Therapeutic Alliance: A Relational Treatment Guide (2000), Psychoanalysis & Buddhism: An Unfolding Dialogue (2003), and Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Therapies (2012), for which he received The Gradiva Award. Dr. Safran was the recipient of the 2016 International Society for Psychotherapy Research Distinguished Research Career Award, and the 2017 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychoanalytic Research

Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D.

Gary Ahlskog, Ph.D. is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, and master hypnotist practicing in New York City and Jamesport, New York. He was graduated from Washington Square Institute and later from the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP). He is the Senior Editor of The Guide to Pastoral Counseling and Care, and was the designer and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program in Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is a former president of the NPAP training institute.

Thanks to the Program Committee for their help with the conference: Marc Angers, MA, Oxon, LCSW, LP, NCPsyA; Jane Birzin, MA; Jane Genende, LCSW-R; Gene Guberman, MA, LP, NCPsyA; Natalie Riccio, PhD; Marilyn Tauber, MA, LP, NCPsyA.

Registration and payment:

(Advance registration is recommended due to limited seating.)

Registration Fees: Amount:
Early Bird Special (thru March 30, 2018) $125
Registration Received by April 11, 2018 $140
At the Door $165
Students with ID, Early Bird Special (thru March 30, 2018) $50
Students with ID, Registration Received by April 11, 2018 $60
Students with ID, At the Door $65
WSI Faculty/Staff, Early Bird Special (thru March 30, 2018) $120
WSI Faculty/Staff, registration received by April 11, 2018 $130
WSI Faculty/Staff, At the Door $140

To pay by credit card, you can make your credit card payment over the phone (212-477-2600),
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Washington Square Institute
41 E. 11th St., 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003
ATTN: Conference

Refunds will be given up to one week prior to conference date only.
Registration begins at 9:30 A.M.

Continuing Education Credits: 4.5 hrs for this conference. Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts, #P-0008. Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for LCSW (# 0269). WSI is approved by the APA (American Psychological Association) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.

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