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Online Colloquia:

Colloquium 13

Title: "The Question of Technique" - The View from Relational Psychoanalysis"
Paper: "Attachment Theory and the Psychoanalytic Tradition" by Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D.; Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 9(1):85-107, 1999
Running Dates: December 1 - 14, 2008
Moderators: Daniel Shaw and Bruce Reis
Panel: Neil Altman, Lew Aron, Anthony Bass, Jessica Benjamin, Steven Cooper, Ken Corbett, Jody Davies, Adrienne Harris, Irwin Hoffman, Stuart Pizer, Stephen Seligman, Ruth Stein, Donnell Stern

This Colloquium will feature a roundtable discussion using Stephen Mitchell’s published clinical work with his patient, “Connie”, to open a dialogue on the topic of relational analytic technique.

There is no need to register for the colloquium. As with previous IARPP colloquia, all IARPP members in good standing will receive the postings via email.

Relational analysts have been challenging and transforming long-standing classical principles of psychoanalytic technique for almost three decades. Having widely expanded the repertoire of technical options beyond what was considered correct for most of the history of psychoanalysis, relational analysts find themselves in a somewhat destabilized position, without a consensually agreed upon way of working clinically or a unitary theory of what constitutes therapeutic action. No longer expected to rigidly adhere to the technical prescriptions that were shibboleths of earlier psychoanalytic regulatory bodies, psychoanalysts today can no longer reliably stand on the solid ground of standardized theory to guide their work. Some have proposed that there are multiple relational psychoanalytic approaches to the question of technique, some have even gone so far as to suggest that there is no such thing as clinical technique.

These changes in ways that analysts approach the clinical provoke numerous questions. For instance, given the multiplicity of clinical approaches under the “relational” umbrella, can there be only one relational clinical technique? How does a relational emphasis on spontaneity, improvisation and disclosure meet and transform traditional analytic ways of working clinically? Does it modify traditional ways of working, replace traditional ways of working, or create a productive tension between paradigms? And most basically, how does the relational clinician know what to do in the consulting room?

This colloquium will feature a roundtable discussion format on the topic of relational technique – the what to do and when to do, and when not to do of relational clinical practice. Our distinguished panel will take up these questions, discussing clinical decision making and moments of certainty and uncertainty in the consulting room. Discussion will center around the previously published case of “Connie,” one of Stephen Mitchell’s most extensive clinical case presentations. The IARPP membership is invited to join the conversation and participate in the process of exploring, questioning, and constructing the clinical theories of relational psychoanalysis as they are practiced around the world today.

The National Institute for the Psychotherapies Training Institute (NIP TI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. NIP TI maintains responsibility for the program.

CE Credits: 3

Members* of IARPP may access the paper and discussion using the following link: http://iarpp.net/archive/index.html.

The IARPP Colloquia Series is one of the many benefits of membership in IARPP. If you are not yet a member, click on the Membership area of this site for more information and an application.

* Please refer to the specific instructions that were sent to all IARPP members.