PSPP 2017 Spring Meeting: Journeys with Psychosis: A Day of Approaches to Working Analytically with Psychosis

  • 18 Mar 2017
  • 9:30 AM - 3:45 PM
  • Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102
  • 25


  • Members within 7 years of attaining terminal degree.

Registration is closed



2017 PSPP Annual Spring Meeting 

Journeys with Psychosis: A Day of Approaches to Working Analytically with Psychosis

with keynote speaker Annie Rogers, Ph.D., discussant Cécile McKenna, Psy.D., & presentation by Bret Fimiani, Psy.D.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Registration 9:30am, program starts at 10:00am

Venue: Friends Center at 15th and Cherry

(The Cherry Room)

1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Please note that four CEs will be available for attendants of this program


Individuals living with psychosis are in continual danger of being misunderstood or even deemed incommunicable.  As a result, many people view psychosis as an untreatable condition with talk therapy.  In this day-long program, the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (PSPP) is proud to have a series of notable clinicians from around the United States present their experiences of conducting psychoanalysis with people experiencing psychosis.  Clinical material, literature, and dreams will be used to explore ways in which we can listen to individuals “who may yearn to speak, but cannot find the words to convey their most vital experiences.”  The following central clinical issues will be explored: How do clinicians “receive language that sometimes sounds incoherent or eccentric with respect to ordinary, unstated norms of speaking?  What does it take, on the part of the listener, to receive the psychotic subject as a subject” who knows something vital about their own experience?  Finally, we will consider how to “listen to someone after a crisis in ways that open up conversations as spaces of exploration and discovery, surprise, and sometimes laughter.” (Rogers, 2016)

Based around a keynote address from the groundbreaking clinical work of Annie Rogers, Ph.D., from Amherst, MA, clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and author of A Shining Affliction (Penguin Viking, 1995), The Unsayable (Random House, 2006), and most recently, Incandescent Alphabets: Psychosis and the Enigma of Language (Karnac, 2016), we will learn how to listen, in order to understand the subjective worlds and words of psychosis.  Commentary from Philadelphia analyst Cécile McKenna, Psy.D., will help extend Dr. Rodgers’ observations into our everyday practice and allow us to consider other aspects of working with psychosis.  Afterwards, San Francisco-based psychoanalyst Bret Fimiani, Psy.D., will talk about multidisciplinary aspects of his work treating psychosis in a public clinic.  He will share clinical examples to illustrate the treatment of delusions using dream work. 


Annie Rogers, Ph.D., is the author of three books: A Shining Affliction (Penguin Viking, 1995), The Unsayable (Random House, 2006), and Incandescent Alphabets: Psychosis and the Enigma of Language, Karnac, 2016), in addition to numerous scholarly articles, short fiction, and poetry. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University; a Whiting Fellowship at Hampshire College; and an Erikson Scholar at Austen Riggs. 

Dr. Rogers, professor of psychoanalysis and clinical psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, received her B.A. from Webster College and her Ph.D. from Washington University. She joined Hampshire College after fifteen years of teaching and doing research at Harvard University.

Dr. Rogers has conducted studies on a range of topics including girls’ psychological development and trajectories of change in child analysis, as well as studies of language and visual art in psychosis. Co-Director of Hampshire’s Psychoanalytic Studies Program, she is Analyst Member and Faculty at the Lacanian School of San Francisco and Associate Member of the Association for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy in Ireland. She is also a Member of Zea Mays Printmaking.

Cécile Gouffrant McKenna, Psy.D. first trained in France as a cognitive psychologist conducting research on memory, especially with Alzheimer’s patients. She later earned her Psy.D. at the California Institute of Integral Study in San Francisco, CA. She is on the board of PSPP and has a private practice in Philadelphia.  Candidate analyst and faculty member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis, she facilitates free clinical and theoretical seminars on Lacan and Freud.

Bret Fimiani, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst working in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a private psychotherapy practice in Oakland, CA and he works with the severely mentally ill in a public clinic setting at Tenderloin Health Services in San Francisco. His main clinical interests include the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis and behavioral medicine. In his attempt to work effectively with psychotics he draws mainly on his past training with GIFRIC in Quebec City. He is working toward creating a psychoanalytically informed multidisciplinary approach to psychosis in a public clinic setting. His research interests include the analytic treatment of psychosis and he is the author of an article on this topic entitled “The Subject of Psychosis: An Ethics for Treatment” in the Journal of Culture and the Unconscious (2010).


Rogers, A. G. (2016).  Incandescent Alphabets: Psychosis and the Enigma of Language. London: Karnac Books.

Jones, N., et al. (2016). “Did I push myself over the edge?”: Complications of agency in psychosis onset and development.  Journal of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses, pages 234-335. Published online: 16 Mar 2016.

Arnold, K. (2016). Is delusional imperviousness a backfire effect of being disbelieved? Journal of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses, pages 369-371. Published online: 16 Mar 2016.

Corstens, D., et al. (2011). Talking with voices: Exploring what is expressed by the voices people hear. Psychosis: Psychological, Social, and Integrative Approaches, pages 95-104. Published Online: 14 June 2011. 

Longden, E., et al. (2011). Voice hearing in a biographical context: A model for formulating the relationship between voices and life history. Psychosis: Psychological, Social, and Integrative Approaches, pages 224-234. Published Online: 03 Aug 2011. 


  • After attending this intermediate program in full, participants will be able to:

    • 1) Describe what is considered psychosis in psychoanalysis. 

      2) Identify 2 psychotic presentations for which psychoanalysis might be an efficacious treatment.

      3) Demonstrate 3 key elements that predict an effective analytical treatment of psychosis.


9:30 AM         Registration & Coffee

10:00 AM       Keynote Presentation by Dr. Rogers

11:30 AM       Question and Answer

12:00 PM       Luncheon

1:00 PM         Commentary by Dr. McKenna

1:30 PM         Presentation by Dr. Fimiani

2:15 PM         Afternoon Break

2:30 PM         Audience Discussion with Panel

3:30 PM         Concluding Remarks

3:45 PM         Program Concludes


Fees cover the cost of four continuing education credits, lunch, light refreshments and coffee

Prior to 3/3/17 / After 3/3/17:

PSPP Members: $90 / $105

Non-Member Professionals: $110 / $125

Early Career Professionals*: $50 / $65

Retired Professionals: $50 / $65

Graduate Students: $15 / $20

*Early career professionals are those within seven years of receiving their professional degree.

Fees listed per person.  Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible.  Refunds requested prior to 3/17/17 paid in full, less a $25 administrative fee.


Online registration will be available at the PSPP website through 3/16/17. Following this date, participants may register for the program at the door.

Registration by mail is available by contacting: Dr. Sarah White, PSPP Membership Chair: 3804 Church Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08504  

This program is intended for mental health professionals with an intermediate level of knowledge and experience it is not limited to individuals practicing in a psychoanalytic mode.


Public Transportation

Via SEPTA Subway or Bus

Any SEPTA bus route or subway route to the City Hall stop will place you within walking distance of Friends Center. Visit for more information on routes and times.

Via SEPTA Trains to Suburban Station

Take the SEPTA train to Suburban Station. This is the station between 30th Street and Jefferson. Exit the Station on 15th and JFK Boulevard. Turn left and walk two blocks to Friends Center, which is the red brick building on northwest corner of 15th Street between Race and Cherry Streets.

From Amtrak to 30th Street Station

Take Amtrak trains to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Change trains & take any East bound SEPTA train (Upper level tracks). Exit this train at the next stop, which is Suburban Station. Your Amtrak ticket will provide a free ride to Suburban Station.

From the Philadelphia International Airport

Take the R-1 SEPTA train from the airport to Suburban Station, and follow the directions above for SEPTA trains to Suburban Station.

Driving Directions

From the New Jersey Turnpike exit the New Jersey turnpike at Exit 4. Follow Route 73 North to the merger with Route 90. Take Route 90 across the Betsy Ross Bridge and follow signs to I-95 south to Philadelphia. Then follow the directions below to Friends Center from I-95.

From either 1-95 or I-76 get onto the I-676 Vine Street Expressway

I-676 Eastbound exit to the right for Broad Street/Central Philadelphia. At the end of the ramp turn right onto 15th Street heading south. Friends Center is two blocks ahead on the right. Turn left into the parking lot just past Race Street.

I-676 Westbound exit to the right for Broad Street/Central Philadelphia. At the end of the ramp, you will be on 15th Street headed south. Friends Center is two blocks ahead on the right. Turn left into the parking lot just past Race Street.


Discounted parking is available on the east side of 15th Street, between Race & Cherry Street. Take your parking ticket with you, and ask the Friends Center receptionist to stamp it for the validated parking rate of $15.00 for the day (subject to change). There are numerous other options, including two city-owned garages also across the street, one on 15th Street between Cherry and Arch and one on Cherry Street between 15th and 16th Streets.


PSYCHOLOGISTS: This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for 4 (CEUs) continuing education credits. Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants.  Psychologists will have their participation registered through Division 39. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological  Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program and its content. 

SOCIAL WORKERS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in PA can receive CEs from CE providers approved by the APA. Since Div 39 is approved by the APA to sponsor continuing education, those professionals will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements by attending PSPP/Div 39 approved programs.

EDUCATORS: Act 48 credits are available to participants who hold an educational certificate in PA. IF you need act 48 credits please be sure to bring your PPID number to the conference. Act 48 credits are processed by PSPP, and you will receive a letter in the mail documenting that you have earned 4 Act 48 credits a few weeks after the conference.


PSPP and Division 39 are committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities and strive to conduct all activities in strict conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. 

Participants with special needs will be accommodated as possible. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during this presentation, or if you have concerns about such issues as accessibility for persons with disabilities, distress with regard to program content or other complaints, please contact Courtney Slater, Ph.D. at 267-225-1522 or e-mail There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflict of interest. During the program, the presenter will discuss the validity/utility of the content/approach as well as the limitations of the approach and most common risk factors, if any.

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