Sunday Brunch Series - Lost in Unsymbolized Space: Reaching the Inaccessible Patient

  • 20 Mar 2011
  • 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Hosted by Jacquelynn Cunliffe, Ph.D. Location will be e-mailed to registrants.
  • 0


Registration is closed

Lost in Unsymbolized Space: Reaching the Inaccessible Patient

Presenter - Barbara L. Goldsmith, Psy.D.

This topic addresses the therapeutic challenge of working with the inaccessible patient.  Many of these patients, who suffer from anorexia, alexithymia, addictions, trauma and/or psychotic states, are profoundly disconnected from their inner emotional lives, existing in psychically deadened, concrete, unmentalized, and unsymbolized somatic states.  The difficult task for the therapist is to be able to bear long periods of detachment, sustained by listening for the ways these patients “speak” through their bodies and through the therapist’s countertransference.

Learning Objectives:  

  1. Develop a deeper appreciation of the therapeutic challenges entailed in psychoanalytic work with patients who have little or no access to their emotional life.
  2. Gain a fuller appreciation of how these patients  “speak” through their bodies and the therapist’s countertransference.

Barbara L. Goldsmith, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia and Rosemont, PA. She is adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and has taught and supervised graduate students for over 25 years. She is also on the faculty of the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis in Philadelphia and is a training consultant for the University of Pennsylvania's Counseling and Psychological Services. She was the founding president of the Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education where she is currently on the Board and also serves as the graduate student mentorship coordinator for the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. Dr. Goldsmith speaks on a variety of topics including trauma, eating disorders, the use of body as object, countertransference and therapeutic impasse.

11:00 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.  Brunch

11:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.    Presentation and Discussion

Hosted by Jacquelynn Cunliffe, Ph.D.  Location will be e-mailed to registrants.

CE Credits

To obtain CE credits, you must register for a brunch program. CE credits are free to PSPP members. Non-members must pay $40 per program to receive CE credits.

Registration is open to PSPP members and other interested mental health professionals, school employees, or scholars from related fields that are not members.

1.  The target audience of this program is psychologists and other interested mental health professionals, school employees, or scholars from related fields.  The instructional level of the activity is intermediate.

2.  This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for two continuing educational credits.  Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  

3.  Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities.  Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in 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.  If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them.  Please address questions, concerns, and any complaints to Jim Bleiberg, Psy.D., Chair of the PSPP Sunday Brunch Continuing Education Series, (610) 416-4806.

Please understand that PSPP members generously host the Sunday Brunch Series in their homes. This intimate setting requires that we limit the number of participants. When all seats are reserved and registration is closed, if you would like to be placed on a waiting list, contact Jim Bleiberg, Psy.D. Chair of the PSPP Sunday Brunch Continuing Education Series at or (610) 416-4806. He will keep track of your place on the waiting list and if a space becomes available due to a cancellation, he will notify you immediately.

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