Sunday Brunch: Working at the Borderline: Other Perspectives on a Diagnosis and its Meanings

  • 31 May 2009
  • 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Contact Jay Moses, Ph.D. at 267-254-0791 for location.

Presenter—Ellen Balzé, Ph.D.

Ellen Balzé, Ph.D. works as an individual and group psychotherapist at Project Transition, a community-based residential program for people who have experienced difficulties that include psychosis, severe mood disorders, and borderline personality disorder. She also has a private practice in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. After earning her doctorate in clinical psychology from Temple University, she completed an internship and postdoc at  Pennsylvania Hospital, and later trained and supervised diagnosticians conducting treatment outcome research at Penn’s Center for Psychotherapy Research. Her interests include finding ways to talk and work across differences in the psychoanalytic community.

Learning Objectives
  • Participants will be able to articulate some of the problematic aspects of the “borderline” diagnostic category.
  • Participants will be able to describe key features of Lacanian and Dialectical Behavior
Therapy (DBT)-based ways of conceptualizing the phenomena labeled “borderline.” The advent of Dialectical Behavior Therapy has prompted a shift in the way many clinicians conceptualize and treat the set of symptoms known as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). At the same time, Lacanian psychoanalysts (particularly in Europe and South America, but increasingly in this country) are offering their own views of these phenomena. A recent (2004) example is Paul Verhaeghe’s On Being Normal and Other Disorders: A Manual for Clinical Psychodiagnostics. This presentation and discussion will examine aspects of these two discourses addressing BPD—discourses that are still marginal to the mainstream of psychoanalytic thought in Philadelphia and the US at large. By examining theoretical positions that are in some sense themselves at a “borderline” of psychoanalytic thought, we may find helpful ways of conceptualizing phenomena that are often located at the borders within our diagnostic systems, and at the limits of our capacity to understand, contain, tolerate, and work fruitfully.

Target Audience: Mental health professionals and graduate students

Instructional Level: Intermediate

11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.—Brunch
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.—Presentation
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.—Discussion

Courtesy of Denise Lensky, Ph.D.
Contact Jay Moses, Ph.D. at 267-254-0791 for location.

These programs are open to PSPP members and other interested mental health professionals who may not be members. Nonmembers may attend the brunch for free, but must pay $40 if they wish to receive CE credits. Please register in advance to allow for planning of refreshments and seating arrangements. Walk-in registration is also accepted. Please return registration forms to:

Jay Moses, Ph.D.
303 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 2B
Wayne, PA 19087

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