Does Psychoanalysis Need a Sex Change?|2013 PSPP Annual Fall Program in Collaboration with the 25th Annual Schulman Symposium

  • 26 Oct 2013
  • 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Widener University: Kapelski Learning Center Room #1

2013 PSPP Fall Program in Collaboration with the 20th Annual Schulman Symposium

Does Psychoanalysis Need a Sex Change?

Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D.

Follow this link for more specific event details, fees, continuing education, location, and directions information: Fall Program Brochure 2013.

PSPP members and non-members alike register online at EVENTBRITE (click here), a secure site used by Widener University, our collaborating partner for this program. Under the appropriate registration type select the quantity and then select the large green “register” button and follow the instructions.

Reservations will take place on a first come, first served basis. If you need assistance with registering online, please contact Natalie Petyk, Psy.D. at or 610-937-1221.


Patricia Gherovici, Ph.D., is a licensed psychoanalyst, supervisor, and faculty at Après Coup New York, and co-founder and director of the Philadelphia Lacan Group. She has published numerous articles nationally and internationally. Her book The Puerto Rican
Syndrome (Other Press, 2003) won the NAAP Gradiva Award and the Boyer Prize of the American Anthropological Association. Most recently, she has published Please Select Your Gender: From the Invention of Hysteria to the Democratizing of Transgenderism (Routledge, 2010.) She is currently co-editing a collection:
Lacan On Madness: Madness, Yes You Can’t (Routledge, 2014.)


I take as my point of departure the dawn of psychoanalysis: hysteric patients presented somatic problems for which traditional medicine could give no answer; this led Freud to invent a new mode of treatment. For Freud it meant postulating the existence of the unconscious. The hysterics’ symptoms all revealed a sexual origin. At the same period, leading sexologists and pioneer activists like Magnus Hirshfeld worked closely to Freud, which seemed to promise a fruitful collaboration between the fields. Unhappily prejudice prevented this collaboration, and sexology and psychoanalysis took divergent, even opposed paths. Despite these tensions, transsexualism has remained closely connected to psychoanalysis. Historically, psychoanalysts have taken a normative position by reading transsexuality as a sign of pathology.

Nothing could be further away from what one learns in the clinic about sexuality. The transgender experience both reorients psychoanalytic practice and reframes debates about gender and sexuality. This workshop will explore inbuilt prejudice that obfuscates clinical efficacy.

This program will expose participants to new clinical modalities to approach sexual and social difference. Clinical vignettes will help participants see the practical dimension of the presentation’s claims.

At the conclusion of the program participants will
be able to:

1) Assess the controversial yet central role played by psychoanalysis in the history of transsexualism.

2) Challenge the idea that transgender is always a pathology.

3) Identify prejudices in the therapeutic relation facing minority patients segregated by race, class, gender, sexuality and positively acquiring an innovative framework for treating sexual and social difference.


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 handicapped accessibility, distress with regard to program content or other complaints, please contact Dr. Patricia Rice, Psy.D. at (267) 259-6816 or e-mail: For any questions or other concerns regarding access, confidentiality, privacy or other issues, please contact Dr. Robin Ward, Psy.D. at (610) 506-5888 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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