2014 PSPP Annual Spring Program: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Formation & Understanding of Dreams

  • 29 Mar 2014
  • 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Chestnut Hill College
  • 1


2014 PSPP Annual Spring Program co-sponsored with

Chestnut Hill College

Contemporary Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Formation and Understanding of Dreams: 

With Mark J. Blechner, PhD

Saturday, March 29, 2014

9:30 AM to 3:30 PM


Mark J. Blechner, Ph.D. is Training and
Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White
Institute and Professor of Psychology at the New
York University Postdoctoral Program in
Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

His book The Dream Frontier (Routledge, 2001) has
become a widely used text for courses on dreams
in universities and psychoanalytic institutes.
He has published two other books: Sex Changes:
Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis

(Routledge, 2009) and Hope and Mortality
(Routledge, 1997).

He is Editor Emeritus of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis and is in private practice in New York City, where he also leads several private dream groups.


Program Description

There have been substantial changes over the last 100 years in the psychoanalytic understanding of dreams, the theory of dream formation, and how to work with dreams. We will consider new ways to work effectively with dreams.

How can dreams lead the way in effective clinical work?
Do we need the dreamer’s associations?
How central is affect?
How much are dreams disguised?
Does censorship occur when we create the dream, or when we try to understand our own dream?
When are dreams like a rebus?
What is the role of metaphor in dream understanding and in thinking in general?
In what ways is dream-thinking like psychopathology?
In what ways is dreamthinking superior to waking thought?
How does group dream work differ from one-onone dream work?

We will consider all these questions. Also, a dream will be presented, and we will all take part in a group analysis of the dream to illustrate the principles of contemporary dream interpretation.

Stacey Boyer, M.A.

Stacey Boyer is currently a fifth year doctoral candidate at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Stacey serves as PSPP’s Membership Chair and is also a Member-at-Large on the Society for Personality Assessment Graduate Student board. Stacey is currently completing her dissertation titled The Intimacy in Witnessing: A Qualitative Analysis of Therapists’ Experiences Bearing Witness. Broadly speaking, her interests include Relational psychoanalysis, trauma, grief/loss, gender identity, treatment effectiveness, and therapeutic assessment.


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

  • Describe contemporary psychoanalytic ideas about the formation of dreams and the way they have been informed by psychoanalytic and neurobiological studies
  • Widen their use of novel approaches to the understanding of dreams in clinical treatment
  • Understand principles of group dream interpretation and have first-hand experience with this approach 


9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

  • Registration and light breakfast

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Presentation

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

  • Lunch

1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

  • Case Presentation, Audience Participation, and Closing Remarks


PSPP members and non-members alike register online at the PSPP website, http://www.pspp.org/.  Under the heading ‘Upcoming Events’, click on the words “PSPP Spring Program” and then click on ‘register’, and follow the instructions.  Reservations will take place on a first come, first served basis. 

Fees cover the cost of four Continuing Education Credits and Luncheon

PSPP Members                                                      $90.00

Non-member Professionals                                   $110.00

Early Career Professionals*                                  $50.00

Retired Professionals                                             $50.00

Graduate Students                                                 Free

CHC Graduate Students                                        Free

CHC Psy.D/Masters Faculty                                 Free

* Early Career Professionals are those within three years of receiving their professional degree

Fees are listed per person. Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible. Refunds in full, less a $10 administrative fee, will be made with written request up to 24 hours before the program.

Online registration is available at the PSPP website http://www.pspp.org/ through March 16, 2014. Following this date, participants may register for the program at the door.

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.

Directions and Parking

The Chateau at Sugarloaf is a quarter mile east of the Main entrance of Chestnut Hill College on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia. It is located at the corner of Germantown Ave. and Bells Mill Rd. and has entrances from both roads. Follow either driveway all the way up the hill. Parking lot is just below the building.

If using a GPS, use the following address:
9220 Germantown Ave Philadelphia PA 19118

From the North & East
Take Route 95/New Jersey Turnpike South to Exit 6: Pennsylvania Turnpike/Route 276 West to Exit 333: Norristown. From the exit, stay to the right and follow Germantown Pike east toward Philadelphia. Continue for four miles to the College. The SugarLoaf campus entrance is on the right, a quarter-mile further east on Germantown Avenue.

From the West

Take Route 276/Pennsylvania Turnpike East to Exit 333: Norristown. From the exit, stay to the right and follow Germantown Pike east toward Philadelphia. Continue for four miles to the College. The SugarLoaf campus entrance is on the right, a quarter-mile further east on Germantown Avenue.

From the South
Follow I-95 North to Route 476 North to Exit 19: Germantown Pike East. Exit onto Chemical Road to the traffic light. Turn right onto Germantown Pike and continue four miles to the College. The SugarLoaf campus entrance is on the right, a quarter-mile further east on Germantown Avenue.

By Train
Both Septa Chestnut Hill East (R7) and the Chestnut Hill West (R8) lines go to the town of Chestnut Hill. (If using Chestnut Hill East (R7), walk two blocks down Chestnut Hill Avenue to Germantown Avenue). Heading West on Germantown Ave, Sugarloaf is about ¾ mile from either train station.

Continuing Education Credits

PSYCHOLOGISTS: This program is offered for four continuing education credits (4 CEs). 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 Pennsylvania can receive CEs from CE providers approved by the APA. Since Division 39 is approved by the APA to sponsor continuing education, these professionals will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements by attending PSPP/Division 39 approved programs.

EDUCATORS: Act 48 credits are available to participants who hold an educational certificate in Pennsylvania. 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 3 Act 48 credits a few weeks after the conference.

Participant's Accessibility, Non-discrimination, and Ethics

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 Valerie R. Wilson, Ph.D. at 267-634-1719 or e-mail dr.valerie.wilson@gmail.com. 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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