Upcoming Courses

The Lawrence E. Lifson, MD, Psychotherapy Conference on The Therapeutic Action of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Current Concepts of Cure

Andrea Celenza, PhD, Steven Cooper, PhD, David Doolittle, PsyD, Darlene Ehrenberg, PhD, George Fishman, MD, Jack Foehl, PhD, Alexandra Harrison, PhD, James Herzog, MD, Alfred Margulies, MD, Nancy McWilliams, PhD, Philip Ringstrom, PhD, Carl Salzman, MD, Martha Stark, MD, Robert Waldinger, MD and Howard Wishmie, MD

March 21, 2014 – March 22, 2014 | Boston, MA | Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel More Information

Research on psychotherapy consistently shows that personality and relationship variables
have more influence on outcome than on type of treatment. This pre-conference
workshop will explore diverse ways of understanding individual differences, including
the implications of recent research in attachment, affect, and neuroscience. Individual
differences will be conceptualized as they have emerged from clinical experience and
empirical research rather than according to the trait-based personality disorder categories
in the DSM and other psychiatric classifications.
In the morning, Dr. McWilliams will describe personality with attention to subjective
experience, repetitive themes, attachment patterns, defenses, central conflicts, and relational
patterns rather than observable “traits.” The focus will be on the practical value
of understanding patients’ personalities in-depth (whether or not the personality itself
is “disordered”), so that therapists can adapt to each person’s individual style of learning
and changing as they address the problems that constitute the central focus of treatment.
In the afternoon, Dr. McWilliams will focus on some specific personality constellations,
including self-defeating (masochistic), paranoid, and schizoid psychologies,
which typically require “deviations” from either standard psychodynamic or standard
Cognitive Behavorial Therapy treatments, and she will show a DVD in which she
makes therapeutic contact with a man with significant schizoid tendencies. The workshop
will be oriented toward an inclusive, diverse population of therapists who struggle
with short-term as well as long-term clinical work in a wide range of settings. There
will be ample opportunities for participation from attendees.

This course is designed so that participants will be able to:
  1. Elucidate the therapeutic action of psychodynamic psychotherapy
  2. Define the contributions of varying theories to therapeutic change
  3. Integrate current theories into clinical practice
  4. Widen the scope of applicability of psychodynamic concepts to clinical situations

Additional Information


8:15 am – 5:00 pm both days

Beth Israel Deaconess Department of Psychiatry Foundation, Inc./Contact Hours: 13