Upcoming Courses

The Self as Therapeutic Instrument

Jill Savege Scharff, MD and David E. Scharff, MD

March 21, 2013 | Boston, MA | Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel More Information

This pre-conference will take a fresh look at two aspects of therapeutic action: living through resistance and using the self in countertransference. Resistance is viewed, as Freud noted, as the way into therapeutic action, not simply an obstacle. Countertransference is seen not as a resistance due to infantile conflict in the therapist, but as a necessary response to the transference from which understanding emerges from shared experience. The morning will be devoted to exploration of resistance to treatment, transference and therapist. Jill Scharff will present a video interview of a consultation interview for discussion of the patient’s resistance, the countertransference experience of that resistance and the working through in the transference. David Scharff will present a child treatment of a resistant latency child who brought her resistance in the form of drawings, entered into the transference implications of that resistance and emerged with an enhanced working alliance. In the afternoon, we will present tact and timing in working with countertransference in therapeutic action with children and parents. We will show video excerpts from two sessions of a therapeutic consultation. Then we will discuss a therapy case presented by a participant, inviting those in attendance to join in an exploration of therapeutic action.

This course is designed so that participants will be able to:
  • Identify levels of resistance in a clinical interview or treatment
  • Apply their understanding to specifying intervention strategies for interpreting the resistances at effective levels
  • Develop strategies for more effective therapeutic action based on formulations of object relations, transference patterns and emergent ideas about unconscious organization

Additional Information


8:15 am Registration

Beth Israel Deaconess Department of Psychiatry Foundation, Inc./Contact Hours: 6



The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. MSPP maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers

Applications for social work continuing education credits have been submitted. Please contact MSPP/CE at 617-244-1682 or by email at ce@mspp.edu for the status of social work CE accreditation.


Most of MSPP’s continuing education programs meet the specifications of the Board of Registration in Nursing (244 CMR).

Mental Health Counselors

MSPP is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer continuing education for National Certified Counselors and Category I CE Credits for LMHCs. MSPP adheres to NBCC’s continuing education guidelines. (Provider Number 5678).


MSPP is approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to offer Professional Development Points (PDPs). (Provider Number 5-0416-999)

Jill Savege Scharff, MD and David E. Scharff, MD, are Co-Founders of the International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI) based in the Washington metro area. Jill is former Director, International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training; David is Board Chair and former Director, IPI. Both are Supervising Analysts, International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training at IPI. They are authors and editors of more than 30 books, the most recent being “The Interpersonal Unconscious.” Jill’s forthcoming book is on the impact of technology on psychoanalytic treatment. David’s next book (with Sverre Varvin) is titled “Psychoanalysis in China.”