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2020-2021 Scientific Meetings

The Analytic Attitude

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 6:30 – 8:30pm CST

Presenter: Gavin Mullen, PsyD

Discussant: Barbara Rocah, MD

After the presentation we will have time for a discussion, during which you can send in questions or comments for the speakers to answer.

Gavin Mullen explores the analytic attitude, the stance taken by psychoanalysts and many psychoanalytic therapists.  The analytic attitude, as she explains, is characterized by neutrality, but that does not mean an attitude of impassivity or remoteness, but rather a determination not to take sides in the patient’s inner world.  She looks at how the analytic attitude also involves focusing on psychic reality, maintaining a respectful, positive position in regard to patients, and avoiding either/or thinking.  She examines how the analytic attitude is used in specific situations with patients and how the circumstances that patients present us with force us to try to puzzle out just what the optimal analytic attitude is.

Gavin Mullen, PsyD, is on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and a faculty member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.  She edited the selected papers of Arnold Goldberg and served two terms as associate editor of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis and The Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association. She works as a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in Northbrook.

Barbara Rocah, MD is an emeritus faculty member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, where she has taught and nurtured generations of psychoanalysts. She is a former President of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, and has won multiple awards, including the Joan Fleming Award in 2011, and the Favorite Teacher Award in 2018.

Educational Objectives:

After attending this session, participants should be able to:

1. Explain the role of the analytic attitude in clinical impasses, enactments, and countertransference;
2. Name the elements that are constituents of the analytic attitude. 

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