How can we first understand and then address our patients so that they are able to really listen to us? Anne Alvarez is an influential psychoanalytic psychotherapist whose work on autism and severe personality disorders in children and adolescents has been important internationally. NCSPP is honored to bring Anne Alvarez to the Bay Area. Among her contributions to psychoanalytic theory and technique are innovations in how we attempt to know how our patients are functioning from one minute to the next and then find the right level of interpretation.
Built on her experience of failure to reach extremely damaged patients with ordinary explanatory or locating interpretations, Anne Alvarez will present a schema of three levels of analytic work and levels of psychopathology, applicable to a wide range of cases.
Traditional interpretations, which offer alternate or expanded meaning, often overwhelm patients because they assume a state of mind in which multiple thoughts or feelings can be simultaneously entertained — such as the capacity to tolerate anxiety and pain — as in Klein’s depressive position. When patients are able to manage only one thought or feeling at a time, a second interpretive method may be necessary. Patients in a paranoid-schizoid state require a more descriptive or amplifying level of work through emotionally informed (countertransference) interpretations. At this level, positive transferences and countertransferences are particularly important for emotional and cognitive development.
With certain “lost” patients, Anne Alvarez proposes a third level of intervention, which, by insisting on meaning and feeling, can reclaim or “wake-up” a patient’s psychic life. For patients in this cut-off state, the issue is not thinking about feeling, or even identifying feeling, but gaining access to feeling itself.
The timing of these three levels of intervention coincides with the course and development of the treatment, but may also shift from moment to moment as the patient moves from more dissociated states to moments of greater integration.
- Identify markers for more damaged/disturbed patients (those who present as fragmented, dissociated, and/or empty).
- Use Dr. Alvarez’s schema of calibration to evaluate the level of patients’ psychological functioning within an analytic framework and determine which of the three levels of analytic work/communication (Explanatory, Descriptive, and Intensified Vitalizing) are appropriate.
- Explain why one type of therapeutic understanding is indicated rather than another.
The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis was organized in 2007, combining the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute & Society, founded in 1941, with the San Francisco Foundation for Psychoanalysis, founded in 1991. The SFCP is a not for profit organization with more than 160 practicing analysts and more than 45 candidates (psychoanalysts in training).
The Center provides an extensive training program in psychoanalysis. The Center also sponsors a large, vibrant Extension Division which offers classes and seminars to mental health professionals as well as to the general public. In addition, it maintains low fee clinics for adults, children and adolescents as well as providing other mental health services and programs for the general community.
An intermediate to advanced workshop for child and adult psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and psychiatrists, educational psychologists, clinical social workers, psychology graduate students, clinicians who work with traumatized children and children on the autistic spectrum.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time.
For program related questions contact Melissa Kohner, MelissaKohnerPsyD@gmail.com.
For questions related to enrollment, locations, CE credit, special needs, course availability and other administrative issues contact Michele McGuinness by email or 415-496-9949.