Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
Intensive Study Group
Thu, Sep 7, 2017 to Thu, May 17, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
St. Clement's Church
2837 Claremont Boulevard
Berkeley, CA 94705
Dawn Farber, Psy.D.
Ilene Philipson, Ph.D.
Robert Bartner, Ph.D.
Andrea Walt, Ph.D.
CE Credits: 
Participant Limit: 

General Public: $1900
$500 deposit with registration;
$1400 balance due August 25
, 2017

NCSPP Members: $1700
$300 deposit with registration;
$1400 balance due August 25
, 2017

NCSPP CMH Members: $1350
$300 deposit with registration;
$1050 balance due August 25
, 2017

One scholarship may be granted based on a space-available basis. Scholarship applications must be received by Friday, August 25, 2017. For more information and to request a scholarship application please contact us.

This course is currently full. As such, registration is closed. If you would like to be placed on a wait-list for this study group you may contact Michele McGuinness, NCSPP Administrator/ Registrar at


East Bay Intensive Study Group —
Deconstructing the Iceberg: Contemporary Theories of the Unconscious and Clinical Application

Course Overview: 

Freud famously compared our mental life to an iceberg: 10% observable and 90% submerged. While it is generally agreed that the unconscious is the foundational concept of psychoanalytic theory, what continues to be debated is whether the concept pertains to an entity or to processes. Is the unconscious a storehouse of what is forgotten and rejected by consciousness? Is it an enigmatic register of what is unsymbolizable and unrepresentable? Is the unconscious a source of creative intuition that can generate moments of inexplicable insight — aha! — while simultaneously providing inspiration for the free play of mind and body? Is it purely intrapsychic, intersubjectively co-generated, or both?

The 2017-18 Intensive Study Groups will explore these and other theoretical questions, examining their implications for therapeutic action. How do our theories of the unconscious shape our styles of interpretation and intervention? Might this affect the way we listen? 

Can we determine the clinical significance and relevance of our counter­trans­ferences and reveries as possible measures of unconscious-to-unconscious communication? How might different theories of the unconscious apply to different patient populations?

Like real icebergs, theories of the unconscious can be deceiving, reductionistic, or dangerous. Yet, they are also essential in helping us navigate tumultuous emotional domains. We, therefore, invite clinicians of all levels of experience to participate in this yearlong investigation, guided by clinically adept, insightful, and creative instructors. The didactics will be integrated with clinical material in order to facilitate a deeper understanding and use of theory.

Click here for detailed information about individual ISG segments.

Course Objectives: 
  • Participants will be able to discuss the evolution of the concept of the unconscious from the intrapsychic to the interpersonal.

  • Participants will be able to describe how the relational unconscious may manifest in clinical enactments.

  • Participants will be able to explain how projective identification is the basis for communications between patient and analyst.

  • Participants will be able to compare the use of the unconscious from the perspective of field theory and quantum mechanics.
Empirical Reference: 

Bornstein, R.F. and J.M. Masling, ed. (1998). Empirical perspectives on the psychoanalytic unconscious. American Psychological Association (APA). Doi:10.1037/10256-000.


Robert Bartner, Ph.D., MFT, is a faculty member and personal and supervising psychoanalyst at PINC and adjunct faculty member at SFCP. Dr. Bartner has a private practice in Oakland where he practices psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy with individuals and couples. Dr. Bartner teaches widely, provides clinical consultation, and leads private study groups.

Dawn Farber, Psy.D., MFT, practices psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Oakland, with individuals and couples. She has been a Personal and Supervising Analyst and Faculty of PINC. Dr. Farber teaches widely in the community, and is especially interested in clinical consultation and in ongoing case consultation groups. She enjoys both analytic and personal writing and has published poetry, autobiography, and book and film reviews.

Ilene Philipson, Ph.D., holds doctorates in sociology, clinical psychology, and psychoanalysis and has taught at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and NYU. She is a training and supervising analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. In addition to On The Shoulders of Women: The Feminization of Psychotherapy, her books include Married to The Job; Ethel Rosenberg: Beyond the Myths; and Women, Class, and the Feminist Imagination (Ed.). Dr. Philipson is in the private practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Oakland.

Andrea Walt, Ph.D., is a faculty member, and personal and supervisory analyst at PINC. She teaches theory and clinical practice in a variety of training settings. Dr. Walt has a private practice in Oakland, offering psychoanalysis and psychotherapy for adults, adolescents, and couples.­­­

Target Audience & Level: 

The Intensive Study Groups are for mid- to advanced-level clinicians and community members, or academics and artists interested in the relations of psychoanalytic psychotherapy to culture.

Cancellation & Refund Policies: 

Students not admitted due to space limitation will receive a full refund of their deposit. Cancellations prior to Friday, August 18, 2017: Full refund of deposit minus $100 administration charge. Cancellations after Friday, August 18, 2017: No refund provided.

Contact Information: 

ISG participants are eligible for 12 sessions of consultation with a PINC analyst at $60 per session to help integrate the material into clinical practice.

Administration | registration questions: Michele McGuinness, or (415) 496-9949

ISG Program questions: Brenda Bloomfield, LCSW, or (510) 316-5312

Intensive Study Group Committee

The Intensive Study Group Committee oversees the year-long ISG in San Francisco and the East Bay. The ISGs are co-sponsored by PINC. Each fall the committee puts on an Introductory Event featuring invited guest lecturers who speak to theoretical and clinical themes related to the current subject of the ISG. This event is open to all.

Brenda Bloomfield, LCSW, Chair
Johanna Murphy, Ph.D., Chair
Eric P. Essman, MA
Cecilia Froberg, LMFT
Alice Knutson, MFT