Student Paper Presentation
Fri, Feb 28, 2014
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Kristin Fiorella
Dianne Elise, Ph.D.
Participant Limit: 


Early Registration Deadline: 
February 27, 2014

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Course Overview: 

Both clinician and patient consciously and unconsciously seek stabilization. When either becomes momentarily unmoored from preferred versions of self experience, the clinician can use her case formulation as a psychic tranquilizer against incoherence and dissonance. If the clinician holds her formulation as a parameter that will and should frustrate, she may still rely on concepts to orient her but is perhaps more willing to allow them to be dismantled by what is actually happening in the clinical dyad. In this talk, we will explore ways that Vajrayana Buddhism’s understanding of the dialectic between form and emptiness may shed light on case formulation. Within Vajrayana, emptiness points to the absence, in the self and all phenomenon, of inherent, uncaused existence. This tradition provides forms that invite a visceral experience of emptiness and radically challenge a preoccupation with labeling, mastery, and coherence. We will suggest some implications of this understanding of the self- as well as the meditative practices intended to reveal its nature- for case formulation. 

Co-Sponsor Information: 

For 40 years, The Psychotherapy Institute has provided affordable psychotherapy to San Francisco Bay Area residents as well as continuing education and advanced training to psychotherapists. The Psychotherapy Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and has grown to a membership of more than 400 clinicians and is recognized as one of the psychotherapy community’s finest education and training organizations.

Target Audience & Level: 

All mental health professionals, including MFT, LCSW, PhD, PsyD, psychiatric nurses, and graduate level students in psychology. This is an introductory to intermediate level course.

Contact Information: 

For program related questions contact Susanna Bernat, Psy.D.,, (510) 868-5911