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The Ear, the Eye, and the Heart:
How Psychodynamic Therapists Listen for Unconscious Communication

Our interventions can only be as effective as the listening and conceptualization process that informs them. Unconscious messages come to us through diverse channels, including the verbal, nonverbal and countertransferential. In order to “follow the unconscious” of the patient, to form and test hypotheses about the hidden meanings of their speech and behavior, we need a mind that is “well-stocked” with diverse approaches for assessing these channels. This course will offer students an opportunity to deepen their listening process with the goal of sharpening their moment-to-moment conceptualization skills, so that they can better tailor their interventions to the mind of the patient. The following dimensions of listening will be covered in this class.

https://ceyouplus.org/workshops/TheEar/view

The Ear, the Eye, and the Heart:
How Psychodynamic Therapists Listen for Unconscious Communication

Tuesday, July 30, 2024, 12:40 PM EDT - 5:00 PM EDT

Presenter: Maury Joseph, PsyD

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Course Length: 4 Hours

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will identify 2 ways of detecting unconscious conflict in patient narratives.
  2. Students will identify 5 ways of detecting unconscious communication in the sessions with patients.
  3. Students will be able to define projective identification.
  4. Students will be able to define unconscious enactment.

This workshop Offers 4 Live Interactive Continuing Education Credits

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Our interventions can only be as effective as the listening and conceptualization process that informs them. Unconscious messages come to us through diverse channels, including the verbal, nonverbal and countertransferential. In order to “follow the unconscious” of the patient, to form and test hypotheses about the hidden meanings of their speech and behavior, we need a mind that is “well-stocked” with diverse approaches for assessing these channels. This course will offer students an opportunity to deepen their listening process with the goal of sharpening their moment-to-moment conceptualization skills, so that they can better tailor their interventions to the mind of the patient. The following dimensions of listening will be covered in this class.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will identify 2 ways of detecting unconscious conflict in patient narratives.
  2. Students will identify 5 ways of detecting unconscious communication in the sessions with patients.
  3. Students will be able to define projective identification.
  4. Students will be able to define unconscious enactment.

Agenda:
Module #1: Listening for unconscious conflict in the manifest content (40 minutes)
When we listen to patients’ narratives, we can hear the ways that unconscious conflicts between unconscious forces affect their lives. We can see how compromises between these forces create their symptoms and presenting problems. And we can assess syntonicity and dystonicity by examining the relationship between sides of a conflict. All of these listening skills are essential for effective intervention. In this module, we will improve our skills for detecting and assessing unconscious conflict in the patient’s manifest content. 
 
Module #2: Listening for unconscious conflict in the clinical process: Unconscious anxiety and unconscious resistance (40 minutes)
Defense and resistance are invisible psychological events. We infer their presence based on shifts in the patients narratives and behavior. Anxiety, however, thanks to Davanloo’s innovations, is quite visible. In this module we will learn how to track unconscious anxiety signals and changes in the content of patients’ speech to help us hypothesize about the presence and functioning of conflicting unconscious forces, namely unconscious anxiety and defense. We will look at this history of this way of working in psychoanalysis, and underscore Davanloo’s important contribution. 
 
Module #3: Listening for unconscious supervision: Latent content and “dreaming the session” (40 minutes)
The mind has associative properties—when we have an experience, other experiences like it come to mind. When we listen for latent or encoded content, we listen for the ways patients' narratives may indirectly provide clues about how they are experiencing our work and our interventions—what images of relationships come to mind when they are with us? This has been called “unconscious commentary” or “unconscious supervision” because this approach helps the therapist gain feedback about unconscious feelings that might not be made explicit in response to direct inquiry. In this module, we will study the history of this concept, and learn to listen for patient’s unconscious supervision of our interventions and approach. 
 
Module #4: Listening through countertransference experience: Projective identification (40 minutes)
Without meaning to, our patients make an emotional impression on us. Their speech and behavior can unconsciously evoke feeling responses in us that can help us understand their minds, histories, and current transference more deeply. In this module, we will read important papers in the history of countertransference analysis, and we will learn to turn our countertransference experience “inside out”— to use our feelings as potential sources of data about unconscious feelings and memories in the patient. 
 
Module #5: Listening to enactment: The therapist’s unconscious participation (40 minutes)
Sometimes the unconscious mind and history of the patient reveals itself most clearly not in the content or process of their speech, but in the interpersonal process that emerges unconsciously between patient and therapist. We learn about their unconscious transference and the history that it conveys only when we realize we have been accidentally enacting a role in it! The ability to detect and work one’s way out of enactment is an essential clinical skill, as the presence of these unconscious, pathogenic repetitions renders our conventional interventions ineffective. In this module, we will study clinical theory about unconscious enactment, and discuss strategies for detecting and evading unconscious enactments. 
 
Module #6: Clinical thinking: Metacognizing about our listening (40 minutes)
We try to work in a scientific way, focusing on response to intervention to test and modify our hypotheses. By listening from multiple perspectives, we can get an increasingly clearer and more useful understanding of the unconscious dynamics impacting the patient and the therapy. At the same time, listening for unconscious meaning is not an objective science. It is perspectival, subject to many biasing influences, and therefore quite fallible. In this module, we will study the literature on clinical thinking, examining the metacognitive processes through which we increase our understanding of the therapy interaction, and familiarizing ourselves with the biases that can impact this process. 


This presentation is open to:
  • Social Workers
  • Professional Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Mental Health Practitioners
  • Medical Doctors and Other Health Professionals
  • Other professionals interacting with populations engaged in mental health based services
Course Level: intermediate
Level of Clinician: intermediate
  • New practitioners who wish to gain enhanced insight surrounding the topic
  • Experienced practitioners who seek to increase and expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the subject matter
  • Advanced practitioners seeking to review concepts and reinforce practice skills and/or access additional consultation
  • Managers seeking to broaden micro and/or macro perspectives

Participants will receive their certificate electronically upon completion of the webinar and course evaluation form.

Disability Access - If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification. Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling. The grievance policy for trainings provided by the NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here Satisfactory Completion Participants must have paid the tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire workshop, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (If this is a pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% to receive a certificate.) Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available after satisfactory course completion by clicking here.
There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.
  • NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082
  • NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046
  • CE You LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0437
  • CE You! is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland.
    CE You! maintains responsibility for this program.
  • CE You LLC #1573 is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. CE You LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period 3/27/2024 – 3/27/27. Social workers completing this course receive 4 continuing education credits.
  • NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116.

Refunds
Registrants who are unable to attend a CE You! seminar or live workshop may ask for, and will receive, a credit or refund (your choice). Refund requests will be processed within 3 business days. When an attendee knows in advance that they are unable to attend we ask that they inform CE You! ahead of time by emailing [email protected] or by calling or texting (607) 249-4585 this allows us to free up the spot in the training in the event that a training is at or near capacity.