Presenters: Jodi Messler Davies, Ph.D.; Hazel Ipp, Ph.D.; Peter Kauffmann, Ph.D. and Malcolm Owen Slavin, Ph.D.

Sarah Mendelshon, LCSW (Moderator)

4.5 Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers*

Tickets:  $90 for general; $80 for IPSS and New School members; $60 for candidates

Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:30am – 2:00pm (4.5 CE credits)

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
Arnold Hall

55 West 13th Street, Room I 202

New York City, NY

This conference will explore different contemporary perspectives on empathy.

        Slavin and Ipp believe that, from the outset, what a therapist’s empathy means to the patient depends upon what it means to the therapist. Yet patient and therapist are separate subjects who inevitably view the world and each other through shared as well as naturally differing, sometimes clashing, subjectivities. By intuitively probing the inner process through which the therapist strives to empathize, patients seek to discover how the therapist deals with the issues on which they differ as well as the universal human issues they both share. 

                  Davies’ notion of empathy emphasizes the multiplicity of self-other organizations as they volley back and forth between patient and analyst as concordant and complementary identifications. The analyst’s empathic attunement involves her engagement with disowned aspects of the patient’s experience as well as her recognition of what is in the foreground of that experience which has implications for our conceptions of analytic love.

Grounding his approach in Kohut’s  and Winnicott’s ideas about empathy, Kaufmann shows how carefully validating what is in the foreground of the patient’s experience and affirming its developmental and adaptive aspects facilitates the reworking of formative trauma and thus deepens the empathic bond. Kaufmann’s case presentation will demonstrate his own theoretical approach and apply the ideas that Ipp, Slavin and Davies delineate.

Moderated break out groups will facilitate exploration of these evolving conceptions of empathy. 


*Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity SW CPE 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 #0175