The Institute for Clinical Social Work


Does Psychoanalysis Need Neuroscience?


The Institute for Clinical Social Work is proud to announce the inaugural of The Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience & Psychoanalytic Social Work. In celebration, a symposium will be held titled “Does Psychoanalysis Need Neuroscience?” Registration includes a buffet lunch and four Continuous Education Credits for LSWs/LCSWs.

When & Where

Saturday, October 18, 2014
8:30 am to 2:00 pm
The Institute for Clinical Social Work
Robert Morris College
401 S. State Street
8th Floor Auditorium
Chicago, IL 60605


Registration: $50.00
Late Registration (after October 11th, 2014): $60.00
Student Registration: $35.00

Includes: Buffet Lunch and Four Continuous Education Credits for LSWs/LCSWs.


Joseph Palombo, M.A., is the Founding Dean of the Institute for Clinical Social Work and the Director of its Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work. He is a Faculty Member of the Child & Adolescent Psychoanalytic Therapy Program, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He has contributed numerous articles to the literature and two books Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: A clinical perspective and Learning disorders and disorders of the self in children and adolescents. More recently he co-authored the textbook Guide to psychoanalytic developmental theories, which is being used widely in courses on development.

Jennifer Tolleson, Ph.D., has a private psychotherapy and consultation practice in Chicago. She is the Associate Dean of the Institute for Clinical Social Work, where she also teaches clinical process and psychoanalytic theory. She has published in the areas of trauma and violence, and the interface of politics, global justice and therapeutic practice. Jennifer is a graduate—and adjunct faculty—of the Smith College School for Social Work, and is the Chair of the Committee on Social Justice for the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work.

Andrew Suth, Ph.D., is the Associate Director of the Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work.; a member of ICSW's Faculty and an Associate Professor at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. He is a former Assistant Director of the Clinical Track at the University Of Chicago Department Of Comparative Human Development. Currently, he acts as a clinical supervisor at the Psychological Services Center at Argosy University and a consultant and supervisor at Shared Vision Psychological Services. He maintains a private clinical practice in assessment and psychotherapy in Chicago.


Mark Smaller, Ph.D., is President of the American Psychoanalytic Association. An adult and child psychoanalyst practicing in Chicago and Southwest Michigan, he is Founding Executive Director of Project Realize and immediate past Executive Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York .Dr. Smaller is on the faculty of the Institute for Clinical Social Work, and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.


  • 8:30: Registration
  • 9:00: Welcome by Scott Harms Rose, President/Dean, Institute for Clinical Social Work
  • 9:15: Moderator: Mark Smaller
  • 9:30: Joseph Palombo: The Clinical Relevance of Neuroscience
    In recent years, controversy has arisen as to whether the findings of the neuroscience should be integrated into psychoanalytic theory. In this presentation, I propose that such an integration is critical to our understanding of our patients. I offer a neuropsychodynamic model based on scientific realism and dynamic systems theory as an approach to such an integration and illustrate the application of the model through a clinical vignette.
  • 10:30: Break
  • 11:00: Andrew Suth — Freud’s Neurons: The Intersection of Analytic Thought from Freud to 21st Century Neurobiology
    This paper will explore the role of neuropsychology in a psychoanalytic tradition. It argues that the psychoanalytic model lends itself to non-dualist understanding of mind as both brain and psyche. After laying the theoretical foundation for the fit between psychoanalysis and neuropsychology, the paper will use a classic paper, Mourning and Melancholia, to discuss the possible ways a 21st Century understanding of the brain can help support key theoretical tenets in analytic thought. Finally, the paper will discuss clinical applications of this approach.
  • 11:30: Jennifer Tolleson — Life as we tell it: Sensibilities, social constructions, and sound bites in psychodynamic practice.
    As a profession we’re increasingly poised as a medical sub-specialty, linking ourselves to “expert” and “evidence based” discourses (such as brain science). Jennifer will discuss the importance of a humanist psychoanalytic clinical vision—and ways of talking about the human subject—in the face of grand explanatory systems, focusing on how social work’s traditional emphasis on empathy, relationship, meaning, care, and critique stands as a dissident force in a consumer world.
  • 12:15: Buffet Lunch
  • 1:15: Panel Discussion and Q&A

The Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience & Psychoanalytic Social Work

The Board of Trustees of the Institute for Clinical Social Work established the Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work to honor Joe Palombo for his dedication and devotion, over the 55-year period of his career, to the improvement of the lives of children, adolescents, and adults with neurobehavioral problems and to furthering the education of clinical social workers.

The Mission of the Center is to maximize the effectiveness of mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults through the integration of neuroscience and psychoanalytic social work by offering educational opportunities to professionals and the lay public.

​For more information, contact us at or (312) 935-4232.