The Institute for Clinical Social Work


ICSW Establishes Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work


The Institute for Clinical Social Work’s Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to establish the Joseph Palombo Center for Neuroscience and Psychoanalytic Social Work. Joe Palombo has just been named to serve as the first Director of the Center.

The mission and purpose of the Center is to explore how the new field of neuroscience may inform the long traditions of clinical social work and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Because the broad topic of neuroscience has become prominently discussed across all mental health professions, and because clinical social work as a profession has always included the biological aspects of clients’ lives through using a bio-psycho-social model of understanding, it made sense to establish a Center focused on this topic.

It also made sense to name the Center after our own Joe Palombo, one of ICSW’s founders, our first Dean, and a nationally recognized expert on the application of neuroscience principles, specifically with children who have nonverbal learning disorders. As Director of the Palombo Center, Joe’s first act will be to select an Advisory Committee, comprised of mental health professionals (drawing especially among those who have both a knowledge base and an interest in this application of theory to the biological lives of our clients), who will help to plan both the launching of the Palombo Center and its initial activities.

The entire ICSW community congratulates Joe on this new role within the Institute for Clinical Social Work and also within the community of mental health professionals.

ICSW Alum Helps Launch School for Children with Developmental Differences


ICSW alum Leah Harp Ph.D. is involved in launching an elementary school for children with developmental differences. City Elementary will educate students while simultaneously encouraging regulation, social engagement, and peer interactions. The educational program will be tailored to children with diverse learning styles and developmental needs.

ICSW Student Christina Peters Wins Scholar Award


Christina Peters, ICSW Fourth Year student is a recipient of the Section VIII Couple and Family Therapy and Psychoanalysis Scholar Award. The award is granted to individuals interested and experienced in psychoanalytic work with couples and families. The award provides a stipend to travel to the Division 39 Spring Meeting in New York, April 24th-28th, 2014. This year's conference topic focuses on conflict.

The Award also includes one year of mentorship and recognition of Christina’s work at the conference.

Congratulations Christina on a job very well done!

ICSW Student Marissa Sappho Presents at Annual Renfrew Center Conference


ICSW Fourth-Year Student Marissa Sappho, LCSW, presented a paper at the 23rd Annual Renfrew Center Conference in Philadelphia on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Her presentation with colleague Melainie Rogers, MS, RD, was titled Treatment in Fluidity: A Relational Approach to the Choice and Timing of Therapeutic Interventions for Binge Eating Disorder Patients.

The selection and timing of different therapeutic interventions presents an ongoing challenge for even the most experienced clinicians dealing with the complexity of eating disorders. The cycle of rupture and repair which occurs in the patients internal life is often mirrored in the therapeutic dyad, and unanalyzed enactments contribute to stalls in treatment. Using a relational theory model, this presentation will provide an integrative team approach to working with patients with binge-eating disorder, offering a didactic experience to creatively address the complications which can arise during the course of treating those with BED.

An audio CD of the presentation is available for purchase on the Renfrew center conference website.

Marissa will be teaching a four session mini-course webinar for The Center for the Study of Anorexia & Bulimia. Contact her directly if you are interested in learning more.

ICSW Faculty Featured at Forms and Transformations of Connectedness Conference


Several ICSW faculty member's are participating in International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology's Forms and Transformations of Connectedness, including former Dean Amy Eldridge, who is co-chairing the conference.

  • Faculty member and alum Ida Roldan is giving a paper entitled "Psychoanalytic Training and the Quest for Integrated Selfhood."  Alum Thetis Cromie is moderating the session. (Saturday, 4:15–5:45 pm)
  • Faculty Emeritus Lynn Borenstein is giving a paper entitled "Empathic Alertness:  Forward Movement in Child Psychotherapy," followed by a discussion lead by alum William Gieseke.  (Saturday, 2:15–3:45 pm)
  • Visiting Professor Carla Leone is presenting a pre-conference workshop entitled "One Couple, Three Perspectives:  Comparing Contemporary Psychoanalytic Approaches to Couples Treatment." She is also giving a paper entitled "Forms and Transformations of Connectedness in Couples:  How Self Psychology and 'Emotionally Focused Therapy' Can Inform Each Other." (Thursday, 8:30–11:30 am and Sunday, 8:00–9:30 am)
  • Visiting Professor Jeffrey Stern is presenting a paper entitled "Forms and Transformations of Loneliness." (Sunday, 8:00–9:30 am)
  • Faculty Emeritus R. Dennis Shelby is discussing a paper entitled "The Suffering Stranger and the Suffering Therapist." (Saturday, 2:15–3:45 pm)
  • In addition to co-chairing the conference, former Dean Amy Eldridge is presenting in a pre-conference workshop  entitled "Ethics in the Digital Age".  She is also offering a Conference Summation in the Final Plenary on Sunday. (Thursday, 1–4 pm and Sunday, 12:00–12:45 pm)

Event Details

International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology Presents:
Forms and Transformations of Connectedness
October 17-20, 2013
Palmer House Hilton
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Conference Co-chairs: Amy Eldridge, PhD, MSW & Scott Davis, MD

Heinz Kohut established the primacy of connectedness in the analytic process with his delineation of the self object function and experience. Subsequent to Kohut, therapists now have additional models within or relevant to self psychology to facilitate connectedness. These models include: infant research; attachment research; the implicit and explicit domains of organizing and communicating experience; dynamic systems theory;  neurobiology; intersubjectivity; and motivational systems theory. The 36th IAPSP Annual International Conference will explore the following questions: How do these models provide new opportunities for the therapist to understand and facilitate connectedness? What, if any, are the potential problems of utilizing aspects of these models in enhancing connectedness? In addition, in this digital age of connectivity, therapists have the use of e-mail, text, and Skype to facilitate and enhance connectedness. What opportunities and pitfalls do these n ew forms of communication generate?