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In Our Multicultural Clinical World, Is Freud Relevant? A Conversation Among Psychodynamic Clinicians

In Our Multicultural Clinical World, Is Freud Relevant?:  A Conversation Among Psychodynamic Clinicians

Synopsis:  In different eras and cultures, and across professional and academic disciplines, Freud has been held as an object of idealization, derision, and ambivalence. Clinically, his thinking continues to be debated and critiqued, while also finding sustained life within ordinary psychotherapeutic practice.  This panel of senior faculty of the Institute for Clinical Social Work will present snapshots of their own thinking on the question of Freud’s clinical relevance today, especially in the context of our diverse world, and our growing sensitivity to race, class, gender, sexualities, and all forms of social location.   There will be ample time for conversation with the audience.


  1. To promote consideration of the ways in which Freud continues to inform, or does not inform, contemporary therapeutic practice.

  2. To facilitate consideration of clinical implications of Freud’s thinking today within a context of diverse subject locations and identities. 

CEU’s:  2.5

Fee:  $50

Panel:  Barbara Berger, PhD, Sherwood Faigen, MA, Allan Scholom, Ph.D., Dennis Shelby, Ph.D. Andrea Alpert Ph.D., LCSW


Barbara Berger, Ph.D. has a full time private practice in Chicago.  She is faculty emeritus and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago.  She is an editor for The Clinical Social Work Journal and The Psychoanalytic Social Work Journal.  Dr. Berger has served as  President of The American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work and a Chair of the Social Work Academy in the National Academies of Practice.  She was elected as a Distinguished Practitioner in 2002, received the award for Distinguished Service from the Institute for Clinical Social Work in 2012, and The Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work in 2013.

Most recent publications:

Contemporary Clinical Practice:  The Holding Environment Under Assault, Ed. Ruderman, Ellen and Tosone,

Chapter 7: A Perfect Storm:  The Influence of Outside Forces on Social Work Education, Springer, NY, 2013, p 61-72.


Sherwood Faigen is ICSW’s Conceptual Foundations Coordinator, a member of the Curriculum Committee, an instructor in the Conceptual Foundations and Clinical Sequences, a clinical consultant, and a member of dissertation committees. He practices psychotherapy for adults and adolescents in Oak Park, Illinois, consults with parents to understand and relate more effectively to their children, and works with couples regarding relationship difficulties. In addition, he provides clinical consultation to psychotherapists. A graduate of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Therapy Program, his primary interests include intensive psychodynamic treatment with adolescents and adults and the interface between psychodynamic theory and the practice of clinical work with a variety of populations and settings.

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Allan Scholom, PhD is on the Faculty of ICSW, Secretary of the Board and on the Faculty of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis and President of the Psychologist-Psychoanalyst Section of the Division of Psychoanalysis of APA. He has served as President of the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology, First Vice Chairperson of the Chicago Community Mental Health Board, and Founder and Chairperson of the Illinois Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers. He has been a consultant to mental health organizations, schools, government and businesses. Dr. Scholom has written and presented widely on the interface between psychoanalysis and politics, primarily regarding mental/health care issues. His teaching includes Case Conferences, and classes on Clinical Process, Understanding Dreams, and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Politics. Dr. Scholom is in the private practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and consulting with professionals and students in Chicago.


R.Dennis Shelby is a supervising analyst at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and is Director of Distance Learning. He is on the faculty of the Si Chuan He Guang Clinical Psychology Institute, Chengdu, China, the HamAva Institute of Tehran, Iran and Professor Emeritus of the Institute for Clincal Social Work. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and was a 2019 winner of the Edith Sabshin Award for excellence in teaching Psychoanalytic concepts to students not enrolled in Psychoanalytic training. Dennis is the principal researcher on a funded grant that is exploring how culture is negotiated in intercultural Psychoanalytic education.

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Andrea Harris Alpert, PhD, LCSW has been on the Faculty of the Institute for Clinical Social Work since 2015 and Chair of the Admissions Committee starting in 2017.  Dr. Alpert received her Master’s degree at Columbia University in New York and her doctorate at the Institute for Clinical Social Work. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled The Vicissitudes of Hope in the Psychoanalytic Clinician. Dr. Alpert has presented on the topics related to the therapist’s subjectivity including "Hope in the Countertransference"; "Staying the Course:The Therapist’s Use of Self with a Primitively Organized Adult Patient;" "Mothers as Clinicians: Influence on Clinical Work."  Dr. Alpert maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Downtown Chicago where she works with adolescents, adults, and couples.