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Summer in the City: RELATIONAL THEORY

Summer in the City 2019

Friday, July 12: The Wisdom of Relational Theory

The Wisdom of Psychodynamic Theory: What Does it Offer Us In Our Multicultural World?

Conversations Among Psychodynamic Clinicians

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Since Freud, and across professional and academic disciplines, psychodynamic thinking has been idealized, debated, and at times denigrated as a form of therapeutic practice.   And yet, the meaningfulness and utility of psychodynamic theorizing persists, finding sustained life within ordinary contemporary psychotherapeutic practice.  This series, using discrete sets of psychodynamic theory in combination with personal and clinical associations by small panels of ICSW faculty and doctoral students, will explore how and why these discourses matter in the context of our diverse social world.

July 12: The Wisdom of Relational Theory

Relational Theory was a term coined to capture various threads of post-Freudian theory development (Ferenzi, Fairbairn, Klein, Winnicott and Kohut) that moved away from the concept of drives as the bedrock of psychic life.

Fueled by the post-modern up-ending of scientific “objectivity” and the explosion of infant developmental research - Relational Theory has a contemporary focus on subjectivity, social attachment, multiplicity and mutuality in the clinical process: providing a distinctive prism to reflect upon facets of multiculturalism, race, gender, sexuality, class and intergenerational processes.

3 CEUs per event / 21 CEUs full summer series


1)    To promote consideration of the ways in which psychodynamic theory continues to inform contemporary therapeutic practice.

2)   To facilitate consideration of clinical implications of psychodynamic thinking within diverse practice contexts. 

This session is one of a series of 7 sessions throughout the summer: KLEIN (June 14), WINNICOTT (June 21), RELATIONAL THEORY (July 12), ATTACHMENT THEORY (July 19), SELF PSYCHOLOGY (August 2), NONLINEAR DYNAMICS THEORY (August 9), NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOANALYSIS (August 16)

July 12 Panelists:

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Cate Desjardins, MSW

Cate Desardins is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in the Detroit Metro area, working with adolescents and adults. Cate is also a fourth year doctoral student in the ICSW Distance PhD program.


Lou Pansulla, MSW

Louis’ current clinical interests include the study of contemporary ‘relational’ theories and practice, and the confluence with diverse populations including race/class/ethnicity/sexualities/gender and gender identities, as it relates particularly to ‘Otherness’ in the political/cultural and psychoanalytic surround. Louis maintains a full-time clinical practice in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC where he sees a wide range of straight/LGBTQ individuals and their families. He also runs groups, and conducts both individual and group clinical supervision, and is available for consultation by non-profits, academics and corporations, related to ‘diversity’ as well as ‘vicarious traumatization’.


Steve Vogelstein, MA, LCSW

Steven Vogelstein maintains a private practice in Northfield, Illinois working with adults, adolescents, children and consulting with clinicians, schools, mental health centers, residential treatment centers and pediatric therapy clinics. He is currently a candidate and Chair of the Progression Committee at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. He has taught at Loyola University of Chicago School of Social Work, I.C.S.W., and the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis Psychotherapy Training Program.

Summer in the City Registration Fees:

$50 individual session / $280 full series

Student/Agency Rate: $40 individual session / $210 full series

Earlier Event: June 21
Summer in the City: WINNICOTT