The Institute for Clinical Social Work

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Summer in the City: Empathy

In this presentation we will explore the historical context of empathy both as a means of information gathering and as a crucial aspect of clinical social work practice. We will attempt to understand why, at times, we might be fearful or ambivalent, often on an unconscious level, about empathic connection. These fears may be about compassion fatigue or getting too close to our clients. How might we keep our clients at a distance without even being aware of it? And on the other hand, is there such a thing as too much of an empathic connection?

We also will look at the complexities and nuances of how it is that we come to understand the internal life of a person.  We will draw on our clinical experiences using case examples and encourage participants to bring in for discussion and consultation their own case examples of their struggles and challenges in pursuit of empathic connectedness in various clinical encounters.

Outside of the clinical realm, we will also look at the interplay between empathy, power, and politics.


Constance Goldberg is a clinical social worker who received her Master of Science degree from Columbia University. She was a member of the Founding Board of ICSW and has continued as a member of the faculty. She is on the board and faculty of the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy and is in private practice. Her teaching, writing, consultation and clinical work have been focused on Self Psychology..

Cheryl Neuman Meltzer, LCSW is the Director of the Master’s Program at The Institute for Clinical Social Work.  She has been practicing for 22 years. She graduated with a Masters in Social Work from Loyola University School of Social Work in 1995. Cheryl worked in community mental health and family service settings for 20 years and now has a private practice where she sees adolescents and adults.  She loves being a mentor to new professionals in the field and also is passionate about learning and professional development. She received a certificate in Advanced Psychodynamic Practice from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and she has participated in the two year Womencare Counseling Trauma consultation program.  In addition, she was a fellow at The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. Finally, Cheryl is a member of the American Association for Psychoanalytic Social Workers (AAPCSW) and is on the Board of The Illinois Society for Clinical Social Work (ISCSW) where she helps plan conferences and educational events.

When & Where

Friday, July 7, 2017
9:00 – 12:00 pm

At ICSW: Downtown Chicago
401 S. State St.
Suite 822
Chicago, IL 60605

Registration & CEUs

Registration: $45.00

Three Continuing Education Credits Available for LSW/LCSWs, LPC/LCPCs, et al.


For questions or more information contact LaTrina Gamer or (312) 935-4245.

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