Long Island University Logo

News & Events

The 2004 – 2005 Colloquia Series

The Interpersonalist and Relational Traditions

The 2004 – 2005 Colloquia Series of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at LIU will focus on the contributions made to psychoanalysis by the interpersonal and relational schools. Most of the presenters at this year’s colloquia are affiliated with the William Alanson White Institute where interpersonal psychology is the predominant paradigm.

Interpersonal and relational psychology emerged in the United States as an alternative to structural theory and the ego psychology of the 1960s and 1970s. The early proponents of interpersonal theory included Harry Stack Sullivan, Clara Thompson, Freida Fromm-Reichman and Karen Horney, who sought to emphasize cultural, environmental and interpersonal factors over what they argued was an overemphasis by ego psychologists on the impact of drives on intrapsychic development. Subsequently, more relational theorists, such as Stephen A. Mitchell and Jay R. Greenberg, argued that the impact of early interpersonal experience between the mother and infant was more important than drive factors in affecting intrapsychic development. These authors, citing the work of John Bowlby, W. R.D. Fairbairn, and D.W. Winnicott, proposed an alternative theory of development that emphasized the relational matrix from which later personality development emerged.

Contentious debates between different theoretical camps have developed over the differences between assumptions about theories of development and over different approaches to analytic technique. These debates continue to this day and are centered on the nature of early attachment phenomena and the nature of the therapeutic relationship. Issues such as how best to conceptualize and use transference and counter-transference; the analyst’s use of self-disclosure; the importance of establishing a so-called “authentic" relationship; and the relative importance of the therapeutic relationship versus the use of interpretation as a mutative factor in psychotherapy are but some of the important controversies that continue to be discussed.

These issues raise questions that are not easy to answer. Too often they have been oversimplified and caricaturized. The colloquia series of 2004 – 2005 will bring these and other issues to the table for what we anticpipate will be a series of lively and enriching discussions.
All the presentations, except for the last one, are open to the academic communities of Brooklyn and New York City.

September 15, 2004
  Sandra Buechler, Ph.D.
Psychoanalytic Values: Emotions that
Guide Psychoanalytic Treatment
October 27,2004
  Students on Internship
TheHero's Return
November 17,2004
  Daphne de Marneffe, Ph.D.
December 8, 2004
  Darlene Bregman Ehrenberg,Ph.D.
Workingat the IntimateEdge
February 9,2004
  Donne! Stem, Ph.D.
Unformulated Experience: An
Interpersonal/Relational Way of
Thinking About the Unconscious
March 23, 2004
  Mark J. Blechner,Ph.D.
New Approaches to Dreams in
Clinical Work
April 13, 2004
  Jay S. Kwawer, Ph.D.
Student Case Presentation to be
discussed by Dr. Kwawer




Long Island University

Brooklyn Campus

Psychology Department