Calendar of Events

In Context - Atlanta, GA

1615 Clifton Road Northeast Emory Conference Center Hotel
AtlantaDeKalb, Georgia 30329
March 23, 2013 at (All day)

Erik Erikson once famously said: “I have nothing to offer except a way of looking at things.”

But the serious attention Erikson gave to context turned out to provide an extremely powerful set of lenses for psychodynamic clinical work. One way to describe the mission of the Austen Riggs Center is that it focuses on the treatment and study of the individual in context – not only the context of the patient’s therapeutic relationships, but also the contexts of life cycle, family, community, history and culture.

InContext is a series of workshops and lectures organized by the Erikson Institute - the educational, research and application arm of the Center – to bring the clinical learning from this small, specialized treatment program into dialogue with mental health professionals across the country. At Riggs, seriously and chronically disturbed patients – “treatment-resistant” patients from one angle – engage in intensive psychodynamic therapy in a completely open and voluntary therapeutic community setting. The focus is on meaning discovered in a context of relationships and of taking seriously the patient’s authority.

We hope that this set of conversations provides mental health professionals with fresh perspectives and a deeper understanding of clinical work with very troubled patients, toward our shared goal of excellence in mental health care and treatment. 

Workshop 1 - Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology: Applying Practical Psychodynamics to Improve Pharmacologic Outcomes

David Mintz, M.D.

The problems our patients face are many and varied. Disturbances in brain chemistry, broken lives, distorted expectations and pathological adaptations often combine to produce psychiatric difficulties that are not solved simply with medications and that call for attention to more than one level of the bio-psycho-social spectrum. However, in recent decades, mainstream psychiatric dialogue has narrowed to a largely biomedical perspective, and the evidence bases connecting psychodynamic and psychosocial factors with medication response have tended to be sequestered outside of mainstream psychiatric journals. The neglect of these evidence bases and the adoption of a largely non-integrative model is likely a significant source of the current epidemic in treatment resistance. This workshop presents a model of integrated treatment that can address psychosocial resistances to healthy use of medications, promoting improved outcomes in treatment resistant populations. The workshop will be divided into 3 segments; in the first segment, oft-ignored evidence bases that connect meaning and medications will be described. Then, common psychodynamics of treatment resistance, particularly in relation to medications, will be explored. Finally, technical principles for integrating psychodynamics with prescribing (or not prescribing) will be elucidated. 

Workshop 2 - Psychosis as Communication: The Semiotics of Showing

John P. Muller, Ph.D., Francoise Davoine, Ph.D. and Jean-Max Gaudilliere, Ph.D.

In this session, Dr. Muller will develop a semiotic perspective on psychosis through the operation of different types of signs. By better understanding how signs produce effects in our work with patients, we are given a wider array of possible responses in difficult moments. We will see how this perspective offers an introduction to the work of Francoise Davoine and Jean-Max Gaudilliere, leading figures in the movement linking psychosis and the trauma of war. In their work, they highlight how the patient who can’t speak must show what the therapist must learn to see for treatment to proceed. 


Early registration pricing by March 15, 2013
Full day: $100.00 Includes both workshops, (6 credits) and lunch
Half day AM: $60.00 Includes morning workshop (3 credits) Add lunch for an additional $15.00
Half day PM: $60.00 Includes afternoon workshop (3 credits) Add lunch for an additional $15.00

After March 15, 2013
Full day: $125.00 Includes both workshops, (6 credits) and lunch
Half day AM: $75.00 Includes morning workshop (3 credits) Add lunch for an additional $15.00
Half day PM: $75.00 Includes afternoon workshop (3 credits) Add lunch for an additional $15.00 

Please change the cost in the amount box below to reflect the pricing you choose.

Workshop 1: 9:00am - 12:15pm Workshop 2: 1:30pm - 4:45pm
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Total Cost: $100.00