Friday Night Guest Lecture - On Engagement

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St
StockbridgeMassachusetts 01262
September 16, 2016 at 6:30 PM to at 8:00 PM

Friday Night Guest Lecture

The Boston Change Process Study Group (BCPSG) consists of developmentalists and practicing psychoanalysts who came together in 1994 to consider how knowledge from studies of early development might help understand and clarify how change occurs in psychodynamic therapies. The group has authored many papers, and in 2010 published the book, Change in Psychotherapy: A Unifying Paradigm

Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, MD, pediatrician and child psychiatrist, is the founder and the director of the Brazelton Centre of Switzerland. She is a consultant-supervisor at the University Hospital of Geneva. She trained at the Geneva University, then at Brown University with Prof. Ch. Zeanah, S. Mc Donough, T.Anders, A.Samerhof, and at Harvard with Prof. T.Berry Brazelton, H. Als, E.Z.Tronick.  Her clinical work and teaching concerns the infant’s early development and behavior, the psychological metamorphosis of new parents and the very beginning of the parent-infant attachment and relationships around birth. She has received a Prize for Scientific Research for Prevention in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Switzerland. Dr Bruschweiler-Stern worked closely with Daniel Stern. She is co-author with him of the book, The Birth of a Mother - How the motherhood experience changes you forever (Basic Books 1998; Od.Jacob 1998), and has also authored numerous papers in French and English.  Karlen Lyons-Ruth, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, and a supervising psychologist at the Cambridge Hospital. Her research publications have focused on the contribution of early risk factors, including maternal depression and infant attachment disorganization, to later psychopathology.  Her clinical publications have proposed reorientations in psychodynamic developmental theory based on the emerging body of developmental research findings.  She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, an Affiliate Scholar of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, and serves on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis.  She maintains a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alexander C. Morgan, MD, is a practicing adult analyst in Boston, a faculty member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis, as well as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Cambridge Hospital Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. His interests have included work across the life span, and the work of applying early developmental findings to the process of adult therapy and psychoanalysis, which has been central to his mode of thinking. Jeremy P. Nahum, MD, practices psychoanalysis and individual and couples psychotherapy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is on the faculties of the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis, and the Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Hospital, where he serves as a psychiatric consultant to the Family Pathways Project. He created the Infant Research Workshop of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society/Institute out of which the Boston Change Process Study Group emerged. Bruce Reis, PhD, FIPA, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and an Associate Member at IPTAR.  In addition to supervising and practicing full time in Manhattan, Dr. Reis serves on the editorial boards of several psychoanalytic journals, including the International Journal of Psychoanalysis the Psychoanalytic Quarterly and Psychoanalytic Dialogues. He has written extensively about the intersection of phenomenological philosophy with psychoanalytic clinical theory; comparative theories of intersubjectivity; masculinities; trauma and witnessing; and infant research and its application to contemporary analytic technique.  He is the co-editor (with Robert Grossmark) of the book, Heterosexual Masculinities.

Boston Process Change Study GroupDESCRIPTION OF EVENT: Engagement is intricately woven into the fabric of development and the fabric of psychotherapy.  However, there has been little effort to specifically describe the process of engagement itself, its essence, and to closely consider its effects.  We propose that engagement with others occurs under highly specific circumstances.   We identify three conditions: a) affective investment; b) prioritization and c) continuity that, when met, initiate a process which catalyzes the developmental organization of mental, affective and social capacities.  Through this process, the creation of a “charged other” emerges, a person who holds increased value, and with whom a special relationship is possible. Development then proceeds through a decentering of the individual.  ‘Looping’ or moving through the awareness of another allows the developing child, as well as the patient in psychotherapy, to more fully bring themselves into the world and the world into themselves. It is in this way, through others, that one develops one's own perspective on the world, on others and on the self; and it is in this way that one’s exchanges with the world and others deepens, and one’s self is enriched and one’s capacities expanded.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: At the conclusion of the event the participants will be able to:
1. Participants will be able to critique how engagement is part of development and how engagement happens in relationships, including in therapeutic ones.
2. Participants will be able to discuss how a "charged other" emerges from this process of engagement.
3. Participants will be able to outline the ways a relationship with a positively "charged other” can catalyze new relational capacities.

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with no regular registration fee.


Attention NY, NJ and ME Social Workers: the Austen Riggs Center is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. As of July 2015, ACE is accepted in 47 jurisdictions. This does not include the states of New York, New Jersey and Maine.

No registration required. For more information contact Samantha Blache at [413] 931.5230.

PDF icon FNGL16-17_FINAL.pdf



1.5 hours
Intended Audience: