Clinical Education: Learning from our Mistakes

Clinical Study and Supervision Group (16 CE’s) Learning from our Mistakes

Learning from Our Mistakes: Beyond Dogma in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

When: Every other Thursday, 10 to 12 pm, 8 sessions starting September 8 th 2016
When: Every other Thursday, 1 to 3 pm, 8 sessions starting September 8th 2016
Where: Therapy Center of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Building
1315 Walnut Street, Suite 1004, Philadelphia, PA 19017
Cost: $320 for series of 8 sessions
CE’s Available: Total of 16
If Interested: Please contact Karen at

For both seasoned clinicians and beginners alike, getting unknowingly sucked into enactments with clients is par for the course of long-term work traversing the world of the unconscious. Regardless of our clinical orientation, we can find ourselves in near and/or actualized re-enactments with our clients paralleling key dynamics in their lives.

Full Living | Psychotherapy Practice | Philadelphia | Clinical Education

Patrick Casement, a leading figure in the Contemporary Analytic, Object Relations and Relational Psychoanalysis worlds, offers in this foundational book a guide for avoiding unnecessary mistakes from the pull on our unconscious, and a path through our clinical experience into using that pull to access and help clients transform core life themes.

Rather than use abstract clinical theory and analytic dogma to show us the path, he walks us through beginning sessions, how it feels to sit with clients, and helps us to use our own clinical experience to understand complex dynamics that happen in unconscious interchanges with our clients. Casement outlines the development of an “Internal Supervisor”, not to replace clinical supervision, but to help us monitor our internal process so we may both protect our clients and offer them their greatest access to self transformation.

While analytic theory is still often hetero-privileging and encumbered by gendered conceptualizations, our group will take a decidedly feminist stance, exploring analytic theory with gender fluidity. Using analytic precedent, we will explore theory through lenses of gender function versus form, and unpack concepts symbolically versus literally.

Learning from our Mistakes will be co-sponsored by the Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, and Therapy Center of Philadelphia: Affordable Therapy for Women and Trans Communities.

Two groups will run concurrently every other Wednesdays, one in the morning and the second in the afternoons. Groups run from September 8 th through December 15 th , for two hours each, from 10 to 12 pm and 1 to 3 pm. Participants will be placed in groups based on clinical experience, with one of the groups primarily consisting of those working towards their clinical licensure. This 8-week seminar is part of an ongoing series of study/supervision group focusing on Introductory Concepts in Psychoanalysis, Object Relations and Relational Psychotherapy Theory.

Clinical supervision is a vital component of a rich, rewarding practice. Our work demands much from us: emotional and psychic drain that is difficult to explain, even to ourselves. Clinical isolation interferes with our ability to bring a clear, dynamic mind to our work.

This supervision group does not involve formal case presentations. Instead, as we digest elements of clinical theory, participants discuss cases or aspects of cases that come to mind. Readings will encourage a shared language for case discussion and create focal points for learning.

This study/supervision group is designed for both seasoned clinicians who are new to analytic thinking and concepts and newer clinicians who are interested in setting themselves on a path towards long-term relationally focused work.


  1. Identify components compromising Casement’s concept of Internal Supervisor
  2. Define concept of Impingement
  3. Link examples of therapist/client enactments to experiences from clients’ early childhood for therapist’s caseload
  4. Distinguish between activities designed to “be helpful” and those to help in gaining understanding

Karen L. Smith MSS, LCSW received her Master degree from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Advanced Clinical Training at the International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI), formally the International Institute for Object Relations Therapy (IIORT). For 10 years she studied Object Relations theories, theorists and concepts with the same group of clinicians every other week in a study/supervision group through the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center, a chapter of IPI. She maintains a private practice and supervision consultation practice in Glenside Pennsylvania, and runs Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice.

Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, is a group psychotherapy practice which provides clinical services in multiple locations throughout the greater Philadelphia area. We specialize in making thoughtful matches of clients and clinicians based on clients’ stated needs, clinicians’ specialties and education, at the styles and personalities of each. Our free initial consult is done by our Director, to bring our strongest clinician assessment to bear on the match.

Therapy Center of Philadelphia (TCP) has provided affordable therapy to Philadelphia since 1972. Our mission is to nurture individual well-being and personal growth by providing high-quality, affordable psychotherapy services to women and transgender communities in a feminist environment. This includes individual, group, and couples therapy, music therapy for trans and gender non-conforming communities, an EMDR/trauma program, trans specific services, a Maybe Baby LGBT prospective parents group, psychological testing, trauma-informed yoga, and low-cost medication management referrals. TCP strives to be completely trans-affirming and understands that how we experience our lives is influenced and shaped by our multiple identities (race, class, sexual orientation, etc.). All of our services are offered on a sliding fee scale and are not time limited.

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Clinical Education: Learning from our Mistakes February 28, 2017

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