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“Risk and the Body Politic: Pandemic Encounters with the Social Unconscious” with Jeanette Farrell, MD (SPSI Scientific Session)

March 21, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

"The Triumph of Death" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (c. 1562)

The COVID pandemic has infused the clinical encounter with the risk of transmission. Negotiating this risk with my patients has revealed how we use group identities to manage our sense of vulnerability.  Each group’s risk strategies are interwoven with other values that are core constructs of identity.  How do we navigate these interrelated, overdetermined constructs in the treatment room?

Jeanette Farrell MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in Seattle.  She is on the clinical faculty of the University of Washington Psychiatry Department, where she supervises and teaches psychoanalytic psychotherapy. She also teaches at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute where she is an associate member.   In addition to her training in psychiatry, she has a master’s degree in anthropology.

“All the Air We Breathe: Working with Risk and Connection”
Discussant: Katherine Weissbourd, PhD

As analysts we often address the boundary of safety, looking at where risk is acceptable and necessary, and where it is self-destructive or damaging to others. How do pandemic conditions alter our vulnerability?

Katherine Weissbourd, PhD is a psychologist in private practice in Seattle. She is a supervising and training analyst at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and a consulting analyst at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

Learning Objectives

After attending this presentation, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand how the evaluation of risk extends beyond rational considerations and plays a role in the formation or strengthening of group identity.
  2. Understand disavowal as a social defense.
  3. Understand how to use opinion to locate one’s self and one’s social investments in a therapeutic encounter.
1.5 hours Category II CME. This presentation meets the requirements of WAC 246-924-240 (Definition of Category of Creditable CPE). “This program has been approved for 1.5 CEUs by the NASW Washington State Chapter.” Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible. Provider number is #1975-144.

If you have a psychoanalytic idea that you would like to present, contact Stan Case or Ron Levin. Presenting offers the benefit of having your idea discussed and further developed.

SPSI Scientific Sessions are free to attendees.

Coming Attractions


March 21, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


(206) 328-5315
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