Meaning Making: How to Have a Therapeutic Conversation

March 31, 2018, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM


How patients integrate events into their lives on a deep psychological level is fascinating and psychoanalytically rich. One person’s motor vehicle accident is a small matter, whereas the same intensity motor vehicle accident to another person is a major catastrophe. Understanding the differences in how people interpret their worlds is the fascinating work of using psychoanalytic thinking in a therapeutic setting. This class examines how people have both conscious and unconscious meaning associated with their lives and, as such, react in ways that both make sense to them and, at the same time, confuse them. As these layers of meaning are uncovered, a therapeutic conversation emerges that enriches patients’ understanding of themselves, and thereby creates a calmness that allows them to get in touch with creative juices and a deeper sense of vitality. They experience psychological freedom that is liberating in ways they could not have imagined before they entered deep or intensive psychotherapy.


Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this course, participants should be able to:

  • Investigate conscious and unconscious meaning in a patient’s presenting complaint
  • Recognize how to probe for conscious and unconscious
  • Identify how stimulating thought in patients and helping patients to be curious about themselves, produces therapeutic gain


Shirah Vollmer, MD, is a member of New Center for Psychoanalysis, teaches in NCP’s Training and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Programs, and maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles.

Saturday, March 31, 2018, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – 3 CE Credits

Pricing & CE Credits 

  • $55 Pre-registration, $65 at the door, $30 Student Rate
  • 3 CE Credits




IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of these CME/CE programs have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum number of 3 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.  


The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency. 

REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.