Psychodynamics and Psychopharmacology

August 4, 2018, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Historic tensions exist, particularly in American psychiatry, between biomedical models of treatment and psychodynamic models of treatment.  In the context of these tensions, deeply integrative positions have often been difficult to achieve. In this presentation, we will explore the nature of the tensions between these two models, including not only those theoretical and political tensions between the two approaches, but also those tensions as they emerge in the patient’s psychology. We will explore the psychological functions of medications, including ways that medications function as intrapsychic objects, and also defensive functions of medications and pharmacotherapy. We will explore how conflict about the function of medications and treatment (intrapsychically and in the world of mental health) contribute to the problem of treatment resistance, and will explore how deeper integration of meaning and medication can enhance clinical outcomes. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion, to facilitate the application of these understandings to participant’s clinical practices.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain the historic and theoretical tensions between the domains of biomedical and psychoanalytic treatment
  • Explore the meanings of pharmacotherapeutic treatment in the patient's psychic life
  • Recognize and diagnose psychological aspects of pharmacotherapeutic treatment resistance (including treatment resistance to medications and treatment resistance from medications)
  • Identify and address unhealthy relationships with pharmacotherapy

David Mintz, MD, is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine and the Cambridge Hospital/Austen Riggs Center Combined Residency Program. Director of Psychiatric Education Austen Riggs Center Dr, Mintz has published and presented widely on the topic of Pharmacology. He presently is the Leader of the Psychotherapy Caucus at the American Psychiatric Association, is an elected Trustee at the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis and is on the Medical Student Education Committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Proposed timeframe

9:30-10:30am             Thinking about the meaning of medication

10:30-10:45am           Break Time

10:45-11:30am           Working with the meaning of medication

11:30-11:45am           Break Time

11:45am-12:30pm      Q&A, case-based discussion


Saturday, August 4, 2018, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – 3 CE Credits

$55 Pre-registration, $65 at the door, $15 Student Rate



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.