The Suffering Stranger: Attitudes for Everyday Clinical Understanding and Responding

January 13, 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Presented by Donna M. Orange, PhD

Attitudes toward clinical work, in the moment of facing the terrified and traumatized patient, often group themselves around two traditions.  We may be preoccupied with a specific theory or our behavior in our role as a professional and lose the identification with the patient and the authenticity of the therapeutic moment and thus regard the patient with an attitude of mistrust or pathologizing. Or we may, recognizing in the other person another sufferer both like and unlike ourselves, respond by wondering what the other needs in this moment to feel included in humanity, held, and healed.  These two attitudes describe a large shift in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in recent years that we can describe in terms of the hermeneutics (theory of interpretation) of suspicion and hermeneutics of trust.  In this course we turn a philosophical (and clinical) eye toward four major thinkers in psychoanalysis – Sándor Ferenczi, D. W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, and Bernard Brandchaft –investigating the hermeneutic approach of each, engaging these innovative thinkers precisely as interpreters, and as those who have seen the face and heard the voice of the other in the ethical sense.    

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain what is meant by the suffering stranger
  • Define empathic clinical approach and the core of therapeutic work 

Donna M. Orange, PhD, is an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor and Consultant / Supervisor, New York University Post-Doctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and faculty and training and supervising analyst, Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York. She is the author of Thinking for Clinicians: Philosophical Resources for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Humanistic Psychotherapies, Routledge, 2010; The Suffering Stranger: Hermeneutics for Everyday Clinical Practice, Routledge, 2011, the winner of The Gradiva Award for best book in psychoanalysis in 2012; Nourishing the Inner Life of Clinicians and Humanitarians: The Ethical Turn in Psychoanalysis, Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group); and her most recent book, Climate Crisis, Psychoanalysis, and Radical Ethics, 2016. Honors and Awards: Nomination for ABPP annual book prize for 2016; Fulbright-Freud Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis.  March 1 - June 30, 2018.  Freud Museum, Vienna, Austria; Honorary Membership in The American Psychoanalytic Association conferred on January 14, 2015; PEP Author Prize for 2012, awarded by Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (PEP). 

Pricing & CE Credits 

  • $45 with 2 CE Credits
  • $20 Clinical Associates, Interns, residents, and students 


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 2 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.