First Reformed

March 22, 2019, 7:30 - 10:00 PM


Director Paul Schrader deftly characterizes Reverend Ernst Toller as a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in Upstate New York.  Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church, founded 250 years earlier, has now become a  mere tourist attraction, only serving a dwindling population of parishioners and is  overshadowed by  Abundant Life Church  with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000 member strong flock.  The story unfolds as a pregnant parishioner asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist.  The clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past and equally despairing future until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence.  This gripping thriller masterfully depicts a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Compare and contrast “faith” in psychoanalysis and the biblical faith of Toller and explain the clinical value of Lacan’s rejection of faith
  • Explain how illusion and self-deception compromise and reinforce psychological integrity

Albert Morell, PhD , is a Lacanian clinical and research psychoanalyst in private and institutional practice in Los Angeles and Palm Desert, CA. He is an international speaker, and  former university lecturer in literature, philosophy, film studies, and comparative religion, as well as a former screenwriter. He is co-editor of The Los Angeles Psychologist, and is founder and delegate of the California Forum of the Internationale des Forums École de Psychoanalyse  du Champ Lacanien (IF-EPFCL),based in Paris, France.

Christopher Meyer, PhD, Analyst of the school and faculty of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis, San Francisco, psychoanalyst and psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA.  He supervises in the Individual Adult Program of The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, CA.  He is a member of GIFRIC (Groupe Interdisciplinaire Freudienne pour Recherches et d’Interventions Clinique et Culturelles), the Freudian School of Québec, and the California Psychoanalytic Circle of the Freudian School of Québec. He has published articles in The American Journal of Semiotics, the journal Savoir, Psychanalyse et analyse culturelle,  in Correspondences:  Courier de l’École Freudienne du Québec, and in (a): the Journal of Culture and the Unconscious. 

Target audience:  Mental health professionals and open to the public interested in psychoanalytic perspectives

Level: Every Level


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME/CE program 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 of 2.5 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.

SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPISTS (LCSW, LMFT, ASW, IMF, LEP, LPCC, PCCI) 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.