Psychoanalysis’ Dark Edge: How Theory Violates Patients and Constrains Clinicians

June 1, 2019, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Dr. Karbelnig begins this seminar by presenting some of the primary contradictions in psychoanalytic theories of mind. Some early models, such as those proposed by Freud and Klein, placed great emphasis on biological drives; more contemporary theories, such as inter-subjectivity and relational psychoanalysis, emphasize interpersonal contexts. If applied too literally, these disparate viewpoints may harm patients. Excessive adherence to any one model risks violating patients who may feel forced to adhere to clinicians’ viewpoints instead of their own. In like manner, rigidity in theory constrains psychoanalysts. It prevents clinicians from being maximally open to their patients. Dr. Karbelnig advocates for a patient-centered psychoanalytic approach which utilizes the psychoanalytic opus for “theoretical metaphors,” to use Robert Wallerstein’s phrase, rather than absolute truths. The course includes multiple case examples and allows time for participants’ questions and commentary.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Compare foundational contradictions between major psychoanalytic models of mind
  • Describe how excessive adherence to any one model risks violating patients and also constrains clinicians
  • Explain the use of psychoanalytic theories to identify metaphors relevant to specific patients, thereby providing more effective and patient-centered transformational experiences for them

Alan Karbelnig, PhD, ABPP, a training and supervising psychoanalyst and senior faculty at NCP, as well as a Board Certified forensic psychologist, practices psychoanalytic psychotherapy, couples therapy, and psychological assessment in Pasadena, California.

Saturday, June 1, 2019, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM • 3 CE Credits

$55 Pre-registration, $65 at the door, $30 Student Rate

Target Audience: This conference will be informative for mental health clinicians from all disciplines at every level of development and students as well.



IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of ths 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 3 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.