Beyond Free Association

December 14, 2019, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

“Do you talk to your patients or do you just listen” is a common refrain heard from many of those who come for psychotherapy. In this seminar we will consider a more "active" approach to psychotherapy that is guided by psychoanalytic theory and an appreciation of the unconscious but one that is also informed by other psychotherapies, psychotherapy research and neuroscience research.

The seminar will focus upon identification of in-the-moment, simple feelings combined with the assumption that all feelings serve potentially useful and adaptive purposes, as well as those that are maladaptive. A second focus will be that of conceptualizing all thoughts and perceptions as "self-talk" that serve to manage the self and interactions with others. By closely tracking emotions, self-talk and the ongoing process of hope and risk management, the therapist can be actively engaged and keep the psychotherapy process alive.

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

  • Distinguish "simple feelings" from more complex feelings (such as anger, fear, joy, sadness)
  • Assess both the adaptive components, as well as the maladaptive components, of different emotional states (such as anger, fear, joy, sadness)
  • Describe the use of “free association,” as well as all other thoughts and perceptions as self-talk, self-management, and hope/risk management

Mark Thompson, MD, has lectured widely and written about attachment, couples, mentalization, borderline personality disorder, and the development of affect regulation and other topics. He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, the former Director of Education at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute and former Co-Dean of the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Thompson has received the Edith Sabshin Teaching Award of The American Psychoanalytic Association (2004) and the Outstanding Teaching Award at the UCLA-NPI. He is the author, with Candace Cotlove, of The Therapeutic Process: A Clinical Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. He is the co-author with Dr. Richard Tuch of The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Mentalizing Tales of Dating and Marriage.

$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.