The Limits of Conceptualization and Interpretation: Raw Observation’s Place in Analytic Treatment

February 18, 2021, 7:30 - 9:30 PM

This meeting will take place online via Zoom. Once you register, you will receive an email with the link and more information.

*** Registration will close at 4:00 PM the day of the event. No registrations are possible after this time. 

Formulating and articulating interpretations, in the service of promoting insight, is so central to the practice of psychoanalysis that it can eclipse an appreciation of a more process-oriented approach to treatment. Clinical material is presented from the supervision of a candidate from an out-of-town institute whose initial clinical interventions had chiefly been interpretative in nature in line with his original supervisor’s orientation and direction. The case reached an impasse at the end of the first year of analysis and his supervisor opined that the case lacked “psychoanalytic process,” meaning he would receive no credit toward graduation. The candidate sought outside consultation, resulting in a de-emphasis of the task of conceptualizing and interpreting the case and a shift toward noting and valuing processes taking place both in the room and within himself. This shift ended up placing him in close personal contact with the patient’s own experience, in line with Eshel’s description of “At-one-ment.” The authors argue it is high time psychoanalytic training de-emphasize the primacy of interpretation in favor of promoting an appreciation of a more process-oriented approach to treatment.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • Compare and contrast the interpretative approach to the observational approach to psychoanalytic treatment
  • Discuss and Defend a shift away from a reliance on psychoanalytic process as a metric by which to assess candidate progression
  • Discuss nihilism as a function of refused desire


Dr. Richard Tuch, MD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the NCP and the PCC and he is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  He is former Dean of Training at NCP and presently serves as the head of the Scholarship Section of the Department of Psychoanalytic Education (APsaA). He presently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Assn. He has written or co-written 4 books and has published papers in all four of the leading psychoanalytic journals. Dr Tuch is the recipient of the Karl A. Menninger Award for Psychoanalytic Writing, the Edith Sabshin Award for Teaching, and the Leo Rangell Prize for writing.

Matt Shatzman, MA, is an Advanced Candidate at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. He is in private practice in St. Louis and works with adolescents, couples, and adults. Prior speaking engagements and presentations include explorations of and creative uses of hatred by rap artist Eminem and sadomasochism and the role of desire in the film Whiplash. Current research interests include the emergence, evolution, and intersections of analytic identity and analytic processes. 

NOTE: The paper to be presented was co-written by Matt Shatzman, a candidate from an out-of-town psychoanalytic institute, who will attend the presentation and provide additional comments about the situation under consideration. 
We invite you to read the paper.

Target audience: Mental health professionals, intermediate level and above

2 CE/CME Credits

$20 with 2 CE Credits; Free attendance without CE Credits


"How do I get my CE/CME Credit?"

  1. Pre-Register below
    • If you are registering for the first time you will receive a welcome email. You must follow the directions in this email to complete your registration in order to access your certificates. 
  2. You will receive an email with an evaluation 2 days after the event
  3. Complete the evaluation
  4. Wait 2 business days
  5. Download your Certificate on the NCP website



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 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 and 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.


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