The Sándor Ferenczi Center



Steps toward an embodied psychoanalysis and psychotherapy

Saturday, April 27, 2024

1:00 PM  –  6:00 PM Eastern
IN-PERSON in New York

University Center (63 Fifth Ave), Lower Level, Room 104
New York, NY 10003
Tickets available HERE

CE Credits (5 hours) available for
New York Psychologists, Social Workers, and MHCs
APA CE credits available for Psychologists

For students and practitioners of all levels 

Embodiment: The Way Toward a More Ethical Therapeutic Practice

Doris Brothers, Ph.D. & Jon Sletvold, Psy.D.

Ethics, as many philosophers have taught us, requires the genuine recognition of the other as other. In this presentation, Brothers and Sletvold attempt to demonstrate that a body-based approach is more likely to lead to genuine recognition of the other in therapeutic encounters than one that is concept-based. They contends that when patients are mainly viewed through the lens of theoretical concepts and diagnostic categories, full recognition of their otherness is impeded. The authors refer to Merleau-Ponty as well as contemporary translation theorists who views translation in literary practice as “encounters with foreignness.” By means of clinical illustrations, they attempt to show how understanding therapeutic sessions as encounters between “foreign bodies” allows for the emergence of what Anya Daly calls “primary empathy,” the touchstone for ethical action.

Developing a Methodology for Deciphering Nonverbal Dynamics in Psychotherapy

Zeynep Catay, Ph.D., Miriam Steele, Ph.D., & Netta Keesom, M.A.

Our bodies are vital channels into the lived experience of our patients. The nuances of our nonverbal expressions allow us to choreograph a bodily dialogue within the sessions where affective and relational experience can be transformed. Nevertheless, there exists a dearth of established methodology bridging nonverbal dynamics in the consulting room to the therapy process. This presentation will delineate a methodology that emerged from year-long lab meetings that involved a collaboration between Center for Attachment Research and Istanbul Bilgi University Child Psychotherapy Process Research Lab. Through the minute-by-minute viewing of child psychotherapy videotapes, we were able to develop a language to articulate specific movement dynamics and elucidate their connections with the affective, relational and symbolic dynamics in child psychotherapy. This process will be demonstrated through videotape viewing and discussion.

Book Launch and Celebration

A New Vision of Psychoanalytic Theory, Practice and Supervision: TALKING BODIES
Doris Brothers and Jon Sletvold


Introduction by Adrienne Harris

Talk by Doris Brothers and Jon Sletvold followed by Q & A

Talk by Zeynep Catay and Netta Keesom followed by Q & A

Book Launch and Celebration

Learning Objectives
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the ways in which embodiment leads to more a more ethical therapeutic practice.
  2. Explain how seeing the analytic encounter as encounters between foreign bodies changes the therapeutic relationship.
  3. Identify a methodology bridging nonverbal dynamics in the consulting room to the therapy process.
  4. Describe the language needed to articulate specific movement dynamics and elucidate their connections with the affective, relational and symbolic dynamics in child psychotherapy.

Jon Sletvold, Psy.D. is founding board director of the Norwegian Character Analytic Institute. He teaches embodied perspectives on psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Europa, USA and China. He has written articles and book chapters on embodiment in psychoanalytic theory, practice and training. He is the author of The Embodied Analyst: From Freud and Reich to Relationality, Relational Perspectives Book Series, 2014, winner of the Gradiva Award, 2015. His last book written with Doris Brothers is entitled, A New Vision of Psychoanalytic Theory, Practice and Supervision: Talking Bodies (Routledge). He co-leads online supervision/study groups in Europe, North America and China with Doris Brothers.

Doris Brothers, Ph.D. is co-founder and faculty member of the Training and Research in Intersubjective Self Psychology Foundation. She served as a coeditor of Psychoanalysis, Self and Context with Roger Frie from 2015 to 2019. She is an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Inquiry. She has written four books including Toward a Psychology of Uncertainty: Trauma-Centered Psychoanalysis (Analytic Press, 2008). Her last book written with Jon Sletvold is entitled, A New Vision of Psychoanalytic Theory, Practice and Supervision: Talking Bodies (Routledge). She practices on the upper west side of Manhattan, New York, USA, and in Oslo, Norway.

Zeynep Catay, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist and Dance/Movement Therapist in private practice in New York City. She was a faculty member at thePsychology Department of Istanbul Bilgi University between the years of 2005and 2019. She is currently a part-time instructor and clinical supervisor at theClinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the New School for Social Research. In addition, she is a visiting scholar at the Center for Attachment Research where she is currently directing a study on therapist’s ability to coordinate her nonverbal communication in child psychotherapy. Her current research and writing interests focus on nonverbal bodily dynamics and embodiment in psychotherapy. She is also a candidate at the NYU post-doctoral program for psychoanalysis.

Netta Keesom, M.A. is a clinical psychology doctoral student at the New School for Social Research. She is currently an extern with the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute studying regulation-focused child psychotherapy and practicing with adolescents at a New York City-based public high school. She is a member of the Center for Attachment Research at the New School, where she researches reflective functioning in psychotherapy and has been involved in projects exploring nonverbal dynamics in the context of psychotherapy process research.

Adrienne Harris, Ph.D. is Faculty and Supervisor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is on the faculty and is a supervisor at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She is an Editor at Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Studies In Gender and Sexuality. In 2009, she, Lewis Aron, and Jeremy Safran established the Sándor Ferenczi Center at the New School University. She, Eyal Rozmarin and Steven Kuchuck co-edit the Book Series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis. She is an editor of the IPA ejournal

Miriam Steele, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology, at the New School for Social Research where she co-directs (with Dr. H. Steele) the Center for Attachment Research. Dr. Miriam Steele is also an Anna Freud Center trained psychoanalyst. Miriam initiated the London Parent-Child Project, a major longitudinal study of intergenerational patterns of attachment whose outcomes included the development of the Reflective Functioning concept and manual. Dr. M. Steele has also carried out longitudinal attachment research in the context of child maltreatment and adoption. Miriam, with Anne Murphy and Howard Steele, has pioneered the development and delivery of the Group Attachment-Based Intervention (GABI) aimed at preventing child maltreatment, and promoting secure child-parent attachments. Dr. Steele is among the 2017 Bowlby-Ainsworth Awardees so recognized by the Center for Mental Health Promotion. She is co-editor of the 2008 book, Clinical Applications of the Adult Attachment Interview, and the 2018 Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions, both published by the Guilford Press, New York. Dr. Steele is a member of the Adult Attachment Interview Trainers’ Consortium.

Participants who wish to receive CE credits must attend the event in its entirety; attendance will be recorded to track each participant’s entry and exit time.

Participants with physical or sensory disabilities are encouraged to contact the CE committee members at least 2 weeks in advance of the event to plan for appropriate accommodations. Please contact us via phone or email:
Nichelle Horlacher (Department Secretary) T 212.229.5727 x3223 (Miriam Steele, Ph.D.) (Lisa Litt, Ph.D.) (CJ Healy, Student Coordinator for the Sándor Ferenczi Center)

Participants may also contact CE committee members with any concerns. You may also share concerns when you receive your evaluation form after the event.

Tickets may be refunded up to 24 hours prior to the start of the event. Please email to cancel your ticket and request a refund.

The New School for Social Research, Department of Psychology SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0199.
The New School for Social Research, Department of Psychology is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0120.
The New School of Social Research, Department of Psychology is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0146.
The New School for Social Research, Department of Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.
The New School for Social Research Clinical Psychology Department maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Sponsors of this event report no conflicts of interest or commercial support.

Lewis Aron (1952-2019)

Written by Adrienne Harris

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, our dear colleague and friend and leader and brave man, Lewis Aron, died in New York City. It was the end we had all feared and mostly denied, as we accompanied Lew on a long and courageous voyage fighting and living with a life-threatening cancer.

There is so much to say about Lew’s life and work but I want to begin with his way of combatting and living with his illness. He was brave but most powerfully he was generous with family, friends and colleagues. He has provided an amazing lesson in how to be open and available and at the same time continue to work for health and survival.  We badly need, in our field, to be able to face difficulty, support each other as life and work patterns are put in question, and to create a climate of honesty and responsibility.

Yesterday I taught a class in which we were reading Ghent’s great paper on submission and surrender. I feel such admiration and love for Lew as he went through the health circumstance and death he had been handed. Surrender is not giving up. It is acceptance. It is opening to experience and what it will teach you.

When I think of his work life and when I read the wonderful messages of love and admiration, I am struck by the mixture of pleasure and admiration in so many reminiscences. He had a rock band. Sig. He could build and maintain a serious psychoanalytic institution. He could work in systems – local and national.  He built structures.

Our work together included the Ferenczi Conferences starting in 1991, the Sandor Ferenczi Center beginning in 2008 with Jeremy Safran and me, the Relational Perspectives Book Series, with Steve from the inception, later with me, and adding Steve Kuchuck and Eyal Rozmarin.  That series is closing in on 100 volumes.

The work we did to bring the first conference on Sandor Ferenczi to the US was motivated – dictated one might say – by Steve Mitchell.  Cannot speak for Lew but I had no idea who Ferenczi was. Steve was so amazingly good at empowering people, sending them on various errands, and so we did a conference – held in NYC – and sat in the audience, amazed at the European analysts, who in so many ways had kept the tradition and writings and work of Ferenczi alive. Judit Mészarós, André Haynal, György Hidas, Judith Dupont joined with American analysts; Stephen Mitchell, Bromberg, Shapiro, Therese Ragen, Arnold Rachman, Benjamin Wolstein, Jay Frankel, Christofer Fortune and William Brennan.

For me, it was an astonishing and life-changing introduction to Ferenczi and his work. I know Lew was technically my colleague in that venture but for me it was so new. I do think of him as also my guide into a new and amazing world. My image for that event is that it was like plate tectonics. Continents that were now far apart had once been joined. I knew my ancestors in psychoanalysis. I knew where object relations came from. Grandfather Ferenczi. Being part of that discovery with Lew was really wonderful, unexpected and surprising.  Really so much of his work life and career had that effect and involvement.

In 2009, with Jeremy Safran, Lew Aron and I inaugurated the Sandor Ferenczi Center at The New School.  Over a decade we developed programs, lectures, workshops devoted to Ferenczi’s model of interaction, elasticity of technique, trauma focused treatment and other psychoanalytic projects. We thought of this project as the site of ideals and projects at the heart of the historic mission of The New School and as a site for innovations in psychoanalysis along the lines of Ferenczi. It is shocking beyond measure that both my colleagues died within this past year. Miriam Steele has joined the center  representing The New School faculty. We have enlarged the board and we go in remembering Lew and Jeremy and working within their vision. But it has been overwhelming to absorb both these losses.  With regard to Lew, I/we are at the beginning.

There is a lot to remember and hold tight to as we register our loss of this amazing person. His career as a psychoanalytic educator, his director of institutions and so many structures: Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Div. 39, IARPP, and for over two decades, NYU Postdoc.

His career as a psychoanalytic educator, director of institutions and so many structures: Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Div 39, IARPP and others were handled with efficiency and grace. And of course there was his ability to take on so much of the continuation of Mitchell’s very premature death, through mentorship of students – local, national and international and an astonishing vocation as a teacher of psychoanalysis in a series of study groups which continued to meet right into January of this year.

Talk about playing well with others. He had fun. He was playful and funny, all the while accomplishing a stunning array of tasks, books, and creative endeavors.

We are all wishing that he could have had more time. There was more to do and more love to participate in. I think of the wonderful pleasure of Lew’s being with Galit’s children, Yali and Emma, at their bar and bat mitzvahs last summer and how much he helped with their preparation. And I know from my last visits with Lew that he was incredibly proud of how deeply his children Kiara, Raffi and Benjamin were participating in his care.

We hold him close as we say goodbye. We can only sit with such admiration and care for Galit Atlas who has held so much in these past years AND created with Lew a life of work and love.

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About the Sándor Ferenczi Center

The goals of the New School Ferenczi Center include 1) sponsoring lectures, conferences, and workshops relevant to Ferenczi’s legacy of clinical innovation, 2) promoting Ferenczi’s legacy of social and political progressivism, and 3) contributing to the ongoing vitality of psychoanalysis as a cultural, intellectual, therapeutic discipline.

TO MAKE A DONATION to the Ferenczi Center please click on this link.

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Jeremy Safran 4/23/1952 – 5/7/2018

With great sadness, we announce the passing of our founder and dear friend, Dr. Jeremy Safran. His dedicated commitment to psychoanalytic inquiry and his unflagging support for psychoanalytic scholarship is embodied by his co-founding of the Sándor Ferenczi Center. It was through his motivation and energy that we have offered, over the course of years, a steady stream of events, talks, book launches, screenings, and more. His passion for interdisciplinary community lives in this project and stands as a testimony to his hard work and unparalleled regard for the history, present, and future of relational psychoanalysis. For so many, Jeremy was a mentor and friend, a challenger, a supporter, and a provider of so many rich opportunities. May we as a community continue to provide for one another in his honor and memory an enduring dedication to the things he loved and taught.

Interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran

Please enjoy the following interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran, two of the founders of the Sándor Ferenczi Center:


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