The Sándor Ferenczi Center



Reading the Clinical Diary and Other Works

Ferenczi’s Contributions to Clinical Technique and Their Applications to Contemporary Therapeutic Work

A seminar with Anthony Bass, Ph.D.

Fridays 9/22, 10/27, 11/17, 12/15, 1/26, 3/1, 4/5, 5/10, 6/14, & 7/12

2:00 to 3:40 PM Eastern Time
Online via Zoom


General Admission for all ten sessions: $700
New School alumni & current NYU Postdoc students: $500
Current New School students: Free (limited number of seats available; email with your student N# to reserve a spot)

CE Credits (16.5 hours) available for
New York Psychologists, Social Workers, and MHCs
APA CE credits also available for Psychologists

Participants must attend all ten meetings of the seminar in their entirety to receive CE credits

For students and practitioners of all levels

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In this seminar, we will consider Sandor Ferenczi’s groundbreaking work on the role of countertransference in psychotherapy and its uses in the therapeutic situation. We will read Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary and other of his late work including “The Confusion of Tongues between the Adults and the Child: the Language of Tenderness and of Passion and Tenderness,” “Child Analysis in the Analysis of Adults,” and “The Elasticity of Psychoanalytic Technique.” We will also discuss theoreticians who extended Ferenczi’s thinking (e.g. Balint) and contemporary writers (Bromberg, Bass, Frankel) who consider the application of Ferenczi’s ideas in clinical practice to the development of a clinical theory of technique. We will consider clinical theory and its applications in the context of challenging clinical moments that seminar members and the seminar leader will present. We will consider Ferenczi’s many contributions to the development of a clinical theory of technique, in the light of challenging moments that seminar members and the seminar leader will present.

We will take up the therapist’s conscious and unconscious uses of her or himself in light of our understandings and experience of countertransference, unconscious communication between therapist and patient, enactment, and a variety of other clinical therapeutic phenomena as they emerge in our discussions.

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

1. Describe why Ferenczi’s foundational paper “The Confusion of Tongues” is regarded as the first “relational paper” in psychoanalysis, anticipating the “relational turn” by some fifty years.
2. Identify and describe Ferenczi’s contribution to the uses of countertransference in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
3. Describe and identify Ferenczi’s early contribution to trauma work and its influence on contemporary approaches to traumatology.
4. Explain Ferenczi’s early experiments with mutuality as a fundamental dimension of psychoanalytic work and its foundational contribution to the development of contemporary relational work.
5. Describe and identify Ferenczi’s influence on British Independent School psychoanalysis and Kleinian psychoanalysis.
6. Identify the influence of Ferenczi’s experiments in elasticity of technique on intersubjective and relational psychoanalytic perspectives on the frame.
7. Describe and compare differences between Freud and Ferenczi in their understanding of the role of the analyst’s unconscious in regard to psychoanalytic technique.
8. Explain the role and uses of regression in psychoanalysis.
9. Identify and list the ways in which Ferenczi’s late work has exercised a central role in the development of relational and intersubjective theory and technique of psychoanalysis.
10. Identify Ferenczi’s influence on contemporary views of dissociation and multiplicity.
11. Describe how Ferenczi’s work contributed to an understanding of the therapeutic relationship from a relational point of view.
12. Describe the impact of Ferenczi’s work on our understanding of unconscious communication and its relevance to psychoanalytic technique.
13. Describe how Ferenczi’s work contributed to our understanding of the role of self-disclosure in psychoanalytic technique.


Anthony Bass, Ph.D. is an associate professor and a supervisor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.  He is on the teaching faculty and a training and supervising analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.  In addition, he is on the faculty at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies National Training Program.  He was a founder and is president of the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies, and a founding director of the International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.  He was a founding editor and is an editor in chief emeritus of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: the International Journal of Relational Perspectives.  He leads study groups and conducts clinical workshops around the US and Europe on the therapeutic relationship, and Ferenczi studies.  He is on the board of the Ferenczi Center of New York.

Participants who wish to receive CE credits must attend each seminar meeting 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.

TO MAKE A DONATION to the Jeremy D. Safran Memorial Student Fellowship 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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