The Sándor Ferenczi Center

Epistemic trust: A fresh perspective on ruptures in psychotherapy with Peter Fonagy


International Sándor Ferenczi Center Weekend Webinars

Listening with Ferenczi

A Six Session Webinar Series

Weekends in 2021:
September 25 & 26
November 6 & 7
December 4 & 5

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern
Online via Zoom

Tickets available soon

General Admission for all six sessions: $25
General Admission + CE credits (12 hours): $200
Current NSSR/NYU Postdoc students: Free (email with your student N# to reserve a spot; limited number of seats available)

CE Credits (12 hours) available for
New York Social Workers and MHCs
APA CE credits available for Psychologists

**NOTE FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New School for Social Research Clinical Psychology Department is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Please confirm with your state licensing board that APA CE credits are accepted in your state. (Approval from the New York State Board of Education to provide CE credits to licensed Psychologists in New York is pending.)

For students and practitioners of all levels

After the successful 13th International Sándor Ferenczi Conference in Florence, Italy, the ISFN had planned to host the next International Ferenczi Conference in São Paulo, Brazil, in May of 2021. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our plans for in-person meetings had to be postponed. Despite these challenges, our desire to bring clinicians, scholars, researchers, students and colleagues together for stimulating and interdisciplinary discussions had not diminished. As a result, the ISFN decided to develop and offer a new 2021 Webinar series that will make use of Ferenczi’s work to examine the many social, personal, political, environmental and clinical disruptions we have all had to endure recently.
Ferenczi, more so than Freud, was interested in understanding how environmental stimuli impacted the self and, conversely, how aspects of the self could be projected onto the external environment. He perceived the developing self as being influenced by the dynamic interaction of introjective and projective processes, and he saw how one’s projections could also influence one’s external environment. More broadly, Ferenczi’s vision of this mutual influence could be applied to societal events in the sense that these events are able to influence self development, and in turn, an individual can also influence society. Today we are facing many of the same challenges that our psychoanalytic forebears faced over a century ago: war, pandemic, authoritarianism, racism, sexism, abuse, and conspiracies of silence and oppression. Ferenczi has provided us with many tools to explore the dynamic forces that affect our psyches, our society, and our culture. Perhaps applying his principles to our analysis of these crises may lead us to a more enlightened navigation of the inevitable catastrophes confronting our species.
This new Webinar series will explore such contemporary issues as the authoritarian personality, the phenomenon of Trumpism and mass hypnosis, the collusion of silence and socio-political denial, how a pandemic impacts clinical work, trauma theory in traumatic times, and gender theory during the #MeToo movement.

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Session 1: The Trump Phenomenon

Presenters: Endre Koritar, MD and Robert Prince, PhD, ABPP
Moderator: Ian Miller, PhD
Session 2: Leaning Towards Authoritarianism
Presenters: Jay Frankel, PhD and Samir Gandesha, PhD
Moderator: Christopher Fortune, EdD

Session 3: Gender Matters/Thalassa
Presenters: Adrienne Harris, PhD and Jô Gondar, PhD
Moderator: Aleksandra Wagner, PhD
Session 4: Disavowal, Confusion of Tongues and Social-Political Denial
Presenters: Daniel Kupermann, PhD and Raluca Soreanu, PhD
Moderator: Clara Mucci, PhD

Session 5: Theories for Traumatic Times
Presenters: Eugênio Canesin Dal Molin, PhD and Judit Mészáros, PhD
Moderator: Antal Bókay, PhD
Session 6: Elasticity Today
Presenters: Judit Szekacs, PhD and Giselle Galdi, PhD
Moderator: Kathleen Kelley Lainé, MA

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For more information, including descriptions for each webinar and presenter bios, visit

Learning Objectives

At the end of each webinar, participants will be able to:

Session 11. Understand the underlying dynamics of Donald Trump’s influence on the populace.
2. Discuss what techniques Trump uses in his hypnotic suggestions to the populace.

Session 2
1. Describe the dynamics through which particular social traumas foster the development of authoritarian movements.
2. Elaborate on the narcissistic structure of authoritarian movements.

Session 3
1. Describe and analyze the creative contributions of Ferenczi to better understand sexuality and development.
2. Compare and contrast models of sexuality and gender in which biology, social phenomena, and developmental process may all contribute to developmental outcomes.

Session 4
1. Understand the relational, social and political dimension of the Ferenczian theory of trauma.
2. Recognize the potential of Ferenczian thought to understand contemporary forms of social  bonds.

Session 5
1. Discuss and compare the main characteristics of different trauma theories in psychoanalysis and related fields of knowledge.
2. Discuss how acceptance of reality and living with uncertainty are central to understand a traumatic situation.
3. Differentiate between challenging situations and trauma.

Session 6
1. Identify key aspects of the Ferenczian method of “elasticity.”  
2. Discuss effective uses of telepsychology.

Participants who wish to receive CE credits must attend the event (each seminar meeting) in its entirety; attendance will be recorded to track each participant’s entry and exit time. Participants who wish to receive CE credit sign in and out to each session under the monitoring of a student volunteer who remains at the door of each event.  If the event is held virtually, the participant list is recorded at the start and end of each session by a student volunteer.  

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 (Richelle Allen, Ph.D.) (Miriam Steele, Ph.D.) (Lisa Litt, Ph.D.)

Participants may also contact CE committee members with any concerns.

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 Clinical Psychology Department is approved by the American Psychological Association, the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work, and the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, licensed social workers, and licensed mental health counselors, respectively. The New School for Social Research Clinical Psychology Department maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The 2nd Annual Jeremy Safran Memorial Lecture

Epistemic trust: A fresh perspective on ruptures in psychotherapy

with Peter Fonagy

Sunday, April 25
2:00-3:30 ET

Virtually by Zoom

Register HERE

FREE event
Donations are welcome: proceeds will go to the Jeremy Safran Student Fellowship

Jeremy Safran made a lasting contribution to our field being one of a small handful of psychotherapy researchers whose scientific discoveries can unequivocally be said to have impacted on clinical practice. This lecture in his honour will build on his ground-breaking work on therapeutic ruptures taking an attachment theory and social learning perspective and explore why and how ruptures can serve to deepen epistemic trust – a state of openness to learning. This tribute will consider the emergent concept of the We-Mode, the first person plural perspective which enables collective mentalizing and a temporary sharing of minds that may be critical in the process of achieving lasting therapeutic change.

Peter Fonagy, OBE, Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science, Head of Division for Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families; Consultant at Child and Family Program at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

His clinical and research interests lie in early attachment relationships, social cognition, borderline personality disorder and violence. A central focus has been mentalization-based treatment, which was developed in collaboration with a number of clinical sites in the UK and USA.

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