Sat, Mar 23, 2019 to Sat, Mar 30, 2019
This course has been cancelled
Milena Edwards, Psy.D.
CE Credits: 
Participant Limit: 

$175 General Public
$125 Full Members
$110 CMH Members
$100 Associate Members
$75 Student Members
$75 Scholarship (prior approval required to register at this fee)

Tuition listed above is for early registration ($40 discount off full fee, $15 discount for NCSPP Student Members). For registrations received after the deadline, full tuition will be applied to all registrations.

Tuition does not include the cost of readers.

This course has been cancelled.


Tracing Female Development through the Yearnings of Alison Bechdel

Course Overview: 

Alison Bechdel’s “Are You My Mother?” illustrates a complex rendering of her process of grappling with her relationship with her mother, using Winnicottian concepts and the man himself as a maternal icon to frame her feelings, fantasies, and conflicts. Bechdel’s creative journey in finding her artist voice are entwined with her identities as a gay woman, as the daughter of a mother whose own artistic dreams were truncated, and as a patient in psychoanalytic treatment. This seminar will take up female identity development (distinct from traditional ways of understanding development), sexuality, and Oedipal conflicts, with discussion of the meanings of mourning, sexuality, maternal identification, separation-individuation, recognition and power, post-Oedipal functioning, and the imperative to find a creative “way out” to becoming an embodied, potent, autonomous, and loving woman. We will weave in theory and clinical material to contemplate how Bechdel’s work illustrates the broad spectrum of issues around female identity.

Course Objectives: 

At the conclusion of this course participants will be able to:

  1. Explain critical moments in the developmental processes which contribute to true self emergence in adulthood.
  2. Identify and discuss the intersections of gay and artist identities with anxieties, mourning, and adult thriving and well being.
  3. Utilize, define, and identify at least five intangible obstacles which can wreak havoc along the path to becoming an emancipated adult.
  4. Describe several critical factors in a female's relationship with the mother which affect her process of becoming a mature, adult woman. 
Empirical Reference: 

Abbass, A. A., Rabung, S., Leichsenring, F., Refseth, J. S., & Midgley, N. (2013). Psychodynamic psychotherapy for children and adolescents: A meta-analysis of short-term psychodynamic models. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(8), 863-875.

Beebe, B., Jaffe, J., Markese, S., Buck, K., Chen, H., Cohen, P., ... & Feldstein, S. (2010). The origins of 12-month attachment: A microanalysis of 4-month mother–infant interaction. Attachment & human development, 12(1-2), 3-141.

Del Giudice, M., & Belsky, J. (2010). Sex differences in attachment emerge in middle childhood: An evolutionary hypothesis. Child Development Perspectives, 4(2), 97-105.


Milena Edwards, Psy.D., has spent her career focusing on issues of female identity from early adulthood to navigating choices around work, family, and partnerships. Dr. Edwards is the Director of Training at Access Institute and has a private practicein Oakland.

Target Audience & Level: 

This course is for clinicians of all levels, including graduate students, with an interest in thinking about intersecting identities in the light of sexuality, adult development, and creativity; female emotional development and the relationship with the mother/maternal; and transitional phenomena. 

Cancellation & Refund Policies: 

Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time.  Transfer of registrations are not allowed.

Contact Information: 

For program related questions contact Cameron Murphey at or 425-652-2673.

For questions related to enrollment, locations, CE credit, special needs, course availability and other administrative issues contact Michele McGuinness by email or 415-496-9949.

Education Committee

The Education Committee is responsible for the development of a variety of courses and workshops given throughout the year in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Asya Grigorieva, Ph.D., Chair
Clara Brandt, MA
Julia Conant, Psy.D.
Morgan Lloyd, LCSW
Cameron Murphey, MFTi
Anna Zozulinsky, Ph.D.