10:00 am - 12:00 pm
November 8, 2024 - May 9, 2025

St. Clement's Episcopal Church

2837 Claremont Boulevard
Berkeley, CA 94705
Intensive Study Group
CE Credits: 
Participant Limit: 

General Public: $1620
$700 deposit with registration;
$920 balance due Friday, October 25, 2024

NCSPP Members: $1260
$340 deposit with registration;
$920 balance due Friday, October 25, 2024

NCSPP CMH Members: $1150
$230 deposit with registration;
$920 balance due due Friday, October 25, 2024

One scholarship may be granted based on a space-available basis. Scholarship applications must be received by Friday, October 25, 2024. For more information and to request a scholarship application please contact us.

Registration Notes: 

NCSPP offers online course registration and payment using PayPal, the Internet’s most trusted payment processor. All major credit cards, as well as checking account debit payments, are accepted.


Intensive Study Group —
PSYCHOANALYSIS: Breakdown and Breakthrough

Course Overview: 

We live in a society obsessed with constant innovation and change, where promised breakthroughs can cause collective breakdown. In the clinical relationship, too, genuine breakthroughs can often be experienced as cataclysmic events, threatening the self by piercing the illusion of living in a predictable world. An important task of the contemporary therapist is to reckon with how the therapeutic relationship may be utilized to help patients access their emotional experience and vitality. This often involves a delicate balance between theory and praxis, tradition and the entirely unexpected. 

Premature ruptures of defenses, empathic failures, and, most severely, when reality itself begins to fracture … all may generate breakdowns. Yet psychological growth can also come on the heels of great pain and turmoil. Often, we associate breakthroughs with healing and the development of insight, but glimpses of sadism, psychosis, and the id also break through carefully constructed facades. 

By delving into clinical aspects of cultural, social, and political upheaval, this course will create space for clinicians to process, grapple, and play with experiences of and responses to the ever-shifting reality in which we and our patients find ourselves. In a way unique to psychoanalysis, this course explores the nuances of these phenomena while also exploring potential limits to what psychoanalysis can offer and what interdisciplinary ideas can enhance the breadth and depth of our thinking.

Click here for detailed information about individual ISG segments.

Commitment to Equity: 

NCSPP is aware that historically psychoanalysis has either excluded or pathologized groups outside of the dominant population in terms of age, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, and size. As an organization, we are committed to bringing awareness to matters of anti-oppression, inequity, inequality, diversity, and inclusion as they pertain to our educational offerings, our theoretical orientation, our community, and the broader world we all inhabit.

Presenters' Responses:

Daniel Butler: This course explicitly addresses how psychoanalytic praxis does and does not consider the experiences of marginalized peoples. Rather than centering the ‘power’ and ‘privilege’ of whiteness, we will focus on the social violence through which power and privilege are secured. Studying social violence will not be an afterthought; it is integral to the course itself.

Susana Winkel: Course participants will become aware of sociocultural factors that affect a patient’s life development and the role these may play in any given relationship and situation. Emphasis will be placed on working with diverse populations; on the need to develop an appreciation of and sensitivity to patients’ social and cultural contexts in order to avoid biases; and on the ability to form meaningful therapeutic alliances to work effectively.

Deborah Melman: The social discourses and implicit cultural assumptions that constitute human identity require attention. In this course which is concerned with difficulties of taking up living in a vital and responsive way we will attend to the impact of denuded, othering and alienated modalities and social constructions which both shape and stultify the self.

Course Objectives: 

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

  1. Describe psychoanalytic understandings of breakdown and breakthrough in Freudian, Fanonian, Lacanian, Kleinian, Bionian, and Winnicottian terms.

  2. Discuss how Bernard Stiegler’s “Entropocene” and Achille Mbembe’s “becoming Black of the world” augment the psychoanalytic study of breakdown and breakthrough.

  3. Apply psychoanalytic perspectives to clinical work with dissociated patients who do and do not depressively fear breakdown or manically seek breakthrough.

  4. Discuss the relationship between psychoanalytic theories of ontology and philosophical understandings of technology.

  5. Identify the ontological, epistemological, and technological dimensions of breakdown and breakthrough in clinical work.

Empirical Reference: 
  • Colli, A, A. Tanzilli, G. Dimaggio, et al. (2014). Patient personality and therapist response: An empirical investigation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 171(1), 102–108. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.201

  • Driessen, E., Hegelmaier, L.M., Abbass, A.A., Barber, J.P., Dekker, J.J., Van, H.L., Jansma, E.P., & Cuijpers, P. (2015). The efficacy of short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for depression: A meta-analysis update. Clinical Psychology Review, 42, 1–15.

  • Fonagy, P., Rost, F., Carlyle, J. A., McPherson, S., Thomas, R., Pasco Fearon, R. M., ... & Taylor, D. (2015). Pragmatic randomized controlled trial of long‐term psychoanalytic psychotherapy for treatment‐resistant depression: The Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS). World Psychiatry, 14(3), 312-321.

  • Hayes, JA, Gelso, CJ, Goldberg, S., & Kivlighan, D.M. (2018). Countertransference Management and Effective Psychotherapy: Meta-analytic Findings. Psychotherapy, 55:496-507 

  • Vegas, M., Halfon, S., Cavder, A., & Raya, H. (2015) When interventions make an impact: an empirical investigation of analyst’s communications and patient’s productivity. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 32(4) 580-607


Daniel G. Butler, Ph.D., LMFT, is a psychoanalytic candidate at PINC and a graduate of UC Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness Program. In addition to teaching at SFCP and Access Institute, he serves on the editorial boards of Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. His private practice is in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley.

Deborah Melman, Ph.D., is on the faculty at the Wright Institute, PINC, and SFCP. 
She has a private practice in Berkeley.

Susana Winkel, Ph.D., received her psychoanalytic training at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She is faculty at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and taught at the University of California at Berkeley, and Tsing-Hua University, in Beijing. A classically trained musician, she is interested in applying psychoanalysis to the study of music. Her private practice is in San Francisco and Oakland.

Target Audience & Level: 

This Intensive Study Group is for clinicians with moderate to extensive experience in clinical work with some background in the principles of psychoanalytic approaches or laypersons with a strong academic or cultural interest in applied or clinical psychoanalysis.

Continuing Education Credit: 

LCSW/MFTs: Courses meet the requirements for 64 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and/or LEPS, as required by the CA Board of Behavioral Sciences. NCSPP is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (Provider Number 57020), to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCS, and/or LEPs. NCSPP maintains responsibility for this program /course and its content.

Psychologists: Psychologists receive credit through Division 39 upon completion of this course. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Cancellation & Refund Policies: 

Students not admitted due to space limitation will receive a full refund of their deposit. Cancellations prior to Friday, October 25, 2024: Full refund of deposit minus $100 administration charge. Cancellations after Friday, October 25, 2024: No refund provided.

Contact Information: 

Administration | registration questions: Niki Clay, info@ncspp.org or (415) 496-9949

ISG Program questions: Sullivan Oakley, MA, soakley@wi.edu


Intensive Study Group Committee

The Intensive Study Group Committee oversees the year-long ISG. Each fall, the committee puts on an Introductory Event featuring invited guest lecturers who speak to theoretical and clinical themes related to the current subject of the ISG. This event is open to all.

We are currently looking for a chair and committee members. If interested contact Candice Turner, Psy.D. at cturner@ncspp.org

Tanisha Stewart, Psy.D., Chair
Yael Goldstein-Love, MA
Sullivan Oakley
Rebecca Shapiro, MA