Clinical Writing and The Personal Essay (February 20 and 27, March 10)

  • 20 Feb 2012
  • 7:30 PM
  • 10 Mar 2012
  • 3:30 PM
  • 31B N. Narberth Ave., Narberth, PA 19072

The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education invites you to:

PCPE 2012 Writing Workshop: "Clinical Writing and The Personal Essay"

Invited Presenter: Sandie Friedman, Ph.D.


Sandie Friedman Ph.D. is an assistant professor of writing at George Washington University, where she serves as the deputy director of the First-Year Writing program. She is also a graduate and on the faculty of the New Directions Program - Writing and Critical Thinking from a Psychoanalytic Perspective - of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis. At New Directions, Dr. Friedman has taught workshops on The Art of the Personal Essay and The Writing Group at Work: Offering Constructive Commentary on Drafts. She has also taught writing workshops at Bard College, Princeton University, Barnard College and New York University, and has given many presentations about writing including one at George Mason University titled “Between the Couch and the Desk: A Community of Psychoanalytic Writers” and one at Columbia University titled, “Thinking and Doing: Performance and Text”. Her work has appeared in literary journals and newsletters such as Enculturation, Awakened India and Writing On The Edge.

Writing Seminar Description

The intent of this workshop is to help clinicians who want to write about their clinical experiences, locate their own distinctive writing voice through the use of the personal essay. We will focus on the structure and technique used in writing a personal essay, and we will read and discuss examples of essays written by masters of the genre. Participants will be given opportunities to write and share their work, and will learn how to give useful feedback to each other. The Saturday workshop led by Dr. Friedman, will take the form of a writing group in which participants will write, read and receive constructive feedback on their essays. By the end of the day, participants will have a draft of an essay and enough feedback and ideas for a revision.

Learning Objectives

1.  Participants will discuss how to capture the co-created nature of the psychoanalytic process in creative writing.

2.  Participants will learn about the literary genre of the personal essay and how to use it in the service of clinical writing.

3.  Participants will identify the ethical issues involved in clinical writing.

4.  Participants will learn about the structure and technique involved in writing a personal essay.

5.  Participants will learn about the importance of clarifying their main motive as they go about writing a personal essay.

6.  Participants will learn how to integrate personal narrative with psychoanalytic perspective in essay writing.

7.  Participants will learn the difference between confession and self-investigation that provides motion, purpose, and dramatic tension in essay writing.

8.  Participants will learn how to give constructive and useful feedback to other writers.

9.  Participants will write a rough draft of their own personal essay and will receive feedback on it.

Reading Group Facilitators

Linda Guerra, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and certified psychoanalyst in private practice in Philadelphia and in Bala Cynwyd. She is also a past president of The Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. In 2009, she completed the three year New Directions writing program: New Directions: Writing and Critical Thinking from a Psychoanalytic Perspective at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, and is currently engaged in writing about the psychological aspects of breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.

Annette Leavy. MSW, LCSW, BCD is a psychotherapist and certified psychoanalyst in private practice in Philadelphia. She is on the Executive Board as well as on the teaching and supervisory faculties of the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia. A former editor of the journal, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, she will graduate from New Directions: Writing and Critical Thinking from a Psychoanalytic Perspective of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, where she has been writing fiction and clinical essays, in the spring of 2012.

CE Credits  

Nine (9) CE credits are available. 

Educational Prerequisites

PCPE welcomes all mental health professionals who hold advanced degrees in their fields, work with psychodynamic approaches in their practices, and have familiarity with the psychoanalytic literature. Individuals from other fields who hold doctoral degrees and who work with psychoanalytic ideas in their scholarly endeavors are also welcome to participate. PCPE does not discriminate according to age, gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or physical challenge.

Continuing Education for Psychologists

The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PCPE maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education for Social Workers

The Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors now designates APA-approved Continuing Education Sponsors like PCPE as pre-approved providers of continuing education courses and programs for social workers and clinical social workers.

Dates / Times & Location (detailed directions and parking information will be provided upon registration)

Reading Groups:  Monday February 20th and 27th 7:30 to 9:30 pm

The Bridge, 31B N. Narberth Ave., Narberth, PA 19072

Workshop: Saturday, March 10, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility
Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Registration Fees and Information

Members of PSPP: $195

Nonmembers of PSPP: $225

Registration: online at www.pcpeonline.org

or mail check to: PCPE, Box 275, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We reserve the right to cancel a program if there is insufficient enrollment, at which time all fees will be refunded. If you cancel your registration, a $175 credit will be applied to future programming.

Special Needs Policy

If you have any special needs related to your participation in our program offerings, please contact Barbara Zimmerman-Slovak, Ph.D., at bzslovak@comcast.net or 610-896-7228.

Register at PCPE: "Clinical Writing and The Personal Essay"

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