What is at the heart of relational psychoanalytic training? In this presentation, Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia (IRPP) Co-Directors, Drs. David Mark and Rachel Kabasakalian McKay, will share the guiding principles of the institute’s training model, and the ways these have continued to evolve since the institute began in 2007. Presenters will highlight some of the central characteristics of what is known as “the Relational Turn” in contemporary psychoanalysis and how these core themes guide the training at IRPP. The presentation will describe the model of an “inhabited’ relational stance, addressing some of the implications for how Relational psychoanalytic practitioners think about key concepts including empathy, inquiry, authenticity, co-participation, and power. Presenters will also share some of the shifts in the organization’s mission; inclusion of the Child Relational work within the training model; efforts to interrogate our assumptions in light of dynamics related to race, class, and gender; and projects related to increasing the range of people who may have access to relational psychodynamic treatment.

Learning Objectives: After attending this program in full, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe at least one of the features of the “Relational Turn” in psychoanalysis.
  2. Explain at least one way in which a more complex perspective on empathy may be useful in psychodynamic work.

Dr. David Mark is co-director of The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia (IRPP). His articles have appeared in Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and, with co-author Rachel McKay, in Psychoanalytic Perspectives.  In 1997, he co-authored with Jeffrey Faude, Ph.D., The Psychotherapy of Cocaine Addiction: Entering the Interpersonal World of the Cocaine Addict published by Jason Aronson. He is in private practice in Philadelphia and Narberth, PA.

Dr. Rachel Kabasakalian McKay is Co-Director of The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, where she is on the teaching and supervisory faculty, and a member of the candidate-led Community Engagement Committee. She is also on the faculty of the Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center in New York.  Her writing has appeared in Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Psychoanalytic Inquiry, and, with co-author David Mark, in Psychoanalytic Perspectives. She is in private practice in Philadelphia.

Reference: Mark, D. and McKay, R.K. (2019). The “truth of the session” and varieties of intersubjective experience: Discussion of Aron and Atlas’s Dramatic Dialogue. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 16(3), 272-286.

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