Malin Fors

Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst

Presentation and workshop description: 

This advanced workshop addresses disparities in social privilege and their practical implications for psychotherapists. Fors discusses core themes of her book, A Grammar of Power in Psychotherapy, winner of the 2016 Johanna K. Tabin Prize. She posits a matrix of relative privilege that includes four core patient–therapist dynamics: similarity of privilege, privilege favoring the therapist, privilege favoring the patient, and similarity of non-privilege.

This all-day conference will be broken into presentations and workshops focusing on addressing issues of privilege in clinical work, at agencies, and in supervision. The day will  include case discussions and break-out groups for specific exercises. The newly filmed APA DVD, “The Dynamics of Power and Privilege in Psychotherapy with Malin Fors” will be shown and discussed.

Please note that the break-out sessions will be facilitated by local PSPP members, who have worked with Malin in advance so they are relevant and engaging. Participants will be encouraged to take risks and be vulnerable in the break-out sessions and ensuing discussions.


Presenter Bio: 

“Malin Fors, is a Swedish psychologist and psychoanalyst living in the world’s northernmost town, Hammerfest, Norway. For a decade, she has worked in the local hospital’s psychiatric outpatient unit and also in private practice. She has also been a guest lecturer at Gothenburg University in Sweden, teaching clinical psychology students about how issues of power, privilege, and gender create biases in the assessment of psychopathology. She is an assistant professor at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway, where she teaches medical students on topics of diversity, privilege awareness, and critical perspectives on cultural competency. In 2016, APA Division 39 and APA Publications awarded Malin the 2016 Johanna K. Tabin Book Proposal Prize for her proposed “A Grammar of Power in Psychotherapy.”  After the book’s publication in 2018, she made an APA DVD in the Therapy Series: “The Dynamics of Power and Privilege in Psychotherapy with Malin Fors.”


Date and Location:

Saturday, November 3, 2018
Haverford College
Bryn Mawr Room
370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford PA 19042



8:30-9:00  Registration

9:00-10:00  Malin Fors: Privilege and Power in Psychotherapy. The matrix of relative privilege. 

10:00-10:45  First break-out session: Portrayal of Privilege. Clinical considerations. Finding our own challenges. 

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-11:30 Malin Fors: Privilege and Power in Psychotherapy. The matrix of relative privilege. 

11:30-12:30 Lunch & Business meeting

12:30-2:00 Malin Fors: Case demonstration. APA therapy film screening of “The Dynamics of  Power and Privilege in Psychotherapy with Malin Fors»

2:00-2:15  Break

2:15-2:30 Introduction to second break-out session. 

2:30-3:30 Second break-out session: Meeting racist/homophobic patients.Racist/sexist/heterosexist enactments in clinics.

3:30-4:00 Malin Fors. Summing up. Further reflections for the situation of supervision.


Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between four types of core dyads of relative privilege in the patient–therapist dyad.
  • Identify three objections against the paradigm of cultural competency.
  • Identify possible racial, sexist, and heterosexist institutional enactments existing at your place of work.
  • Integrate this approach into your favorite therapy approach/technique/method.



Blanken, I., van de Ven, N., & Zeelenberg, M. (2015). A meta-analytic review ofmoral licensing. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 41 , 540–558.

Davids, M. F. (2003). The internal racist. Bulletin of the British PsychoanalyticalSociety , 39 , 1–15.

Fors, M. (2018). A Grammar of Power in Psychotherapy: Exploring the Dynamics of Privilege. Washington DC: APA Books.

Holmes, D. E. (2006). The wrecking effects of race and social class on self andsuccess. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly , 75 , 215–235.

Piff, P. K. (2014). Wealth and the inflated self: Class, entitlement, and narcissism.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 40 , 34–43.

Young-Bruehl, E. (1996). The anatomy of prejudices . Cambridge, MA: Harvard

University Press.



PSPP Members: $55 / $65

Non-Member Professionals: $65 / $75

Early Career Professionals*: $25 / $35

Retired Professionals: $25 / $35

Graduate Students: $10 / $15


Continuing Education (CE’s) Credits

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

PSYCHOLOGISTS: This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for 5 (CEUs) continuing education credits. Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants.  Psychologists will have their participation registered through Division 39. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

SOCIAL WORKERS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in PA can receive CEs from CE providers approved by the APA. Since Div 39 is approved by the APA to sponsor continuing education, those professionals will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements by attending PSPP/Div 39 approved programs.


PSPP and Division 39 are committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities and strive to conduct all activities in strict conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. 

Participants with special needs will be accommodated as possible. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during this presentation, or if you have concerns about such issues as accessibility for persons with disabilities, distress with regard to program content or other complaints, please contact Philip Rosenbaum, Ph.D. at . There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflict of interest. During the program, the presenter will discuss the validity/utility of the content/approach as well as the limitations of the approach and most common risk factors, if any.



Online registration will be available at the PSPP website through 10/22/18. Following this date, participants may register for the program at the door.

Registration by mail is available by contacting: Dr. Sarah White, PSPP Membership Chair: 3804 Church Road, Mount Laurel, NJ 08504  

This program is intended for mental health professionals with an intermediate level of knowledge and experience it is not limited to individuals practicing in a psychoanalytic mode.

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