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Sundays @CCP: Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work (Zak Mucha, LCSW)

  • 28 Apr 2024
  • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (CDT)
  • 20 W. Kinzie, Chicago, IL (Kinzie Hotel) or via Zoom
  • 410


  • If you are a current CCP member, events are free of charge.
  • Non-CCP members who are also not students

Registration is closed

Sundays @ CCP

Zak Mucha, LCSW

(Chicago, Il)

Sunday, April 28 , 2024

Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work

Kinzie Hotel

20 W. Kinzie. Chicago, Il

(Fort Dearborn Room, 6th Floor)



12-2pm (CST)

About the presentation: Working with a transient and traumatized population suffering severe psychotic symptoms, homelessness, and addictions, the patient/clinician relationship must be about more than medication monitoring and case management. The relationship itself can hold hope for patients who have been failed repeatedly by community mental health systems, especially in non-traditional clinical frames where the limiting medicalization standards place a barrier reinforcing the idea of “us and them,” and refusing the clinician’s responsibility to be a vulnerable human with an irreducible responsibility to the other.

This presentation will examine the psychoanalytic possibilities of joining the patients’ worlds, both internal and external, to understand how psychotic symptoms can hold a narrative of past trauma and possess the hope for an emerging self. Using clinical material from the book, Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work, we will discuss ways of engaging, understanding, and thinking of individuals presenting with severe psychotic symptoms. Through a psychoanalytic lens not available back then, we find some interventions which may not have had any psychodynamic intentions did have such impact while other interventions meant to be therapeutic might not have been at all.

Zak Mucha, LCSW, is a psychoanalyst in private practice and an executive board member at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. He spent seven years working as the supervisor of an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program, providing 24/7 services to persons suffering from severe psychosis, substance abuse issues, and homelessness. Mucha has also worked as a counselor and consultant for U.S. combat veterans undergoing training for digital forensic investigations in child pornography. Before going into the clinical field, he worked as a freelance journalist, truck driver, furniture mover, construction worker, union organizer, staff member at a juvenile DCFS locked unit, and taught briefly at a women’s prison. He is the author of Emotional Abuse: A Manual for Self-Defense and Swimming to the Horizon: Crack, Psychosis, and Street-Corner Social Work.

Learning objectives:

1.Participants will be able to examine the possibilities for psychodynamic work with patients suffering from severe psychosis and all the socioeconomic factors that stem from a life on the margins of society.

2.Participants will be able to discuss how psychotic symptoms can be considered a trauma response both embedded with a narrative and an effort to protect the self.


CCP members: free with annual $195 membership, payable at registration.

Students:free with annual $175 membership, payable at registration.

Fellows: free with annual $175 membership, payable at registration.

Non-CCP members, single admission: $40

Continuing Education

This program is sponsored for Continuing Education Credits by the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. There is no commercial support for this program, nor are there any relationships between the continuing education sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be construed as conflicts of interest. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If the program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. CCP is licensed by the state of Illinois to sponsor continuing education credits for Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Counselors and Licensed Clinical Psychologists (license no. 159.000941 and 268.000020 and 168.000238 Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation).

Professionals holding the aforementioned credentials will receive 2.0 continuing education credits for attending the entire program. To receive these credits a completed evaluation form must be turned in at the end of the presentation and licensed psychologists must first complete a brief exam on the subject matter. No continuing education credit will be given for attending part of the presentation. Refunds for CE credit after the program begins will not be honored. If a participant has special needs or concerns about the program, s/he/they should contact Toula Kourliouros Kalven by April 27, 2024 at: tkalven@ccpsa.org

Presented by

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis/CCP Program Committee: Toula Kourliouros Kalven, Alan Levy, PhD, Zak Mucha, LCSW

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis is an IRS 501(C)(3) charitable organization, and expenses may be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and your personal tax situation.

"Nothing human is alien to me"  --Terrence

(c) 2018 Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy

Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 6095, Evanston, IL 60204-6095

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