Psychoanalytic Explorations Program

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) is pleased to announce an updated and expanded series of opportunities for growth and learning in the Psychoanalytic Explorations Program.  Virtually all courses in this program have received very positive, enthusiastic feedback in prior years!

Each of the Psychoanalytic Explorations courses is open to all and allows participants to study with seasoned psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically-oriented practitioners who have selected topics based on their particular interests and expertise.  Seven different 12-hour courses will be offered in the 2019 – 2020 year.  Each will meet for two hours on six dates.  Class size is highly limited in order to facilitate the learning and participation by each individual.  There is a separate registration process for each course; you may register for one or more courses, depending on your own interests and needs.

Twelve (12) CE credits are available for each course. All CCP programs and course offerings qualify for Continuing Education (CE) credits for LCSW, LCPC, PhD, PsyD, and LMFT clinicians. The cost of each 12-hour course is $500.00.

If you would like more information, please contact the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Explorations program, Dr. Peter Reiner at 312.822.7277 or

To register for the courses below, please complete the form and pay online here:

Psychoanalytic Explorations Program Registration

Here are the seven upcoming offerings for 2019 – 2020:

Course Title:  Uncoupling:  Psychoanalytic Approaches to Working with Divorcing Individuals (12 CE Credits)

Instructor:  Ronald Rosenthal, PhD

Meeting dates (2019):  September 9, 16, 23, 30; October 7, 21

Meeting time:  Mondays:  5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Location:  405 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Course Description:

As psychotherapists we frequently encounter individuals struggling with questions of whether to divorce, when to divorce, and how to survive divorce. While helping them cope with the grief and mourning that often accompany the death of a marriage, the therapist is often tasked with providing practical guidance as well.

Divorce represents a distinct loss, the death of “We,” the entity called marriage. Approaching divorce as a problem of mourning provides a framework to help individuals to separate from their spouses and define new senses of self. Absent internal psychological work, people may find themselves harboring feelings of abandonment, resentment, hatred, and despair. They may experience a degree of disillusionment that can impede the formation of new relationships.

In this course, we will discuss some factors that lead to the disruption of the marriage. These may include:  failures of idealizations formed early in the relationship, attachment to disappointments and traumas, progressive disillusionment, and other complex interpersonal issues. The dynamics behind these problems usually are tied to interlocking transferences from previous relationships, especially from families of origin. Enactments of dysfunctional family dynamics often grow in intensity as the marital bond disintegrates; these may occur before, during, or after the divorce itself. Awareness of these dynamics can help the therapist support the patient’s movement through the phases of mourning while simultaneously dealing with legal, financial and logistical issues.

Divorcing can be a tremendous strain on emotional as well as financial resources. Families with children have the additional burden of managing the feelings of their kids while trying to make practical plans for dividing up parenting responsibilities. This course will also address how to help children as well as parents with the loss of an intact family and the psychological hazards that often ensue.

Biographical Information:

Ronald Rosenthal, Ph.D. is Visiting Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago and in Vernon Hills. He earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and came to Chicago to complete a NIMH postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Chicago, Michael Reese Hospital, and the Illinois State Psychiatric Hospital. He was the Director of Adolescent Research at the Illinois State Psychiatric Hospital from 1980 - 1992 where he co-led an ongoing seminar in diagnostic assessment of adolescents. He has taught at Roosevelt University, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and the University of Tennessee, Nashville. His research publications have addressed attention deficit disorders, adolescent delinquency, and psychiatric hospital treatment. He is a past Treasurer of the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology. He has presented at APA Division 39, as well as at meetings of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. He currently mentors CCP trainees in the Psychoanalytic Fellowship Program.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Rosenthal participates as a Divorce Coach and a Child Specialist in the practice of Collaborative Divorce, as well as assisting in Mediation processes. He was Vice-President for Mental Health of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. He has presented frequently to that organization and has also participated as Faculty in Mediation Training courses run by the American Academy of Matrimonial Law.

Course Title:  Dialectical Constructivism:  A Perspective on the Psychoanalytic Process (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Irwin Z. Hoffman, PhD

Meeting dates (2019):  October: 19, 26; November: 2, 9, 16, 23                           

Meeting time:  Saturdays:  10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location:  25 E. Washington Street, Chicago

Course Description:

In this seminar, we will study the essential elements of a perspective on the psychoanalytic process that I’ve called “dialectical constructivism.”  Among the features of this viewpoint to be highlighted will be its integration of existential issues and more traditional psychoanalytic ideas.  Experience is ambiguous and therefore fertile ground for multiple plausible interpretations and a wellspring for many value-laden choices.  As a function of the ritual asymmetry of the analytic situation combined with the patient’s transference disposition, the analytic therapist has special power to overcome the malignant influence of early bad object ties, even as they are played out within the analytic relationship, and to affirm the patient as a responsible, creative agent in that very relationship and in the world.  

What I am reacting against when I underscore the responsible agency of the participants are very deeply entrenched concepts that reside at the core of the psychoanalytic tradition.  In particular I am thinking of concepts such as psychic determinism, free association, and evenly hovering attention, all of which serve the pursuit of an illusory “objective” truth while radically limiting the responsibility of the participants for their value-laden choices.

Much of our discussion will be based on readings from my book Ritual and Spontaneity in the Psychoanalytic Process; A Dialectical-Constructivist View, The Analytic Press, 1998.  I would appreciate it if everyone in the class owned a copy of the book.

Biographical Information:

Irwin Z. Hoffman, PhD is Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Faculty and Supervising Analyst at the National Training Program for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is Adjunct Clinical Professor at the New York University Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and was faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine for many years.  He is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, is a corresponding editor for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and has served on the board of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

The co-author with Merton M. Gill of Analysis of Transference, Vol. II: Studies of Nine Audio-Recorded Psychoanalytic Sessions (1982), he is the author of a series of publications developing his “dialectical-constructivist” point of view, including his book Ritual and Spontaneity in the Psychoanalytic Process: A Dialectical-Constructivist View (The Analytic Press, 1998).  In a series of essays since the book, Dr. Hoffman has explored new frontiers of this perspective centering on the responsibility of the patient and the analyst as creative collaborators in the analytic work and as moral agents in the world.  Dr. Hoffman is in private practice in Chicago.

Course Title:  Attachment and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  David Daskovsky, PhD
Meeting dates (2019):  October 29; November 5, 12, 19, 26; December 3
Meeting time:  Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m.
Location:  1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston

Course Description:

This course will focus on the clinical application of attachment theory and research. Key concepts from the attachment literature will be used as a developmental framework for better understanding character development, the adaptive nature of defense mechanisms, attitudes toward emotion and self-regulatory styles, the connections between attachment and self-esteem and self-efficacy, and how treatment can facilitate earned secure attachment. Participants will learn to use the attachment model as a powerful tool in case formulation and treatment planning.

The course will highlight the relationship between a person’s early attachment style and various character and interpersonal manifestations, as well as its implications for treatment. Class format will be lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on applying the attachment model to real life treatment issues. The text for this course will be David Wallin’s Attachment and Psychotherapy.

Biographical Information:

David Daskovsky, PhD is Visiting Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University’s School of Medicine in 1988. From 1989 to 1998, he was a staff psychologist at NMH’s Extended Partial Hospitalization Program, which offered intensive, long term treatment for adults with severe mental illnesses, including many who had suffered chronic trauma. In 1998, he became Director of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation at Trilogy, Inc.; from 2003 to 2009 he served as that agency’s Clinical Director.

While at Trilogy, Dr. Daskovsky was instrumental in the development of a highly respected practicum training program and has long been committed to teaching and training mental health professionals about the treatment of mental illness in community settings. From 2009 until the present, he has been on staff at Yellowbrick, where he is currently Senior Psychologist.  Dr. Daskovsky has taught and presented widely on issues related to the treatment of serious mental illness, attachment and psychotherapy, and therapist transparency in psychodynamic treatment.

Course Title:  Child Psychotherapy:  A Relational and Developmental Perspective (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Diane Selinger, PhD
Meeting dates (2020):  January 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22

Meeting time:  Saturdays 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Location:  5225 Old Orchard Road, Skokie

Course Description:

This clinically-based class will provide an integrative approach to psychoanalytically-informed child therapy. Participants will explore the key processes of affect regulation and sensory integration, as well as the foundational aspects of language development. These topics will be integrated with discussions of the therapist’s internal experience and the meanings of the child’s play.

This class will help participants understand and work at multiple levels:  regulation, engagement, reciprocal interaction, as well as representational and symbolic play. How play facilitates communication and growth, as well as how to form relationships with parents and include them in treatment, will be discussed throughout the course.

The class format will include lecture and discussion, and many clinical examples will be provided.  Participants are welcome to share their own clinical material during discussions.  Relevant readings will also be considered.

Biographical Information:

Diane Selinger, PhD is Visiting Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP).  She is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice who works with children, adolescents, and adults. She completed her psychoanalytic training at the National Training Program of the National Institute of the Psychotherapies.

Dr. Selinger is a mental health consultant at Beth Osten and Associates, a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic, and at Soaring Eagle Academy, a DIR® (Developmental, Individual-differences, Relationship-based) school for children with neurodevelopment disorders, and was instrumental in integrating mental health into both programs. She is faculty at Profectum Academy and was faculty at its DIR Institute predecessor. Diane has taught, presented at conferences, produced webcasts, and published papers related to therapy with children and their parents. These span diverse topics, including autism and gender. 

Course Title:  Empathic Attunement and Empathic Ruptures in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy:  A Self Psychology Perspective (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Michael Komie, PhD
Meeting dates (2020):  January 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20

Meeting time:  Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location:  180 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Course Description:

In this clinically-focused course, we will address the following questions regarding the key role of empathy in the psychotherapeutic endeavor:

How does the therapist foster his/her/their personal and professional empathic capacity, and what is its role in the psychotherapeutic relationship and change processes?

How does the therapist develop linkages among empathic attunement as a mode of experience, a diagnostic tool, and a mode of psychotherapeutic intervention?

What happens when the empathic relational field between patient and therapist has been ruptured?  How does the therapist work to restore the empathic connection?

What role may empathy play in the emergence of a maturationally facilitative transference and countertransference relational matrix between therapist and patient?

Finally, what is the relationship among empathy, attachment, and reality testing in the therapeutic relationship?

These questions will be explored in the relational context of the course participants and the instructor who will work together to articulate a conceptual approach to the interpersonal two-person field from a  self psychologically informed point of view.  Two classic texts will facilitate this process, namely Treating the Self (E. Wolf, 1988) and Learning Disorders and Disorders of the Self (J. Palombo, 2001). 

Biographical Information:

Michael Komie, PhD is Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Professor Emeritus at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  He is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who maintains a private practice in Chicago. Dr. Komie’s interests include attachment and separation, immigration and identity, occupational mental health, and psychotherapeutic technique.

Course Title:  To Live before Dying: The Values of Psychoanalysis (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Peter Shabad, PhD
Meeting dates (2020):  February 24; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Meeting time:  Mondays, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location:  180 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Course Description:

How have psychoanalysts viewed what it means to live a fulfilling life?  How have these perspectives guided the clinical practice of psychoanalysis?  How does the therapist’s personal journey through suffering and loss toward redemptive ideals inform the ideology and values of his/her countertransference?  In this course, we will examine the implicit assumptions and values that undergird psychoanalytic theory and practice.  Readings will include key papers by Freud and Rank, in addition to a number of my own publications.

We will begin the course by examining how core aspects of psychoanalytic inquiry – curiosity, understanding, and the talking cure – are revolutionary because they defy the superstitious fear of word magic.  We will trace how Freud’s drive theory regarding suffering and growth lead directly to his recommendations for psychoanalytic technique.  We will then examine Otto Rank’s critique of the ideology implied in Freud’s clinical theory.  I will then delineate out my own theory of human development and the problems of reactive passivity that ensue when shame keeps individuals enclosed in their own despairing solitude. We will then discuss the importance of the therapist’s respect for the patient’s freedom of dignity as an intentional agent in his/her own life, even when that entails “resistance” to therapeutic progress.  Finally, we will examine the paradoxical tension between the professional and personal within the therapist’s clinical identity, and the importance of the therapist’s use of the personal in participatory listening and witnessing the patient’s journey of suffering.  Such witnessing is indispensable to the mourning that leads toward the patient’s inner freedom.  

Biographical Information:

Peter Shabad, PhD is Faculty at Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.  He is Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Shabad is co-editor of The Problem of Loss and Mourning:  Psychoanalytic Perspectives (IUP, 1989) and author of Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy (Aronson, 2001).

Dr. Shabad is currently working on a book entitled Seizing The Vital Moment:  Passion, Shame, and Mourning, to be published Routledge.  He is the author of numerous papers and book chapters on diverse topics such as the psychological implications of death, loss and mourning, giving and receiving, shame, parental envy, resentment, spite, and regret.  Dr. Shabad is in private practice in Chicago in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.

Course Title:  Relational Theory: Clinical Implications and Misunderstandings (12 CE credits)

Instructor:  Steven Vogelstein, MA, LCSW

Meeting dates (2020):  April 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20

Meeting time:  Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location:  540 Frontage Road, Northfield, IL

Course Description:

We will begin by exploring the development and evolution of Relational Theory within psychoanalysis, including consideration of infant research in the 1970’s and 1980’s, of the emergence of a new “psychoanalytic baby,” and of post-modernism.  The optimal use of readings will be discussed in our first meeting.

This course will focus on the clinical implications of Relational Theory and our associated clinical assumptions.  Key areas we will consider include the following:

Reconceptualizing Transference and Counter-transference

Where is the Therapeutic Action?

What about Therapeutic Technique and Therapeutic Stances?

Developmental Theory and the Developmental “Tilt”

DIssociation, Multiplicity, and Trauma

Biographical Information:

Steven Vogelstein MA, LCSW is Visiting Faculty and an advanced candidate at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP), where he served as Chair of the Progression Committee and taught in the Psychotherapy Program.  He is faculty at the Institute for Clinical Social Work where he teaches in the doctoral program, and he has been Lecturer at the Loyola University School of Social Work.

Mr. Vogelstein’s recent professional presentations have focused on integrating neurocognitive and neuro-biological factors with psychoanalytic clinical practice, and on how Relational Theory intersects with culture, race, gender and sexuality.  He maintains a practice in Northfield, working with adults, children and adolescents and providing supervision and consultation to individuals, groups, agencies, and schools.

To Register:

Please register using the form below:



If space is still available, you can register and pay online easily (link above) or, if you wish to pay via regular mail, your check should be sent to CCP, PO Box 6095, Evanston, IL 60204-6095.

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