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Arthus A. Gray, Ph.D.'s "Meisner Improvisation and Psychoanalysis"

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NIP Conference Room

250 West 50th Street, #501, NYC, NY

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1.5 Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers

Meisner Improvisation and Psychoanalysis: Stop, Look, and Listen With

Psychoanalytic literature is replete with references on listening. The papers state what is to be listened to but only implicitly attempt to address how to listen to a patient. Self psychologists agree that Kohut’s empathic listening perspective provides a valuable, broad listening approach with implications about the how of listening. Nonetheless, other authors have demonstrated that understanding a patient might require more than an empathic stance. In listening, the analyst’s experience can contribute to understanding the patient’s communication. How can such a relativistic perspective, which incorporates the analyst’s subjectivity, be applied in treatment? I propose that Meisner improvisation addresses this question. His improvisation offers a model of engagement between analyst and patient that I refer to as “Listening with.” The analyst listens with a patient to identify what the patient wants to be understood and addressed in the treatment. Meisner improvisation provides a model that not only describes how to listen, but also a model for training analysts in a process of listening with. Case material will be included.

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NIP Conference Room

250 West 50th Street, #501, NYC, NY

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