(Re)discovering the Basics of Therapy: A Continuing Process for the Psychodynamic Therapist - Adam Polnay, MBChB (Live)

January 20, 2023

Dr. Adam Polnay states, "In the course of writing a new textbook on psychotherapy, I was struck by the joy and value in re-visiting the so-called ‘basic’ concepts and practices of therapy. From discussion with colleagues, I think I am not alone in observing how we as therapists may, over time, come to take the basics for granted, and even ‘forget’ them." In the introduction section of his talk, he explores possible explanations for this. These include the role of interpersonal dynamics inherent in working closely with people in therapy; as well as a familiarity that may creep in that diminishes the fresh shock of clinical encounters present earlier in one’s career. Furthermore, there is the tendency for any activity we practice repeatedly to become automatic–whilst adaptive in some ways, this is not necessarily without detriment.

Borrowing ideas from a different discipline to therapy, a key technique book for experienced violinists is titled ‘Basics.’ This title is deceptively simple as the book is over 200 pages; it is not intended for beginners but for experienced violinists to use as part of their daily practice. Polnay suggests that aspects of how some musicians practice may be helpful for us therapists–including a recognition of the importance of the continuing need to attend to the ‘basics,’ the foundations, of one’s craft.

With this background in mind, he goes on to highlight–with a contemporary lens–some of the basics of therapeutic work. These include:

  • How an understanding of memory systems can provide a grounding for the therapist
  • The importance of observation to infer a patient’s underlying ways of being
  • ‘Listening in’ as a plain language approach to countertransference work, drawing on the work of Michael Parsons
  • The potential for the patient to discover, within the therapeutic relationship, ‘something new from something old’ (Mitchell, 1997, as cited in Gabbard and Westen 2003)
  • A contemporary approach to transference work

To conclude, the process of writing a book has, in a good way, led Polnay to feel less experienced, more ‘on the edges of knowing and not-knowing’ (French and Simpson 2000, drawing on Bion 1980). Bion argues that this is a helpful disposition for the therapist, although it is not necessarily easy. As French and Simpson (2000) put it:

“Just at the moment when working at the edges between knowing and not-knowing can allow space for a new thought, it can also let in the anxiety of one's nakedness.”

Target Audience

__x____ Introductory                ___x___ Intermediate                  ___x___ Advanced

Note: __Suitable for all levels of experience

Learning Objectives

  1. To identify the need to revisit the so-called ‘basic’ concepts and practices of therapy
  2. To apply an understanding of memory systems to therapeutic practice
  3. To be able to describe the principle of ‘listening in’ from the work of Michael Parsons  
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    Austen Riggs Center,Inc. is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this Live for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • 1.00 APA
    The Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this live interactive webinar for 1.00 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology. The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
  • 1.00 ASWB-ACE
    The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2020-2/2/2023. Social workers completing this live interactive webinar will receive 1.00 continuing education credit(s). For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit States and provinces that accept ACE | Association of Social Work Boards .
  • 1.00 Contact Hours/ Participation
Course opens: 
11/22/2022
Course expires: 
11/22/2023
Event starts: 
01/20/2023 - 12:50pm EST
Event ends: 
01/20/2023 - 1:50pm EST
Cost:
$0.00
Rating: 
5

Adam Polnay, MBChB, is a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Dr. Polnay works at The State Hospital (Carstairs), Scotland’s high secure forensic hospital, and is the clinical lead for the NHS Lothian Psychotherapy Department, based in Edinburgh. Both roles provide a psychodynamic clinical service, teaching and training in psychodynamic theory and its applications, and psychodynamic reflective practice groups and consultation.

Polnay graduated in undergraduate medicine and biological anthropology from the University of Cambridge. He worked at the Murdoch Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, in clinical genetics and community pediatrics, before completing medical training at the University of Edinburgh. He trained in psychiatry and medical psychotherapy in the South-East Scotland deanery. He qualified in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the Scottish Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists, is an accredited Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) practitioner, and has a postgraduate certificate in CBT (Queen Margaret University).

Polnay is the psychotherapy tutor for the South-East Scotland deanery and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was awarded The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland Research Prize (2014). His current main research area is in the evaluation of psychodynamic reflective practice groups. He is the main author of an upcoming textbook, The Cambridge Guide to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, due for publication in 2023 with Cambridge University Press.

Austen Riggs Center Inc. confirms that Dr. Adam Polnay, nor anyone involved in the planning of the CME event, has disclosed a potential conflict of interest. 

The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Austen Riggs Center. 

General CME/CE Information  

 Accommodations   - The Austen Riggs Center follows all state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). In accordance with the ADA, the Austen Riggs Center is committed to accessibility. If you need accommodations for your online course, please contact info@austenriggs.net.  

Please be advised that in order to obtain CE/CME credit you must remain in the event for its entirety. 

Accreditation    

(Physicians, Psychologists, Social Work and Nursing)

The Austen Riggs Center designates this live interactive webinar for a maximum of (see specific event) AMA PRA Category1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.    

The Austen Riggs Center Inc. is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.   

The Austen Riggs Center’s policy on disclosure, in keeping with requirements of the Massachusetts Medical Society, requires continuing education planners and speakers to disclose any relevant financial interest or other relationship with commercial entities that could pose a potential conflict of interest in the presentation of this educational activity. The Austen Riggs Center Continuing Medical Education Committee has established policies for identifying and resolving all conflicts of interest prior to this educational activity. The Austen Riggs Center accepts no commercial support of any kind to support our CME/CE activity.   

 The Austen Riggs Center Inc. also designates this live interactive webinar for (see specific event) continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology.   

Austen Riggs Center, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0115. 

The Austen Riggs Center Inc. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content. For additional information about this program, please call the Erikson Institute Education Coordinator, at 413.931.5230.   

The Austen Riggs Center Inc., #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2020-2/2/2023. Social workers completing this Live interactive webinar will receive (see specific event) continuing education credits.    

For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/.   

Attention NY and NJ Social Workers  

The Austen Riggs Center Inc. is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. As of January 2021, ACE is accepted in 48 jurisdictions. This does not include the states of New York and New Jersey. Check your state licensing board for further information. For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/ or check with your state guild and licensing entities.  

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    Austen Riggs Center,Inc. is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this Live for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • 1.00 APA
    The Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this live interactive webinar for 1.00 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology. The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
  • 1.00 ASWB-ACE
    The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2020-2/2/2023. Social workers completing this live interactive webinar will receive 1.00 continuing education credit(s). For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit States and provinces that accept ACE | Association of Social Work Boards .
  • 1.00 Contact Hours/ Participation

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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