Spring Symposium: Love and Power in the Therapy Hour

Maureen Walker, PhD
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Saturday, April 10, 2021, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm PST. Live Webinar.

Annual Spring Symposium

Love and Power in the Therapy Hour

Words like “love” tend to raise discomfort in psychotherapy venues, particularly if it refers to a relational dynamic between the client and therapist. It raises the specter of unchecked countertransference and overly porous boundaries, the consequences of which may undermine the possibility of growth-fostering outcomes. However, an anchoring tenet of the Relational-Cultural Theory is that the clinical relationship is shaped by multidimensional experiences of power differentials. Whether it is the power differential inherent in the culture of therapy or that which is ascribed by social identity status, authentic connection between the client and therapist is seriously compromised when these differentials are left unaddressed. The overarching objective of this session is to examine practices of disruptive empathy, mindful authenticity, and dynamic mutuality, relationship dynamics that allow transformative experiences of power for both client and therapist.

Following are the topics that will be explored in this session.

1) The ARC of Disruptive Empathy:

  • What disruptive empathy is and is not.
  • Internal barriers (e.g. selective perception, dualistic thinking) and external barriers (e.g. miseducation, tribal loyalty) to disruptive empathy.
  • How power shapes our reactions and interactions with client.
  • Five practices that enable us to integrate disruptive empathy as an ongoing professional development practice.

2) The Three C Approach to Mindful Authenticity:

  • What mindful authenticity is and is not.
  • Internal and external barriers to mindful authenticity.
  • The APT orientation required to facilitate Dynamic Mutuality, the practice that manifests as power sharing in the clinical relationship.

To paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr, love is the motive—power sharing is the means. Psychotherapy is then experienced as what the poet-activist Audre Lorde described as a “shared journey”—one that allows both participants to experience “something new” or an expanded imagination of human possibility.

Maureen Walker, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with an independent practice in psychotherapy and multicultural consultation in Cambridge, MA. She is a faculty member and Founding Scholar of the International Center for Growth in Connection, Inc., formerly known as the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, a legacy project of Wellesley College Centers for Women. For twenty-five years, she worked at Harvard Business School (HBS) providing counseling and mental health support to students in the graduate management program. After retiring from her role as the Director of Student Support Services, she has maintained her affiliation with HBS through clinical consultation services.

Date & Time: Saturday, April 10, 2021, at 9:00 am to 1:00 pm PST. Live Webinar.
Zoom invite will be sent out a few days prior to the course date.

Location: Virtual format—Zoom
Contact Administrative Coordinator Sierra Wilson with any questions or concerns: sbrown@tpi-berkeley.org.

 Fee if Registration Completed: Before 01/17/21 Before 03/25/21 After 03/25/21
TPI Members $120 $135 $150
Nonmembers $145 $160 $175
Prelicensed Students/Associates $95 $110 $125

CE: 4 Credits. $10 additional fee for CE credits. Attendees must participate in live sessions to receive CE's. The Psychotherapy Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists, LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs (provider number PSY005). The Psychotherapy Institute maintains responsibility for these programs and their content (see Course Policies).

Registration Ends: 
Friday, April 9, 2021 - 3:00pm
$10 fee