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Webinar Description

Controversies and splitting have marked the treatment of trauma since the inception of psychoanalysis. This started with arguments over the question of whether dissociative/traumatic symptoms are based on an external event or an unconscious fantasy.

Similar vehement disagreements also surround the other major questions about trauma treatment: is trauma an unhealable wound or can it be mitigated by human resilience? How should “identifying with the aggressor” be defined? Is recovery possible only if the victim internally forgives their perpetrator or is it enough for the victim to forgo their hatred? Clinicians had to choose an allegiance to a particular school of thought; the other approaches were denigrated. The real losers in these battles were the trauma sufferers who were not able to receive a comprehensive treatment.

Beginning in the early 1990’s the psychoanalytic world moved to minimize the split between the two main theories of trauma treatment and integrate them in order to create a more comprehensive treatment modality. A creative dialogue also emerged around the other major controversies in trauma treatment.

This webinar will present the views of the central contributors to these issues and highlight how each perspective adds to our understanding of trauma pathology and recovery, as well as the limitations thereof. It will also provide a multi-stage treatment framework from the trauma literature to help the clinician weigh their intervention based on the client’s needs at that stage of treatment.  

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Dov Finkelstein, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Passaic, NJ and leads reading groups for therapists. He was a Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine for eight years.


1-1:15 Introduction- Beyond controversies and splitting in trauma treatment- looking for the merits and limitations of each side of the contested issues- stages of trauma treatment

1:15-1:30- S. Freud vs. Ferenczi- Unconscious fantasy or actual trauma

1:30-1:45- Laub vs. Orenstein- An unhealable “black hole” or faith in human resilience 

1:45-2- Anna Freud vs. Ferenczi- The definition of “identifying with the aggressor”

2-2:15- Heinz Weiss vs. Daniel Shaw- Acceptance vs. Forgiveness 

2:15-2:30- Warren Poland vs. Bruce Reis- two approaches to psychological witnessing

2:30-3- Discussion and Q and A

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe four controversies in the psychoanalytic treatment of trauma
  • Participants will be able to explain the merits and limitations of each perspective
  • Participants will be able to apply each perspective according to the specific needs of their clients
This presentation is open to:
  • Social Workers
  • Professional Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Mental Health Practitioners
  • Other professionals interacting with populations engaged in mental health based services
This online class is offered at an introductory level ,and is beneficial for an intermediate level clinician:
  • New practitioners who wish to gain enhanced insight surrounding the topic
  • Experienced practitioners who seek to increase and expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the subject matter
  • Advanced practitioners seeking to review concepts and reinforce practice skills and/or access additional consultation
  • Managers seeking to broaden micro and/or macro perspectives

Course Length: 2 Hours

This Webinar Offers 2 Continuing Education Credits
This webinar is recorded and will not grant live credits.

    • This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Therapy Express. NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
    • NEFESH International, 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-0116.
    • This course, {title}, Approval {licenseNumber} provided by NEFESH: The International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals, is approved for continuing education by the New Jersey Social Work Continuing Education Approval Collaborative, which is administered by NASW-NJ. CE Approval Collaborative Approval Period: February 11, 2022 through August 31, 2024. New Jersey social workers will receive {credits} CE credit for participating in this course.
    • NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046
    • NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082
    • NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048.

Official information:

Refunds: Registrants who are unable to attend a Thrapy Express seminar or live webinars may ask for, and will receive, a credit or refund (your choice). Refund requests will be processed within 3 business days. When an attendee knows in advance that they are unable to attend we ask that they inform Thrapy Express ahead of time by emailing [email protected] or by calling or texting (631) 202-1010 this allows us to free up the spot in the training in the event that a training is at or near capacity.
Disability Access: If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.
Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.
The grievance policy for trainings provided by the NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here
Satisfactory Completion: Participants must have paid the tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (If this is a pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% to receive a certificate.) Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available after satisfactory course completion by clicking here
Participants will receive their certificate electronically upon completion of the webinar and course evaluation form.
There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.
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