Protecting Our Humanity Study Group

Instructor: Maxine Anderson, MD, FIPA

Course Description

In these turbulent times many may feel alarmed to note the invitation toward massive reversion to close-minded polarized functioning which replaces open-minded spacious thought. Part of the alarm is that such reversion involves descent from our humanity toward entrapment in an inhumane level of experience.

This four-session Study Group will explore the dynamics of this descent and entrapment as well as what is needed to reestablish links with our humanity and its quiet, open-minded capacities.

As a guide, discussion will center on Maxine’s recent book, From Tribal Division to Welcoming Inclusion: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (Routledge, 2019). The first session will consider how the mind can distort reality in an effort to maintain security and stability, covered in the first part of the book. In order to avoid the increasing complexities of reality the mind can revert to the absolute certainties of ‘right and wrong’ or ‘us and them’, which can appear to provide safe harbor from the now-seeming dangers of the new and unfamiliar. The text details, and we will also discuss, the myth of white supremacy in the United States as one example of ‘us and them’ fearful reactivity.

The remaining sessions consider how the mind faces feared realities and the path toward rescue via courage and attentive care. The sturdy, compassionate function of care is described as providing the capacity to face disavowed truths and attendant myths along with the ability to absorb the pains, rages, and chaos incumbent in reintegrating the mind.

The overarching theme of the book and anticipated Study Group discussions are grounded in the realization that facing the pain of mental integration and striving for truth and meaning within an environment of respect for self and others fosters our humanity. Conversely, how a slackening of these efforts out of the hatred of painful realities and the hard work needed to maintain integration leads to our descent as individuals and as nations into entrapment and devolving inhumanity.

General Information

Who May Register: This Study Group is open to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and interested non-clinical members of the community. Registration is open to 30 participants on a first come, first served basis.

Course dates: 4 monthly sessions on Thursday evenings: March 5, April 2, May 14, June 4, 2020.

Time: 7:30 – 9:00 pm

CEUs: 6 hours

Members $50 per session
Non-Members $55 per session
Candidates: $35 per session

To Register: Email NPSI Administrator Hollee Sweet at admin@npsi.us.com.

Location: Zoom - an online platform for meetings and study groups. A link to each session will be emailed to participants prior to each monthly meeting.

Note: Participants who purchase the book for the course at Smile Amazon may select Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (spelled out) as your charity of choice. Amazon will donate a small portion of sales revenue to NPSI. Click here to purchase From Tribal Division to Welcoming Inclusion.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will acquire an appreciation of the allure toward tribal mental functioning.
2. Participants will be able to be able to describe the qualities which constitute our humanity and those which comprise our inhumanity.
3. Participants will be able to cite internal or external ‘guardrails’ which protect or re-establish one’s link with open-minded thought.

Maxine K Anderson, MD, FIPA is a training and supervising psychoanalyst with Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She is a Fellow with the British Psychoanalytic Society. She has several published psychoanalytic papers and two books:The Wisdom of Lived Experience: Views from Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Metaphysics (Karnac, 2016) and From Tribal Division to Welcoming Inclusion: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (Routledge, 2019). She lives and maintains a psychoanalytic private practice in Seattle, Washington.