Protecting Our Mental Well-being in the Midst of Ongoing Crises Study Group

Instructor: Maxine Anderson, MD, FIPA

Course Description

During these complex times trying to remain balanced in our responses to the crises we face regarding the pandemic and emerging social issues may be very taxing. Anxiety erodes spacious thought and discernment; and, outrage can cause us to slip into polarized positions of absolute certainty about right and wrong, us and them.  At these times we need all the internal balance we can muster. Dialogue amidst an atmosphere of respect and tolerance may help us to regain the internal space and balance needed to restore our capacities for wide-ranging thought. Many are finding that online study groups offer such opportunities.

One such group met monthly last spring with the initial task of discussing some of my writings about how we all can lose but then regain our minds from overwhelming emotion and polarizing circumstances.  Importantly, the emergence of the pandemic and then the Black Lives Matter protests brought each of us first-hand experience in terms of what we were considering . The study group meetings offered a safe space to feel, to listen, to label and thus to be better able to think about the often traumatic overwhelm that these crises were imposing.  Most of the participants were grateful for what the group offered, some expressing a wish for its continuance.

That group experience and the ongoing crises have prompted me to resume such a study group format to meet monthly and to read about and discuss our responses to the challenges we are facing. Initial thoughts are to review and perhaps add to the readings considered previously as a frame for discussion but also as ready reference for understanding the continuing anxiety and often paralyzing emotion we are all being subject to. The study group would, of course, meet by zoom.  

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: Meeting time would be on the 2nd Thursday of the month, September, 2020 through May or June of 2021.

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm

CEUs: 6 hours

Members $10 per session
Non-Members $10 per session
Candidates: $10 per session

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.

Learning Objectives:

1.     To observe how the mind seeks protection in the face of unbearable realities.
2.     To explore the forces for and against change in these circumstances.
3.     To enhance our capacities to remain internally balanced in these circumstances.

Register Here

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.