February 3, 2021

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Central

1.5 CEs

Meeting will take place on Zoom.


Monthly meetings are always free of charge. CE certificates are $10 for non-members.

ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to explore the tension between a social justice model of social work intervention in racism and an analytic approach to exploring racism. The white therapist will present a case in which a white patient repeatedly and with self-awareness and concern for the therapist’s potential condemnation brings racist beliefs, assumptions, and fears into the consulting room. Utilizing the concept of the analytic third as a space/potential/requirement for generativity in treatment, the therapist explores the possibility of an inverse function: a disciplinary third—in this case, the therapist’s training as a social worker along with the therapist’s whiteness and disavowed racism—that acts as a limit on the psychic space available in the treatment.

The paper wonders whether a model of psychotherapy practice grounded in social work values is perhaps designed to manage the anxiety of the therapist rather than to generate actual transformation in the patient or even, ironically, social justice. This paper will promote discussion of the potential tension between a social justice approach to psychotherapy and social work practice and the transformative potential of rigorous exploration of one’s mind.

BIO:  Alex Samets is the co-director of The Baltimore Center for Psychotherapy, a psychodynamic practice collective in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a psychoanalytic candidate at the National Institute of the Psychotherapies in New York and was a Social Work Fellow at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. Alex holds a Master of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.


CONTINUING EDUCATION: Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  Austin Psychoanalytic is approved by the Texas State Board of Social Workers Examiners (Provider # 5501) to provide continuing education for social workers and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists (Provider #1138). We also meet the requirements to provide continuing education for the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 1.5 continuing education credits. Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to info@austinpsychoanalytic.org. There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest. Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program’s content.


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