November 3, 2021

7:30 – 9:00 PM Central Time

Zoom Platform – Registration Coming Soon

1.5 CEs

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

The novelist Doris Lessing wrote that racial prejudice was “not our original fault, but only one aspect of the atrophy of the imagination that prevents us from seeing ourselves in every creature that breaths under the sun.” In western thought, this original fault has created an exaggerated sense of the distance between ourselves as humans and the many other beings that populate our worlds. The result has been not only the increasingly obvious environmental destruction the world is now witnessing, but also the kinds of chronic dissatisfactions that produce psychopathology. Historically, this ecological othering was foundational to psychoanalysis, which built its intellectual edifice on a simultaneous recognition and sequestering of the animal in the human, and the primacy of culture over nature. Though the psychoanalytic perspective has evolved and become far more nuanced since Freud, even the relational movement of the last several decades has focused almost exclusively on the psychology of relations between humans and ignored the rest of the world. In the current moment, it is critical that we understand how this form of othering is woven into psychoanalytic approaches, and how we might develop a gentler and more welcoming approach to the animal, both inner and outer. This lecture will look at the ways psychoanalysis has rested on this particular othering, offer a model that rectifies that distance, and suggest ways to use this perspective clinically.

Bio: Dr. Jason Sugg is an LPC in private practice, an activist, and a researcher focused on relational ecopsychology. At the moment he is working on turning his PhD dissertation into a book about the impact of urban form and ritual on relations between beings. In his spare time you can usually find him outdoors somewhere, preferably camping somewhere wild. He lives in Austin, TX with his two daughters, and holds B.S. & M.Eng. degrees in Computer Science from MIT, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Learning Objectives: 

After attending the program in its entirety, attendees will be able to:

1) Identify the ways that animals and other non-human beings were othered in the foundations of psychoanalytic thought.

2) Deploy several specific techniques to help clients identify and work with the influence of the non-human in their lives.


Bradshaw, G. A., & Schore, A. N. (2007). How elephants are opening doors: Developmental neuroethology, attachment, and social context. Ethology, 113(5), 426–436. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2007.01333.x

Ellenberger, H. F. (1970). The discovery of the unconscious: The history and evolution of dynamic psychiatry. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Fisher, A. (2013). Radical ecopsychology: Psychology in the service of life (2nd ed.). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Panksepp, J. (2011). Cross-species affective neuroscience decoding of the primal affective experiences of humans and related animals. PloS One, 6(9), 1-15.

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 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.