November 9, 2019
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
6.0 CE/CME (Ethics)


Dr. Blechner will discuss ethical issues in dealing with sex, sexuality, and gender identity in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. We will consider how the values and beliefs of the psychoanalyst may shape a clinical approach, along with personal, religious, legal, cultural, and other factors. Clarifying a patient’s aims and wishes in treatment is fundamental. The clinician should have as much objective knowledge as possible about the facts of sexuality and gender identity. Empirical issues of how a patient can reconcile desires and life constraints will also be considered. New knowledge and changes in society must always be considered in finding the optimal clinical approach.

Bio: Mark J. Blechner, PhD, is Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute, and Professor and Supervisor at New York University. He has published for books: The Mindbrain and Dreams: Explorations of Dreaming, Thinking, and Artistic Creation (2018), Sex Changes: Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis (2009), The Dream Frontier (2001), and Hope and Mortality (1997). He is former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He was the founder and director of the HIV Clinical Service at the White Institute, the first clinic at a major psychoanalytic institute specializing in the treatment of people with HIV, their families, and caregivers. He practices psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in New York City, where he also leads several private dream groups.

His book, The Dream Frontier (Routledge, 2001) has become a widely used text for courses on dreams in universities and psychoanalytic institutes. The Dream Frontier has been praised for its new ideas on how dreams are formed and how to work with them clinically, for integrating the thinking of the major thinkers about dreams, and for exploring the links between dream phenomena, symptoms of brain damage, and research in neurobiology.

Learning Objectives:
After attending the program in it’s entirety, attendees will be able to:
1. Identify issues in sexuality and gender identity that commonly arise in psychotherapy
2. Acquire increased expertise in these areas and have a strategy for improved knowledge
3. Become aware of personal biases and barriers to providing effective and ethical treatment

Iasenza, S. (2010) What is Queer about Sex? Expanding sexual frames and theory and practice, Family Process, 49: 291-308.

Blechner, M.J. (2009) Sex Changes: Transformations in Society and Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.

Blechner, M.J. (2016) Psychoanalysis and sexual issues. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 52(4): 502-546.

Blechner, M.J. (2017) The clitoris: Anatomical and psychological issues. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 18: 190-200.

Blechner, M.J. (2019) Collateral damage in the battle to change sexual orientation. In: A. Slomowitz and A. Feit, eds., Homosexuality, Transsexuality, Psychoanalysis, and Traditional Judaism, New York, Routledge, 33-44.

Blechner, M.J. (2009) Erotic and antierotic transference. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45: 82-92.

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