San Francisco Yearlong Program

2024 - 2025 San Francisco Yearlong Program

Jacqueline De Lon, MFT and Patricia Marra, MFT, Co-Directors
Ben Goldstone, LMFT, Israel Katz, MD, and Maureen Kurpinsky, PhD, Committee Members

Inventions of Madness: Grappling with Turmoil

What is madness?  What sets madness apart from other ways of being and becoming?  Delusional beliefs and deranged constructions may get us through a hard night — or they can puncture the symbolic order so thoroughly as to undermine our psychic stability.  Is madness a solution, a malady, or both?  Is everybody mad?

In this Yearlong, we intend to consider these questions by tracing the evolution of the concept of madness, exploring its vicissitudes and the ways a clinician might navigate these waters — using a range of illustrative material, including psychoanalytic theory and practice, creative endeavors, autobiographies, and philosophical speculation.

Dates:Fridays, September 6, 2024 – June 20, 2025
Time:12:00pm – 01:30pm
Sessions:35 Sessions
Location:Online via Zoom
Program Fee:

$ 1,450.00  General Admission
$ 1,305.00  SFCP Members
$ 1,087.50  University Students and Trainees*

*If you are a university student, in a pre-licensure clinical training program, or in a residency program,
please email to register and include proof of eligibility (a valid ID from your university or training program).

Readers are not included in the program fee.  For details, please refer to the Readers Fee information below.

La Folie: Madness in the French Psychoanalytic Context

In this class, we will explore the French understanding of madness and particularly the movement of “institutional psychotherapy,” a radical critique of conventional psychiatry and insane asylums. We will use Francoise Davoine’s Mother Folly as our centerpiece, bringing in readings from Michel Foucault, Georges Canguilhem, and Camile Robcis.

     Ania Wertz, PhD, PsyD
     Fridays, September 6, 13, 20, 27, 2024

Madness and the Social World

What is madness?  The Oxford dictionary defines it is “a state of being mentally ill; extremely foolish behavior; a state of frenzied or chaotic activity.”

In this class, each week we will look to the writings of several psychoanalytic authors to see how they (and we) might try to understand and relate to several forms of “madness.”

We will begin with Freud and two concepts: the repetition compulsion and the Uncanny.  We will discuss these concepts and their relationship to forms of madness.  Then we will turn our attention to the question of racism and the use of madness as a category of control.  We will read excerpts from Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum by Antonia Hylton.  Lastly, we will consider the role of the analyst inside and outside of the consulting room.  Joyce McDougall’s writings in A Plea for a Measure of Abnormality, as well as Darian Leader’s notion of psychosis will facilitate these considerations.

     Diana C. Fuery, PhD, LCSW
     Fridays, October 11, 18, 25, 2024
     (no class on October 4th)

Revisiting the Uncanny

Madness here simply means a break-up of whatever may exist at the time of a personal continuity of existence.
—Winnicott, D.W., Playing and Reality, 1986

[N]ostalgia … becomes a fatal tumor on the soul that makes it painful to breathe, or sleep, and associate with carefree foreigners.
—Nabokov, V., Lik, 1938/1997

In his paper “The Uncanny,” Freud (1919), elaborating on the etymology of the word, highlights what is concealed and obscure — albeit familiar — giving off a sense of eeriness when it comes to light. He writes, “…the uncanny is that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar” (SE 17, 220). In this seminar, we will look at the way the Stranger and the Uncanny are represented in the intrapsychic and socio-cultural spaces. Clinical examples from work with immigrants and the severely mentally disturbed will illustrate technical aspects of treatment and call for clinicians’ capacities to experience and represent their own experiences of strangeness and uncanniness.

     Alexander Zinchenko, PhD
     Fridays, November 1, 8, 15, 22, 2024
     (no class on November 29th)

Memoir and Madness

There is a long tradition of writing memoirs of madness, some focused on severe depression, some on psychotic states of being.  We will read excerpts of several in prose and poetry, considering both the experience and its expression.

     Alice Jones, MD
     Fridays, December 6, 13, 20, 2024
     (no class on December 27th, and January 3rd)

Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” – An Exploration into the question of “What is madness?”

Historically, madness has been defined as insanity, or stupid or dangerous behavior,  or at times discerned as having, “… a method to your madness.” Also, there is a cultural view linking madness and creativity that inspires ultimate freedom of thought and expression.

In this class, we will take an in-depth look at Franz Kafka’s short story, “The Hunger Artist,” a story that is disturbing in its nightmarish quality as well as its articulation of the poignant disorienting experience of grappling with what feels incomprehensible — the “Kafkaesque” sense of an oppressive, unconscious world filled with menacing complexity.

Reading additional papers by Milner and Ogden., we will explore how we can connect with the distressing experience of madness — our own and that of our patients. We will also explore what may lead from a fixed state of delusional beliefs to a state of mental flexibility that allows for greater connection between unconscious and conscious experience.

     Deborah Weisinger, PsyD
     Fridays, January 10, 17, 24, 31, 2025

A Necessary Madness: Sleepwalking into the Abyss

There is madness all around us — massive inequality, growing homelessness, climate catastrophe, a cataclysmic political scenario — compounded by the corollary madness of denial regarding them. We certainly register this devastation, but there is so much of it and its quality is so severe that we don’t necessarily address it in our everyday lives. So, what happens with it, with the registration of this ubiquitous madness? How does it show up in the clinic, and in our everyday lives? And what are the implications for the social?

     Fernando Castrillon, PsyD
     Fridays, February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2025

Culture as Container

Bion’s psychoanalytic study of thinking describes the process in which raw, lived experience is metabolized into psychically usable, symbolic form— involving a complex interaction between container and contained.  The capacity to successfully think (or dream) thoughts is requisite for responding effectively to the challenges of human living — fully experiencing, and then learning from that experience.  While the metaphor of container/contained can be easily mapped onto the familiar dyadic structure of caregiver/infant or therapist/patient, in the background of all of Bion’s psychoanalytic theorizing is his thinking about groups.  This course will explore the concepts of container/contained with specific attention to collective dimensions of human experience and a focus on culture itself.  How does the “madness” of the group find expression within its culture?   And  can culture itself function as a container, aiding in the transformation of what is collectively unthinkable?  We will engage these questions through a close reading of Bion placed in conversation with contemporary cultural texts.

     Inti Flores, MD
     Fridays, March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4, 2025
     (no class on April 11th, 18th, and 25th)

Madness in the Couple

How and why does madness emerge in couple relationships?  High-conflict relationships are often based in disturbing interpersonal dynamics that may appear as forms of madness or violence.  But even in healthier intimate relationships, dynamics that arise from regressed, defensive, or paranoid/schizoid states of mind can occur and make the partners feel “crazy.”

When it is difficult to tolerate difference, battles over whose “truth” or whose claim to reality can prevail. Moreover, projective identificatory processes in couples can create extreme emotional states that may feel intolerable, unrecognizable, and alien. In this course we will use contemporary psychoanalytic theory to understand how repetitive unconscious projective processes may thrust couples into various states of madness that may have defensive, as well as, developmental purposes.

     Shelley Nathans, PhD
     Fridays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2025

Madness in Film

Film powerfully engages with madness. Through the narrative and, more significantly, through the cinematic depiction with its visual and aural aspects — the sight and the sound of madness — we are brought directly into the subjective, lived experience that both disturbs and enlightens us. This course will look at films that depict madness variously — including the actual experience of psychosis, its effects on the self and those involved with the person who is suffering, and madness related to loss.  Each film will be accompanied by a paper that  looks at madness from a psychoanalytic perspective.  Possible films for discussion include Repulsion, A Beautiful Mind, Woman Under the Influence, and Under the Sand.  Possible readings include Bion on psychosis, Herbert Rosenfeld, Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia, and John Steiner on psychic retreats.

     Catherine Mallouh, MD
     Fridays, May 30; June 6, 13, 20, 2025

Readers Fee

Charges for reading material required for the seminars are not included in tuition. Your readers will be prepared by CopyCentral, and costs are based upon copyright laws and charge based on the content of the readers. The SFCP Office will inform you when your readers are available to be purchased from CopyCentral’s website. Please note that CopyCentral may take 2 weeks to print and mail the readers to you, so we recommend you to purchase them as soon as they become available.

Refund Policy

  • There will be a full refund if one requests to drop the program on or before August 5, 2024.
  • There will be a 10% cancellation fee if one requests to drop the program on or after August 6, 2023.
  • There will be no refund of classes in progress, and SFCP will provide a pro-rated refund of tuition for classes not yet begun.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 1, 2024
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Division
Graduation Ceremony 2024
Neil Brast, MD (graduation speaker)
Saturday, June 8, 2024
Dialogues in Contemporary Psychoanalysis
A Psychoanalytic Playlist with Sasha Frere-Jones
Sasha Frere-Jones (interviewee); Adam Blum, PsyD (interviewer); Elizabeth Bradshaw, PsyD (moderator)
Wednesdays, September 4, 2024 to September 25, 2024
Psychoanalytic Student Seminars
Social Work in Community Settings: How Theory Supports Effective Alliances
Corey Datz-Greenberg, LCSW, and Julia St. George, LCSW (instructors)
Fridays, September 6, 2024 to June 20, 2025
Extension Education Programs
2024-2025 San Francisco Yearlong Program: Inventions of Madness: Grappling with Turmoil
Ania Wertz, PhD, PsyD; Diana C. Fuery, PhD, LCSW; Alexander Zinchenko, PhD; Alice Jones, MD; Deborah Weisinger, PsyD; Fernando Castrillon, PsyD; Inti Flores, MD; Shelley Nathan, PhD; and Catherine Mallouh, MD (instructors)
Fridays, September 13, 2024 to June 6, 2025
Extension Education Programs
2024-2025 East Bay Yearlong Program: Letting the Unconscious Lead the Way
Graeme Daniels, MFT; Elizabeth Stuart, MD; Eric Miller, PhD; Ben Goldstone, MA, LMFT; Pedro Job, PsyM; and Paul Watsky, PhD (instructors)
Saturday, September 14, 2024
Child Colloquium Series
Working with the Harsh Adolescent Superego
Holly Gordon, DMH (presenter); Ann Martini, LCSW (discussant)
Thursdays, September 19 to October 17, 2024
Coalition for Clinical Social Work
CCSW mini-Module: Working with Parents: A Complex and Essential Component of Child Psychotherapy
Lea Brown, LCSW, and Amy Wallerstein Friedman, LCSW (instructors)
Fridays, September 20, 2024 to May 23, 2025
Extension Education Programs
2024-2025 San Francisco Yearlong Program: Continuous Case Conference
Marc Wallis, LCSW; Paul Alexander, PhD; Kathy Waller, MD; Bronwen Lemmon, LMFT; and Genie Dvorak, PsyD (case conference group leaders)
Wednesdays, October 2, 2024 to October 23, 2024
Psychoanalytic Student Seminars
Winnicott, Creativity, and the Place Where We Live
Marty Mulkey, MFT (instructor)
Wednesdays, October 16, 2024 to May 7, 2025
Extension Education Programs
2024-2025 Seasoned Clinicians Program
Reyna Cowan, PsyD, LCSW; Clara Kwun, LCSW; Robin Deutsch, PhD; Jeanne Harasemovitch, LCSW; Amy Glick, LMFT; and Gary Grossman, PhD (instructors)

Program Registration Form

Are you a university student, in a pre-licensure clinical training program, or in a residency program?

Please email to register and include proof of eligibility (a valid ID from your university or training program).

Are you an SFCP member? *
Are you interested in becoming an SFCP member to receive discounted registration fees and CME/CE credits for this and future programs? If so, you will be redirected to our SFCP Community Membership webpage to learn more or to join our membership. *
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