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SPSI Scientific Session - Scot Gibson, MD; Discussant Ron Levin, MD

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SPSI Scientific Session - Scot Gibson, MD; Discussant Ron Levin, MD

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Seattle Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
4020 E Madision St. #230
Seattle, WA 98112
Sponsored by: 
"Don’t Panic – Thinking Psychoanalytically about Addictions” - Scot Gibson, MD

In the wide, confusing world of addiction treatment, addiction is variously characterized as a neurobiological disease; a learning disorder; a spiritual problem; a character flaw; or even a moral failing. This confusion can obscure what psychoanalytic practitioners already know:  addiction is fundamentally a psychological problem.  It is an imperfect compromise formation – a displacement; or, in classical terms, a “psychoanalytic symptom.”  As a symptom, addiction masks overwhelming feelings such as helplessness, despair, or rage. Thus, via projective mechanisms, addicts can evoke similarly powerful feelings - including panic - in their families, their friends, and their therapists.   
By conceiving of addiction as a powerful symptom, and taking a harm-reduction approach to the actual substance use, we can bring to bear psychoanalytic understanding of compromise formation, projective mechanisms, and counter-transference. We can offer addicts what we offer all of our psychoanalytic patients: a therapeutic relationship which will, over time, help them toward greater self-esteem, self-efficacy, and agency; expanded affective tolerance and range; and the ability to create and participate in more meaningful relationships with themselves and the people around them.  
Dr. Gibson is trained in adult and addiction psychiatry. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, and is a Clinical Associate in the Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program at SPSI. He is in private practice in Seattle.
"Don’t Panic – But Don’t Think Only in Symbolic Terms when Dealing with Addictions” - Discussant Ronald Levin, M.D.

Dr. Levin is a Training and Consulting Analyst at SPSI and was Director of SPSI from 2010 to 2013.  He has an interest in evolution, primitive functions of the mind, and clinical process.

Contact Person: 
Peggy Swenson
Contact Email:
Contact Phone Number: 
(206) 328-5315
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