Webinars: February 24 – March 9, 2014

What self psychology and relationality can learn from each other
Barry Magid & Estelle Shane

In this webinar we will examine the relationship between self psychology and other relational theories that fall under the broad domain of what Stephen Mitchell referred to as relationality. Our thesis is that self psychology should not be seen historically as a precursor to relational theory but rather as a fully separate relational (and intersubjective) model of mind and of therapeutic action.

Self psychology should not be pigeon-holed as a theory of narcissism, nor as a theory of empathy, and surely not as a one note/one size fits all model of therapeutic intervention. Rather, self psychology should be recognized as a continually evolving relational theory in its own right, one whose ongoing evolution is undoubtedly due in part to a continuous dialogue with other relational theories.

We want to argue with the idea ( or perhaps the unstated yet pervasive assumption) present in some relational circles at least, that the connection between self psychology and the relational sensibility constitutes a one way street, and that contemporary relationality has nothing more to learn from self psychology. We hope to present a very different picture of two ever-changing, mutually- influencing perspectives, wherein self psychology is recognized as deeper and richer than is often understood in relational circles.