Webinars: January 17 – February 12, 2012: Led by Suzi Naiburg

The Poetry of What We Do and the Playground of Clinical Prose: A Writing Workshop

IARPP Webinar with Suzi Naiburg

January 17- February 12, 2012


                                 “ …what I mean by voice—can come in any form provided it is alive
and urgent enough to take hold of the reader and make him [or her] understand that
what is being said really matters.”

A. Alvarez, The Writer’s Voice

“Whether or not my experiments in form succeed as literary inventions is very much open
to question. What, for me, is certain is that the idea that experimenting with the literary
form used in analytic writing is part and parcel of the effort to develop fresh ways of
thinking analytically. A fresh idea demands a fresh form in which to say it.”

Thomas Ogden, “On Analytic Writing”


If “poetry is what gets lost in translation,” as Robert Frost said, then how do we translate the poetry of what we do in our consulting rooms into clinical prose? By writing in different voices that are alive and urgent? By experimenting with literary form to push the boundaries of our writing and our thinking? By engaging our readers in the experience of reading in new and different ways? To find out and to challenge yourself to find your own answers and your own voice, consider participating in IARPP’s on-line webinar “The Poetry of What We Do and the Playground of Clinical Prose,” which will be taught as an interactive clinical writing workshop by Suzi Naiburg and moderated by Joye Weisel-Barth.  Registration information will be emailed to IARPP members two weeks before the workshop begins. Enrollment is limited and usually fills up the first week after registration opens.

The workshop will be useful for writers of all levels of ability and degrees of anxiety, for those of you who would like to be mentored and for those of you who mentor other writers.  Teaching materials, close reading exercises, and short (optional) writing exercises will be drawn from my book-in-progress, Structure and Spontaneity in Clinical Prose: A Writer’s Guide for Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists, which will be published by Routledge in 2013.

Each week, we will draw on a number of contemporary analytic writers for inspiration and as models of technique. I will introduce you to the underlying principles and characteristics of five modes of clinical writing—the narrative, paradigmatic, evocative, enactive, and lyric narrative—and guide you through close readings and paragraph-long writing exercises that will allow you to put what you learn immediately into practice. Those of you who would like to post your exercises under your own name or a pseudonym (by mailing them to Joye first) will be encouraged to do so. Joye and I will model constructive ways to respond to writing samples, demonstrating how different readers may “hear” your voice differently and opening the discussion for others to participate as you would in a face-to-face writing workshop.

Along the way, we will look at any number of writing issues that emerge and what happens when you allow your writing to become a process of discovery for yourself and your readers.

Stay tuned for registration in early January for this lively on-line, international writing workshop with Suzi Naiburg.

Suzi Naiburg, PhD, LICSW, is on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP) and has taught more than 40 clinical writing workshops over the past 15 years, including those for IARPP, MIP, Division 39, IPTAR, NASW, and The Journal of Analytical Psychology. Her article “Between Fate and Destiny: Oedipus and Reactive Certainty in the Consulting Room” appeared in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Vol. 16 (4), and “Mentors at the Gate: Editors Talk about Clinical Writing for Journal Publication” appeared in The Clinical Social Work Journal, 31, (3). She has a private practice in Belmont, MA, and also coaches writers.

Joye Weisel-Barth, PhD, PsyD, is a senior analyst, supervisor, instructor, and co-program chair at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles and has a private practice in Encino, California.  She serves as Book Review Editor of IJPSP and Assistant Editor for Psychoanalytic Dialogues.  She has published articles in both journals and enjoys writing in her free time.  Her particular writing interest is in catching hot clinical moments, instances when the therapeutic exchange opens new emotional, psychological and life possibilities.