Michigan Council for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy



Reaching Out and Reaching In: Finding Our Way to Connectedness

Maria L. Slowiaczek, Ph.D.

Linda J. Young, Ph.D., Discussant


Sunday, November 15, 2015     11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Continental Breakfast at 10:30 a.m.


Michigan League, Henderson Room, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2 CEU's for Social Workers


In a successful treatment, the therapist and patient form a meaningful connection to one another that brings them into each other’s worlds and can potentially transform both of their lives.  How do these connections develop? As Self Psychologists, we focus on empathic attunement to the patient’s experience, but the nature of the empathic connection is complicated by the many different self states that exist within both the patient and the analyst and the variety of factors that make these self states more or less available in any given interaction.  The purpose of this paper is to begin to explore the nature of the initial connections that are formed at the beginning of a treatment and to consider how these connections are transformed as the treatment develops.  The paper describes two clinical examples where a process of reaching out to the patient and also reaching in to oneself is used to understand the developing relationship and to transform early superficial connections into deeper therapeutic ones.


Dr. Maria Slowiaczek is on the faculty of MCPP where she is a founding faculty member of the Relational Psychotherapy Program.   She is in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan in psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, couples therapy and supervision. She is a member of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP) and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy where she has presented papers on dissociation, implicit affective engagement and self psychological approaches to treatment.   She is an elected member of the IAPSP Council and also serves as the Chair of the Welcoming Committee, and as a member of the Advisory Board.  Her professional interests include contemporary psychoanalytic theory, the role of prosody in affective communication and the impact of dissociation on cognitive processing.

Dr. Linda Young received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She completed a post doctoral fellowship at the Detroit Psychiatric Institute where she subsequently worked as a staff psychologist, supervisor and instructor on the adult inpatient and outpatient services. Dr. Young has many years of experience working with severely regressed individuals hospitalized on inpatient wards, as well as extensive private practice experience working with adults and supervising psychology students and licensed psychologists.  She is a founding member and Past President of the Academy for the Psychoanalytic Arts (previously called the Academy for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Arts) and is also a Past Vice President of the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. Dr. Young has presented papers at local, national and international conferences. She is currently in private practice in Ann Arbor and Farmington Hills where she works with adults on an individual basis.


Three Learning Objectives At the conclusion of the program, attendees will be able to:

1. Describe different types of connections with an appreciation for the ways that some connections can be limiting.

2. Discuss the ways that the subjective experience of the analyst can be used within a self psychological treatment to deepen the developing relationship.

3. Assess the value of the analyst’s self exploration in understanding the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship.



Michigan Council for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (MCPP) is an independent, contemporary training institute founded on feminist principles and open to diverse theoretical perspectives.  We offer a positive professional community and welcome colleagues from within and without the psychoanalytic community to join us for our free monthly programs and classes.  No registration is needed. 2 CEUs available for Social Workers licensed in Michigan for a $10 fee for non-members. Monthly programs include continental breakfast.

For more information please contact V.P. for Programs, David Freiband, at ; regarding CEUs, please contact Marybeth Atwell, LMSW at [email protected]

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