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New Voices: Psychodynamic Perspectives on Working in Community Mental Health

June 12, 2022 | Virtual

No CEs granted for this program.

AAPCSW-NY & PA sponsors presenters from the AAPCSW 2021 Conference:
A Time to Think, A Time to Act: Caring about the known and the Unknown

Date: Sunday, June 12, 2022
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
Fees: FREE
Location: Live Online (Virtual). (Confidentiality Statement)
Questions? Contact Penny Rosen, rosenpmsw@aol.com

Register Online



Jane Abrams, DSW, LCSW, Panel Chair, Moderator
Margaret Strosser, MFA, MSS, LCSW
Hannah Gordon, LCSW
Ben Goldstein, LCSW

Using case examples, the presenters will demonstrate various challenges psychodynamic practitioners face in community mental health settings. In “‘But I Have Broad Shoulders’: Hope and Resilience in the Lonely Life of a Marginalized Community Mental Health Client”, Strosser discusses the difficulties of creating a safe and confidential therapeutic alliance during the pandemic with a marginalized, formerly incarcerated man. She explores her process of grieving after his death from Covid. In “‘Thank Goodness We’re Getting Out of Here’! The Importance of Safety When Treating Complex Trauma in Community Mental Health Settings: Why Agency Environment Matters,” Gordon highlights the impact of agency environment on the therapeutic alliance. She focuses particularly on issues of safety for both the client and the clinician. In “‘We’re Here and We’re Not Going Anywhere’: De-Stigmatizing Voice Hearing in Community Mental Health,” Goldstein shows how a psychodynamic perspective, as well as CBT for psychosis, works in tandem with a Lacanian conceptualization of hallucinatory experiences. He highlights high staff turnover and incomplete terminations as barriers to successful treatment in these settings.

After attending the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Identify how the therapist was able to form a therapeutic alliance during Covid using telehealth with a marginalized client.
  • Explain the connection between agency environment, feelings of safety for both clients and practitioners, and building a strong therapeutic alliance.
  • Define some ways that a Lacanian conceptualization of hallucinations can work in tandem with a psychodynamic approach and CBT for treating psychosis.


Jane Abrams, DSW, LCSW, AAPCSW Area Chair. Faculty (MSW, DSW programs), School of Social Policy and Practice, Univ of Pennsylvania. Author, articles on projective processes in couples, resilience in marriage, methods for teaching trauma theory and practice in MSW programs, and the clinical application of neuropsychoanalytic principles. Private practice, Philadelphia, PA.

Ben Goldstein, LCSW, Graduate, Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of SW and Social Research. Horizon House (first-episode psychosis intervention program), Philadelphia, PA.

Hannah Gordon, LCSW, Graduate, Univ of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Private practice, Philadelphia, PA.

Margaret Strosser, MFA, MSS, LCSW, Graduate, Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of SW and Social Research. Formerly writer/producer/director in movies and cable television. Clinician, Philadelphia Consultation Center.