• Home
  • Containing the Container: The Necessary Challenge for Psychotherapists in a Time of Collective Anxiety

Containing the Container: The Necessary Challenge for Psychotherapists in a Time of Collective Anxiety

  • Saturday, November 14, 2020
  • 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM


Registration is closed

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture

“Containing the Container: The Necessary Challenge for

Psychotherapists in a Time of Collective Anxiety”

"Bion’s theory of containment is defined as, the capacity of one individual (or entity) to receive the projections from another, which is understood and used as communications, transforming them and finally giving them back in a modified form.  This can enable the individual to sense and tolerate his/her own feelings and develop the capacity to think." (Riesenberg-Malcolm, in Bronstien 2001, p.166)

Using the concept of containment we will explore together as a community our shared and individual reactions to the current crises.  Where are we as Individuals, communities, cultures, country and larger society.  The upheaval we are experiencing demands understanding/processing.  Coming together as a community will allow individuals to identify and digest their feelings, creating an increased capacity for thinking and being present to hear our patients.


  1. List two (2) strategies to facilitate containment within the therapist when similar anxieties are also felt by the patient.
  2. Apply insights from the discussion on containment and holding to the clinical situation in which a patient of another race presents race related anxieties.
  3. Describe the dynamics of cross- and counter-identification in working with patients around issues of race and social justice.
  4. Describe two (2) counter-transference challenges that can emerge in doing therapy within and across race.
  5. Articulate two (2) examples of how the clinician’s own racial indoctrination may impede or facilitate clinical work particularly concerning issues of race.


10:00 a.m. Welcome.  The Mental Health Community in this Moment 

11:15 a.m. BREAK

11:30 a.m. Small Group Discussion

12:30 a.m.  BREAK

12:45 - 1:30 Wrap up and Closing

About the PresenterDr. Ron Hopson, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology

Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, School of Divinity

Howard University.

Dr. Hopson teaches courses in psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychopathology, addiction, and sexuality and the Black church. His most recent work is on the psychological implications of atonement theology.

He is an ordained clergy in the United Church of Christ, and licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia. 

The Washington School of Psychiatry

5028 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016-4118

Call us at 202-237-2700 or 202-537-6050

Celebrating its 84th year, the School is an accredited provider of post-graduate continuing education.

The Washington School of Psychiatry is an independent non-profit organization. It is not affiliated with the government of the District of Columbia or the government of the United States.

Copyright © 2020 The Washington School of Psychiatry - All Rights Reserved

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software