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.
- List two (2) strategies to facilitate containment within the therapist when similar anxieties are also felt by the patient.
- Apply insights from the discussion on containment and holding to the clinical situation in which a patient of another race presents race related anxieties.
- Describe the dynamics of cross- and counter-identification in working with patients around issues of race and social justice.
- Describe two (2) counter-transference challenges that can emerge in doing therapy within and across race.
- 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 Presenter: Dr. Ron Hopson, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care, School of Divinity
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.