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Jane Roiter Sunday Seminars 2017-2018 – Irwin Hoffman and Ruth Sterlin

April 8, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

$25.00 - $60.00 Tickets Available

You can purchase a ticket to this event below, or you can purchase access to the 2017-2018 Jane Roiter Sunday Morning Seminars Series.


99 available Individual Seminar--Student-04/08$25.00Student -- April 8, 2018 -- 3.0 CEU's

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99 available Individual Seminar--Non-member-04/08$60.00Non-Member -- April 8, 2018 -- 3.0 CEU's

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99 available Individual Seminar--Member-04/08$50.00Member -- April 8, 2018 -- 3.0 CEU's

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April 8, 2018
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
$25.00 - $60.00
Event Category:


Center for Practice Excellence
255 Revere Drive, Suite 200
Northbrook, IL 60062 United States
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Event Description

Political Implications of Psychoanalytic Scientism, Technical Rationality, and the Medical Model: A Conceptual Framework and A Case Presentation By Ruth Sterlin, LCSW

The medical model, or more broadly what Schön calls “technical rationality,” has three major interrelated political consequences for psychoanalytic work. First, it reduces people’s problems to disorders that are relatively homogeneous across individuals and that call for standardized treatments rather than encouraging attention to whole persons characterized by “consequential uniqueness” and indeterminacy as to their potentials. The uniqueness of the patient combines with the uniqueness of the therapist, the dyad, and the moment, so that even systematic empirical research, like case studies, yields only possibilities to consider, not definitive prescriptions for how people in a certain group should be treated. Second, the medicalization of problems wrings the element of choice out of whatever the difficulty may be. As a result, it subtracts moral struggle from the complex suffering and desires of the patient and from the responses of the therapist. Third, by focusing exclusively on the individual, even on the individual in the context of family, it assumes that the sociopolitical surround is the necessary reality to which people must adapt, rather than a culturally relative construction that might be implicated in the “symptoms” of individuals and that, in principle, could be changed.


Irwin Z. Hoffman, PhD,  is faculty and supervising analyst at Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis and the National Training Program for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and is Adjunct Clinical Professor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Dialogues and Contemporary Psychoanalysis and has served on the board of The International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Since his book in 1998, Ritual and Spontaneity in the Psychoanalytic Process: A Dialectical – Constructivist View, he has explored new frontiers of the dialectical constructivist perspective centering on the responsibility of the patient and analyst as moral agents in the analytic work and in the world. He has extended his critique of positivism in psychoanalysis to the privileged status many would accord systematic empirical research on psychoanalytic process and outcome. Largely predicated on “treatment” of individual “disorders”, such scientistic privileging may collude to shield the socioeconomic environment from exposure and political dissent.

Ruth Sterlin, LCSW, received her social work degree from Jane Addams College of Social Work. She has had over 20 years of experience at important community agencies, including Jewish Child & Family Service, and Beth Osten and Asssociates Pediatric Services. Ruth is the clinical consultant for Family Network’s Right from the Start program which serves the Latino community in the northern suburbs. In addition to serving for six years as a field instructor, Ruth has published clinical articles in the Clinical Social Work Journal and other publications. Currently, Ruth has a private practice in Northbrook, where she sees individuals, couples and families in therapy. She also provides clinical consultation to other social workers. Ruth is the Interim Vice President for ISCSW, and is the former editor for the ISCSW Newsletter.

You can purchase a ticket to this event above, or you can purchase access to the 2017-2018 Jane Roiter Sunday Morning Seminars Series.