Uncertainty: The vital land of imagination and curiosity/The dangerous space of anxiety and chaos

Ross Ellenhorn, PhD

12PM - 2PM

The ability to imagine the internal worlds of our clients, and the capacity to work collaboratively with our clients to help them innovatively and meaningfully move in these worlds; our own willingness to be curious about each of their unique psychic homelands, and to stay awake to this uniqueness — these are the elements of good therapeutic work. 

 

This work requires that we adopt a particular posture toward our own experiences, one that’s not only difficult to assume but often runs counter to our professional training.  In this posture we accept, withstand and even embrace uncertainty. Only when we see an uncertain approach to life as a therapeutic good to pursue can we think imaginatively about our clients or be curious about their worlds.  Without an embrace of uncertainty, their lives seem already known and easily understood — the stuff of diagnoses and prognostications.  

 

Yet our uncertainty can’t be taken to the extreme ends of chaos and  naivete. Our clients must feel held by legitimate professionals with their own clinical integrity. To tell our clients that we start each session with “a beginner’s mind” or that we shun all our training and expertise as the robes of a stale or even power-enforcing “establishment,” borders on negligence. Some map, some sense of a trajectory, some collective wisdom -- these, too, are important ingredients in treatment leading to psychological recovery.  

 

To live with uncertainty is to live with paradoxes, and perhaps the greatest therapeutic paradox is that we need some level of certainty in order to embrace uncertainty.  The third annual New Perspectives on Treatment series addresses this paradox and provides innovative examples and models for dealing with it. 

Uncertainty and Trust: What Happens if I Let Go? Uncertainty and the ability to trust

Chris Mooney, LCSW

12PM - 2PM

"Can I Get a Withness?!!” Exploring Uncertainty with Families

Teri Bryant, M.Ed, LMFT

12PM - 2PM

Curiosity is the Antidote to Certainty

Jessica Steyers, LCSW-R

12PM - 2PM

Working with Uncertainty: Utilizing compassion and choice in addiction treatment

Zoi Andalcio, LMHC

Zach Rieck, LMSW

12PM - 2PM

The talk is $10 to attend. All proceeds will donated to NAMI.

 Food will be provided! 


370 Lexington Ave., Suite 1001

New York, NY 10017

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