Events

The following are the speaking events and readings by Polly. If you are interested in booking Polly for an event, click here.

April 22, 2017

Dialogue Therapy for Couples

Annual Education Conference of the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work
New York, NY

DETAILS TO COME

May 3, 2017

Vermont Humanities Council

7:00 p.m.
Rutland Free Library
Rutland, VT

What the Buddhists Teach: Finding Clarity in Everyday Life

How do we develop mindfulness and a compassionate optimism about a highly imperfect world? Author Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath discusses the Buddhist model for remaining fully engaged in the ups and downs of everyday life.

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About the Vermont Humanities Council

Polly Young-Eisendrath at the VT Humanities CouncilA statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1974, the Vermont Humanities Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs, and continues to learn throughout life.

Vermont Humanities Council LogoA state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, VHC believes that engagement with the world of ideas, in interaction with others, contributes uniquely to richer lives, stronger communities, a more humane society, and a better world.

The Vermont Humanities Council has developed a broad range of programs that serve Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds. Each year VHC sponsors more than 1,200 programs. They occur in more than 160 Vermont towns, including communities in every county.

Programs include book discussions, speaker events, conferences, a statewide one-book community reading program, and a grants program that supports humanities projects of other nonprofit organizations.

These programs and events strengthen Vermont’s communities not only by their character and design, but also by happening in the facilities of key town organizations such as libraries, museums, community centers, and schools. And humanities-based literacy programs reach childcare providers, middle school students, teen and underserved parents, incarcerated adults, and adult basic education students.

The humanities are those subjects that help us understand the human experience. They are the tools of self-reflection. The humanities include history, literature, ethics, philosophy, archaeology, linguistics, comparative religion, jurisprudence, and the history, criticism and theory of the arts.


Previous Events


September 27, 2015

Book Reading and Signing: Flyleaf Books

When All You Want Is Taken Away: A Personal Love Story of Discovery Through Loss

2:00 pm

Sometimes change is deeply unwelcome, disrupting everything we have ever wanted. In my own case, my beloved husband and best friend gradually reversed his cognitive and emotional maturity as early onset Alzheimer’s disease swept through his neurons like a wild fire. He and I were long-time practitioners of Buddhism and came to embrace the inescapable without fanfare or self-pity as our love changed from a partnership, to his profound dependence on me, and then my placing him into end-of-life care. In this presentation, I will read from my new book, “The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery” and discuss what I have learned about the nature of personal love as a spiritual practice of vulnerability and equanimity that requires being a whole self and accepting another as a whole self, as well.

www.flyleafbooks.com/

September 25/26, 2015

“Gather Up Your Brokenness: Love, Imperfection and Human Ideals”

Lecture • Friday, September 25th | 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Most of us fear and hide our failures, difficulties, and limitations, but they may be at the heart of what makes us human and compassionate. In this presentation, I draw on my profession of Jungian psychoanalysis and my spiritual practice of Buddhism to celebrate — not grieve — human frailty. Broadly speaking, Buddhism asks us to find equanimity within adversity and change, and Carl Jung invites us to think about our neurosis as the opening into individuation, our ability to become insightful and complex. As we come to understand and embrace our limitations in the light of what life demands of us, we have the possibility of developing self-compassion, love, and wisdom, but if we refuse to pay attention to the profound the imperfection of life itself, then, we may become captured by endless envy and competition.

“Gather Up Your Brokenness: Love, Imperfection and Human Ideals”

Workshop • Saturday, September 26th | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

C.G. Jung Society
Church of Reconciliation
110 N Elliott Rd,
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
www.jungnc.org

September 11-13, 2015

Learning Dialogue Therapy: A Workshop for Therapists to Help Couples move from Disillusionment to Intimacy


14 Barrows Road
Stowe, VT  05672
www.tenacreslodge.com

Fees:
Before July 15 – early bird registration: $250 After July 15: $285
18 hours CEU available

REGISTER NOW: Via email to: tbisbee_adelphia1@comcast.net or by calling 802-793-7923

About Dialogue Therapy:

Dialogue Therapy is a time-limited couples therapy, usually done by co-therapists (two therapists in the room), that is designed to help married or co-habiting couples who experience repetitive, and sometimes aggressive or troubling, difficulties in handling their conflicts with respect. Developed originally by Polly Young-Eisendrath and Ed Epstein in 1982, Dialogue Therapy has been practiced, taught, and supervised by Polly since the early 1990’s. Polly has written two books about it: Hags and Heroes (1984) and You’re Not What I Expected (1993).

After the initial romance has ended, all couples enter into power struggles in which the partners play out emotional scenarios that are unconsciously generated from their original family life in childhood. There may be other problems, as well, such as an inability to commit to each other and parenting or step-parenting issues. Disillusionment with the partner and the relationship follows. Disillusionment is natural and the first opportunity for a true and enduring love and intimacy to develop. But if power struggles are not handled with skill and mindfulness, a couple is at risk for separating or destroying the foundation of trust on which true love rests. Many married couples even remain in a “cold war” of emotional deadness, repetitive power struggles, and little intimacy over years and decades – a situation that can be deleterious for mental and physical health.
Dialogue Therapy is a program of just six therapeutic sessions that extend over a year’s time in which a couple is evaluated and then showed how to relate in conflict without entering into active or passive aggression. Dialogue Therapy addresses more than “communication problems,” however. Combining psychoanalytic methods and theory, with aspects of psychodrama and mindfulness, Dialogue Therapy addresses the fact that, in times of confusion and conflict, partners tend to perceive each other as an “intimate enemy” with the consequence of casting the relationship into a chronic pattern of “victim” and “victimizer” that has to be broken open before communication problems can be solved.

Course of Dialogue Therapy:

Session #1: Evaluation (3-4 hours): The initial assessment is a structured meeting with the co-therapists to evaluate a couple’s emotional power struggles and relationship patterns. The co-therapists observe the couple speaking with each other, give a brief pencil and paper assessment, and conduct a “Relationship History”(that covers all major relationships, moving backwards in time to include relationships with parents and siblings).
The co-therapists also act as a “reflecting team,” speaking with each other about what they see in the couple. All activities typically take place within the foursome, encouraging trust and openness. At the end of the meeting, the partners receive feedback and are told whether or not they are suitable for Dialogue Therapy. If not, they are referred for other forms of therapy.
Session #2 – First Session of Dialogue Therapy (2 hours): Working on a Conflict
Session #3 – Second Session of Dialogue Therapy (2 hours): Practicing Skills
Session #4 – Building Empathy for Your Partner (2 hours): Practicing “Role Reversal”
Session #5 – Using the Skills of Dialogue Therapy and Empathy to Repair Trust (2 hours)
Session #6 – Follow-up (2-3 hours): Occurring Six Months after Session #5

The Workshop:

This training is designed for all clinical levels – from the most experienced to the least – to introduce Dialogue Therapy, its methods and practice in an experiential context. You can attend as an individual therapist or as a dyadic pair. The background and the theory will be presented in the context of demonstrations
of the #1, #2, #4, and #5 sessions.

Friday, September 11th:

Noon until 4:30 P.M. w/ 10 min. break
Introduction and Session #1 with a demonstration couple

Saturday, September 12th:

9 AM until 12:30 P.M. w/ 10 min. break
Session #2 with demonstration couple

12:30 P.M. until 1:45 P.M.: Lunch

1:45 PM – 4:30 P.M. w/10 min. break
Teaching the basics of psycho-spiritual development of love in couple relationship; difference between anger and aggression; projective identification as it undermines trust and intimacy; Jung’s theory of complexes as object relationship; evaluating couples for suitability for Dialogue Therapy; why couple therapy too often fails and how to prevent failure.

Sunday, September 13th:

9 AM until 12:30 P.M. w/ 10 min. break
Session #4 with demonstration couple

12:30 P.M. until 1:45 P.M.: Lunch

1:45 PM – 4:30 P.M. w/10 min. break
Session #5 with demonstration couple, overview of full course of Dialogue Therapy and Q & A

The Teachers/Dialogue Therapists

POLLY YOUNG-EISENDRATH, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst, writer, psychologist and mindfulness teacher who has published 15 books including The Self-Esteem Trap, The Cambridge Companion to Jung, and Women and Desire. Her most recent book, The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery, is a meditation on the healing power of love. Polly maintains a full-time clinical and consulting practice in central Vermont. She is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont and Clinical Supervisor at Norwich University

TAMARA BISBEE, Psy.D.,Tamara Bisbee, Psy.D. is a psychologist who began her clinical work as a psychiatric nurse. She practices psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy and continues her training to become a relational psychoanalyst.  Tamara has more than 35 years of experience in observing, thinking about and intervening with the life problems that attend relationships, and has practiced couple therapy for fifteen years.Tamara practices mindfulness meditation and has a particular interest in how it interfaces with emotional wellness and the capacity for individuals to communicate effectively in relationship. She maintains a full-time clinical and consulting practice in Montpelier, Vermont. She is a Clinical Supervisor at Norwich University.

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

 

September 4 – 7, 2015

Weekend Teaching on “The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery.”

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
57 Interlaken Road, Stockbridge, MA 01262 (413) 448-3100
www.kripalu.org

No matter how love develops, it eventually includes loss―through separation, death, or betrayal. This workshop draws on personal experiences and poetry to explore what love is from Buddhist and Western psychological perspectives. Examining love in terms of loss, we embrace the fact that love is blessed by loss and true love demands that we engage vitally with our beloved through being and becoming a whole self.

We learn to
•    Define love in the context of mindfulness, equanimity, and deep acceptance of the beloved
•    Look at love through the lens of psychoanalytic thinking and practice
•    Investigate loss and love in the context of Buddha’s teachings about the nature of existence: off-centeredness (dukkha), impermanence (anicca), and interdependence (anatta).

Using reflection, dialogue, writing, and mindfulness practices, we examine the stories we tell ourselves and release the fear and self-consciousness generated by repetitive “micro-narratives.”

Recommended reading by Polly Young-Eisendrath, The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Discovery (Rodale Books).

Note: Bring a notebook and be prepared for some time in silence and mindfulness practice.

REGISTER NOW

June 28, 2015

Book Reading and Signing:

When All You Want Is Taken Away: A Personal Love Story of Discovery Through Loss

Sometimes change is deeply unwelcome, disrupting everything we have ever wanted. In my own case, my beloved husband and best friend gradually reversed his cognitive and emotional maturity as early onset Alzheimer’s disease swept through his neurons like a wild fire. He and I were long-time practitioners of Buddhism and came to embrace the inescapable without fanfare or self-pity as our love changed from a partnership, to his profound dependence on me, and then my placing him into end-of-life care. In this presentation, I will read from my new book, “The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery” and discuss what I have learned about the nature of personal love as a spiritual practice of vulnerability and equanimity that requires being a whole self and accepting another as a whole self, as well.

June 27, 2015

Freud Meets Buddha: Mindfulness, Trauma & Process Addictions

Ben Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA  1-800-643-0797
Register, conference agenda, location & directions

 

Conference Brochure

“Gather Up Your Brokenness: Love, Imperfection and Human Ideals”

Keynote • Saturday, June 27th | 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Most of us fear and hide our failures, difficulties, and limitations, but they may be at the heart of what makes us human and compassionate. In this presentation, I draw on my profession of Jungian psychoanalysis and my spiritual practice of Buddhism to celebrate — not grieve — human frailty. Broadly speaking, Buddhism asks us to find equanimity within adversity and change, and Carl Jung invites us to think about our neurosis as the opening into individuation, our ability to become insightful and complex. As we come to understand and embrace our limitations in the light of what life demands of us, we have the possibility of developing self-compassion, love, and wisdom, but if we refuse to pay attention to the profound the imperfection of life itself, then, we may become captured by endless envy and competition.

REGISTER HERE

 

“True Love Ways: Dialogue Therapy for Couples, a model based on Psychoanalysis and Mindfulness”

Workshop • Saturday, June 27th | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

 After romance has ended, couples enter into power struggles and play out emotional scenarios that are unconsciously generated from their original family life. There may be other problems, as well, such an inability to commit to each other and parenting or step-parenting conflicts. Disillusionment follows. Disillusionment is an opportunity for a true intimacy to develop, but if power struggles are not handled with skill and mindfulness, partners are at risk for becoming “intimate enemies”– a situation that can be deleterious for mental and physical health. This workshop introduces “Dialogue Therapy,” a six-session therapy that combines object relations, mindfulness and psychodrama, originated by Polly Young-Eisendrath in 1983. Dialogue Therapy highlights “projective-identification” as the major obstacle to good communication and enduring intimacy

REGISTER HERE

“The Present Heart: Love, Loss and Discovery”

Workshop • Saturday, June 27th | 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

 Love always guarantees a broken heart. No matter how else it functions in our lives, love will include loss, separation or betrayal. From my personal tragedy of my husband’s early onset Alzheimer’s – and his death after a decade of reversal of his emotional and cognitive maturity – I have closely examined both Western psychological and Buddhist approaches to love and loss.

In this workshop, I will answer the question, “What is love, anyway?” In the process, I will talk about desire, romance, harmful idealizations and enmeshments with our partners, children, parents and friends. We will talk about loss in the context of the Buddha’s teachings about reality. This workshop presents a new context for personal love as a spiritual practice of deep acceptance of the human condition.

REGISTER HERE

 

 

May 17, 2015

Mini Workshop & Book Signing: “The Present Heart: Love, Loss and Discovery — A Workshop”

Northshire Bookstore
4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255

www.northshire.com

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
$5 fee and each attendee receives $5 off a book of their choice.

Workshop:

We will draw on our personal experiences and some of Polly’s favorite poetry to respond to the question: What is love, anyway? Differentiating love from desire, romance, attachment bonds, and idealization, we have a clearer sense of whether we are truly loving our partners, children, parents and friends or whether we are in an unconscious identification or enmeshment that results in one of us feeling used, cheated or erased. Through mindfulness exercises and “virtual dreaming,” we will explore our inner world of love, loss and discovery in reading and writing together.

Book Reading and Signing:

When All You Want Is Taken Away: A Personal Love Story of Discovery Through Loss

Sometimes change is deeply unwelcome, disrupting everything we have ever wanted. In my own case, my beloved husband and best friend gradually reversed his cognitive and emotional maturity as early onset Alzheimer’s disease swept through his neurons like a wild fire. He and I were long-time practitioners of Buddhism and came to embrace the inescapable without fanfare or self-pity as our love changed from a partnership, to his profound dependence on me, and then my placing him into end-of-life care. In this presentation, I will read from my new book, “The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Discovery” and discuss what I have learned about the nature of personal love as a spiritual practice of vulnerability and equanimity that requires being a whole self and accepting another as a whole self, as well.

March 28, 2015

EC-red-fireVermont Institute for the Psychotherapies Presents Enlightening Conversations: The Meeting of Psychoanalysis and Buddhism

What does it mean to be Psychoanalyzed or Enlightened? Conversations about the Nitty-Gritty of Subjective Freedom and Human Liberation

March 28, 2015, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Registration 8:30 – 9:00 am)
Milano Ballroom, Norwich University, Northfield, VT.

Panelists: Kali Erskine PhD, Melinda Haas LCSW, Debra Lopez MD, Melvin Miller PhD, Elizabeth Seward MD, Polly Young-Eisendrath PhD. Buddhist Teachers: Michael Greenleaf (Karme Choling), Taihaku Gretchen Priest (Shao Shan Temple), Shinzen Young (Vipassana Support International), and a representative from Trijang Buddhist Institute.

MORE INFORMATION