Events

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


Previous Events


September 27 – 30, 2018

Foundational Skills in Dialogue Therapy/Session 1

Vermont Center for integrative Therapy
75 San Remo Drive, Suite 204
South Burlington, VT 05403
802-658-9440

September 27 – 30, 2018

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October 18 – 19, 2018

Love Between Equals: Relationship as a Spiritual Path

Summit for Clinical Excellence
Atlanta, GA

October 18 – 19, 2018

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November 29 – December 2, 2018

Foundational Skills in Dialogue Therapy/Session 2

Vermont Center for integrative Therapy
75 San Remo Drive, Suite 204
South Burlington, VT 05403
802-658-9440

November 29 – December 2, 2018

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February 15 – 18, 2019

Befriending the Enemy: Liberating Yourself from Shadow Projections

The Rowe Center
22 Kings Highway, PO Box 273
Rowe, MA 01367

February 15 – 18, 2019
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In difficult times, and in challenging relationships, do you label others as the enemy? Join Polly to discover how to work with your shadow energies and projections.

How is it going in your family? Are you relating to and speaking with all of the people you love? Are you able to solve problems and conflicts with your partner and adult children? If it’s hard for you to avoid blaming someone, if you disavow your own aggressive motives and project them onto others — you’re not alone. Everybody does this. It’s possible, though, to free yourself from projecting your shadow (the unconscious parts of yourself that you repress) onto those you perceive as enemies. Drawing on Jungian theory and other models, Polly will facilitate mindfulness exercises about identity, belonging, and “othering” as well as conversations about family patterns rooted in the need for a scapegoat, and what you can do about it. You’ll learn to become skillful and wise through gaining insight into the “enemy-making factors” in yourself, develop compassion for these factors in all humans, and create mindful space between your cherished “self” and threatening “others” in your dyadic relationships.

This program last an extra day and costs an extra $150. REGISTER

Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD, is a Jungian psychoanalyst, a psychologist, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. She is the founder and director of the Institute for Dialogue Therapy and the author of 16 books that have been translated into 20 languages. In addition to a full speaking schedule, Polly maintains a private practice in central Vermont and is a mindfulness teacher. She has been a practicing Buddhist since 1971. Her newest book is Love Between Equals: Relationship as a Spiritual Path.

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June 22-24, 2018

Trauma + Transcendence Conference: Depth Psychology, Spirituality and the Sacred

Trauma + Transcendence Conference Polly Young-EisendrathPacifica Graduate Institute
801 Ladera Lane,
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

June 22-24, 2018

The Gates of Mercy: Portals of Transcendence According to Jung and Buddhism

This presentation draws principally on two models of substrate consciousness: Jung’s collective unconscious and the Buddhist (Yogacara) alaya-vijnana or store-house consciousness. Looked at from the perspectives of everyday life and psychotherapy, these models of mind are mapping the way to an awareness that is wiser and more transcendent than mundane consciousness. When we collide with loss, trauma, failure, pain, hurt, and some aspects of dreaming and meditating, our sense of a continuous self is disrupted. These disruptions are potential openings to a transcendent reality. I will present and compare these two models of mind and talk about how and why the human mental construct of self creates an illusion of control and how dropping that control is the only true path to grace and healing.

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June 2-8, 2018

Shadow Selves: Becoming Skillful and Wise in Our Response to the Human Need for an Enemy

Mind and Life Summer Research Institute 2018
Garrison Institute
Garrison, NY

It is well known that human beings are both profoundly interdependent and profoundly unconscious — a dangerous mix. In our conscious and unconscious desires to protect ourselves, we “need” an enemy whom to fight against, control, or withdraw from. In my decades-long profession as a Jungian psychoanalyst and a couples therapist, as well as my decades-long practice of Buddhism (especially Zen and Vipassana), I have observed how difficult it is for us to step back from the impulse to blame someone when our hopes and ideals are dashed. In a close relationship or in a community or neighborhood that we care about, we embrace ideals that foster both the disavowal of our own aggressive motives and the projection of these motives into another. Drawing on Carl Jung’s theory of a shadow complex and Melanie Klein’s theory of projective identification, this presentation will ask us to examine the arising of self/other within a dynamic field of ideals and blame. We will also see how to become skillful and wise when (1) we gain insight into the “enemy-making factors” in ourselves, (2) develop compassion for these factors in all humans, and (3) create a mindful space between our cherished “selves” and the threatening “others” as we live together in all our relationships. Drawing especially on couples therapy and other dyadic relationships (e.g. teacher-student), we will discover how to work skillfully with the enemy-making factors in ourselves.

About the Mind & Life Summer Research Institute:

The 2018 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute extends the arc from the 2016 and 2017 programs that addressed themes of context, social connectivity, and intersubjectivity by engaging critical topics relevant to cultural difference and human diversity. The week-long immersive program will examine social and psychological patterns, both implicit and explicit, to discuss how difference is constructed at personal, interpersonal, and socio-structural levels. Scientific, humanistic, and first-person contemplative perspectives will give attention to processes of othering and how we can overcome conflict by embracing difference.

Plenary faculty presentations from neuroscientists and psychologists will describe basic mechanisms of distinguishing self and other as well as cultural and developmental factors providing our sense of security and provoking our common fears. Discussions from the social sciences will explore cultural, historical, and structural factors that complexify conditions for disparity and inequity across social groups and communities, often contributing to conflict and dissonance. Philosophical presentations will discuss worldviews through which the other is interconnected to one’s self, how difference is a source of power, and the process of perspective-taking through dialogue. A training workshop and small group breakout sessions will explore practical applications for reflecting on biases and engaging difference. Through first-person practice, we will query contemplative traditions as a resource for compassion and redressing injustice.

The 2018 Summer Research Institute will be held at the Garrison Institute in Garrison, New York, 50 miles north of New York City in the Hudson River Valley. Please see the Garrison Institute website for more details.

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May 2, 2018

Love and Marriage in the 21st Century

Vermont Humanities Council: First Wednesdays
Brownell Library
6 Lincoln Street
Essex Junction, VT  05452

May 2, 2018  |  7:00 pm

Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath looks at the transformation of marriage over the past century from a traditional contract between families to one that celebrates idealization in the form of “true love,” and suggests why the latter may be harder to fulfill than many thought.

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April 29, 2018

Falling In Love and Taking It Personally: Couple Relationships in the 21st Century

Center for Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis of New Jersey
April 29 8:15 am – 3:30 pm
Lenfell Hall, Fairleigh Dickenson University, Madison, NJ

Registration: 8:15am – 8:45 / Program begins: 8:45 -3:30pm

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Intimate and reciprocal love between adults – in marriage and committed partnerships – is in many ways more problematic and unhappy now than anyone thought it would be after decades of struggle for gender equality and sexual freedom. Marriage has moved from being a vow of impersonal loyalty (“in sickness and in health, until death do us part” for the sake of the family and property) to a vow of personal desire (“as long as this meets my needs”). In fact, partners now feel almost obliged to break up if their image and values are no longer reflected in the other person: “How can I be with someone like this?”

Commitments based on desire, equality and reciprocity are destabilizing because they require on-going negotiations of conflicts and needs. We may all feel more secure in a hierarchy in which one or the other person makes the decisions. But we no longer want hierarchy in our personal lives. We want to be equals and to be respected. We want to be witnessed and held in mind, to be found desirable and cared for.

This presentation will introduce you to personal love and its first stage of development when a partner becomes the “intimate enemy” as disillusionment gets trapped in toxic unconscious communication. Effective couple psychotherapy must then address the problem of chronic projective identification and the necessity of creating a differentiated space in which each partner feels confident and free to be respected and autonomous, even in the midst of emotional security. As an intimate enemy becomes an intimate friend, personal love becomes true love.

PLUS:

In the afternoon, Dr. Young-Eisendrath will turn her attention to Dialogue Therapy, a form of couples therapy developed in the 1990’s with her late husband, Dr. Ed Epstein. 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.

Learning objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, you will be able to:

  • Define “personal love” and describe how it differs from an attachment bond, romance, and traditional contractual marriage
  • Describe the movement from personal love to true love in which both partners experience themselves as able to witness and to be witnessed, to accept limitations and flaws in self and other, and to remain interested in each other over time
  • Define “projective identification” and apply the definition to helping couples create a “mindful space” for dialogue

Target Audience: Suitable for Psychologists, Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Psychiatrists, Advanced Practice Nurses, Graduate Students, Marriage and Family Therapists.

Level of Program Sophistication: Intermediate – some prior knowledge is required

Questions?
Contact: Cathy Van Voorhees
Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of NJ
973-912-4432
[email protected]