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Event Details

Contemporary Freudian Society

ANNUAL ETHICS CONFERENCE “The Ethics of Bearing Witness to Power Abuse and Sexual Exploitation”

One Session Program (3 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Johanna M. Arenaza, PsyD and Jennifer B. Unterberg, PhD
Date: Sunday, March 25, 2018
Location: American University, School of International Studies, Founders Room, Terrace Level (West Side of Intersection of Nebraska and New Mexico Avenue with free parking in underground garage) Washington, DC
Time: 12:00-3:15pm

This conference will explore ethical, clinical and training issues for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists that arise when patients present material about the abuse of power and sexual misconduct in their own lives. Experiences of sexual harassment and abuse are moving front and center for many patients in their sessions at this time as a by-product of the #Metoo movement. Since clinicians can also be survivors of such experiences, they are at risk of over-identifying with patients. The various dynamics within shared trauma that can potentially compromise the therapist’s capacity to practice in an ethical and therapeutic manner will be drawn out.

Sexual boundaries violations and non-sexual abuse of power remain a significant problem within the profession of psychoanalysis. The presenters will highlight and discuss the vulnerabilities through which sexual boundary violations can occur in the offices of well-meaning clinicians. The presenters will also discuss challenging power dynamics within training institutes towards candidates.

This workshop aims to help professionals practice in an ethical manner when treating victims of abuse of power, to understand the circumstances that make clinicians vulnerable to committing sexual violations, and to explore detrimental aspects of power differential in psychoanalytic training.  Attendees will be encouraged to share examples of their work, and how their experiences with #Metoo may create clinical and ethical dilemmas.

Dr. Johanna Arenaza is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Washington, DC. Originally from Spain, she completed her doctoral studies at The George Washington University (GW) and her post-doctoral work at Georgetown University. She is an adjunct faculty member at GW where she supervises doctoral psychology students. Dr. Arenaza currently teaches Technique and Sexuality at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis (WBCP). She regularly lectures at local universities regarding personality disorders and operating a private practice. She is the Co-Chair of the Annual Stacia I. Super Memorial Ethics Conference at the WBCP. Dr. Arenaza also collaborates with local lawyers conducting psychological evaluations for immigrants facing deportation.

Dr. Jennifer Unterberg received her psychology degree from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  She is a graduate analyst from the Dallas Psychoanalytic Center. She opened a private practice in Washington DC in 2014. She runs a study group on Gender and Sexuality and teaches the Gender and Sexuality class at the Washington Baltimore Psychoanalytic Center.  She is the Co-Chair of the Annual Stacia I. Super Memorial Ethics Conference at the WBCP.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this program, participants will be able to:

1) Describe three ethical challenges of practicing as a clinician during the public allegations of sexual harassment, sexual violation, and abuse of power that is being characterized as the #MeToo campaign.

2) List three ways they can practice in a competent and ethical manner when treating victims of sexual harassment, sexual violation, and abuse of power.

3) Discuss three possible causes of sexual harassment, sexual violation, and abuse of power by analysts.

Continuing Education Contact Hours:

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, and The Contemporary Freudian Society. MedChi is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. MedChi designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  The Contemporary Freudian Society is authorized by MedChi to grant CMEs for this program.  Upon completion of this program and online survey, participants will be granted certificates for 3 AMA PRA Category 1 credits in the area of Ethics.

Psychologists: The Contemporary Freudian Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Contemporary Freudian Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed evaluation form.  It is the responsibility of the participants seeking CE credits to comply with these requirements.  Upon completion of this program and evaluation form, participants will be granted 3 CE credits in the area Ethics.

Social Workers: The Social Work Boards of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia will grant continuing education credits to social workers attending a program offered by an APA authorized sponsor, provided they comply with the requirements stated above for Psychologists.   Credits granted for this program meet the requirement of Ethics credits.

Professional Counselors:  The Boards of Professional Counselors in the District of Columbia and Virginia will accept continuing education credits for Counselors attending a program offered by an APA-authorized sponsor, provided they comply with the requirements stated above for psychologists.  The Board of Professional Counselors in Maryland will accept CE credits granted by a program that is recognized by the Maryland Board of Examiners for Psychologists and Social Workers.  Credits granted for this program meet the requirement of Ethics credits.

Who should attend

The instructional level for this activity is advanced.


CFS Members $90
Non-CFS Members $110
Candidates and Students with Valid ID $25
No Refunds
For further information regarding this course, please contact Connie Stroboulis at or 732-446-4867.
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