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Reconsidering Freud’s “Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of his Childhood”

June 10, 2022 — 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Freud’s 1910 pathography of Leonardo da Vinci is the the point of origin for a common cliché of gay male development — enmeshed mother, absent father — that has had wide influence on psychoanalytic thinking about homosexuality for more than a century.  Despite the work’s prominence in our profession, it has never been the subject of a rigorous critique. This talk explores Freud’s study, while also bringing in scholarship to shed light on the historical Leonardo, and the vastly different gendered and sexual universe in which he lived out his days. It shows that both Freud and Leonardo lived in historical moments where attitudes toward same-sex love were in flux, and identifies specific factors from Freud’s life that propelled him, and our profession, in such a problematic direction.

* A copy of paper will be sent upon registration.


David Pauley, LCSW, is Dean of Faculty and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and has taught at the William Alanson White Institute’s Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program and at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. David’s papers have appeared in Psychoanalytic DialoguesJAPA and the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, among other publications. Along with his husband, Rajiv Gulati, MD, he received the the Ralph Roughton Award from APSAA’s Committee on Gender and Sexuality. He lives and practices in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.


Ray Hoffman, MD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst and incoming Director of the Psychoanalytic Training Institute of Contemporary Freudian Society, Washington, DC Division. He is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Annapolis, MD. He was awarded the Plumsock Prize for his paper on gay men and the male-gendered pre-Oedipal good object, which is included in the edited compendium, The Plumsock Prize: Giving New Analysts a Voice. He has taught psychanalytic diagnosis in the institute and spoken regionally on the subject of psychoanalytic diagnosis as seen through the lens of the evolution of the transference, and its implications for technique. He has had a dual career as a psychiatric administrator and was formerly the Director of the Division of Mental Health and Substance Use at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, MD, and Chief Medical Officer at Mosaic Community Services in Timonium, MD.

Program Fee:  $60 General/$50 CFS Members/$30 Candidates & Students

Learning objectives:

At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

1) Identify 3 key assertions Freud made the “origins” of da Vince’s homosexuality.

2) identify the basis of Freud’s assertion of why da Vinci had left a number of art works unfinished.

3) Understand 3 key assertions Pauley’s critique of Freud’s formulation of the origins of da Vince’s homosexuality.

Who Should Attend: The instructional level for this activity is advanced.  Mental Health Professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, e.g. LPs, LCATs, and pastoral counselors) and those with an interest in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and clinical applications.

Continuing Education Credits:

NY Social Workers: The PTI-CFS is recognized by the NYS Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0087

NY Psychoanalysts: The PTI-CFS is recognized by the NYS Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts #P-0021.

NY Licensed Psychologists: The PTI-CFS is recognized by the NYS Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provide of continuing education for Licensed Psychologists #PSY-0017.

Psychologists: The CFS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The CFS maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  (DC, MD and VA Psychologist licensing boards accept CE credits provided by an APA approved Sponsor.  All other psychologists should check with their licensing boards.)

DC, MD and VA 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.

CE credits will only be granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed online evaluation form. No partial credit will be offered. It is the responsibility of the participants seeking CE credits to comply with these requirements.  Upon completion of this program and online evaluation form, participants will be granted 2 CE credits.

Important Disclosure Information:

None of the planners and presenters of this program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.


June 10, 2022
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


By Zoom


Event Registration
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