College of Health

School of Social Work

Advanced Clinical Practice Institute

Making Sense Together: An Intersubjective Approach

Date & Time:

Saturday, October 18, 2014
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN.  McNeely Hall, MCH100.

Dr. Peter Buirski

Featuring Peter Buirski, PhD. This  program is offered in collaboration with the Minnesota Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.  More information and registration can be found on their web site:

A true revolution has taken place in the domain of psychoanalysis in the last two decades. Modern relational thinking, with its roots in object relations, interpersonal theory, self psychology and intersubjectivity theory, has offered a dramatic alternative to classical psychoanalysis and ego psychology.

Instead of viewing psychoanalysis as a one-person psychology, where the analyst, an objective observer of the patient’s reality, explores the unconscious determinants of the patient’s distortions of that reality, the psychoanalytic situation is now understood as a field, where personal meanings are formed and explored in an intersubjective context. Contemporary psychoanalytic thinking no longer views psychopathology as compromise formations resulting from intrapsychic conflict. Psychopathology is now seen as concerning disorders to the organization of the self-experience–the loss of personal meaning and vitality, of a sense of personal agency, and of a sense of self cohesion. The psychoanalytic process is concerned less with insight and renunciation, and more with the unfolding, illumination and transformation of the patient’s subjective world of experience. Sustained empathic inquiry has supplanted the uncovering of repressed instinctual conflicts.

This workshop will be concerned with this modern conception of psychopathology and the implications for clinical practice in addressing people’s problems that the intersubjective systems perspective offers. We will discuss the modern conception of the therapeutic action of treatment and how practice can be informed by these new understandings.

Peter Buirski holds two diplomats from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP: Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Diplomate in Psychoanalysis. He received his psychoanalytic training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York City. He has authored Practicing Intersubjectively and co-authored Making Sense Together and edited or co-edited three others. He moved to Denver in 1991 and served as Dean of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver until 2012, when he returned to the GSPP faculty. He is a member of the faculty of the Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis and a member of the Denver Psychoanalytic Society.

6 CE credits

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.