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17th GEI Annual Conference, with Elizabeth Corpt

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17th GEI Annual Conference, with Elizabeth Corpt is past the date when it may be purchased online.

In live streaming:

Therapeutic Generosity and Reserve: Holding Both in our Work

a conference by Elizabeth Corpt, MSW, LICSW *

Logo d'interprétation simultanée
   The presentation will be given in English, with simultaneous English interpretation for the audience questions in French during the question and answer period.

Date: Saturday, September 26th, 2020
Time: From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EDT : UTC -4), with a 20 minutes break

Live streaming: The GEI will be using the Zoom web platform for live streaming, which will not require any prior download. Participants will simply receive a web link to join the live streaming, and they will be able to select the language of their choice in real time on the platform.

Registration: See the Online registration section below

This conference is approved by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec for 4 hours of continuing education units (CEU) in psychotherapy. No OPQ: RA03280-20.

The conference

In most analytic work, but especially in intersubjective and self-psychological approaches, the importance of the therapist’s empathic stance towards the patient is seen as primordial. This empathic posture seems simple enough at first sight, but in practice, it is deeply demanding and complex.

In this program, we will consider this all-too-human complexity of the therapeutic work that we do; the way our work requires both a special kind of provision and generosity, while at the same time, requiring us to practice a special reserve for the patient who, for good reason, may distrust our generosity, provision, or direct shows of empathy. With special attention to both the therapist’s and patient’s point of view, we will consider empathy as a complex gift brought to the clinical endeavor, and the particular pressures it places on both patient and therapist. We will also consider the importance of the therapist’s privately held need to sustain an empathic position while managing his/her own suffering.

Lastly, we will think about clinical ethics; that ground between experience nearness when empathic connection is spontaneous, and experience distance where we are required to stretch to understand something about the patient’s experience that feels difficult to empathically grasp. It is here that we confront both the loneliness and the deep satisfaction of the therapist’s work. Case material, including some related to the present pandemic context, will be presented to bring these topics alive.

Working from an intersubjective/self-psychological psychoanalytic lens and a relational ethics perspective, Ms. Corpt offers a way of thinking about the work of being a therapist that includes attention to the everyday vulnerabilities and dilemmas faced by every human being, but also the shared vulnerabilities of this unprecedented Covid-19 troubled situation. Her approach invites an openness and non-judgmental attitude and a deep appreciation of the unique emotional effort required from those of us to choose to do this work. According to Ms. Corpt, it is our awareness of our very vulnerabilities that allows us to do this work well.

* The speaker

Elizabeth Corpt,MSW, LICSW has written, published, and presented nationally and internationally. Ms Corpt is Past-President, Supervising Analyst, Faculty Member, and Board Member at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, Teaching Associate, at the Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and at the Cambridge Health Alliance Program for Psychotherapy. She is also Co-Chief Editor of Psychoanalysis, Self and Context, the journal of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. She maintains a private practice in Arlington (Boston region), Massachusetts.

In this short video, Elizabeth introduces the main theme she will develop in this conference: Elizabeth Corpt's invitation.

Partial bibliography

*The three publications marked by an asterisk are available for purchase and download: see the Readings section below.

  • Corpt, E. (2011). The Art and Craft of Psychoanalytic Practice: A Discussion of Donna Orange’s Traumatic Living Memory and the Dialogue of Metaphors. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 6:214-227.
  • *Corpt, E. (2013). Peasant in the Analyst’s Chair: Reflections, Personal and Otherwise, Class and the Forming of an Analytic Identity. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 8: 52-67.
  • Corpt, E. (2013). How We Choose to Be With Each Other: Discussion of Preston and Shumsky’s “Toward an Integrative Sensibility: Conversing across Theoretical Boundaries”. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 8:328-37.
  • Corpt, E. (2015). Commentary on Westphal: The Patient’s Intentionality as Primary. In D. Goodman & M. Freeman (Eds.) Psychology and the Other. (pp.138-145). New York, Oxford University Press.
  • *Corpt, E. (2016). The Complications of Caring and the Ethical Turn in Psychoanalysis. In D. Goodman & E. Severson (Eds.) The Ethical Turn: Otherness and subjectivity in contemporary psychoanalysis, (pp.109-116). London, Routledge.
  • Corpt, E. (2016). The Transformation From Non-Being to Being: A discussion of Hilary Maddux’s “Adrienne Rich’s ‘Transcendental Etude’: The Poetics of Self-Transformation”. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 11:22-27.
  • Corpt, E. (2017). Maternal Ethics and the Therapeutic Work of Protecting Open Futures. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37: 412-418.
  • *Corpt, E. (2018). The Ethics of Listening in Psychoanalytic Conversations. Psychoanalysis, Self and Context, 3: 220-228.

Learning objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant will be able to:

  1. Define and differentiate between therapeutic generosity and therapeutic reserve.
  2. Describe ways in which empathy can be a complex gift that places pressures on the therapeutic dyad.
  3. Articulate the therapeutic difference between privately held sustained empathy versus shows of empathy for certain suffering patients.
  4. Explain what is required of the therapist in the ground between experience distance and experience nearness.


There will be a 20 minutes break during the conference

09:00 Zoom orientation
Conference schedule, and
Presentation of our speaker
09:15 Presentation by Elizabeth Corpt (read text)
10:30 Questions & answers
11:00 Break
11:20 Presentation by Elizabeth Corpt (without text)
12:20 Questions & answers
13:00 End

You are welcome, if you wish, to prepare questions in advance for the discussion periods between the speaker and the participants. It will be possible to ask questions in English or in French, either verbally, or by writing in the chat of the webconference for the facilitator to read to the speaker.


At the Vendredis intersubjectifs (evenings of text study at the GEI) of this year, two of Elizabeth Corpt's papers have been studied (the 3rd VI having been cancelled in reason of the pandemic) in preparation for her conference (n.b. it is not required to read the papers to fully benefit from the conference). They are available at a cost of 10$ (for copyright fees) in their original English version and their French transalation at this page: Trois articles d'Elizabeth Corpt (the page is in French).

If you were a participant to the first two Vendredis intersubjectifs Elizabeth Corpt, you already have access to these papers by clicking on the My files link, in the User menu, located in the right margin of the site (it is necessary to log into your user account to access this link).

Clinical workshop, also in live streaming

You are also invited to attend a clinical workshop (limited to 20 participants) with Elizabeth Corpt to be held on Saturday, October 17th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., three weeks after her September conference.

A participant will present a clinical case, and after an exchange between this participant and our invited speaker, the discussion will be open to the group. To register, please go to the Atelier clinique page (this page is in French, and it will be accessible only to GEI members during the pre-registration period from Monday, May 17th, to Thursday, May 30th, and it will be open to all from Friday, May 31st).

N.B. : questions in French will be translated in English for our speaker and for the English-speaking participants, and theirs will be translated in French for the French-speaking participants.

Organizing committee

Jean-François Bernard, psychologist, webmaster
Annette Richard, psychologist, GEI president

Online registration

With online or mailed payment (click on the Add to cart button below)

Registration fees
By Saturday, September 12th After Saturday, September 12th
Members 1 130$ 140$
Non-members 145$ 155$
Students 2 90$ 100$

1 The member rate is granted to members in good standing of the year in which the activity takes place.
To become a member of the GEI or to renew your membership please go to the Membership application page.

2 A proof of full time university student status will be required.

Cancellation policy

A 25$ administration fee will be withheld for refunds requested in writing up to one week before the event (e.g. up to Saturday one week before the next Saturday conference). Please address your request to the GEI treasurer. No refunds will be issued after this date.

N.B. when cancelling your participation to an activity, the registration fees for this activity cannot be transfered and applied to the registration to another activity, or to the registration of another participant.

For more information please refer to the Tableau des modalités d'inscription aux activités du GEI.

To apply for (or renew your) membership and register at member fee

Please first complete online your GEI membership application. Following your membership application, you will immediately receive an automated email confirming your application (Confirmation d'inscription (ou d'adhésion)).

As soon as your payment is completed, you will receive a second automated email confirming the payment of your application (Confirmation de votre paiement). From then, the member status of your GEI site user account will give you access to member's reduced fees on your next registrations to activities of that membership year.

  • If you choose to pay by credit card online (on PayPal), you will receive the payment confirmation email in the minute following your online payment.
  • If you choose to pay by mail, allow an additional week to receive the payment confirmation email.

N.B. In order to access your member's reduced fee you need to be logged to your site account.

To register at student reduced fee (GEI members or non-members)

It is necessary to have site user account with a student status in order to automatically get the student fee when registering online.

  • If you don't have a user account, please first create your account by clicking on the following link Create a new account or on the link located in the site's right margin. The following account creation page will allow checking a student status option. This student status account will enable registrations at student fee when logged in.

  • If you already have a user account but without a student status, please email the user accounts administrator to request a student status. Your account will be updated (in approximately 24h), and your student account will then enable registrations at student fee when logged in.

Your registration requires logging into your user account

During the registration process you will be required to:

  • to log into your site user account if not already logged,
  • or to create a user account if you don't have one yet.

This user account will automatically adjust your registration fee to your participant status: member, non-member, or student (for the Annual conference only). Your user account also allows you to print your receipts and view the history of your transactions (from My transactions) or the history of your registrations, membership applications and texts purchases (from My registrations), which links are in the User menu, which appears in the right margin once logged in.

Payment modalities

Click on Add to cart below (after indicating if you intend to use simultaneous translation), and on the next page choose your payment method:

  • By credit card on ayPal's secure web site (it is NOT necessary to have a PayPal account)
  • Or by cheque mailed to the GEI.

Registration payment receipt

Your receipt is the GEI - Confirmation de votre paiement email. If you don't have this email anymore, please follow these steps:

  • First log into your site user account (by entering your username and password in the login box).
  • Once logged in, click on the My transactions link in your User menu (in the right margin).
  • On this page is the history of the transactions for your registrations, membership applications and texts purchases. Identify the transaction for which you wish to print a receipt and click on the corresponding print icon (representation of a printer). If needed, first click on the viewing icon (representation of a document under a magnifying glass) to view this transaction's details.
  • On the receipt page, click on the Print invoice button, in the upper right corner.

Should you encounter any difficulty, please email the online registrations administrator for assistance.

CEU certificate

The certifcate attesting to your participation to this continuing education activity will be sent as an email attachment in the following 10 days.

For any question regarding the CEU certificates, please email the CEU certificates administrator.

To apply for (or renew your) membership and register at member fee, you must, in a first transaction, complete your membership application and wait to receive the automated email confirming the payment of your application (« Confirmation de paiement »), which is immediate when paying online through PayPal. Only then, in a second transaction, will your user account member status allow your registration at member fee. For more information, please read the FAQ above.

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