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20th GEI Annual Conference, with Richard Geist is past the date when it may be purchased online.

20th GEI Annual Conference, with Richard Geist

Simultaneoulsly on-site and on Zoom

This activity will be recorded and available for online viewing*

Contemporary Self Psychology in Action

Lien vers la version en français   La psychologie du soi contemporaine en action

a conference by Richard A. Geist, Ed.D.*

Richard Geist will unfortunately not be able to be with us due to the evolving health situation (Eris variant). However, we will be able to hear and see him on the big screen and interact with him remotely.

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 and time: Saturday, September 23rd, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EDT (check your time zone here).
Lunch buffet included at the hotel restaurant (see the Online registration section below for details).
Welcome and on-site registration from 8:15 a.m., continental breakfast included (juice, fruits, coffee and pastries).

Add this activity to your calendar :

Venue: Le Nouvel Hôtel, room St-Mathieu.

1740, René-Lévesque Blvd. West Logo Google Map, Montreal (514-931-8841).

At 5 minutes from Guy-Concordia metro station, exit Saint-Mathieu/de Maisonneuve Saint-Mathieu St.
      Logo Google Map
Parking in the vicinity, or hotel indoor parking (at 8$/hour, maximum 28$ plus taxes/day), entrance on Saint-Mathieu St.
        Logo Google Map

Remote participation: It will also be possible to participate in the activity through the Zoom platform. Online participation in the question periods will be in writing only.
The connection link will be emailed to participants on the Monday preceding the activity and a reminder will be sent one hour before the activity. Participants will also receive a detailed guide on how to log in, select their preferred language, and participate in the activity.

Registration: See the Online registration section below.

N.B. lunch reservations will be possible only for registrations completed by Tuesday, September 19.

This conference is approved by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec for 6 hours of continuing education units (CEU) in psychotherapy. No OPQ: RA05583-23.

The conference

Every therapeutic couple strives to find that unique bond that will promote the therapeutic process and facilitate the reactivation of development and healthy growth. Kohut understood that there could be no self growth and development without what he then called “selfobject experiences", and what our invited speaker, Richard Geist, eventually expanded as “connectedness”. Self-psychological therapy is always a search for that connectedness, seeking it, hiding from it, floundering about in the complexities of it. By connectedness, Geist “generally refers to a consciously or non-consciously felt sense of sharing and participating in another’s subjective emotional life while simultaneously experiencing another as participating in one’s own subjective life” (2008, p. 130).

A sense of self, in this perspective, is an open system with “permeable boundaries” suggestive of a shared and overlapping emotional life, thus of connectedness. Without permeable boundaries, patient and therapist become the pebble thrown in the water where it becomes wet on the surface, but never becomes part of the water. As therapists, we must allow ourselves to become part of the water to connect in a way that facilitates the patient’s experience of us as a felt presence in their lives.

This conference will discuss major clinical concepts from Self Psychology and, through the use of verbatim clinical dialogue, study their implications for conducting psychotherapy. Richard Geist will emphasize the more recent concepts of connectedness and permeable boundaries and how they impact: 1) our understanding of the empathic process; 2) our use of transference interpretation; 3) how we work with the “forward edge”; 4) how we modulate and expand embedded characterological defenses; 5) how we respond to destructive aggression; 6) and how connectedness and permeable boundaries facilitate healing. Emphasizing patientcentered rather than theorycentered therapy, he will highlight the impact of the therapist’s subjectivity, vulnerability, and protectiveness on the treatment process.

Please Note: For the first time this year, the annual conference will be recorded and available for online viewing to all registrants for a period of two weeks after the conference. However, certificates of participation for continuing education can only be issued to those who participated in the live activity (in person or on Zoom).

*The speaker
Richard Geist

Richard A. Geist, Ed.D., was educated at Harvard University where he received his doctorate in psychology. For 35 years he was a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is a founding faculty member, supervising analyst, and former board member of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP). He was a senior supervising psychologist at Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston. He is also member of the Council of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology (IAPSP). Dr. Geist has a private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and sees children, adolescents, adults and couples. Dick has already visited us at the GEI 6th Annual Conference in 2009 and it's with great pleasure that we are welcoming him again this year.

Partial bibliography

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

Geist, Richard A. (2008). Connectedness, Permeable Boundaries, and the Development of the Self: Therapeutic Implications. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, vol. 3, n° 2, pp. 129-152.

*Geist, Richard A. (2013). How the Empathic Process Heals: A Microprocess Perspective. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, vol. 8, n° 3, pp. 265-281.

Geist, Richard A. (2015). Conversations with Paul. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, vol. 10, n° 2, pp. 91-106.

*Geist, Richard A. (2016). From Self-Protection to Relational Protectiveness: The Modification of Defensive Structures. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, vol. 11, n° 4, pp. 368-380.

*Geist, Richard A. (2021). From Theory-Centered to Patient-Centered Treatment: How Kohut’s Attitudes Impact Contemporary Therapeutic Work. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, vol. 41, n° 3, pp. 174-186.


At the Intersubjective Fridays (evenings of text study at the GEI) of this year, three of Richard Geist's papers have been studied in preparation for his 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: Three papers by Richard Geist.

If you were a participant to the three "Vendredis intersubjectifs Richard Geist", 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).

Learning objectives

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

  1. Describe the importance of the Forward Edge.
  2. Explain the meaning of interpretation in self psychology.
  3. Describe what is meant by the empathic process in self psychology.
  4. Define what we mean by permeable boundaries.
  5. Give examples of connectedness.


15 minutes a.m. and p.m. breaks
Snacks included (cookies and beverages)

08:15 am Zoom participants: Opening of the Zoom waiting room
On-site participants: Welcome and breakfast
09:00 am Zoom admission
Orientation and introduction of speaker
09:15 am Presentation by Dr Richard Geist
Discussion with audience
12:00 pm Lunch at the hotel buffet restaurant
01:30 pm Presentation by Dr Richard Geist
Discussion with audience
04:30 pm 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.

  • On-site participants will be able to ask their questions either verbally, or in writing for the facilitator to read them to the speaker.
  • And remote participants will be able to write their questions in the Zoom Webinar Q&A window.
Sunday Clinical workshop, On-site only

You are also invited to attend a clinical workshop (limited to 20 participants) with Richard Geist to be held the following day, on Sunday, September 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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 Clinical Workshop.
Please note: this page will be accessible only to GEI members during the pre-registration period from Monday, June 12th, to Sunday, June 25th. It will be open to all from Monday, June 26th.

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

Sylvie Ledoux, psychologist, coordinator
Jean-François Bernard, psychologist, webmaster
Annette Richard, psychologist, administrator

COVID prevention measures

If you are showing symptoms of COVID, please do not show up in person and instead participate on Zoom.

Sanitary measures at the Nouvel Hôtel

  • Hydro-alcoholic gel dispensers and a box of procedure masks will be placed at the entrance of the room at the disposal of the participants.
  • The conference room has centralized ventilation and air conditioning.

Live streaming of the conference

Zoom Webinar:
For the live streaming of the conference, the GEI uses the Zoom Webinar platform (using the same software as in Zoom Meetings but with a slightly different user interface). We recommend using the Zoom software installed on a computer (PC or Mac) for it's easier use, but it is also possible to use the Zoom application installed on a tablet or smartphone (Android or iOS). However, we do not recommend using Zoom from your browser. We also recommend that you update your Zoom app before the activity takes place. In the event of a failure or instability of your internet connection, it is possible to connect to the Zoom webinar by telephone to obtain an audio channel only.

Zoom connection:
A Zoom connection link is required to join a GEI activity on Zoom. This connection link will be sent to participants by email on the Monday preceding the activity and a reminder will be sent one hour before the activity. Attendees will also receive a detailed guide on how to log in.

Participation on Zoom:
The detailed guide that will be sent to participants also contains all the information on how to participate in an activity taking place on Zoom. This guide includes setting up simultaneous interpretation if applicable, preference of display, and how to participate in the question period by writing your question or comment, etc.

Free wireless internet access at Le Nouvel Hôtel

Wireless network
Wi-Fi network name (SSID): Conference Novella
Network password: condo04
(this information is usually displayed at the entrance of the room)
N.B. This Internet connection is shared by all hotel guests and may not be sufficient for use requiring a lot of bandwidth.

Online registration

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

The registration fees include a lunch buffet at the hotel restaurant Novella Ristorante (taxes and service included).

If you would like a vegetarian or vegan meal, please contact the GEI ( after your conference registration to make the reservation.

N.B. Only registrations made until Tuesday, September 19 will allow the reservation of a lunch. Participants registering after this date will be able to lunch at their own expense at the hotel's restaurant (buffet at 32$ plus taxes and service, or à la carte) or plan for a lunch outside (Ste-Catherine street is at less than 5 minutes walk).

Registration fees
Including breakfast/lunch/snacks
On Zoom
By Sept. 9th After Sept. 9th By Sept. 9th After Sept. 9th
Members 1 215$ 230$ 165$ 180$
Non-members 240$ 255$ 190$ 205$
South Africa 2 155$ 170$ 115$ 130$
Students 3 155$ 170$ 115$ 130$

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 Participants from South Africa are required to create a site user account first (if they don't already have one), and then write to the GEI at for their country status to be added to their user account. This status will then allow them to complete their registration at the adjusted rate.

3 Your site user account must have a student status in order to automatically get the student fee when registering online (see the FAQ below for more information). 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 Saturday two weeks before the conference for in-person participation, and until the start of the conference for online participation. Please address your request to No refunds will be issued after these deadlines. 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 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.
  • If you have a user account with a student status that you wish to remove, please email to request the removal. Your account will be updated (in approximately 24h), and your account will then enable registrations at regular fee.

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 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 and mention the date or title of the activity if applicable.

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.

Before clicking on the "Add to cart" button, it is necessary to tick an answer to the two questions below.

Your rate does not appear below, it will be displayed in the registration cart according to your participant status (member, non-member or student) and the mode of participation chosen (on-site or on Zoom).

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