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“A Field Study on Vulnerability in the Creative Process”

This talk has been approved by New York State for 2 hours of Continuing Education Credit for LMSWs and LCSWs.

Debra Gitterman is a writer with abiding writer's block; John McInerney is a psychoanalyst with ambitions to write clearly, honestly, and well. In this panel Debra, as editor, and John, as writer, explore the emotional ground they have traveled and the struggles they have encountered while working on John's book. They draw parallels between the editing process and psychoanalysis in terms of what transpires between editor (therapist) and writer (client).

For John, writing necessitates accepting his fragility and overcoming fears of inadequacy. Debra is unable to endure the vulnerability that is triggered by reading her own work. She fosters John's writing with encouraging, critical responses that she has difficulty taking in from others and cannot extend to herself.

What does a writer gain from an editor's attention? What does an editor gain from a writer’s responsiveness? By helping a writer advance toward authentic and clear self-expression through the ritual of revising, does an editor experience transformation without risk to self? What defense mechanisms might be at play in writer’s block? And what insights, if any, does this inquiry offer into the psychoanalytic process?

Debra Gitterman has an M.F.A in poetry from The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC and a B.A. in ancient Greek from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She works as a web developer in upstate New York, and her poems have appeared in Post Road Magazine.

John McInerney  L.C.S.W. is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York. He is a graduate of Fordham University and The Greenwich Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He is working on a "sort of memoir”: "Being Simply Human in a Complex World. Essays Notes and Fragments on Zen and Psychotherapy”.

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Earlier Event: April 28
Spring Open House - Evening Session
Later Event: June 9
“EMDR: Why and When”