Psychoanalytic Explorations Program

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) is pleased to announce a newly developed series of opportunities for growth and learning, the Psychoanalytic Explorations program.

All courses of the Psychoanalytic Explorations series are open to all and allow participants to learn from seasoned psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically-oriented practitioners who have selected topics based on their particular interests and expertise.

Three different 12-hour courses will be offered in the 2017 – 2018 year.  Each will meet for two hours on six dates.  Class size is limited in order to facilitate the learning and participation by each individual.  There is a separate registration process for each class; you may register for one or more classes, depending on your own interests and needs.

Twelve (12) CE credits are available for each course. All CCP programs and course offerings qualify for Continuing Education (CE) credits for LCSW, LCPC, PhD, PsyD, and potentially LMFT (application pending), clinicians. The cost of each course is $500.00.

If you would like more information, please contact the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Explorations program, Dr. Peter Reiner at 312.822.7277 or

To register for the courses below, please use the form at

Here are the three upcoming offerings for 2017 – 2018:

Course Title:    Trauma, Shame and Mourning (12 CE credits)
Instructor:  Peter Shabad, PhD
Meeting dates (2017):  Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Nov. 27
Meeting time: Mondays, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location:  180 North Michigan Avenue, 5th floor, Chicago

Course Description:

In this course we will explore how traumatic and chronically disillusioning experiences have profoundly inhibiting effects on the passion necessary to grow and change throughout life.  We will devote special attention to how human beings transform their traumatic experiences outside of their control into shameful failures, in which they “blame the victim” in themselves for being a victim.  After describing how the “intimate creation” of one’s unique constellation of symptoms is a means of both communicating and memorializing such traumatic experiences, we will examine how shame leads to character passivity and interrelated dynamics such as self-pity, resentment, entitlement, envy, perverse spite, and regret.

In the clinical section of the course, we will explore how the patient’s passivity and ambivalence towards therapeutic change is closely intertwined with his/her chronic struggle between the freedom to desire and obeying a tyranny of shoulds.  In this regard, we will also highlight important clinical tensions between developmental determinism and freedom of will, and corresponding countertransference tensions of love versus respect in the analyst’s attitude toward the patient.

Finally, we will discuss how the mourning process of accepting and reintegrating one’s shamed desires paradoxically facilitates the generosity of relinquishing the necessity that those desires be fulfilled. In addition to analytic readings, we will also read Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground and Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych.

Biographical Information:

Peter Shabad, PhD is Core Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University Medical School. He is also on the Faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago. Dr. Shabad is co-editor of The Problem of Loss and Mourning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives (IUP,1989) and is the author of Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy (Aronson, 2001). Dr. Shabad is currently working on a new book entitled Seizing The Vital Moment: Passion, Shame, and Self-Realization to be published by Routledge. He is also the author of numerous papers and book chapters in psychoanalysis on diverse topics such as loss and mourning, shame, resentment, and regret. Dr. Shabad has a private practice in Chicago in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.


Course Title:    Psychoanalytic Contributions to Couple Therapy (12 CE credits)
Instructor:  Peter Reiner, PhD, LMFT
Meeting dates (2018):  Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Jan. 30, Feb. 13, Feb. 20, Feb. 27
Meeting time: Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location:  405 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Course Description:

This is a clinically-focused class on couple therapy, with an emphasis on the application of psychoanalytic theory.  Key concepts from object relations theory, in particular, will be used to illuminate the dynamics of mate selection, of the splitting and polarization that underpins informal role pairings (e.g., “overadequate/underadequate”), and of certain transference/countertransference situations.  The pivotal role of projective and introjective identification in translating between the intrapsychic and interpersonal realms will be highlighted, facilitating linking psychoanalytic and systemic perspectives.

Videotapes of consultation interviews will be shown extensively to illustrate important clinical moments, interventional choice points, and a range of associated treatment techniques.  This clinical material will also be viewed through the lenses provided by several classic papers and book chapters, thus facilitating the integration of theory, clinical formulation, and technique.

Biographical Information:

Peter Reiner, PhD, LMFT is Core Faculty at the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis and Faculty at The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  He served as Coordinator of Clinical Training at the Family Institute of Chicago and is licensed separately as a clinical psychologist and a marriage and family therapist.  Peter is an award-winning teacher who has led more than 50 graduate and post-graduate classes or seminars in systemically-oriented couple and family psychotherapy and psychodynamically-oriented psychotherapy.  Dr. Reiner has written at length about the training and supervision of psychodynamically-oriented couple and family therapists, including “Training psychodynamic family therapists,” (in Lebow, Chambers, &  Breunlin [Eds.] Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy, 2017) and “Systemic psychodynamic supervision,” (in Todd & Storm [Eds.], The Complete Systemic Supervisor:  Context, Philosophy, and Pragmatics [2nd ed.], 2014).  Dr. Reiner maintains a private practice in Chicago of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with individuals, and systemic psychotherapy with couples and families.


Course Title:    The Clinical Use of Dreams (12 CE credits)
Instructor:  Allan Scholom, PhD
Meeting dates (2018):  March 31, April 7, April 14, April 28, May 5, May 12
Meeting time: Saturdays, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location:  30 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Course Description:

The class will be organized around the understanding of dreams, “the royal road to the unconscious,” as Freud believed. Understanding our dreams can help us feel more whole, creative and better able to solve problems. Our specific focus will be on the clinical use of dreams to address critical and ubiquitous issues in practice, both of the patient and therapist. We will emphasize how dreams can facilitate clinical work throughout the therapeutic encounter as well as how dreams can address impasses. This involves the recognition that there are always unconscious forces at play and that dreams can serve a vital role in helping to bring them into consciousness.

While our capacity to access our inner life is at the heart of any growth enhancing personal or relationship process, it is foundational in psychoanalytically oriented treatments wherein patient and therapist unconscious dynamics play out so prominently and necessarily. In this sense, when we attend to our dream world, we move into a different emotional realm for our patients and ourselves that adds a richness and depth to our enterprise. We will use dreams to take up the issues of conflict, deficit, defense and internalization from the perspective that they are ever-present and intertwined. At the heart of all of this we will be ever mindful of the way in which our own unconscious life is engaged and how we, too, are influenced and changed through the clinical encounter.

Biographical Information:

Allan Scholom, PhD is Core Faculty and a Board Member of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP), President of the Section of Psychoanalysts of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the APA, and on the Faculty of the Institute for Clinical Social Work. Dr. Scholom has served as President of the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology, First Vice Chairperson of the Chicago Community Mental Health Board, Founder and Chairperson of the Illinois Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers and as a Mental Health Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson. He has been teaching classes and leading workshops on Understanding Dreams and The Clinical use of Dreams for over 35 years. Dr. Scholom is in the private practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.