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Recommended: Kirk Schneider’s EDD at MIP

February 12 @ 10:00 am 1:00 pm PST

The Experiential Democracy Dialogue: Using Depth Psychology to Address Cultural and Political Divides


Instructor: Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D
Host: Manhattan Institute of Psychoanalysis

Course Description and Overview:
This workshop will provide skills for therapists who are challenged by the cultural and political stances of their clients and how those stances manifest and potentially affect the therapeutic relationship. Dr. Schneider will introduce the concept of the “polarized mind” (the fixation on a single point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view), which he developed based on extensive existential-depth and social-psychological research on the roots of human destructiveness. Emerging from concern about the destructive effects of intra-psychic and societal polarization, along with a resultant deep interest in helping individuals and communities depolarize, Dr. Schneider spent over fifteen years developing a one-on-one depolarization dialogue format called “Experiential Democracy Dialogue” (detailed in his book The Depolarizing of America: A Guidebook for Social Healing). This approach is a hybrid of his experience as a leading figure in the existential-humanistic psychological and psychotherapeutic movements with his experience as a trained moderator for the nation-wide organization called “Braver Angels.” Braver Angels is a grass-roots citizens’ movement that uses a highly structured group (and individual) format to bring self-identified liberals and conservatives together for “living room” style dialogues.

Experiential Democracy Dialogue, as a one-on-one conflict mediation format, provides a unique resource for clinicians struggling with the ways that socio-cultural and political differences show up in the therapeutic encounter. Techniques and principles from this approach can be utilized by therapists to more adaptively work with the aforementioned challenges as they arise in therapy by helping them develop skills to be more present to clients from highly contrasting backgrounds, develop greater capacities to empathize with and find common ground with such clients, and develop greater capacities to experience curiosity and enhance exploration with such clients who formerly elicited anguish or even revulsion.

In this workshop, Dr. Schneider will outline five phases of Experiential Democracy Dialogue – Guided Visualization, Providing Background, Taking a Stance, Identifying Stereotypes and Results/Discovery – and then demonstrate how to employ Experiential Democracy Dialogue in the therapeutic relationship. Participants will then be placed into dyads to role-play therapist-client, with the “therapist” leading the pair through the five phases. Participants will then be able to reflect on and begin to integrate how utilizing Experiential Democracy Dialogue techniques and core concepts can help strengthen their therapeutic relationships with clients who hold strong cultural and political differences from them.

Date/Time: Feb. 12, 1pm-4pm EST; 10am-1pm PST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $90 and candidates $60 (Proof of Institute affiliation required.)  CE: 3

Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis is recognized by the New York State Education Department as an approved provider of continuing education for LCSW, LMSW, LCAT, LMHC and Licensed Psychologists.

Kirk J. Schneider, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is a cofounder and current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (an award-winning psychotherapy training center), Council Member and Candidate for President of the American Psychological Association (APA), past president (2015-2016) of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the APA, recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (2005-2012), a trained moderator for the conflict mediation group Braver Angels, and an adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Schneider is also an Honorary Member of the Society for Existential Analysis and the East European Association for Existential Therapy. His work on existential-integrative psychotherapy has been featured in a special issue of the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (March, 2016) and is the inspiration for the psychotherapy training program of the Living Institute, Toronto, Canada. A Fellow of five Divisions of the APA, Dr. Schneider has published over 200 articles, interviews and chapters and has authored or edited 13 books including The Spirituality of AweThe Polarized MindAwakening to AweThe Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Existential-Humanistic TherapyExistential-Integrative Psychotherapy, The Wiley World Handbook of Existential Therapy, and The Depolarizing of America:  A Guidebook for Social Healing. Dr. Schneider’s work has been featured in Scientific American, the New York Times, Psychology Today and many other health and psychology outlets.

$90 For General/Professional