Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

psychoanalytic substance use treatment: reducing harm through attuned responsiveness

a Zoom event – 3 CE’s
Saturday, April 13th, 2024, 9:00am to 12:00pm PDT

Black and white picture of a window with light streaming in

program description:

There is a growing urgency to find clinical approaches that are effective in the task of treating substance use. Using clinical material, our presenters explore how addictive behaviors emerge out of relational trauma as a means of alleviating emotional pain that stems from neglect, abuse, and chronic misattunement. Our presenters demonstrate how a relational psychoanalytic approach that engages the subjective experience of the patient and contextualizes emotional pain can facilitate developmental growth for two patients on the “continuum of change,” not yet ready for abstinence.

In his paper, Harm Reduction and Self Psychology in Tandem: A Case of Crystal Meth Addiction, Dr. D. Bradley Jones demonstrates how a harm reduction sensibility coupled with a self-psychological approach can set the stage for patients to enter a mutative conversation that helps deepen their understanding of themselves and their substance use. While helping a patient explore the self-regulatory and symbolic functionality of his substance use, Bradley also demonstrates how a new reparative emotional experience can help reduce harm and facilitate change over a period of time. He discusses how substance use is often an attempt to quell emotional pain stemming from previous selfobject failure that often reenacts the original trauma as the patient seeks to repair it.

In his paper, Simulated Selfhood, Authentic Dialogue: An Intersubjective Systems Look at Treating Addiction, Dr. Darren Haber demonstrates the efficacy of an intersubjective systems perspective that addresses the relational roots of addictive processes. Dr. Haber suggests that patients who had rid themselves of vulnerable affect states to maintain relational ties are new to the concept of emotional processes and have never been permitted to think about or articulate traumatic feeling states. Dr Haber shows how the analyst’s sustained curiosity about the patient’s experience and perspective can provide a relational home for painful emotional experiences and develop hope for more expansive relatedness.

Heather Ferguson, LCSW, faculty from The Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity in NYC, will be the discussant. There will be time for audience discussion after the presentations.


Headshot of Bradley Jones for ICP

D. Bradley Jones, Psy.D., LCSW

D. Bradley Jones, Psy.D., LCSW is a graduate of two psychoanalytic institutes: The Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity (IPSS) in NYC, and The Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP/LA) in Los Angeles, CA. He is a Supervising Training Analyst and faculty at both institutes, and enjoys promoting the IPSS Explorations Series. In private practice for over 25 years now, Bradley has a special interest in working with substance use and mis-use, and people in the performing arts. He has published articles found in the journal Self, Context, and Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Inquiry.

Darren Haber, PsyD, MFT

Darren Haber, PsyD, MFT, is a psychoanalyst practicing in West Los Angeles. He specializes in treating childhood trauma, addiction, and anxiety/depression. His book, Circles Without a Center: Addiction, Accommodation and Vulnerability in Psychoanalysis was published in July 2022 by Routledge. He publishes a weekly Substack column and is the winner of several analytic writing awards. He has published online at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Psyche, Psychology Today, GoodTherapy.org, and the APA blog site. He has appeared numerous times in the journals Psychoanalysis, Self and Context, and Psychoanalytic Inquiry. His website is www.therapistinlosangeles.com.

Darren Haber portrait for ICP


Corporate Headshot of a woman

Heather Ferguson, LCSW

Heather Ferguson, LCSW, is a faculty member and supervisor at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, the National Institute for Psychotherapies, and the Wilhelm Reich Center for the Study of Embodiment, NYC. She is a certified hypnotherapist and practitioner of EMDR. She has written about eating disorder treatment, the role of intergenerational transmission of trauma, and the use of embodied techniques to deepen psychotherapeutic engagement. She is a member of the Music Industry Therapist Collective (MITC) and Co-Book Review Editor for Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context.

learning objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify and discuss the similarities between Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and Self Psychology.
  • Participants will be able to identify how the Harm Reduction therapist can foster a mutative self object bond with their patient, where the patient comes to rely more and more on the therapist in their concerted effort to understand their drug use in a deeper, more self reflective way.
  • Participants will be able to define the functionality of drug and alcohol use, by identifying 3 specific functions it provides.

  • Participants will be able to describe various therapeutic interventions, including the relationship they have to Prochaska and DeClemente’s Stage of Change.

  • Participants will be able to describe the importance of the analyst’s self-monitoring process in order to track potential countertransferential pitfalls

  • Participants will learn to describe how the subjectivity influenced the treatment (pro and con) and analytic relationship with the patient.

cost & details


Early Registration through April 6th/Late Registration from April 7th to April 12th

Licensed Professional non-ICP member: $125/$140

ICP member: $115/$130

Candidate: $85/$100

Pre-licensed: $35/$45

Registration ends April 12th at 10pm PDT.

A Zoom event.

There will be 3 CE Credits offered. To receive CE Credits attendees will need to stay for the entirety of the program.

This program will be recorded. Only registrants who attend the live Zoom event will be rewarded CE’s.

CE Credit

The program has 3 CE Credits available for participants that attend the entire time.
We ask that all participants return the post-program evaluation form emailed to them at the conclusion of the program.

Special Accommodations

Please submit any requests for Special Accommodations to the ICP Office prior to registering or at your earliest convenience to ensure that we are able to assist.

The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP) is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency.

No one in the planning or presentation of this activity has any relevant financial relationships with a commercial interest to disclose.