The Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center

Programs, Seminars & Lectures

September -- December, 2020

  • Co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work and the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center, an affiliate chapter of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC

  • 8 sessions, 20 CE hours
    September, 2019 - January, 2020
  • All seminars will meet via Zoom.

  • Wednesday: The Wednesday seminar will be led by Paul Koehler, LCSW, and will meet from 9:15 – 11:45 on the following Wednesday mornings.
    September 9 & 23
    October 7 & 21
    November 4 & 18
    December 2 &16

  • Fridays: The Friday seminar will be led by Karen Fraley, LCSW, and Paul Koehler, LCSW, and will meet from 9:15 – 11:45 on the following Friday mornings:
    September 11 & 25
    October 2, 16 & 30
    November 20
    December 4 & 18

  • Saturdays: The Saturday seminar will be led by Paul Koehler, LCSW, and Robin Lynk, Ph.D., and will meet from 9:00 – 11:30 on the following Saturday mornings:
    September 12 & 26
    October 3, 17 & 31
    November 21
    December 5 & 19

The historical fact of slavery and, as recent events again have dramatically demonstrated, the persistence of racism remain the largely unacknowledged shame of our country, violating and sullying as they do the very principles and ideals upon which our country was founded. This seminar will attempt to expand and deepen our understanding of the many and complex ways in which racism oppresses, injures, and kills people of color while at the same time demeans and dehumanizes all of us.

While we know that the psychic pain of recognizing the historical and the current consequences of racism is infinitely less than the pain and destruction suffered by its victims, we also understand that the larger culture must indeed suffer that psychic pain if the injustices of racism are ever to be ended and its destruction ever to be repaired. With that aim in mind we will start our seminar with a review of Betty Joseph's classic paper, "Towards the experiencing of psychic pain", with an eye toward applying her ideas to the functioning of each of us individually as well as of our culture as a whole.

We will subsequently study writings by Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Jesmyn Ward, Angela Davis and Judith Butler. We will conclude the seminar with the study of Ta-Nehisi Coates' recent essay, "The Case for Reparations". Using as a reference point Melanie Klein's ideas about the meaning of reparation in individual development, we will strive for a broader and deeper understanding of what reparation might mean and look like in terms of repairing the damage racism has caused over the centuries.

In addition to lecture and discussion of the readings, participants will be invited to share relevant case material and personal experiences.

When this seminar has concluded, we will offer an additional seminar (5 CEs): Ethical Perspectives on the Presence and Influence of Racism in the Clinical Encounter.


    1) Participants will describe, discuss and elaborate the psychic elements – especially guilt and denial – that function as obstacles to recognizing the presence, the severity and the consequences of racism in our culture and in each of us as individuals.

    2) Through the study of Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, participants will describe, discuss and elaborate the historical realities of slavery and their impact on a particular life.

    3) Through the study of selected historical and contemporary narratives, participants will describe, discuss and elaborate the impact and the consequences of racism on the lives of particular individuals.

    4) Through the study of Tan-Nehisi Coaes’ recent essay, “The Case for Reparations”, participants will describe, discuss and elaborate the psychological, financial and political dimensions and implications of the question of reparations.

    5) Through the discussion of relevant case material and personal experiences, participants will further elaborate the concepts and themes of the seminar.


    1) Betty Joseph – Towards the experiencing of psychic pain
    Frederick Douglass – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    2) James Baldwin – Notes of a Native son

    3) Notes of a Native Son

    4) Jesmyn Ward – The Men We Reaped

    5) The Men We Reaped

    6) Judith Butler – Violence, Mourning, Politics

    7) Angela Davis – Women, Race, and Class
    Chapter 5 – The meaning of Emancipation According to Black Women
    Chapter 6 – Education and Liberation: Black Women's Perspective

    8) Ta-Nehisi Coates "The Case for Reparations"
    Melanie Klein – Love, guilt and reparation


    Karen Fraley LCSW, BCD, is in private practice in Exton, PA, providing psychoanalytic psychotherapy to individuals and couples.  She holds a certificate in Object Relation Therapy from the International Psychotherapy Institute in Washington, DC.  Karen is an active faculty member of IPI and a Fellow member of PSCSW.

    Paul Koehler, LCSW, NCPsyT, is a Fellow of PSCSW.  He is a graduate of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies and of the Washington School of Psychiatry’s Object Relations Training Program.  He is currently a faculty member of IPI.  Paul is in private practice in Doylestown, PA.

    Robin Lynk, Ph.D., earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has taught at Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors, this program has been approved for professional workshop sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association, listed in Section 47.36 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for professional workshop for marriage and family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36)

For New Jersey Social Workers: This program is approved for 20 credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state or national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, is a valid source of continuing education credit (NJCA 13:44G-6.4[c]).

For psychologists: The International Psychotherapy Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education credit for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for this program.

For further information and/or to enroll please contact us:

Paul Koehler:; (215) 345-8730
Karen Fraley:; (610) 827-1641
Robin Lynk:; (215) 262-7400

The Wizard of Oz Teaches Object Relations Theory

  • Date: TBA
  • Time: TBA
  • Fee: TBA
  • Location: TBA
  • Instructor: Charles Ashbach, Ph.D.

This program is a 2 session seminar using the film of The Wizard of Oz to present the essential elements of an object relations understanding of the psyche. Contents include a detailed discussion of psychic structure, from a Kleinian perspective, as well as the problems of innocence, guilt, Oedipal conflict and trauma. The group will utilize clinical case material to exemplify the application of object relations theory.


  • Date: TBA
  • Time: TBA
  • Fee: TBA
  • Location: TBA
  • Instructor: Charles Ashbach, Ph.D.

This is a 3 seminar program involving the reading of Sophocles' drama: Oedipus Rex. The goal is to understand the relational context that gives rise to the conflicts between the generations and the sexes. We will explore the "back-story" of the myth, and the role of parental aggression and its link to the impulses and fantasies of the child.

The Oedipus complex occupies a central place in psychoanalytic thought and we'll contemplate the complexities of the story, and point to the issues that arise in the clinical encounter. Clinical case material will be utilized from the members to demonstrate therapeutic implications.

Suffering, Sacrifice and Psychotherapy

  • Date: TBA
  • Time: TBA
  • Fee: TBA
  • Location: TBA
  • Instructor:Charles Ashbach, Karen Fraley, and Paul Koehler

A 6-part seminar series that explores linkages between the practice of psychotherapy and the multiple burdens of suffering, sacrifice, and masochism that constitute much of the profession. The connection between the Greek concept "Therapon" meaning servant or slave, and the role of the therapist will be explored in depth.

Clinical concepts of holding and containment; of counter-transference and acting-in will all be explored through in-depth clinical examples.


Foundations of Western Literature

  • Date: Begining January 2011
  • Time: Sunday evenings 7-9pm (monthly)
  • Fee: $450
  • Location: Chestnut Hill, PA
  • Instructors: Charles Ashbach, Karen Fraley, and Paul Koehler

This will be an on-going seminar which will meet monthly to discuss and study the great works of Western literature. The seminar will meet on Sunday nights, 10 meetings per year, beginning in September, 2010.

Goals of this seminar include:

  • To gain an understanding of unconscious process and how they relate to the study of these enduring works.
  • To appreciate the elegance and wisdom in these works of literature -- and explore the possibilities, parameters, and paradoxes as they relate to the human condition.
  • We will begin with the Epic of Gilgamesh, and will next move on to the study and reading of the Iliad and the Odyssey. These reading choices will likely be enough to occupy us for the first year of our study.

We anticipate that we will continue the following years to come by reading:

  • The major plays of Sophocles
  • The Aeneid of Virgil
  • Beowulf
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Dante's Divine Comedy
  • Milton's Paradise Lost
  • The major plays of Shakespeare
  • Goethe's Faust

We will go on to read works by Melville, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, and Camus.

More Information

  • Continuing Education (CE) Credit Information

    All programs are eligible for continuing education credits. Please contact us to find out exact information for each program.

    International Psychotherapy Institute, IPI is approved by The American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The International Psychotherapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6017. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The International Psychotherapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the programs. The International Psychotherapy Institute is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. Continuing Education Credit for Utah Social Workers is provided through Utah NASW. The International Psychotherapy Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers.

  • Distance Learning Seminars

    PPSC is able to offer distance learning opportunities through the use of computer assisted telephone conferencing. Currently seminars and programs on Klein, Bion, Transference and Counter-transference are conducted with various groups throughout the country. If you, your group or institution is interested in this form of distance learning please contact us.

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