is pleased to present

Screen Relations: 

From Wishful Thinking to Research Informed Decisions


Gillian Isaacs Russell, PhD
Colorado USA
Member, British Psychoanalytic Council

A Half-Day Clinical Workshop

based on research and thoughtful investigation from the book

Screen Relations: 
The Limits of Computer-mediated Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Karnac, 2015)

Saturday, September 15, 2018
1 pm to 4:15 pm

New Center for Psychoanalysis Auditorium
2014 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Program Description
As our technologically driven culture rapidly evolves, many clinicians are incorporating or exclusively utilizing technologically mediated treatments. But are these screen-based treatments better than nothing, routinely good enough, or functionally equivalent? This critical question about screen relations based treatments elicits controversial and polarizing answers. Emotions and desires, as well as organizational agendas and the power of personal experience, often overwhelm data and scholarship. Conviction undermines inquiry into what technologically mediated treatments offer, and cannot offer.
Nevertheless, psychoanalysts still need to make informed decisions about the best ways to use technology, as well as communicate that understanding to patients. This presentation will examine these conflicts by discussing both emerging clinical and multi-disciplinary research in neuroscience, virtual reality, human-computer interface development, and communications theory, as well as Dr. Isaacs Russell's ethnographic research about how differences between screen relations and actual presence influence therapeutic processes and outcomes. She will examine impact of technological mediation on the therapeutic couple and the shared relational space through which unconscious material is communicated between them.
Psychoanalysis offers a very particular kind of relating. It is not just an exchange of information or task-orientated, but rather the development of a close and meaningful interpersonal relationship. Notably, there is powerful scientific evidence that finely nuanced and implicit bodily interactions form the core of this intersubjective relating. This psychobiological nonverbal communication comprises over 60% of our communication and is often what happens in-between the lines of spoken language. However, mediated interaction cannot replicate the subtle elements that are essential for this intimate communication.

What does this mean for technologically mediated relating? How can embodied non-verbal communication be carried out digitally and comprehended on a two-dimensional screen? How do technological simulations of patient and therapist affect the therapeutic process? How much do the media themselves intrude? Can a highly effective therapeutic process occur without physical co-presence?
These questions will be considered using clinical data, including Dr. Isaacs Russell's own ethnographic research, in an examination of the clinically relevant differences between co-present and technologically mediated treatments.

MD's, Psychologists, LCSW's, MFT's, Registered Nurses, and other learners interested in developing psychoanalytic understanding.  

Course Objectives
At the end of this activity, participants will be better able to:
1. assess the gains and losses of technologically-mediated treatment
based on research in fields outside of psychoanalytic psychotherapy such as computer/human interaction and neuroscience  
2. define the technical concept of Presence as used by researchers in computer-mediated communication
3. apply the concept of Presence to psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic effectiveness  
4. identify both benefits and shortcomings associated with introducing technology into clinical work
Program Faculty
Gillian Isaacs Russell, Ph.D., NCPsyA is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Council, the British Psychotherapy Foundation, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the International Psychoanalytical Association. She is a Registered Psychotherapist in the state of Colorado. She has been in private practice in the UK and USA since 1988.

Dr. Isaacs Russell's book, "Screen Relations: the Limits of Computer-Mediation in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy", was published by Karnac Books in April 2015. 

Dr. Isaacs Russell was Chief Clinical Supervisor and Consultant for therapeutic teams at the University of Portsmouth, Department of Counseling and Student Services, the Red Admiral Project, a foundation providing therapy to people affected by HIV/AIDS, and the Southampton Women's Therapy Centre in the U.K.

Dr. Isaacs Russell was a member of the teaching faculty and a personal tutor for candidates at the London Centre for Psychotherapy, now part of the British Psychotherapy Foundation.

She has served on the Editorial Board, as Book Reviews Editor, and currently on the Reviewing Panel for the British Journal for Psychotherapy. Dr. Isaacs Russell is particularly interested in women's mental health, especially perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, birth trauma, and difficulties around parenting. She designed a pilot perinatal mental health project focused primarily on Native American (Lakota) women. The project aimed to train health workers in the routine maternal care setting to screen for, prevent, and contain depression and anxiety in the antenatal period, as well as providing dedicated postnatal counseling. She is a member of the MarcĂ© Society and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. 

In 2008 Dr. Isaacs Russell relocated to the United States where she has been a supervisor and training therapist for candidates at the China American Psychoanalytic Alliance. She was Chair of Supervision, served on the Board of Directors, and was a member of the teaching faculty for CAPA.  

She is a Guest Editor for a special Psychoanalysis and Technology issue of Psychoanalytic Perspectives.

About PCC
CE Committee
Jennifer Kunst, PhD (chair); Persila Conversano, PsyD; Chris Minnick, MD; Susan Mitchell, PhD; Honey Pietruszka, PsyD; Ellyn Singer, PsyD; and Leigh Tobias, PhD. 
PCC Executive Committee
Jennifer Langham, PhD, President
Leigh Tobias, PhD, Past President 
Patricia Antin, PhD, Secretary-Treasurer   
The PCC Referral Service
PCC offers referral for low cost psychoanalysis and reduced cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy provided by PCC candidates in training. For information and referral call (310)208-1053 . 
Contact the PCC Office  
Telephone (310) 478-4347
Email [email protected]

Stay tuned for more details and registration information!