Ethical Perspectives on ‘Fit’ and Fidelity in Clinical Practice

Two Couples 2001 Diana Ong (b.1940/Chinese-American) Computer graphics

The Bruce Wine Memorial Fund and ICP+P present: The play, Dinner with Friends, by Donald Margulies, is a cautionary tale about the vagaries of compatibility and commitment in long-term relationships—platonic, professional, romantic, and familial. The play will be presented as a parable about complex questions in clinical practice that have neither easy nor proscribed answers:

“What unconscious personal biases and values inform therapist ethical decision making?”

“Am I a ‘good enough’ therapist—for this patient, at this time?

“Are my co-therapist and I an effective therapeutic team?”

“Is being a psychotherapist (still) a vocational choice I want to commit to?”

This interactive program will give participants an opportunity to explore these and related questions, as they might be relevant to their clinical practice.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize ethical issues related to effective working relationships—between therapist and client, colleague-to-colleague, and self to the profession.
  2. Identify personal values and biases that inform ethical decision making in clinical practice.
  3. Apply a collaborative decision making process to the resolution of ethical dilemmas.

This conference is appropriate for clinicians at all levels of experience.


About our Presenters:

The Red Well Theater Group of Washington, D.C. contributes to the professional development of psychotherapists through continuing education presentations that combine a dramatic reading of a stage play with clinically informed commentary and a moderated audience discussion. The mission is to illuminate and explore themes related to ethical clinical practice and therapist wellbeing, in and beyond the consulting room. Members of the Red Well Theater Group share a love of theater and a commitment to dynamic therapy training and practice, approaching each discipline as a healing art.

Robert Schulte, MSW is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist in practice in Old Town Alexandria, VA. He is a graduate of the ICP+P Psychotherapy Training Program. Bob is also a faculty member of the Washington School of Psychiatry National Group Psychotherapy Institute.

What is the Bruce Wine Memorial Conference?

Bruce Wine was a founding member of ICP+P. The Bruce Wine Memorial Fund was created in 2008 with a mission to sponsor conferences that bring creative and innovative theoretical and clinical perspectives to ICP+P and to the larger mental health community. The Fund’s central mission is focused on fulfilling Bruce’s wish to bring cutting edge thought to theory building and clinical practice.


Conference Fees

Free for ICP+P Members and Fellows                                 $90 for Non-members                                    $35 for Unaffiliated Students

For more information, to request reasonable accommodations, email administrator@icpeast.org.

Continuing education credit:  3 CE credits available for full attendance. The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP+P maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. Because ICP+P has approval from the Maryland Board, CE credit hours awarded by ICP+P may also be claimed by social workers licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC approval standards for nurses and the approved standards for marriage and family therapists. Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 3 CE credits for attending the conference. Full attendance is required to receive the designated CE credit. ICP+P is accredited by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ICP+P designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Red Well Theater Group of Washington, D.C. and the planners have informed us that they do not have a conflict of interest and have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationship with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenters have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during this presentation. This presentation will not contain any references to off­label (non­FDA approved) use of products or devices.

CE Credit is granted to participants with documented attendance at individual workshops and completed evaluation forms for those sessions. Credit will not be granted to registrants who are more than 15 minutes late or depart more than 15 minutes early from a session. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of 9:00 am to allow time to check in.

Please contact Jen Bissell, ICP+P’s Associate Director of Conferences, with any questions, jenbissellLICSW@gmail.com.


The Great God Pan & the 3rd Bruce Wine Memorial Conference

The Red Well Theater Group presented The Great God Pan at the 3rd Bruce Wine Memorial Conference, sponsored by the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy + Psychoanalysis (ICPP) on December 6, 2014 at the Georgetown Day School in NW Washington.
Our gratitude and thanks to our colleagues at ICPP, Roger Segalla, Maxine Arnsdorf, Joyce Lowenstein, Jen Sermoneta and Eleanor Howe of ICP+P for their invitation and support throughout the planning process. Thanks also to Vinita Ahuja, William Ley, and Dana Southerland at Georgetown Day School and Terrell Washington and Randy Martin of Access Audio and Video.
The January 2015 ICPP Newsletter included this summary of our program (reprinted with permission), authored by Maxine Arnsdorf and Jen Sermoneta.


Reflecting on our recent Bruce Wine Memorial Conference, a non-clinician attendee recalled feeling “dread” as she drove to the event. “I was prepared to find a quiet corner and disappear as silently as I had arrived. Entering a packed theater of accomplished psychiatrists and psychotherapists, I was greeted by a caring and comfortable environment and was able to focus on my reason for attending – further understanding of the lifelong effects of early childhood ‘asteroid strikes.'”
The program included Red Well Theater Group’s dramatic reading of Amy Herzog’s  The Great God Pan, dyadic and large group work, and comments by Christine Courtois, PhD. The play portrays a young man facing one of those “asteroid strikes” in the form of a revelation that he may have been sexually molested in youth, and opens windows into some of the possible repercussions the abuse and secrecy/implicit knowing had on his family and relationships. The play and discussions together explored complex issues of trauma and memory processes, the impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult intimate relationships, the destabilizing effects of family secrets, and the complex impact of truth-seeking.
Robert Schulte, MSW, Founding Director of Red Well Theater Group (RWTG), expertly guided the performance.  The group’s actors are also therapists who are united by a love of theater and a commitment to group psychotherapy training. The cast of The Great God Pan included Kavita Avula, PhD, Connor Dale, LPC, John Dluhy, MD, Mary Dluhy, MSW, Liz Marsh, MSW, Yavar Moghimi, MD, Rosemary Segalla, PhD and Rob Williams, MSW.  Music by Tom Teasley added yet another, non-verbal, dimension.
Immediately after the play reading, audience members had the opportunity to spend 15 minutes discussing their reactions with a neighbor. Then, after a brief break, Christine Courtois, PhD offered insightful commentary about the difficulties of working with individuals who have had traumatic experiences like the one depicted in the play. The conference concluded with a large group discussion facilitated by Joyce Lowenstein, PhD. An attendee remarked, “the opportunity for two-person and whole group discussion helped to bring further understanding of how traumatic experience relates to memory and relationships. It also showed the immense responsibility of the therapist in finding the delicate balance between jogging memory and suggesting ideas beyond what might have been real.”
Perhaps there is some comfort, and there is certainly good practice, in sharing awareness of the serious and delicate considerations involved in trauma work. It is never easy. One clinician commented on feeling that the afternoon was a “clarion call for us to continue our work with renewed empathy and energy… The program design so amplified the effects, I am still filled with singing echoes.”
This year’s conference was characterized by many of the values Bruce Wine embodied and modeled: intellectual curiosity and honesty, collaboration and co-creation of relationships, striving to perform our craft with excellence, and maintaining a warm ambiance for learning.  Joyce Lowenstein introduced the day and MaryAnn Dubner, PhD offered a touching personal tribute to Bruce, recalling her friendship and professional collaboration with him.
Bob Schulte summed the experience up nicely, “Our work at RWTG is premised on group principles, and our joint collaboration with you to present the 3rd Bruce Wine Memorial Conference honors those principles… Bruce would have been delighted.”