September 20, 2014 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Wilson Hall
234 Herrick Road
Newton Centre
MA 02459
Victoria Vacaro
617-266-0953 ext. 105


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wilson Hall, 234 Herrick Road
Andover Newton Campus, Newton Centre (Directions) (Parking Information)
Please Click Here to Pre-Register Free and Open to the Public 

The Interpersonal Field: Its Place in American Psychoanalysis




Today the concept of the interpersonal field, while seldom credited to those who created it, is widely used in psychoanalysis.  After reviewing how the concept of the field defines interpersonal and relational psychoanalysis, Dr. Donnel Stern will take up the rejection of the idea in American mainstream psychoanalysis in the decades just after it was proposed by Sullivan and Fromm, why that rejection took place, and how the entire discipline of psychoanalysis in North America might have fared if the idea had been more widely recognized earlier than it was.

Click Here for Printable Flier


  • Donnel Stern, PhD (PresenterTraining and Supervising Analyst, Faculty, William Alanson White Institute; Adjunct Clinical Professor and Consultant, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
  • Jack Foehl, PhD (DiscussantTraining and Supervising Analyst, BPSI; Faculty and Supervisor, MIP and Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; Assistant Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues; Editorial Board, International Journal of Psychoanalysis.
  • Richard Gomberg, MD (ModeratorBPSI Faculty and Director of Psychotherapy Training at BPSI, private practice in Wellesley Hills, MA.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will understand the reasons for the decades-long rejection of the concept of the interpersonal field.
  2. Participants will understand the current contribution the concept of the interpersonal field makes to clinical practice and how it informs their clinical practice.
  3. Clinicians will take from this lecture a greater understanding of how the ongoing relatedness in the therapeutic situation comprises and/or determines the most important clinical event.


  1. Stern, D. B. (2013). Relational freedom and therapeutic action.  Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 61: 227-255.
  2. Stern D. B. (2013) Field Theory in psychoanalysis, Part I: Harry Stack Sullivan and Madeleine and Willy Baranger. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 23: 487-501.
  3. Stern D. B. (2013) Field Theory in psychoanalysis, Part II: Bionian field theory and contemporary interpersonal/relational psychoanalysis.  Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 23: 630-645.

About the S. Joseph Nemetz Memorial Lecture

The Nemetz Memorial Lecture honors the history of American psychoanalysis.  Established in 2009, the annual lecture focuses on the importance of communal memory: the idea that we honor our origins as we progress and further develop psychoanalysis in the United States.

Lectures in S. Joseph Nemetz’s spirit – reflective, community-minded and open-minded – emphasize imaginative service to the profession.

Continuing Education

This program will be of interest to mental health practitioners at all levels of training.

Continuing Education certification for this event is available for a $30.00 fee. Please forward your request and payment to BPSI, 169 Herrick Rd, Newton Centre, MA  02459. The fee is waived for BPSI trainees and members.
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Psychologists: The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This program fulfills the requirements for 3 hours of CE.
Social Workers: Please contact the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute’s Administrative Office at 617/266-0953 or office@bpsi.org for more information.

The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Inc., 169 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA  02459, does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin or handicap in the admissions, administration of its educational programs, scholarship and loan programs or employment.