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Dr. McWilliams will explore the reciprocal relationship between wisdom and psychotherapy with emphasis on the clinical implications of valuing wisdom. The social, interdependent nature of wisdom differs from that of knowledge, which can be pursued in relative isolation. A Clinical Case presentation will illustrate.
Since ancient time, philosophers have differentiated between being smart and being wise. More recently, some authors and mental health professionals have tried to specify what we mean by wisdom - a virtue often viewed as the consolation prize for getting old and typically experienced vs. coming to the self rather than being actively pursued.
Wisdom seems to require acknowledgement of limitation and mortality, while fantasies often are limitless and immorality may propel searches for knowledge. Professional incentives often reward knowledge at the expense of wisdom: hypothesis-testing tends to be privileged over hypothesis-generation; master of techniques may be valued over nuanced understanding of one person to whom the techniques are applied.
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
Compare two types of knowledge -- accruing information and attaining wisdom.
Identify four cultural and professional reinforcements for the valuing of information at the expense of wisdom, and generate hypotheses about possible unintended consequences of these reinforcements.
Dr. Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP
Audrey Thayer Walker, MSS, BCD, will present a case study for exploration. Ms. Walker has been an active leader within the GWSCSW, former VP Professional Affairs, Senior Advisor to the Board, involved in the development of the Mentorship, Continuing Education and Consultation programs, and is in full time private practice in DC. She has been on most of social work faculties locally as well as the Smith College School for Social Work and the PhD granting DC Social Work Institute. Audrey is presently adjunct Associate Professor George Washington University Department of Psychiatry. She was inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguisher Practitioner and was awarded the Smith College Day - Garrett Award for significant contributions to Smith College and to the field of social work education.
Dr. Alice Kassabian
GWSCSW honors the memory of Dr. Alice Kassabian, a former president of our Society, clinician, advocate for social justice and excellence in clinical practice. Dr. Kassabian was an active member of the Diversity/Otherness Committee of American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) which promotes excellence in clinical practice by providing opportunities for expanded conversations regarding the centrality of focused attention to culture and issues of diversity.
Provided by: GWSCSW in
co-sponsorship with ICP+P