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Alice Kassabian Memorial Conference: Reflections on Wisdom~its Nature, Value, and Relevance to Contemporary Practice

  • Saturday, November 05, 2016
  • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Cosmos Club: 2121 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC


  • $135.00 on or after September 30, 2016
  • ($75.00 on or after September 30, 2016)
  • ($135.00 on or after September 30, 2016)
  • ($170.00 on or after September 30, 2016)

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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.

Presented by:
Dr. Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP

About the Presenters
Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, internationally noted author, lecturer, scholar, teacher,  adventurous psychoanalyst and psychologist, teaches at Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and has a private practice in Flemington, New Jersey.  Her innumerable publications, translated into sixteen languages, and her worldwide lecture tours demonstrate that not only is she a Citizen of the World, but within this a world advocate for psychodynamic understanding and treatments.

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

Continuing education credit: ­ 3 CE credits available for full attendance.

Continuing Education sponsored by the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers is accepted by the DC, Maryland and Virginia Boards of Social Work.  The GWSCSW accepts responsibility for this program.

The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 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). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Training sponsored by the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers is accepted by the DC, Maryland and Virginia boards of social work to offer continuing education to social workers. The GWSCSW accepts responsibility for this program.

* Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP and Audrey Thayer Walker, MSW 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 “off­-label” (non-­FDA approved) use of products or devices.
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