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Alice Kassabian Memorial Conference | On Being A White Therapist: Countertransference, Color and Culture in a Diverse Psychodynamic Practice

  • Saturday, November 09, 2019
  • 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Cosmos Club 2121 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC


  • $115.00 early registration | $150.00 after October 20
  • $170.00 early registration | $185.00 after October 20
  • $50.00 early registration | $90.00 after October 20

Registration is closed


Presenter:  Barbara Berger, PhBarbara Berger, PhDD
Discussant: Kerry Leddy Malawista, MSW, PhD

Our GWSCSW's 8th Annual Alice Kassabian Memorial Conference focuses on a challenging and timely topic that currently animates the external and internal world of our clinical social work practice and we can benefit from having an informed and mindful conversation about it.

Our presenter, Barbara Berger, PhD, BCD, a clinician, educator and author, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the conference discussions. She has a full time clinical social work practice in Chicago and is Faculty Emerita and member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago. She has served as editor of The Clinical Social Work Journal and The Psychoanalytic Social Work Journal.  Barbara is also former president of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work and chair of the Social Work Academy in the National Academies of Practice, elected as Distinguished Practitioner in 2002. Among her many honors, she received the Award for Distinguished Service from The Institute for Clinical Social Work in 2012 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work in 2013. Most importantly, Barbara Berger is cherished for her capacity to teach with clarity, respect, and intelligence in her down to earth engaging style.

Our own Kerry Leddy Malawista, MSW, PhD, will be the conference discussant. She is a clinical social worker psychoanalyst and maintains a full time private practice in Potomac, Maryland and McLean, Virginia. She is on the faculties of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, the Contemporary Freudian Society, George Washington University’s PsyD program, Smith College and VCU Schools of Social Work, and the Washington School of Psychiatry. Kerry is also a well known prolific writer on clinical issues.  


  1. Participants will learn a language and set of sociological concepts through which we can discuss and understand conscious and unconscious racial and cultural bias.
  2. Participants will learn the application of psychodynamic theoretical ideas in working through ruptures due to racial or cultural rifts.
  3. Participants will learn the complexity of interracial and cross cultural therapeutic relationships as cases are presented to illustrate the intersections of socio-cultural and psychological issues.

Cosmos Club Dress Code: Business Professional

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 and Social Action 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.
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