The 7th International Congress on Couples and Family Psychoanalysis

Who is the Couple?
Who is the Family?
Creating New Therapeutic Possibilities

San Francisco, California
February 6 – 9, 2020

Some invited presenters may include: Leora Benioff, PhD (US), Christopher Clulow (England), Fang Fang (China), Rosa Jaitin (France), Tao Lin (China), Julio Moreno (Argentina), Mary Morgan (England), Susana Muszcat (Brazil), Elizabeth Palacios (Spain), David Scharff (US), Jill Scharff (US), Amita Seghal (England), Christopher Vincent (England), Monica Vorcheimer (Argentina), Harriet Wolfe (US), Richard Zeitner (US).

09:00am - 10:30am Video of a family in treatment dealing with incest and school refusal
Jill Scharff, MD (Washington, DC)
10:30am - 11:00am Break
11:00am - 12:30pm Case presentation with PCPG panel
Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group (PCPG)
12:30pm - 01:45pm Lunch
01:45pm - 03:15pm Video of a family in treatment with two preschool girls
David Scharff, MD (Washington, DC)
03:15pm - 04:00pm Break
04:00pm - 05:30pm Couple and Family Psychoanalysis Committee (COFAP)


09:00am - 09:05am Opening Congress and Introduction
Leora Benioff, PhD (Berkeley, CA)
David Scharff, MD (Washington, DC)
09:05am - 09:15am Welcome and Introduction
Harriet Wolfe, MD (San Francisco, CA)
09:15am - 10:45am A Couple State of Mind
Mary Morgan, PhD (London, England)

Stanley Ruszczynski, BSc (London, England)
10:45am - 11:15am Break
11:15am - 12:45pm Panel A
Queering the Oedipal Triangle: Applying psychoanalytic theory to contemporary relationships
Shelley Nathans, PhD (San Francisco, CA)

Queering the Psychoanalytic Family
Emily Seidel, PsyD (Oakland, CA)

Panel B
Coercive Relationships
Richard Zeitner, PhD (Kansas City, MO)

The Binds that Bond: The Internalized Destructive Couple
Ortal Kirson-Trilling, PsyD (Oakland, CA)
12:45pm - 02:00pm Lunch
02:00pm - 03:30pm Panel A
New Genealogical Organizers of the Filiation Link in the Contemporary Family and Couple Clinic
Rosa Jaitin, PhD (Lyon, France)

Jacques Robion (Nantes, France)

Panel B
Couples for Couples: Co-therapy as Interpretive Action
Christopher Clulow, PhD (London, England)
Amita Sehgal, PhD (London, England)

Research in Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Therapy
Philippe Robert, MD, PhD (Nice, France)
03:30pm - 04:00pm Break
04:00pm - 05:30pm Panel A
Consultation between Individual and Couples/family therapists: Is the "new couple" a space for Collaborative growth or a toxic agglutinated mass?
Leora Benioff, PhD (Berkeley, CA)
Lee Slome, PhD (Oakland, CA)

Supervision Tales from the Trenches: Teaching and Learning with Early Career Couple and Family Therapists
Carl Bagnini, LCSW, BCD (Port Washington, NY)

Panel B
Chinese Family Therapy
Fang Fang
Song Rui

Chinese-American Couples: What's in it for her?
Nathan Szajnberg, MD (Palo Alto, CA)
Yakun Wu, PhD (Palo Alto, CA)


09:00am - 10:30am Creative illusion in couples: thoughts about the value of transitional, transformational and other non-realistic in couples
Julie Friend, LCSW, BCD (Berkeley, CA)

Boston-Change Process
Mary-Joan Gerson, PhD, ABPP (New York, NY)
10:30am - 11:00am Break
11:00am - 12:30pm Panel A
What is a couple today?
Miguel Spivacow (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

The Trauma of Hypermodernity in the Couple Bond: Some Symptoms and Consequences
Fabio Monguzzi, PhD (Milan, Italy)

Panel B
To Be of Not to Be: 2 or 3
Jill Scharff, MD (Washington, DC)

Right and Wrong Ways to Mourn: the Difficulties of Mourning Differently, in three situations of lost pregnacy
Rachel Cooke, PsyD (Oakland, CA)
12:30pm - 01:45pm Lunch
01:45pm - 03:15pm Panel A
Reconstituting New Family Configurations after a Divorce
Maryl J. Botkin, PhD (San Francisco, CA)

Revisiting the Evil Stepmother
Sally K. Donaldson, PhD (New York, NY)

Panel B
To Have And To Hold, Till Sex Do Us Part: An Existential Frame For Understanding Sexual Life in The Aging Couple
Noa Ashman, MSW (Bethesda, MD)

Blue Heavens: Jazz as connector and disrupter in family and community relationships
Christopher Clulow, PhD (London, England)

Panel C
Who are the Couple and the Family in Adoption? The Adoptive Family and Oedipus
Barbara Freedgood, LCSW (New York, NY)

Special Needs Family Therapy
Christina Peters, MA (Skokie, IL)

Panel D
Can It Be Child Treatment While Working Solely with the Parent Dyad?
Reyna Cowan, PsyD, LCSW

Playing : A Way To Shake The Instituted
Alejandra Alfonso

Private I - Fantasies of detective work in the therapeutic encounter with couples
Benjamin Fife, PsyD (San Francisco, CA)

Panel E
trauma in cpl tx
Sheila Longerbeam, PsyD, MFT (Oakland, CA)

Mutual Regulatory Functions in Couples: Implications for a Psychoanalytically-informed Couples Therapy
Stephen J. Miller, PhD, ABPP (Oaklahoma City, OK)

Panel F
Falling in Love While Married: A Case Presentation
Daphne de Marneffe, PhD (Corte Madera, CA)

A Theory of Love: Reconsidering Psychoanalytic Theories in Polyamorous Couple Therapy
Paul J. Letendre, MA, LMHC (Boston, MA)

Panel G
Re-imaging the Family in the Indian context
Shireen Dossa, MA (Delhi, India)

Resist/Refuse family dynamics

Panel H
Betrayal in Couples' Relationships
Iris Lerer-Reshef, MA

The Price of Atonement: Integrating gender and culture into couples work after an affair
Yun Pang, MSW (New Delhi, India)
03:15pm - 03:45pm Break
03:45pm - 05:15pm Panel A
Responding to the Challenge that Same-Sex Parents post for Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Psychotherapists
Damian McCann, D.Psych (London, England)
Colleen Sandor, PhD (Salt Lake City, UT)

Special dynamics of psychoanalysis with 'New Family' composed of shared parenthood of same gender couples
Hanni Mann-Shalvi, PhD (Tel-Aviv, Israel)

Panel B
The Therapist as Moral Agent: The Inescapable Role of the Couples' Therapist in Determining Fairness and Justice
Tamara Feldman, PsyD (Cambridge, MA)

The "internal couple": a faithful life-long partner?
Molly Ludlam, MA (Edinburgh, Scotland)


09:00am - 10:30am Panel A
Title to be announced
Elizabeth Palacios

Three makes a Couple: The Omnipotent Presence of a Real Third in Hindu Mythology and Indian Coupledom
Aanchal Bhatnagar, MBPsS (Delhi, India)

Panel B
Neglect of the Illness experience within couple psychoanalytic theory: rehabilitating the sick body as a shared inner object
Christopher Vincent (Hampshire, UK)

Janine Wanlass
10:30am - 11:00am Break
11:00am - 12:30pm The Role of Secrets in The Invention or Reinvention of Families
Monica Vorcheimer, MA (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Susana Muskat (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Family Tx w/ Adopted Child
David Scharff, MD (Washington, DC)
12:30pm - 01:00pm Closing Forum



This conference is intended to create a space to think together about changes in contemporary couple and family structure, and how our theory and clinical approaches can adapt to encompass today’s rich variety of family and couple relationships.We welcome original, creative proposals from psychoanalytically-oriented couple and family therapists. We are interested in clinical, case- based presentations, advances in theoretical understanding, and contributions on therapeutic technique.

General Guidelines

  • All submissions are to be submitted as a Microsoft Word document and emailed to [email protected] Please don't submit a proposal in the body of an email. You will receive a confirmation email within 7 days of submission. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please re-send. If you still receive no confirmation, call Leora Benioff ,+1 (415) 563-6133.
  • All presenters in the scientific program are required to pay a registration fee. Acceptance of a contribution must be confirmed with a paid registration.
  • All patient information submitted in a proposal should be appropriately disguised.
  • The submission deadline for this February 2020 conference is May 15, 2019.
  • Notification of the review committee decision will be sent by email by July 1, 2019.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

  • Please send a 100 – 150 word description of proposed presentations as an and two educational objectives, which will be printed in the program if your proposal is accepted, attached as a word document.
  • Put “SF 2020 Conference Paper Proposal” in the subject line and email to [email protected].
  • Presentations will be accepted for either 20 minutes or 40 minutes reading time (2200 or 4400 words plus any references).

Special Format Presentations
If you have a proposal for a presentation that doesn't exactly fit traditional paper presentation format, we may still be interested. Please submit it as a Special Format Presentation, with a 100-150 word description attached as a word document. Put SF 2020 Conference Special Format Presentation proposal in the subject matter of the email, and send to [email protected].

Paper Discussants
If you are interested in serving as a discussant for an accepted paper, please send an email so indicating to [email protected]. Please put SF 2020 Conference Discussant in subject line.

Pre-conference Study Group

Several meetings of a pre-conference study group are being planned for Fall 2019 and January 2020. We will read 2-3 papers relevant as background for a presentations on the conference program. Please contact Dr Benjamin Fife at [email protected] if you would like more information or would like to be included in this group.

Presented By:

Couple and Family Committee of the International Psychoanalytic Association


San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis

Supporting Organizations Include:

Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Group


Psychoanalytic Institute Of Northern California


Tavistock Relationships


International Association for Couple and Family Psychoanalysis