Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Meaning Making

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 1, 2016



My Course Proposal…I am open to suggestions..thanks..


January 14th, 2017.. 9:30-12:30

Meaning Making: How To Have A Therapeutic Conversation

How patients integrate events into their lives, on a deep psychological level is fascinating and psychoanalytically rich. One person’s motor vehicle accident is a small matter, whereas the same intensity motor vehicle accident to another person is a major catastrophe. Understanding the differences in how people interpret their worlds is the fascinating work of using psychoanalytic thinking in a therapeutic setting. This class will examine how people have both conscious and unconscious meaning associated with their lives and as such, they react in ways which both make sense to them and, at the same time, confuses them. As these layers of meaning are uncovered, a therapeutic conversation ensues which enriches the patient’s understanding of himself, and thereby creates a calmness which allows them to get in touch with creative juices and along with that a deeper sense of vitality. They experience psychological freedom which is liberating in ways they could not have imagined before they entered deep, or intensive psychotherapy.

Learning Objectives:

1. The student will learn how to probe for conscious and unconscious meaning in a patient’s presenting complaint.

2. The student will learn how psychoanalytic understanding can aid symptom relief

3. The student will learn how stimulating thought in the patient, helping the patient to be curious about themselves, produces therapeutic gain.

2 Responses to “Meaning Making”

  1. Eleanor said

    Shirah from a visual perspective I think the use of illustrations (as you have above for instance) can get a complex point across clearly and easily with just a glance…while making the emphasis that we all will have “different combinations of connections” for the dots. I know on several occasions after I’ve read one of your blogs that held a particular interest for me I have mentioned that my mind was “going in all which ways” and it usually takes a while for me to connect all my “dots” from my perspective before I can make any comments. I think it’s important to get the the point across that “thinking and making sense of all the layers of information…conscious and unconscious, is so important….and difficult I might add…..but very necessary.

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