The Follow Up Interpretation

Saturday, February 24th, 2018, 9:00am – 1:00pm
4.0 CE Credits

Presented by Alan P. Spivak, Ph.D.

The interpretive process is potentially the therapist’s most powerful tool for stimulating personal growth through emotional integration. But, since an interpretation is aimed to destabilize some aspect of the patient’s neurotically organized internal world, it can readily be experienced as a threat and therefore warded off. Even when the patient accepts the interpretation, initially feeling recognized and understood, unconsciously, he may be quite threatened by the knowledge about himself that has long been disavowed. Understandable, the new view of himself may quickly vanish as he is unknowingly desperate to re-stabilize himself by retreating to a familiar, safer, albeit self-defeating position. This program focuses on learning to make follow-up interpretations as a vital tool for stemming the patient’s retreat and advancing the treatment.

Learning Objectives

  • The distinction between the interpretive attitude and the interpretive offering.
  • Criteria for deciding if to interpret, when to interpret, and what to interpret in a session.
  • To become more attentive to the immediate and delayed effects of interpretation as they are revealed in unconscious clinical material and countertransference reactions and enactments.
  • To interpret at the “appropriate level” in order to help to complete an archaic developmental communication from the patient.
  • To construct empathic and sensitive follow up interpretations that can often prevent or work through impasses.
  • To attend to and address how the patient hears the interpretation: an understanding; an attack; a seduction; a punishment; an act of jealousy or envy.




Saturday, February 24, 2018
9am – 1pm


Wright Institute Los Angeles
11845 West Olympic Blvd.
Suite 505W
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Alan P. Spivak, Ph.D.


Alan P. Spivak, Ph.D. is a Training/Supervising Analyst at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies and is on the Faculty of the Wright Institute Los Angeles. Dr. Spivak is a pioneer in creating and presenting psychoanalytically oriented extension programs in Los Angeles. He has presented programs and papers nationally and internationally, and twice received the Sanville Award for Creative Writing in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Spivak also maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles.




Wright Institute Los Angeles is approved by the California Psychological Association, which is recognized by the Board of Psychology and the Board of Behavioral Science to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers.  Wright Institute Los Angeles maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  Full attendance in addition to the completion of the appropriate evaluation form are required in order to receive CE credits.  CPA OPD provider number WLA001.