Entering Night Country: Lessons from Orpheus (Zoom Registration)

Death haunts human life. We cope by seeking a tolerable place between denial and terror. Covid, and overlapping existential threats, bring this struggle to the surface. Psychoanalysis believes that truth offers freedom.

This field is required.
This field is required.

Saturday, May 6, 2023
9:30 - 12:00 PM EDT In-Person and Zoom Program & Discussion
Registration is required for this program. All registrants will receive a Zoom link.
The 2023 Solonge Skinner Program

Death haunts human life. We cope by seeking a tolerable place between denial and terror. COVID, and overlapping existential threats, bring this struggle to the surface. Psychoanalysis believes that truth offers freedom. But how do we look at the truth of death, when our own mortality, and that of those we hold dear, feels intolerable? 

This panel offers a space to share this dilemma together, clinically and personally. Our theme is set by Orpheus, for whom not looking was to be the means of undoing the loss of his beloved Eurydice. But this isn’t a panel about mythology. Our use of Orpheus is merely to follow him into the territory of death and loss, of looking at and simultaneously denying our truth. 



Stephanie Brody, PsyD, Panelist
is a Supervising and Training Analyst at Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, a Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry (part-time) Harvard Medical School and Clinical Associate in Psychology/Attending Psychologist, McLean Hospital, and maintains a private practice in Lexington, MA. Dr. Brody is the author of Entering Night Country: Psychoanalytic Reflections on Loss and Resilience (Routledge, 2016), and Co-Editor (with Dr. Fran Arnold) of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women and their Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership (Routledge, 2019). 

Elisa Cheng, MD, Panelist
is a fourth year analytic Candidate at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, where she is currently Chair of the Candidate and Affiliate Scholar Council and serves on the Ethics Education Committee and Joint Curriculum Committee. She is a clinical supervisor at Cambridge Health Alliance for the adult psychiatry residency training program, and has a private practice in Cambridge, MA. 

Salman Akhtar, MD, Panelist, pre-recorded
is a recipient of the highly prestigious Sigourney Award, and he is a Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training and  Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has served on the editorial boards of all three major journals of psychoanalysis (JAPA, IJP, and PQ) and has more than 400 publications to his credit. These include 109 books, 23 of which are solo authored. He has also published 18 collections of poetry and is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia. 

Dionne R. Powell, MD, Panelist
is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York (NYU affiliated), and Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, The New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College. 

Dr. Powell is the current Vice President of the American Association for Psychoanalytic Education and is Co-Chair of the Holmes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis. Dr. Powell’s most recent contributions include: Section Editor and Chapter contributor on racial and ethnic diversities for the 2nd edition of Glen Gabbard’s Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments, and in The American Psychoanalyst (TAP 2023): The Holmes Commission's Journey toward Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis: Reflection and Hope. 


Alan Pollack, MD, Moderator
is a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst on the Faculty at Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, where for 24 years he served as Director of Psychotherapy Training. He has a private practice in Newton, MA. 


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize three ways in which one’s personal awareness of mortality may impact psychoanalytic work. 
  2. Discuss how mortality emerges in clinical, training, and collegial contexts.  
  3. Identify how external factors and one’s personal awareness of mortality impact psychoanalytic work.    
  4. Describe how the refusal to grieve impacts existential awareness.  

9:30 -Introductions; 9:40 Moderator Opening - Dr. Pollack ; 10:00 First Panelist - Dr. Brody; 10:20 Second Panelist - Dr. Cheng; 10:45 Third Panelist - Dr. Akhtar via film; 11:05 Fourth panelist - Dr. Powell; 11:30 Q & A 


This program is made possible by the generous support of BPSI members and friends. Your gift to BPSI supports psychoanalytic and psychotherapy education and ensures the future of our field. To make a gift, please visit www.bpsi.org.

The target audience for this program is mental health clinicians at all levels of training and members of the community.
Scholarships are available for BPSI programs.
$95 Progrsm Fee
$85 Early Bird Special (available until 04/18/2023) Use Code at Checkout: EB2023ENC



This event may be recorded by BPSI. If you do not wish to be recorded, please turn your camera off. By registering for this program, you grant BPSI permission to the rights of your images, in video or still, and of the likeness and sound of your voice as recorded on audio or video.


Continuing Education

Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint provider ship of American Psychoanalytic Association and The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute . The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”
The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s)* to disclose with ineligible companies* whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.
*Financial relationships are relevant if the educational content an individual can control is related to the business lines or products of the ineligible company. -Updated July 2021-

Psychologists: The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 2.5 hours of CE credits for psychologists.

Social Workers: Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact us at team@bpsi.org or 617-266-0953 for the status of social work CE accreditation.
Please note: Per NASW requirements, social workers must attend 80% of a course in order to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Licensed Mental Health Clinicians: The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (BPSI) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6913. BPSI is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program offers 2.5 NBCC Clock Hours.

Event Cancellation Policies & Procedures
Any program participant requesting their individual program registration be canceled must submit their request in writing via email to Stephanie Cavanaugh at scavanaugh@bpsi.org. For fee-based events, a request for cancellation (and refund using the original form of payment) must be received no later than 48 hours in advance of the event. Requests received later than 48 hours prior to the event will not be processed or accepted. All approved refunds are subject to a $10.00 administrative fee. If BPSI cancels an event, all registrants will receive a full refund of fees paid (no administration charge) no later than two business days following the scheduled date of the event, using the original form of payment.

Grievance Policy
Please address any questions or concerns about your experience at this or any program or event you have attended at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute to the Program Chair, via the Senior Administrator/Continuing Education Administrator, BPSI,141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459; team@bpsi.org; 617.266.0953.

The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Inc.,141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459, does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, national origin or handicap in the admissions, administration of its educational programs, scholarship programs or employment.