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November Scientific Meeting–11/14/20

November 14, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Western New England Psychoanalytic Society

Scientific Meeting

Saturday, November 14th         4pm–6pm


This meeting is virtual. ZOOM link will be emailed to all registrants the day before the meeting.

See below for important CME/CE certificate details.



Kittens in the Clinical Space: Disrupting Transgenerational Trauma Through Witnessing Animal Subjectivity

Presenter: Katie Gentile, PhD

Discussant: Debra Nudel, PhD

The use of therapeutic and emotional support animals is growing exponentially, and while many therapists use animals in various ways toward clinical engagement, they are under-theorized in our literature. This case presentation will focus on the use of a kitten in the clinical space. The patient, Latrice, had a profound history of violence and neglect and had been forcefully urged into treatment due to her explosive temper. As will be discussed, a tide of therapeutic action hinged on her adopting a kitten and my knee-jerk response of fear for its safety. This case situates this kitten at the center of a racist enactment between the white therapist and a Latina-identified patient.  In this case, the kitten became an important actor and participant, engaging the patient to interrupt potential transgenerational patterns of violence. Integrating Searles’ ideas with current work on the nonhuman within new materialisms, this presentation will explore the ambivalent dependence of the human on the nonhuman, our co-emergences, and ways to consciously link these areas of experiencing in our clinical and theoretical work. Ideally doing so may open up space for response-able forms of witnessing and recognition.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the uses of and be able to utilize clinical witnessing in dealing with transgenerational trauma.
  • Participants will be able to engage with patients around animals and healing trauma.
  • Participants will learn about the history of animals in psychoanalysis and the ways animals have been used to understand human behavior in clinical work.


CME/CE Details:

In order to receive CME or CE credits participants must attend the full program and complete an evaluation. A link to the evaluation will be presented at the close of the program and also sent via an email reminder within a few days. If you are not a WNEPS member you will be assessed a fee of $10 upon completing the evaluation. 

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 providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and WNEPS. 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 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 of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

This program has been approved for Continuing Education Credit hours by the NASW, CT to meet the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.

A Certificate of Attendance for WNE Programs can be used to fulfill CE requirements for CT Psychologists



November 14, 2020
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Online via Zoom
CT United States
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The Western New England Institute
For Psychoanalysis