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Somerset Hunterdon Warren Psychological Association

“Paranoia: Helping Patients with Non-psychotic and Psychotic Paranoid Conditions”

  • Friday, May 10, 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM (UTC-04:00)
  • Beaver Brook Country Club 25 Country Club Dr. Annandale, NJ 08801


  • For Non-SHPA Members, the fee for this event is $40.00.
  • For SHPA Members, the fee for this event is $30.00.

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Somerset Hunterdon Psychological Association


Paranoia: Helping Patients with Non-psychotic and Psychotic Paranoid Conditions

Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D., ABPP & Michael Garrett, MD

The term “paranoia,” whose roots suggest “a mind outside itself,” refers to states in which a person finds it hard to distinguish what is inside from what is outside the self.  Although DSM criteria for diagnosing paranoia involve externally observable traits such as suspiciousness, this program construes paranoia as an intrapsychic process marked by disavowal and projection, often related to inadequate psychological separation from caregivers to whom the paranoid person was anxiously attached. Although most visible in patients with psychosis, paranoid states of mind are common in others. Dr. McWilliams will review theory and research on paranoia and will make related recommendations for therapists working with paranoid patients. Dr. Garrett will review empirical and clinical work on psychotherapy with psychotic paranoid patients, emphasizing the integration of CBT approaches with psychodynamic understanding.

Objectives:  1. Identify not simply the more familiar persecutory paranoid dynamics (projection and denial of anger), but those involving projection and disavowal of other feelings (e.g., erotomania, paranoid jealousy, megalomania, paranoid hatred).

 2. Summarize the suspected etiologies of paranoid dynamics.

 3. Avoid therapeutic attitudes that have been found to threaten paranoid patients (e.g., excessive sympathy, efforts to be neutral or abstinent to a degree that strikes the patient as inauthentic, efforts to prove one’s goodness).

 4. Convey attitudes that allow paranoid patients to elaborate their experience and reduce the shame that underlies paranoid adaptations (e.g., unwavering respect, ruthless honesty, clarity about boundaries, acknowledgement of the grain of truth in projections).

 5. Develop skills in psychotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of patients with schizophrenic disorders, based on research from both CBT and psychodynamic perspectives.

Join us at Beaver Brook Country Club 25 Country Club Dr. Annandale, NJ 08801 8:00 – 8:30AM Registration, 8:30 TO 11:30 Presentations/Q&A , 11:30 -12:30 Brunch Cost: $30.00 SHPA members / $40.00 non-members Program Sophistication: Intermediate: Some basic knowledge of the specific content is required. Target Population: All Mental Health Professionals

PresentersMichael Garrett is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of Psychotherapy Education at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and teaches at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education, affiliated with NYU Medical Center. Most of his professional career has been spent in public psychiatry, first at North Central Bronx Hospital, where he became Medical Director in 1995, then at Bellevue, where he was Deputy Director, responsible for clinical services, until 2003, when he became Vice Chairman for Clinical Services at SUNY Downstate. His time is divided among patient care, supervision of psychotherapy, teaching, and clinical research. He has an abiding concern for the problems clinicians confront when trying to develop relationships with psychotic individuals who have a fundamentally different view of reality than that of the therapist. Trained in both psychoanalysis and CBT for psychosis, he combines these approaches in treating psychotic patients. His book on this integration will be published this year by Guilford Press.

Nancy McWilliams teaches at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and has a private practice in Lambertville, NJ. She is author of Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (1994; rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2004), all with Guilford Press, and is Associate Editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006; 2nd ed. 2017). A former president of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association, she is affiliated with the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis and the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey. She is featured in three APA videos of “master clinicians,” the latest being a remake of the classic film, “Three Approaches to Psychotherapy.” Dr. McWilliams is an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Turin, Italy, and the Warsaw Scientific Association for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Her writings have been translated into twenty languages.

These presenters do not have any commercial support and/or conflict of interest for this program. ADA accommodations available upon request – at least 3 days prior to May 10, 2019.Cancellation Policy: 48 hours notice required prior to May 10, 2019. Registration fee will be refunded, less administrative fees. Registration, ADA accommodation requests and cancellations: Contact Mark Aronson at Preregister by check sent to SHPA /Mark Aronson, Ed.D. 12 Quimby Lane Bernardsville, NJ 07924

This program is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) and the Somerset Hunterdon Psychological Association (SHPA). NJPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NJPA maintains responsibility for the program and its content. 3 CE Credits for Psychologists – Paid to NJPA- CE fees – Sustaining Members: Free, NJPA Members: $15, NJPA Non-Members: $25


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