Neil Altman, Ph.D.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

8:30am to 9:00am Registration
9:00am to 12:00pm Presentation

The Ethics of Access: Psychoanalysis in Community-Based Clinical Settings

Please note: The 3 CEUs earned for this course are for Ethics

Following the lead of Sigmund Freud, every psychoanalytic society in Europe established a free/low cost psychoanalytic clinic in the 1920's. By the 1960's, particularly in the United States, psychoanalysis had become a high cost medical sub-specialty, out of reach for the vast majority of people. The value system enshrined in "criteria of analyzability" favored people with economic privilege and associated cultural values.

In this talk, I will suggest that contemporary developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice offer an opportunity to open up psychoanalysis to people with a wider range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Responsiveness to human suffering constitutes the ethical foundation of psychoanalysis; exclusivity that closes our doors to people on cultural and socio-economic grounds is inconsistent with these ethical commitments, as Freud recognized. I will suggest that a more inclusive version of psychoanalysis is consistent both with our highest and most rigorous psychoanalytic and ethical principles, and necessary to counter the marginal social position in which psychoanalysis currently finds itself as a field. I will describe how psychoanalysis can be deployed, indeed must be deployed, in public sector and private sector clinical work, and the particular transference/countertransference challenges that may arise in cross-cultural and cross-social class psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Participants will be able to:

1) Discuss how psychoanalysis as a practice became exclusionary based on social class, race, and culture.

2) Discuss ways in which the theory and practice of psychoanalysis are culturally specific and located in the culture of a particular social class.

3) Discuss how the practice of psychoanalysis would have to change to make it more widely accessible.


Neil Altman, Ph.D., is faculty at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, Honorary Member of the William Alanson White Society, and Visiting Professor at Ambedkar University of Delhi, India. He is Editor Emeritus and Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives, Associate Editor of the International Journal of Relational Perspectives, and Board Member of the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, and the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. He was a Founding Board Member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is author of the recently released “Psychoanalysis in Times of Accelerating Cultural Change: Spiritual Globalization”, and “The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class and Culture through a Psychoanalytic Lens”, as well as co-author of “Relational Child Psychotherapy”. Dr. Altman has published over 60 journal articles. He is a member of the Board of the Fostering Connection, an organization in New York City that pairs volunteer therapists with people whose lives have been affected by foster care.


St. Anthony Hospital
Rapp Foundation Conference Center
535 NW 9th, 4th Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Map to the Rapp Center

Registration by Mail

If you prefer to register by mail, please print off the following brochure and mail it with your check to: OSPS, PO Box 12683, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. If you have questions about registration, please email Kay Smith at

Neil Altman Brochure