Psychological Health and the Whole Person

Reflections on Psychoanalytic Diagnostic Approaches

A Seminar with Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D.
January 20 & 21, 2012 in Santa Barbara, California

Psych Health and Whole Person


Friday, January 20,
Saturday, January 21,

9 Continuing Education Credits
for MFTs, LCSWs, RNs, and Psychologists

$300 General Admission

$250 Special Admission
Full-Time Students, Pacifica Alumni, Seniors

$225 Active Pacifica Students
Fees include Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Extra meals are available: Sunday breakfast ($12.50) and lunch ($17.75)

In the current era, psychotherapy has been increasingly construed in terms of overt symptom relief and behavior change, with minimal attention to the overall mental and emotional well-being of the individual reporting specific symptoms. Dr. McWilliams will argue that such a focus reflects the interests of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, each of which has a stake in defining psychological health narrowly, as the absence of observable symptoms and problematic behaviors. It may also reflect the legitimate needs of researchers to operationalize therapy outcomes in statistically manageable ways. She will suggest, however, that the research paradigm has been inappropriately applied to the very different realm of clinical practice, with results that have not been in the best interests of most patients. Summarizing both traditional and more recently formulated aspects of overall mental health (e.g., ego strength, affect tolerance, security of attachment, mentalization, and capacity for intimacy), she will elaborate on their implications for psychotherapy.

In the process, Dr. McWilliams will discuss the clinical values that underlie diagnosis and case conceptualization in the psychodynamic tradition, including the humanistic assumptions that have sometimes put it at odds with prevailing theoretical models.  She will provide an overview of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM), focusing on personality assessment and case formulation as described in that classification system, with attention to their relevance to treatment, Finally, she will present clinical material that illustrates the value of a more inferential, dimensional, and contextual approach to understanding human suffering and healing.

Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D. ABPP, teaches at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and practices in Flemington, New Jersey. Author of Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (1994, rev. ed. 2011), Psychoanalytic Case Formulation (1999), and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2004), and associate editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2006), she is a former president of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association. She is one of three psychotherapists chosen by APA to be videotaped for purposes of training in a comparison and contrast of major psychotherapeutic approaches.

General Information

LOCATION: The seminar will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus at 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. Located on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this residential retreat center provides a unique and peaceful environment for these events. This campus has lodging, dining facilities, parking onsite.

ACCOMMODATIONS: A limited number of rooms are available for participants at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus.
$82.50 per night single occupancy
$115 per night couple occupancy
$125 per night double occupancy
plus 10% occupancy tax
Accommodations are simple, dormitory-style rooms with shared bath and shower. Single (twin or double bed), double (two twin beds), and couple (one double bed) rooms are available. Reservations for rooms must be made through Pacifica’s Public Program’s office.

MEALS: Meals are provided to encourage ongoing dialogue and community exchange throughout the weekend. Included in your registration fee are Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The following meals are available for an additional fee and must be ordered in advance through the Public Programs Department: Sunday breakfast ($12.50) and lunch ($17.75). No other meals will be available. Pacifica’s caterers make every attempt to provide healthful meals for our guests. Please indicate on the registration form if you need a special vegan or vegetarian meal or if you have other medical dietary restrictions. 

TRAVEL: Major airlines provide service into the Los Angeles International Airport located 90 miles south of Santa Barbara and into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, approximately 18 miles from the Campus. Information on ground transportation to and from Santa Barbara will be included with your confirmation letter.

REGISTRATION AND CANCELLATION: Space is limited. Register early! To register, please complete the form and return it to Pacifica Graduate Institute, Public Programs, 249 Lambert Road, Carpinteria, CA 93013; fax to 805.879.7392; e-mail to; call 805.969.3626, ext. 103, or register online at Please include your email address as an email confirmation letter will be sent within 5 days of receipt of your registration.

To obtain a refund on your registration fee, send a written cancellation request postmarked no later than thirty days before the event. Tuition less a $50 processing fee will be refunded. No refunds on your registration fee will be made after that time. In the event that the program is sold out with a waitlist, if you return your seat to our office, and if we are able to transfer your registration to someone on the wait list, we will issue you a refund less the processing fee. Any registration transfers that do not go through our office will be assessed the processing fee onsite. For refund on accommodations at the Ladera Lane Campus, cancellation with full refund will be accepted up to 5 days before the event. Cancellations made 1-4 days before the event will receive a 50% refund. There will be no refund for cancellation on the day of the event.

SCHOLARSHIPS: A limited number of partial scholarships are available to those who find it prohibitive to pay the full cost of the seminar. To apply, send a letter of request with your registration and payment. Please be specific regarding your financial circumstances. If accepted, you will be contacted to approve processing payment.   

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT: 9 hours of continuing education credit are available for RNs through the California Board of Registered Nurses (provider #CEP 7177) and for MFTs and LCSWs (provider #PCE 2278) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and for Psychologists through MCEP (Mandatory Continuing Education for Psychologists provider #PAC014). A $15 processing fee will be charged for each certificate requested.