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People are more than their symptoms. In a time when symptoms are used to label, pathologize, and disempower people seeking mental health care, the counseling programs at Christian Theological Seminary train students to see the whole person and the relationships behind the symptoms.  

On April 22, 2023, 9am – 4:30 pm, CTS will co-sponsor together with the Indiana Society for Psychoanalytic Thought (ISPT) an exciting Master Clinician Day Workshop led by internationally renowned psychoanalyst and researcher Dr. Jonathan Shedler. He is co-author of The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual 2 which radically challenges the prevailing symptom-focused DSM 5 of the American Psychiatric Association. Shedler’s Day Workshop “Personality Styles in Psychotherapy: A Roadmap for Deep and Lasting Change” will integrate long-standing clinical wisdom with contemporary empirical findings to show that change does not come from focusing on symptoms but on the personality dynamics underlying them and the trust-based relational dynamics that empower people to tap into their own capacities to develop and maintain mental health. This approach is very much in line with the focus on facilitating inner strengths in people through trusting relationships in the spiritually integrated counseling and pastoral care training at CTS.  

As an expert on the study of different common personality styles, Shedler will discuss in the morning lecture, “Personality Styles, Depression, and Therapeutic Change,” the personality styles most often seen in clinical practice (e.g., narcissistic, depressive, obsessive-compulsive), and, I would add, in ministry and social contexts. He will show how each personality style represents a unique psychological pathway to clinical depression that requires a distinct treatment focus, and he will offer clinical strategies for lasting therapeutic change and for deepening treatment. While the workshop is primarily geared toward mental health professionals and students, it can provide valuable insights also to those providing spiritual and pastoral care.  

Building on concepts from the morning, the afternoon sessions will have a hands-on clinical practice focus. Participants will develop a deeper appreciation of the role of personality dynamics in psychotherapy through clinical case presentations by workshop participants, with case discussion, live supervision, and role playing to demonstrate effective intervention. Dr. Shedler will emphasize how personality dynamics and relational patterns unavoidably play out in the therapy relationship, and how to use the therapy relationship constructively in the service of deep and lasting change. 

Registration for this hybrid In-Person (limited availability) and Zoom event is now open at the Workshop Page, which provides additional details. Student rates are available. Discounted early registration rates apply until March 31. We hope you will join us for this unique opportunity to learn from one of the world’s leading psychotherapists. 

by Rev. Dr. Matthias Beier, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Mental Health Counseling at CTS, President of Indiana Society for Psychoanalytic Thought (ISPT)