Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society

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  • Paul Lerner Scholar's Symposium: Vance Sherwood, PhD

Paul Lerner Scholar's Symposium: Vance Sherwood, PhD

  • 11 May 2019
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • University of Tennessee Medical Center - Morrison Education and Conference Center



Paul Lerner Scholar's Symposium

Letters, Clinical Summaries,


Evaluations that Don't Suck

presented by 

Vance Sherwood, PhD

Saturday, May 11, 2019


University of Tennessee Medical Center

Morrison Education and Conference Center

1924 Alcoa Highway

Knoxville, TN 37920

Click here for directions to the venue.

Description of Program: Lerner Symposium

All of us will be asked many times over the course of a career to write letters about our patients, prepare clinical summaries, or carry out formal evaluations.  These are not easy tasks, however, and it is uncommon to find an effective letter or a useful evaluation.  Common mistakes include reports that are far too long, the use of stilted and pseudo-technical language, and communications that seem more intent on not saying anything controversial than on giving a good picture.  This program aims at understanding clinical communications as forms of rhetoric and persuasion.  Using actual reports and letters to illustrate points, the program will address such issues as the use of humor, a passion for the declarative sentence, and a tightly focused argument in order to make the point that everything a clinician writes should be hard hitting and clear, above all else.


9:00am   Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:20am   Introduction of 2019-2020 APS Board

9:30am   Lerner Symposium Presentation: Vance Sherwood, Part One

10:30am Break

10:45am Lerner Symposium Presentation: Vance Sherwood, Part Two

11:45am  Complete program evaluations and adjourn.

Educational Objectives:

After attending this program in full, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the philosophical roots of all clinical statements in the long debate over how any individual can know the mind of another.

2. Describe the fundamentals of persuasion, including a well defined question to be answered, some communication of the writer's competence, and clarity.

3. Describe at least three basic principles of writing effectively, including use of the first person, avoiding circumlocutions, and writing to the audience.


Vance Sherwood, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Over the course of his career, he has directed a nationally known residential program, spoken at conferences from Norfolk to San Diego, authored or co-authored three books, and written numerous articles in professional journals on topics ranging from borderline personality to the follies of evidence-based treatment.  His work has been used in training programs in this country and the United Kingdom and in study groups as far away as Sydney.  He has also written on fly fishing.


This program is ONLY open to all active APS members (Professional, Scholar, ECP, and Graduate Student). The material will be appropriate for clinicians with intermediate levels of experience and knowledge.

Registration Fees and Policies:

Members are asked to register online in order to help us plan the event (and especially the breakfast!), but there is no charge for this event.

Online registration will close on May 6, 2019.

Facility is accessible to persons who are physically challenged. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address requests, questions, concerns and any complaints to Joyce Cartor, PhD.

American Psychological Association Approval Statement:

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Continuing Education:

This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 2.0 continuing education credits. With full attendance and completion of a program Evaluation and Learning Assessment, a certificate will be issued. Psychologists will have their participation registered through Division 39.

APS and Division 39 are committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. APS and Division 39 are also committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods.

Selected References and Recommended Reading:

Bram, A. (2004). Psychological Testing the Matters: Creating a Road Map for Effective Treatment. Washington, DC: APA Books.

Davis, K., & Panksepp, J. (2018).The Emotional Foundations of Personality: A Neurobiological and Evolutionary Approach. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

Hopwood, C., Mulay, A., Waugh, M. (2019). The DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders: Integrating Multiple Paradigms of Personality Assessment.  New York, NY: Routledge.

Panskepp, J. (2004).  Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotions.  New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Pruyser, P. (1979). The psychological examination: A guide for clinicians.  New York, NY: International Universities Press.

Schachtel, E. (1966).  Experiential foundations for Rorschach's test .  New York, NY: Basic Books.


Please address requests, questions, concerns and any complaints to APS President Joyce Cartor, PhD.

There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between Division 39, APS, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding sources that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest. During the program, the validity/utility of the content and risks/limitations of the approaches discussed will be addressed.

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