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  • Spring Conference: Ryan LaMothe, PhD

Spring Conference: Ryan LaMothe, PhD

  • 16 Mar 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • University of Tennessee Medical Center - Morrison Education and Conference Center


Registration is closed

Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society presents a Spring Conference

Ryan LaMothe, PhD


Sickness in the Body Politic:

Bollas’ Negative 


Objects & Processes 

and the

 Current Deformation of Political

 Space and Subjects

Saturday, March 16, 2019
9:00am - 12:15pm

University of Tennessee Medical Center

Morrison Education and Conference Center

1924 Alcoa Highway

Knoxville, Tennessee  37920

Click here for directions to the venue.  

Description of Program

Dr. LaMothe will discuss and emend Christopher Bollas’ notion of transformational objects with the aim of identifying the attributes and consequences of negative or deformational objects/processes in society. More particularly, an emended version of Bollas’ notion is used to identify a particular social-political pathology extant in the United States. In brief, Dr. LaMothe argues that these objects/processes deform a civic subjectivity by (1) undermining the civic respect or mutual-personal recognition that is necessary for positive public-political subjectivity, (2) heightening social-political distrust, which corrupts the polis’ space of appearances and civic cooperation, (3) foreclosing an openness to learning and social-political accountability, and (4) attenuating freedom because of a shared obsessive preoccupation with achieving and maintaining political dominance.

Discussion will allow the presenter and the audience to apply these concepts to the APA Code of Ethics and the TN Code Annotated.

Please click here to read Dr. LaMothe's published article by the same title.  

This program is designed to meet the requirement for psychologists licensed in the state of Tennessee to obtain continuing education in ethics and the law.
For further information, please refer to the Rules and Regulations 
of the Tennessee Board of Examiners in Psychology.

Ryan LaMothe, PhD, is professor of pastoral care and counseling at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in southern Indiana. Over the last 24 years, he has published over 160 articles and book reviews, as well as 6 books and 2 edited volumes. These publications address topics in psychoanalysis, psychology of religion, pastoral theology, and most recently pastoral political theology. In 2017, he received Springer Publishing Award titled, "Transforming the World One Article at a Time." He has served on three editorial boards of peer reviewed journals. He lives with his wife (and one diva cat) in Louisville.

8:30am Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00am Introduction; Transitional and Transformational Objects/Processes and Their Relation to Political Subjectivity 

10:30am Break 

10:45am Forms of Political Humiliation as Deformational Objects/Processes: Implications for Psychoanalytic Therapists and the Ethical Practice of Psychoanalytic Therapies 

12:15pm Complete Evaluations and Adjourn.

Learning Objectives

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

1. Depict, critique, and emend Bollas’ concept of transformational objects and demonstrate its application to the clinical situation.

2. Link Bollas’ psychoanalytic concept to political subjectivity or civic self.

3. Identify criteria for social pathology vis-à-vis the political realm.

4. Identify sources that deform civic or political subjectivity and how this impacts the clinical situation.

5. Describe how the current deformation of the political space and its subjects influences the clinician’s ethical decisions according to the APA Code of Ethics and the TN Code Annotated.


This program is open to all APS members and other interested mental health professionals who may not be members. It is not limited to individuals practicing in a predominately psychoanalytic mode. The material will be appropriate for clinicians with intermediate levels of experience and knowledge.

Registration Fees and Policies:

BY March 9, 2019

Professional and Scholar Members: $50.

Non-member Professionals: $65.

Early-Career Professional Members: $25.

Graduate Student Members: $10.

AFTER March 9, 2019 and at the door

Professional and Scholar Members: $60.

Non-member Professionals: $75.

Early-Career Professional Members$35.

Graduate Student Members: $20.

Online registration will close on March 14, 2019.

Although walk-ins will be accepted, please register online at in advance to assure adequate food and seating.

If you prefer to pay by check, please print the Conference Registration form, and mail with your payment to:

Scott Swan, PhD
APS Treasurer
1005 Kenesaw Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37919.

Refunds honored with written/electronic notice at least 24 hours before date of conference. Contact Scott Swan, PhD

Contact the APS President Joyce Cartor, PhD to negotiate fees, if needed.

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.

APS Membership:

Eligible professionals can join APS or renew their membership for the 2018-2019 program year for $80. Scholars can join/renew for $50 and Early-Career Professionals can join/renew for $45. Graduate students may join or renew for $25.

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 3.0 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.


If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address requests, questions, concerns and any complaints to the 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, as indicated.  

Selected References/Recommended Reading

See the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 63, Chapter 11. an Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Tennessee, Chapters 1180-1, 1180-2, 1180-3, and 1180-4.

Bollas, C. (2015). Psychoanalysis in the age of bewilderment: On the return of the oppressed. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 96(3): 535-551.

LaMothe, R. (2015). The Willy Lomans of a market society: Addressing political-economic sources of suffering in pastoral counseling. Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, 2, 102-112.

LaMothe, R. (2017). Care of Persons, Care of Polis: Toward a Political Pastoral Theology. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

LaMothe, R. (2017). The market society and psychological suffering: A Fanonian approach. Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture,Media, Groups, and Politics. 18(1): 48-69. 

LaMothe, R. (2018). Pastoral Reflections on Global Citizenship: The Political in Light of Care, Faith, and Community. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

LaMothe, R. (2018). The dynamics of political humiliation and resistance as 
psychosocial well-being. Free Associations, 19 (1): 1-20.

LaMothe, R. (2018). Sickness in the body politic: Christopher Bollas and the deformation of political spaces and subjects.
Free Associations, 74: 84-104.

Rogers-Vaughn, B. (2016). Caring for Souls in a Neoliberal Age. New York: Palgrave.

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