Conversing with Psychoanalysis and Phenomenology

Presenters: Avedis Panajian, PhD ABPP & Michael P. Sipiora, PhD

The historical intersections and rich theoretical dialogue between psychoanalysis and phenomenology reach back to the beginnings of these approaches in the early 20 th  century. This course will continue that conversation with a focus on psychotherapy practice. Speaking from a Heideggerian perspective, Dr. Sipiora will develop a phenomenological basis for a non-dualistic, non-causal, non-speculative appreciation of psychoanalysis’ clinical insights. Emphasis will be given to phenomenology’s descriptive engagement with concrete experience and its understanding of the relational structures that comprise human existence. Dr. Panajian will present psychological understandings of existential themes—such as meaning, intentionality, reflection, and openness—that take into account Freud’s insistence on the need for the unconscious in any adequate understanding of existence. The unconscious is the alien, the strange foreigner in us. It is utterly different from consciousness; it follows none of its laws, always remaining unfamiliar and contradictory in nature. Freud enlarged human personality to include depths. The complexity of his determinism gives the opportunity for liberation. What psychoanalysis lacks is a model of health in approaching patients. Model of illness destroys human potentials and leads to social conformity. Real encounter is needed. A phenomenology of psychosis that includes its proliferation of paradoxes and paradoxical transferences, needs the psychoanalytic model of Freud, Klein and Bion. Dr. Panajian will describe and clarify the relationship between the psychotic, non-psychotic aspects of personality that appear within both daily life and in relation to the analyst.  Countertransference is explored as a way to reach the subjective experience of the psychotic patient. Given phenomenology’s insistence on the radically worldly character of existence, particular attention will also be paid to the relationship between personal symptoms and social disorder.

This webinar will be recorded.

Category Details
Time Saturdays at 9:30 – 11:00 am (PST)
Dates September 9,  October 14,  November 11,  December 9,  January 13, February 10, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8  (2023-24)
Location Online via Zoom
Fee $850  (%15 discount for members)
CEUs 1.5 for each attended class; 15 hours total

Scholarships Are Available

For many years, thanks to a generous donor, COR has been able to offer scholarships to those who need financial assistance. Please complete the Scholarship Request Form if you need a scholarship.

Avedis Panajian
Avedis PanajianPhD, ABPP
Avedis Panajian PhD, ABPP is fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at Psychoanalytic Center of California and a founding member of Psychoanalytic Center of California and Newport Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology , chaired Diplomate examinations, and served as a board member of the Western Regional Board of Professional Psychology. He served as a licensure examiner for the Board of Psychology in California and has received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Board. He has received several awards for his teaching including the Distinguished Educator Award from California Psychological Association in 1985. He was a professor of Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute since 1986 and is currently Professor Emeritus at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr.Panajian’s interest is treating patients who suffer from primitive mental states. His interest is in integrating psychoanalysis with existential-phenomenological lens.
Michael P. Sipiora
Michael P. SipioraPhD
Dr. Michael P. Sipiora is a licensed psychologist who has a wide range of clinical experience in both private and community mental health settings. He was formerly a professor of clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara for thirteen years. Before that he spent twenty-two years as a tenured professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he was an award-winning teacher the clinical program in Human Science Psychology. The author of numerous peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and an edited book, areas of Michael’s teaching and publication include existential-phenomenological psychology and philosophy, archetypal psychology, hermeneutics, and the narrative theory.

Course CEU Quizzes and Evaluation

As as a part of Washington State requirements, each student who is wanting to claim class credits toward their license CEUs is required to complete a quiz, with a passing grade of 70%. You can take the quiz as many times as needed. Once the class is completed the final quiz will also have a course evaluation, which is required, but can be completed anonymously.


Quiz Link

9/9/23 Quiz 1
10/14/23 Quiz 2
11/11/23 Quiz 3
12/9/23 Quiz 4
1/13/24 Quiz 5
2/10/24 Quiz 6
3/9/24 Quiz 7
4/13/24 Quiz 8
5/11/24 Quiz 9
6/8/24 Quiz 10 / Evaluation

Registration & Payment

From: $72.00


Missed classes, seminars, events are not eligible for partial refunds.  Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the first class are eligible for a full refund.  Cancellations made less than 30 days in advance of the first session are refundable, less a $50 cancellation fee.  Cancellations made on or after the start of the first session are 100% non-refundable and nontransferable. In the event of an emergency, each situation will be considered.


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