Mini-Course: Apprehending Caste

This Mini-Course has started and is no longer available for registration.

Please see the GKCTPC Calendar for other upcoming events open to the public!




A CME/CEU Opportunity

"Apprehending Caste" is an 8-session online mini-course that will be organized around the careful reading and study of Isabel Wilkerson's recent book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.  In the book Ms. Wilkerson explores the deep structure” of caste in our culture, and she convincingly draws parallels between our caste system and the caste system imposed by Nazi Germany as well as the centuries-old caste system in India.


We will augment our study of Ms. Wilkersons book by considering selected psychoanalytic writings from the work of Betty Joseph, John Steiner, Herbert Rosenfeld, Ron Britton, Vamik Volkan, and others, in order to further our understanding of the individual and group psychodynamics that serve to sustain our caste system.  As we think together, we will identify and study the effects of that system on the internal worlds of our patients, on ourselves as practitioners, on the clinical encounter itself and on the larger world we live in together. 



OBJECTIVES: After attending this 8-session course, participants will:


1)  Demonstrate and give examples of the ways Betty Joseph's description of the psychic pain - especially anxiety, guilt, and the invitation to mourning - experienced by the individual at the threshold of the depressive position can be employed to explicate the psychic pain experienced by the individual and the large group when beginning to apprehend the long-standing presence of our culture's caste system.


2)  Apply John Steiner's formulation of pathological organizations of the personality - especially the retreat from guilt and responsibility to narcissistic superiority and entitlement - to understanding our individual and cultural denial of the presence of our caste system and of the racism that sustains it.


 3)  Describe and give examples of the self-defeating and self-destructive elements inherent in our caste system (i.e., the tendency of those in the middle castes to sacrifice their own self interests in order to sustain their imagined places in the caste hierarchy) using Christopher Bollas' formulation of the fascist state of mind and Karen Horney's formulation of the negative therapeutic reaction.


This course is open to all interested.  However, enrollment will need to be limited to the first 15 people to register.


Instructors:  Paul Koehler, LCSW* and Michelle Pfeifer, LIMHP**


Date:  2nd Monday of the month, beginning October 11, 2021 (8 sessions)


Time:  7:00PM to 8:30PM Central Time on Zoom



$360 Regular Attendee Rate (includes 12 CMEs)

          $300 GKCTPC Membership Rate (includes 12 CMEs)

          $150 Candidate/student Rate (includes 12 CMEs)



 *Paul Koehler, LCSW, is a graduate of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies and of the Washington School of Psychiatrys Object Relations Training Program.  He is a senior faculty member of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington, DC.  He is co-author of Suffering and Sacrifice in the Clinical Encounter, published last year by Phoenix Publishing House.  Paul is in private practice in Doylestown, PA.


**Michelle Pfeifer, LIMHP, is a recent graduate of our GKCPI analytic training program and a faculty member of the Philadelphia Psychotherapy Study Center’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Certificate Program.  She is in private practice in Omaha, NE.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and The Greater Kansas City-Topeka Psychoanalytic Center. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.”


The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s)* to disclose with ineligible companies* whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

*Financial relationships are relevant if the educational content an individual can control is related to the business lines or products of the ineligible company.

-Updated July 2021-