Ralph Greenson Symposium


Display of Greenson's free-association drawings and other artifacts

Introduction to the Symposium

Harry Polkinhorn

9 a.m. - Anton Hart - "Epic Failure and Worthy Attempt: What Can We Learn about Cross-Racial, Psychoanalytic Dialogue from the Greenson-Toney Videotape?"

Alan Sugarman - "Ralph Greenson's Contributions to Child Psychoanalysis"


11 a.m. - Samuel Wilson - "Ralph R. Greenson: Clinical Theoretician"

Jesus Gonzalez - "Here and Now or There and Then: Greenson in Contemporary Psychoanalysis"

Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - Mary Ann & Rich Simon - Screening o 17-minute film about Hildi Greenson 

Dialogue circle about life at the Greenson home, including the salons, teaching seminars, and overnight house guests; vignettes about Ralph "Romi" Greenson; offering insights regarding the milieu in which he practiced - Joan Greenson & Andreas Aebi, Rich & Mary-Ann Simon



Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
8:30 am - Registration/Coffee



4455 Morena Blvd., Ste 202
San Diego, CA 92117
United States
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Members free, non-members $50, students $25

Presenter Information

Ralph Greenson Symposium

Faculty: Alan Sugarman, Ph.D.

Guest Faculty: Anton Hart, Ph.D.

Guest Faculty: Samuel Wilson, M.D.

Guest Presenter: Jesus Gonzalez, Ph.D.

This symposium will feature four presentations on different aspects of the works of Ralph Greenson.

Anton Hart

Epic Failure and Worthy Attempt: What Can We Learn about Cross-Racial, Psychoanalytic Dialogue from the Greenson-Toney Videotape?

Anton Hart is a Training and Supervising Analyst and on the faculty of the William Alanson White Institute. He supervises at Teachers College, Columbia University, and at the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. He is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Psychoanalytic Psychology and Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He teaches in the Department of Psychology at Mt. Sinai/St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, and at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. He has published Beyond Oaths or Codes: Toward Relational Psychoanalytic Ethics.

Samuel Wilson

Ralph R. Greenson: Clinical Theoretician

While Greenson wrote a plethora of papers dealing with theory, he was most noted for his clinical contributions to the understanding of technical issues. He was an innovator of the theoretical and technical aspects of analysis. His papers on the working alliance, real relationship, and the non-transference relationship were three that stand out as illustrative of his innovations. The ideas he expressed, and procedures he recommended remain controversial among analysts of varied persuasions. Greenson was ahead of his time in taking on these subjects that foreshadowed the later theories of the self psychological, intersubjective, and relational schools.

Samuel Wilson graduated from the USC School of Medicine was was a psychiatry resident at the University of Colorado Medical Center and the Neuro-Psychiatric Institute, UCLA. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society/Institute and certified in adult analysis by the American Psychoanalytic Association. He has held positions at LAPSI, including President of the Board, as well as Chief of Psychiatry, Westwood Hospital. He is senior faculty, LAPSI. In addition, Dr. Wilson has published numerous articles, including several dealing with aspects of Greenson’s work.

Jesus Gonzalez

Here and Now or There and Then: Greenson in Contemporary Psychoanalysis

This presentation features descriptions of transcriptions of Greenson’s tape-recorded seminars with his analytic candidates. Greenson’s “two-person psychology model” is discussed, showing how his perception of the patient has similarities with current concepts in contemporary psychoanalysis (neo-Kleinians, structural-conflict theory, relational and intersubjective, interpersonal, self psychology).

Jesus Gonzalez is an advanced candidate in the adult psychoanalytic training program at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. He has a B.A. in Psychology, M.Sc. in Social Science, and Ph.D. in Global Development Studies (Immigration Studies) from the Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico. He has also completed SDPC’s psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program.

Alan Sugarman

Ralph Greenson’s Contributions to Child Psychoanalysis

Ralph Greenson was not a child psychoanalyst. Nonetheless, he published two significant contributions to the child analytic/ developmental literature that in some ways were prescient. His most clinical paper, “A Transsexual Boy and a Hypothesis”, published in 1966, describes his analytic treatment of a gender disordered oedipal-aged boy in the swimming pool of Greenson’s yard. This paper and the unusual mode of treatment described anticipate current-day discussions of the child analyst’s role as a developmental object. His other paper, “Disidentifying from Mother: Its Special Importance for the Boy”, published in 1968, anticipated the emphasis on separation-individuation and some of the more contemporary literature on gender identity formation. This presentation will discuss Greenson’s ideas, consider their contribution, and also emphasize their limitations based on that era’s understanding of mental development and mutative action in child analysis.

Alan Sugarman, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in La Jolla. Dr. Sugarman is a Training and Supervising Analyst in child, adolescent, and adult analysis at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center where he is a past Director of Education. He is Director of Psychoanalytic Education of the American Psychoanalytic Association, as well as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to coming to San Diego Dr. Sugarman was a postdoctoral fellow at the Menninger Foundation and a faculty member of the Yale University Department of Psychiatry. He is certified in both adult and child and adolescent psychoanalysis by the American Psychoanalytic Association and is a Diplomate in Assessment Psychology of the American Board of Assessment Psychology. Dr. Sugarman has over 70 professional publications and is a frequently invited speaker and teacher at local, national, and international psychoanalytic institutes, organizations, and conferences. He also serves on many professional editorial boards. He has been in private practice for 30 years in La Jolla.