Avedis Panajian: Thoughts About the Therapeutic Relationship


February 11, 2017 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm


The Seattle School
2501 Elliott Ave
Seattle, WA 98121


COR members $85 | Non-members $90 | Students $65 | *Fee includes CEU's & light breakfast (8:30-9am) and lunch


Jeffrey Grant

In February, the Center for Object Relations and The Seattle School will proudly welcome psychoanalyst Avedis Panajian, Ph.D., ABPP, back to Seattle for another memorable exploration of the deeply human endeavor that is psychoanalysis. In this year’s visit, Dr. Panajian will address the major points that are essential in fostering emotional and mental growth within the therapeutic relationship as he understands them.

Dr. O’Donnell Day, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Internship Director at The Seattle School, helps organize and execute the event every year. “Dr. Panajian had a deep influence on me, especially in the area of listening to myself as I listen to my patient,” says Dr. Day. “He is someone who continues to work with himself as he works with severe psychopathology. For students and clinicians alike, exposure to the complexity of Dr. Panajian’s work is useful and accessible, which I appreciate about him.”

Dr. Panajian’s focus will be on discussing how a therapeutic relationship evolves in becoming conducive to seeking the truth at the moment, and exploring the factors that hinder truth-seeking by both patient and therapist. He will specifically address the role that conscious and unconscious thinking play in fostering an emotional and passionate relationship between the therapist and the patient. In keeping with his uniquely human perspective on his work, Dr. Panajian will also explore what it means to be real and alive in the therapeutic relationship, and what constitutes interpretation and the evolution of truth in this context. He will also discuss the toleration of paradoxes in therapy and how this fosters a more emotional and mysterious journey between the patient and the therapist.

Finally, Dr. Panajian will address the therapist’s efforts to protect himself/herself from becoming known and grieved, and the role that the terror of intimacy between the patient and the therapist plays in this defensive process. As he has done to great effect in past years, Dr. Panajian will draw upon over four decades of memorable and moving clinical vignettes to illustrate his deeply felt understanding of the complexities and richness of the patient-therapist relationship. His visit is sure to be another remarkable journey into the human heart of psychoanalytic work.

Avedis Panajian, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association, a certified psychoanalyst, researcher, senior lecturer, and licensed psychologist in California. He has served as a board member of the Western Regional Board for Diplomates in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He has chaired Diplomate examinations and served as a licensure examiner for many years for the California Board of Psychology. He has also received the Distinguished Educator Award from the California Board of Psychology.

Dr. Panajian is also a supervising and training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and at the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Panajian’s research interests include infantile development, trauma, and the treatment of severe emotional disorders.



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