Transforming Trauma Episode 077: Personality and the Alchemy of Therapeutic Change with Nancy McWilliams, PhD.
A podcast brought to you by the NARM® Training Institute
In this episode of Transforming Trauma we connect with professor, author, and renowned psychoanalytic psychotherapist Nancy McWilliams, PhD. Nancy teaches psychoanalytic theory and therapy at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers–The State University of New Jersey. Nancy is also a senior analyst with the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy of New Jersey and the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.
Nancy’s genuine curiosity for trying to understand and help people has led her to a rich 50-year career where she has become a pioneer in the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic field. Her influential book, Psychoanalytic Diagnosis, was created in response to the significant change of direction of the DSM IV and has become a standard text in many training programs for psychotherapists in the United States and abroad. She has also authored numerous articles, book chapters and books on personality, psychotherapy, psychodiagnosis, sexuality, feminism, and contemporary psychopathologies.
In this conversation, Nancy shares some of what she has learned from not only her research in the field of complex trauma, but the profound lessons she has learned from the clients who have opened up their worlds to her.
Nancy also shares her earnest observations and personal experience of what it means to her to be a psychotherapist, gracefully acknowledging the challenges that therapists face in modern psychology. Reflecting on the changing landscape of psychotherapeutic approaches, and her objections to the “so-called evidence-based treatments”, she highlights the humanity in the psychotherapeutic relationship that centers around meeting clients where they are. She says, “you can’t go in with a position that you know, you know what you to do, you understand this, you’re going to apply something. You have to tolerate uncertainty and not knowing – a kind of moral equality with the patient, where we’re figuring it out together. I have to learn from you, I’m not here to apply something to you.”
We are so very grateful to this pioneer in the field of psychodynamic psychotherapy for joining us and for her sharing how she brings heart and humanity into psychotherapeutic work. We hope you will enjoy this episode with Nancy McWilliams, PhD.
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