Finding Our First Language:

Theory, Personal Idiom, and Therapeutic Action

with William Borden, PhD and Dennis McCaughan, PhD

Friday, September 14, 9:00 am - 12:15 pm

In the course of our development as clinicians we must negotiate fundamental tensions between more pure conceptions of the therapeutic endeavor and more pragmatic, provisional renderings of what we do as we carry out our practice. Some of us search for an encompassing point of view that would promise to unify our understandings of people, problems in living, and therapeutic action.  Most of us come to realize the limits of any particular thinker or paradigm, however, realizing that our grand theories inevitably fail us as we negotiate the irreducible ambiguities, complexities, and challenges of everyday practice.  In this workshop we explore orienting perspectives in the psychoanalytic tradition that deepen our appreciation of the ways in which we make use of theory as we find a 'first language' that reflects the authority of our experience and our personal idiom, values, and sensibilities.

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- Past Events - 


Connect with Cathedral

On Monday, June 18, 2018, we returned to Revolution Brewing for an evening of community and connection, all to benefit our programs for the underserved.


Gifts and Favors in the Therapeutic Relationship

with Carla Leone, PhD

On Friday, May 4, 2018, Dr. Carla Leona explored the much debated topic of gifts and favors in therapy. In this workshop, she asked: under what circumstances should a therapist accept a gift from a patient and explore its possible meanings? When should a therapist decline to accept a gift?" And finally, when might it be therapeutic and appropriate for a therapist to give a gift to a patient?


Annual Meeting and Open House

On Tuesday, March 6, 2018,  we welcomed Ron Migalski, LCSW, as our next Executive Director, and presented information about the path ahead for Cathedral Counseling Center.


Perversions: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

with Donald McDevitt, LCPC

On Friday, March 2, 2018,  Donald McDevitt, LCPC explored the usefulness of the concept of perversion. In the past, many aspects of sexuality were considered "perversions," but as culture and clinical practice has evolved, so has our understanding of sexuality. In this workshop, Mr. McDevitt asked: how can we consider something perverse without understanding the role of society and culture, and the individual's experience?


The Use of Memoir in Treatment

with Maureen R. Kelly, LCSW

On Friday, January 26, 2018, Maureen R. Kelly, LCSW explored how literature can expand our empathic capacity by imaginatively engaging us in another’s experience.  She also examined how a  good memoir can break open our concepts of memory and identity, expand the power of reflecting on the past, and help find the words to do so. Investigating the development of memoir over the last 30 years, she proposed ways of using it to help clients find language and insight. She also discussed a number of particular memoirs that resonate with clients struggling with histories of trauma, addiction, and loss.


International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Program

On Saturday, November 18th, 2017, in conjunction the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Cathedral hosted a Survivor Day event. Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.


Never the Same River Twice: The Melancholy of Change

with Dennis McCaughan, PhD

On Friday, September 22, 2017, Dr. Dennis McCaughan explored some of the dimensions of our psychological experience of time and change from age and aging to cell clocks and social clocks. He also examined melancholy, which is often a response to change, considered its many dimensions along with the role of nostalgia in everyday life, and reflected on the possible implications of our therapeutic attitude in relation to these existential concerns.


Promising News In Mental Health Policy: A Mental Health Month Event with Mark Heyrman

On Thursday, May 11, 2017, Mark Heyrman, Clinical Professor of Law from the University of Chicago Law School spoke about new developments for the treatment of the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. 


The Clinician Emerging Into Older Adulthood with Marcia Spira, PhD and Wendy Wasson, PhD

On Friday, May 5, 2017, Dr. Marcia Spira and Dr. Wendy Wasson explored the questions, "How do our professional selves evolve as our bodies, minds and spirits age? What about us changes most as we move towards aging/retirement? Might we be attached to some fixed notions of aging that could be self-limiting?"


Ambiguous Loss and the Myth of Closure: A New Lens for Living with Unresolved Loss and Grief with Pauline Boss, PhD

On Friday, February 24, Dr. Pauline Boss explained why closure is a myth and presented guidelines for better resilience around transition and change despite unanswered questions. She also addressed the therapist's use of self in this work.
Co-sponsored with Rush Health and Aging.


International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Program 2016

On Saturday, November 19th, 2016, in conjunction the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Cathedral hosted a Survivor Day event. Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. The gathering included a screening of Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss, an AFSP-produced Survivor Day documentary that traces the grief and healing journey that follows a suicide loss over time.

Convergence in Therapy: On My Way To Finding You, I Found An Unknown Part of Me with Ida Roldan, PhD

On Friday, October 14 for our final professional series workshop offering of 2016, Cathedral invited Ida Roldan, PhD to explore Convergence in Therapy: On My Way to Finding You, I Found An Unknown Part of Me. What does a therapist do when she realizes that having a similar history to her client may have caused the very rupture that put the treatment and relationship at risk?

Alone Together: Solitude and the Relational World with Dennis McCaughan, PhD

On June 17th, Cathedral hosted the second installment of the 2016 professional development series, Alone Together: Solitude and the Relational World with Dennis McCaughan, PhD. Since time alone can be renewing and enriching even for the most social among us, how might solitude support our ability to engage in the world and with others more fully? And what contributes to our capacity to be alone? Can we be both related and alone together?


The Healing Power of Connection: A Conversation with Judith Jordan, PhD

Before a sold out room on April 9, 2016, we hosted the first of our 2016 professional development workshops, The Healing Power of Connection with Judith Jordan, PhD. In a rare Chicago appearance, Dr. Jordan, one of the founding scholars of Relational-Cultural theory, explored how this learning can enhance our clinical practice.

Dr. Jordan's groundbreaking work in the development of Relational Cultural Theory demonstrates how we grow primarily in and through connections with others. Growth-fostering, authentic relationships are essential to enliven and expand both ours and our client's internal worlds.


Unjust Incarceration: Breaking the Cycle for Individuals with Mental Illness - A Panel Discussion featuring Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia

During Mental Health Month 2016 we welcomed The Honorable Tom Dart, Sheriff of Cook County, and Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, psychologist and Executive Director of the Cook County Jail to discuss the Cook County Sheriff’s programs addressing the needs of individuals struggling with mental illness. Sheriff Dart and Dr. Jones Tapia have been at the forefront of pushing for changes in our state’s approach to mental health issues.  In 2013, Sheriff Dart established the Office of Mental Health Policy & Advocacy, which operates a 24-hour Care Line for ex-inmates and families of current inmates with mental illness, while screening all pre-bond detainees for mental illness.  Sheriff Dart and Dr. Jones Tapia shared stories of inmates diagnosed with mental illness and discussed the economic and social impact of these individuals being treated in Cook County Jail.


Here & Now: An Evening of Improv

On October 1st, we celebrated the work of Cathedral Counseling Center with a fun, one-of-a-kind improv experience that made a meaningful connection between the worlds of improv and therapy.
Our heartfelt thanks to the more than 170 people who showed up to laugh for a good cause, our mental health care programs for the underserved.  Your contributions, tickets and auction bids helped raise more than $45,000 to support services for people in our community who cannot afford the full cost of treatment.

If you weren't able to attend, you can still help Cathedral Counseling Center by making a gift today.  Your tax-deductible contributions underwrite the cost of care for people who are in pain and need the services of Cathedral to live a fuller life.

Say "Yes, And" (Improv Principle #1) to Cathedral Counseling Center

Give Online Today!

Or call 312-252-9500 x115


Same Time Next Week Book Signing and Talk

On Wednesday, May 20th at 5:30 p.m. we marked Mental Health Awareness Month with a very special event featuring Cathedral's own therapist and writer Katherine Carrane, LCSW.

Katherine is a staff clinician and supervisor at Cathedral and was recently published in Creative Non-Fiction's new anthology, Same Time Next Week: True Stories of Working Through Mental Illness, edited by Lee Gutkind, with an introduction by Dr. Peter Kramer. Katherine's essay deals with the heartbreaking loss of a client, and her efforts, personally and professionally, to help him and later make sense of his life.

Refreshments and an exclusive reading from the book were enjoyed by attendees to this event hosted by Cathedral Counseling.


40th Anniversary Party & Benefit

Cathedral Counseling Center Board of Directors thanks everyone who attended or supported our October 2nd benefit and celebration to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Center's founding.

Browse Event Photos