BESIDES HUMAN BEINGS: Time, Space, Animals, Things, and God

Join IPI’s April Weekend Conference for an unforgettable experience featuring guest speaker, Dr. Salman Akhtar! Dr. Akhtar will deliver a riveting lecture series on the role of non-human shapers and regulators of personality.

This hybrid event is open to all mental health professionals and mental health professionals-in-training.

IPI clinical certificate program students are advised to check with Program Chairs to determine if the GAM group  will occur onsite or online.

Limited scholarships monies are available, apply by Friday March 24th for consideration

Program Date(s):

April 14, 2023 - April 16, 2023

Location: Hybrid/ Bethesda, MD

Weekend Overview

Psychoanalysis, including psychoanalytic psychotherapy, is a discipline devoted to studying psychic development, well-adapted and maladapted mental functioning, the unfolding of the inner world of real and imaginary formative figures during a therapeutic dialogue, and the subterranean existence of the personal in the cultural and vice versa. The building blocks of the inner world and outer edifice are held, in psychoanalysis, to be the dialectics of interactions between a growing child’s given potentials and the actual and felt attitudes of his or her caretakers. Mother, father, and to a lesser extent, grandparents and siblings are viewed as the major players in this drama. Also, recently the study of culture and diversity have been given some attention.

Strikingly, psychoanalytic theory has largely ignored the role of the non-human shapers and regulators of personality, both as it develops and functions over the human lifespan. Exceptions do exist (e.g., Freud’s fetish, Winnicott’s transitional object, Searles’s study of anthropomorphization and animism, Volkan’s linking objects). However, by and large the impact of the non-human environment has been ignored. This set of presentations and group discussions seek to rectify this error by addressing the role of time, space, animals, things, and God in normal and abnormal psychic functioning and in the latter’s amelioration, and will delineate their developmental, psychopathological, and therapeutic implications. Material from literature, poetry, movies, and day-to-day clinical practice will be included to highlight the proposals made.

The course will use lecture, large group discussion, small group/GAM group discussion, case presentation and discussion and informal discussion to achieve the course objectives.

General weekend schedule

Friday 9:20 am – 6:00 pm US EDT

Saturday 9:25 am – 7:00 pm US EDT

Sunday 9:35am – 2:30pm US EDT

Detailed schedules, reading lists, and educational objectives will be provided to registered participants.

Conference FAQs

Click here to see answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

About Salman Akhtar, MD

Salman Akhtar, MD is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training & Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has served on the editorial boards of the three most major psychoanalytic journals, namely the International Journal of PsychoanalysisJournal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Psychoanalytic Quarterly. Dr. Akhtar has delivered Plenary Addresses both at the IPA and the APsA meetings and given psychoanalytic workshops in over 30 countries. He has published 106 books, 38 of which are solo-authored. These include 14 volumes of poetry in Urdu, Hindi, and English. Dr. Akhtar has received the highly prestigious Sigourney Award for distinguished contributions to psychoanalysis. He has served as the Film Review Editor for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, is serving as the Book Review Editor for the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies and as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

Schedule of Presentations

14 Apr
includes GAM small group
Salman Akhtar, MD
14 Apr
includes GAM small group
Salman Akhtar, MD
15 Apr
includes GAM small group
Salman Akhtar, MD
15 Apr
includes GAM small group
Salman Akhtar, MD
15 Apr
16 Apr
includes GAM small group
Salman Akhtar, MD
16 Apr
Closing Dialogue



Registration Options:

  • ONLINE (via Zoom)
    • Full Conference
      • $497 up to 21 days in advance; $517 thereafter
      • *Full members: $359
      • *Associate members: $410
      • Full time students: $150
    • Saturday One Day (morning and afternoon): $150
    • Saturday Morning only: $45

  • ONSITE!:
    • Full Conference
      • $497 up to 21 days in advance; $517 thereafter
      • *Full members: $359
      • *Associate members: $410
      • Full time students: $150

! ONSITE registration is limited to 85 participants and will be held at the Kenwood Country Club 5601 River Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

If you test positive for COVID-19 during the conference, please contact the IPI administrative team at so that we can assist you. Upon check-in, you will receive a folder containing conference information and local resources, such as a list of urgent care and medical facilities.
We recommend that you test for COVID-19 on the day before you travel, and on each day of the conference. IPI will have some COVID-19 test kits but it is advisable for you to bring your own supply as well as masks for the duration of your stay.
If you have a positive COVID-19 test result three to seven days after the conference, kindly inform the administrative team for contract-tracing purposes.

*IPI members: Login to the website with your member information to access your discounted registration rate

Limited scholarship funds are available for this training. Apply on our site by March 24th for consideration.

Continuing Education Credit Hours

Weekend Conference:

14.5 CE/CME credits

Saturday One Day:

6 CE/CME credits

Saturday Morning only:

2.5 CE/CME credits

Weekend Co-Chairs

Michael Stadter, PhD, clinical psychologist

Michael Stadter is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC. His faculty positions include:, Founding Faculty Member of the International Psychotherapy Institute, Faculty at the Washington School of Psychiatry, and Faculty at The Center for Existential Studies and Psychotherapy.  Additionally, he has been frequently invited to teach nationally and internationally. Dr. Stadter has authored a number of publications including 2 books, Presence and the Present: Relationship and Time in Contemporary Psychodynamic Therapy (2012) and Object Relations Brief Therapy: The Relationship in Short-term Work (1996/ 2009).   His latest publication (co-authored with Gao Jun) is “Shame East and West: Similarities, Differences, Culture, and Self”, 2020, in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in China.

Michelle Kwintner, PhD, LCSW-R, psychoanalyst

Michelle Kwintner is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Ithaca, NY, USA.  She offers analytic treatment for adults as well as analytic consultation. She earned her PhD in Classics and she maintains an interest in ancient Greek and Latin language and literature.  She is a national faculty member at International Psychotherapy Institute, is chair of the curriculum committee for the analytic training program at IPI, and is a member of the Colleague Assistance Committee. Michelle is the author of a number of presentations and publications including articles on object relations theory and community-based mental health. Her latest publications are “Thucydides on the Ancient Athenian Epidemic: Body, Mind, Society, and Trauma” (2021) and “Psychoanalytic social work:  How to do things with words and how to say things with deeds” in the 2022 volume of Psychoanalytic Social Work in memory of William Meyer.

Should you have any questions about the program or the application process, please feel free to contact:

IPI Administrative Team -

Membership Benefits

Become a member of IPI at any level and you will have the option of adding on a Zoom Pro account as one of your member benefits. Associate and Full Members also receive discounted registration fees for most of IPI’s events, a subscription to PEP Web, the online psychoanalytic library, and other benefits depending on membership level.

HIPAA compliant Zoom video accounts are an optional add on for all IPI memberships. IPI has a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with Zoom, which provides a HIPAA compliant platform for our accounts. HIPPA compliance is strongly recommended for all internet-mediated clinical work and clinical teaching. The “+ Zoom Pro” add-on to the IPI membership gives the user the ability to host online meetings with multiple people at the same time. [Current members can upgrade to the “+ Zoom Pro” account and only pay the difference in price from your current membership level.]

Click for IPI Membership and Zoom Account information

Continuing Education Information

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 International Psychotherapy Institute. 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 14.5 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 of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The International Psychotherapy Institute, IPI, is approved by The American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The International Psychotherapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6017. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The International Psychotherapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the programs. The International Psychotherapy Institute is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education learning activities and maintains full responsibility for this program. This training qualifies for Category I continuing education units. The International Psychotherapy Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0299.
Participants are responsible for verifying that IPI CE credit is accepted by the licensing boards in their own states.