Making us Great Again? A Psychoanalytic Discussion of Populism Leon Hoffman, M.D. and Coline Covington, Ph.D., B.P at NYPSI

The Program Committee of the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute: presents a very special Scientific Program: Hand putting voting paper in the ballot box on USA flag background. Concept of US Presidential election. Vintage engraving stylized drawing.

Making us Great Again? A Psychoanalytic Discussion of Populism Leon Hoffman, M.D. and Coline Covington, Ph.D., B.P.C.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 8 pm New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
247 East 82nd Street, NYC (btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves) 

The presenters will discuss the political dynamics of populism from a psychoanalytic perspective. They will stress the group’s sense of vulnerability and fear and the powerful role the populist leader plays for the group within this psychological state. A charismatic leader is chosen who promises to make the group powerful, perverting the truth by promoting “alt-facts” which fit into the fantasy life of the leader and group. Two approaches are discussed: (1) understanding how vulnerable groups attempt to deal with traumatic experiences by utilizing maladaptive defense mechanisms, such as denial and projection, in order to protect themselves from unbearable negative emotions and (2) understanding that when a large group’s survival and identity are under threat, individual mindfulness is dissolved in the service of defending against the experience of loss and trying to restore a sense of potency within the group. Please note: the presenters will allow ample time for discussion with each other and the audience. All perspectives are most welcome.

General Admission: $20
Student Admission (non NYPSI): $15

No charge for NYPSI members and students
To register, click HERE, visit or call 212.879.6900

Lois Oppenheim, PhD, Scientific Program Chair

Dr. Leon Hoffman is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Training and Supervising Analyst in adult, child, and adolescent analysis, and co-Director of the Pacella Research Center at NYPSI. He is on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Chief Psychiatrist at the West End Day School in New York City.

Most recently, Dr. Hoffman has developed the Manual for Regulation-Focused Psychotherapy for Children with Externalizing Behaviors (RFP-C): A Psychodynamic Approach, co-written with Timothy Rice and Tracy Prout, and published by Routledge in 2016. A clinical trial using the manual is underway at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University, with Tracy Prout as Principal Investigator.

Dr. Coline Covington is a Jungian Analyst with a background in political science and criminology. She is a Fellow of the International Dialogue Initiative (IDI), a think tank formed by Prof. Vamik Volkan, Lord Alderdice, and Dr. Robi Friedman to apply psychoanalytic concepts to understanding political conflict. Dr. Covington’s publications include: Terrorism and War: Unconscious Dynamics of Political Violence (Karnac, 2002); Shrinking the News: Headline Stories on the Couch (Karnac, 2014); Sabina Spielrein: Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalysis, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2015); and Everyday Evils: A Psychoanalytic View of Evil and Morality (Routledge, 2016). She is in private practice in London.

2 CME/ CE credits offered

Educational Objectives
Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:
1) assess political and sociological dynamics using a psychoanalytic framework.
2) broaden the scope of psychoanalytic application.
3) facilitate understanding of large group behavior and its relation to the state of mind of both the group and its leader.


New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education programs for psychologists. New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers

New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute SW CPE 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 #0317.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New York Psychoanalytic Society and 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 (2) 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 has any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Persons with disabilities

The building is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator. Please notify the registrar in advance if you require accommodations.

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