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The Mask of Self-Deception

June 23, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 5:30 pm PDT

The Mask of Self-Deception

Fantasy and Illusion in Psychotherapy

Terry Marks-Tarlow, Ph.D.

June 23, 2018

$195 full/$165 early tuition (Before June 1, 2018)
30% off for pre-licensed students in clinical training.
Use the coupon “student30”

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Imagination is central to the art of psychotherapy and is hard-wired into our very neurons. Imagination lies at the heart of empathy and is a major force in change. Imagination underlies the positive experiences of vision, expectation, hope, and fantasy in therapists and patients alike. But imagination gone amok also lies at the heart of catastrophic vision, chronic anxiety, projection, delusion, and self-deception.

This course uses interpersonal neurobiology as a framework to understand how imagination develops and evolves throughout life from early parent-child interactions and pretend play. We will draw upon clinical cases to distinguish healthy versus unhealthy aspects of imagination. We will focus in on the nature of self-deception and how to close the gap between conscious beliefs and unconscious truths. We will create a safe and intimate environment to share our war stories. Participants will leave the day with a better understanding and a set of clinical tools for working with positive and negative aspects of imagination.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Trace the origins of the adult self and self-deception in early fantasy play
  2. Describe the role of illusion as a tool for self-comfort and self-assertion
  3. Apply an evolutionary framework to understand origins of illusion, trickery, and self-deception within animals and plants who compete for survival
  4. Describe the underlying neurobiology and clinical utility of imagination for empathy and healing.

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Terry Marks-Tarlow, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY8853) in private practice in Santa Monica. She is a Visiting Professor at Italian Universita Niccolo Cusano London and a Research Associate at the Institute for Fractal Research in Kassel Germany. She is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, where as Community Outreach Co-Chair, she co-created and curates an annual exhibition of visual and performance arts, “Mirrors of the Mind: The Psychotherapist as Artist.”  Dr. Marks-Tarlow is a member of the Insight Center teaching faculty.

Dr. Marks-Tarlow has authored and co-edited numerous books, including Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy (2018, Norton), Truly Mindful Coloring (2016, PESI), Awakening Clinical Intuition (2014, Norton), and Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy (2012, Norton), and Psyche’s Veil (2008, Routledge), all of which she has illustrated herself. Dr. Marks-Tarlow has presented workshops and seminars internationally and nationally, including a 2012 a conference at the Tavistock Institute in London relating to her second book, Psyche’s Veil, on nonlinear dynamics, and the 2015 UCLA Interpersonal Neurobiology Conference.

Dr. Marks-Tarlow embodies the balance of life between play, imagination and creativity through her dance, art and yoga. Her creativity also has been expressed musically, through writing opera librettos with Juilliard teacher and composer Jonathan Dawe. Her first opera, “Cracked Orlando”, premiered in New York City in 2010 with a ballet. Her second opera, “Oroborium” is scheduled to premiere at Lincoln Center in April, 2018. For more information visit her website at http://markstarlow.com


Continuing Education:

Continuing Education Units are available. A CE certificate is issued for each module for a $20 charge per module. Instructions for purchasing CE certificates will be emailed once registration is completed and certificates are issued after the module is completed.

Psychologists: The Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course is provides 6 CE units.

MFTs / LCSWs / LPCCs:  The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA CEs. This course provides 6 CE units.

Nurses: The Insight Center, Provider Number 14914, is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing. This course provides 6 CE units.

Purchase CE Certificate


June 23, 2018
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
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The Insight Center
1404 Greenfield Ave.
Los Angeles,CA90025
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Michael Shiffman, Ph.D.