Visiting Scholar – Ghislaine Boulanger

When the Container Fails: Psychoanalytic Witnessing: Professional Obligation or Moral Imperative?

Ghislaine Boulanger

Saturday May 14, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

This presentation gives an account of psychoanalytic witnessing in response to traumatogenic events.

flyerThis presentation will begin with an account of an interview Ghislaine Boulanger was asked to undertake by a human rights organization with a young woman who barely escaped a genocide and was seeking asylum in the United States. Against the background of her painful account, Boulanger explores what it means to be a psychoanalytic witness. Is psychoanalytic witnessing a professional obligation or a moral imperative? Who is the witness? The person giving the account or the person listening? What are the psychological consequences for each of them? She shall propose that as clinicians, we must distinguish between witnessing and recognition. And further, that the costs of being a witness are considerable and must be taken into account in doing this work.

CE Credits offered: 2

Course Objectives

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  1. distinguish between witnessing as a moral obligation and witnessing as a moral imperative
  2. describe how Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit's definition of a moral witness can be applied to clinical practice. – 415-288-4050 — 530 Bush St, Suite 700, SF CA USA —

The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. PINC maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Visit for policies and disclaimers.

May 14th, 2022 10:00 AM
Online via Zoom (Pacific Time Zone)
United States
Event Fee(s)
General Admission $ 20.00
Members (free) $ 0.00
CE Credits (2) $ 20.00