ACE Foundation Programs

2021 Program Archive

New York State Society for Clinical Social Work Metropolitan Chapter with The Advanced Clinical Education Foundation of the NYSSCSW Presents:


Program Description

Providing a safe space, an intimate and empathic connection, and continuity is at the core of what we do with our patients. How to do this during the COVID-19 pandemic is no small challenge. The spaces in which we work, the way we think about safety, how we think about and immerse ourselves in patients’ inner worlds, and how we provide continuity have all been radically altered. This webinar will be a chance to think together about these issues by exploring the clinical gains and losses subsequent to our rapid, near-total conversion to tele(mental)health and the ongoing challenge of enduring this change in the face of uncertainty and loss.

Before the pandemic, psychoanalytic clinicians were grappling with how to make informed decisions about using technology for patient care. We had the leisure to examine emerging research in neuroscience, virtual reality, human-computer interaction, and communications theory and then let that inform our thinking. However, forced by COVID-19 abruptly to adopt technologically mediated treatment as the safest way to practice, clinicians have immediately moved treatment, supervision, and classes online. With no transition period, no choice, and no clear path forward, the move to distance treatment and training has left many feeling uncentered, unprepared, and vulnerable.

In this seminar, Gillian Isaacs Russell, author of Screen Relations: The Limits of Computer-Mediated Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Karnac, 2015) and Todd Essig, currently co-chair of APsaA’s COVID-19 Advisory Team, will share their thoughts about how to make informed decisions while leading a discussion of the impact on clinicians of pandemic-based screen- mediated treatment. They will explore differences between screen relations and actual presence; how those differences influence clinical processes and outcomes; and what concepts, skills, and strategies can be developed to help make remote treatment work. Finally, they will engage a discussion of what might happen, once it is safe to do so, when we re-emerge into a very different post-pandemic world.

Request for Clinical Vignettes
The presenters are requesting that participants submit clinical vignettes (250 to 500 words) about challenging or curious experiences encountered while providing teletherapy during the pandemic. Several of these will then be presented and discussed during the webinar.
Please send Vignettes to
Subject: Course 285 Vignette

Presenters’ Statement on Confidentiality
All prepared material and presenter responses will be compliant with NYS HIPPA policy. Case vignettes to be discussed will be submitted prior to the workshop and reviewed to make sure patient confidentiality is protected. In addition, reminders about the need to protect confidentiality will be offered at the start of each section of the workshop and should anyone use the Q & A as an opportunity to introduce clinical material they will be instructed to make sure confidentiality is protected.

Registration Options

*NYSSCSW Discount applies to NYSSCSW current members only.

**Student Discount only applies to full time students currently enrolled in social work and MHP master level programs.

This is an ACE Foundation Program. If this is your first time taking an ACE Foundation program not co-sponsored by an NYSSCSW, you will be prompted to make your complimentary account on the ACE Foundation Learning Center platform, where you will be able to access all program information, course materials and information for future ACE Foundation programs from your member dashboard. You will be asked to set a password for your new ACE Foundation Learning Center account.


Saturday, January 30, 2021

10:00am - 1:00pm

Course Number



Todd Essig, Ph.D. and Gillian Isaacs Russell, Ph.D.

Program Originator:

Metropolitan Chapter



contact Hours:

3.0 Contact Hours Will Be Awarded For This Program

NYS CE Accreditation for:


The Advanced Clinical Education (ACE) Foundation of the NYS Society for Clinical Social Work, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0028; licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0045; licensed psychoanalysts #P-0017; licensed psychologists #PSY-0121; and licensed social workers #SW-0056.

Out of State Providers:

Out-of-state providers are welcome to request a certificate upon completion of the presentation evaluation but must check with their own state licensing boards to inquire about whether or not the certificate is recognized as transferrable for CEs in their state’s jurisdiction.


Registration is closed.

Program Details

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe four features of the clinical context unique to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  2. Explain the role of temporal synchrony in the experience of telepresence.
  3. List three general dimensions of difference between physical co-presence and screen relations.
  4. Compare how attention is mobilized in in-person versus onscreen psychotherapy sessions.
  5. Explain a paradox central to providing teletherapy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed psychoanalysts, nurse practitioners and family and marriage/couple therapists and mental health counselors.

This seminar is appropriate for clinicians with all levels of experience.

Todd Essig, Ph.D., is Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the William Alanson White Institute. Widely known as a pioneer in the innovative uses of mental health technologies, he publishes and lectures widely. He has served on editorial boards for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and JAPA and recently co-edited along with Gillian Isaacs Russell a special issue of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on psychoanalysis and technology. In the aftermath of 9/11 he was Board Chair for the NY Disaster Counseling Coalition (NYDCC) providing free mental health care to first responders and their families. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Covid-19 Advisory Team. He writes “Managing Mental Wealth” for Forbes where he covers the intersection of technology, psychology, and culture. His practice is in New York City where he treats individuals and couples, almost all of whom (used to) come to his office.

Gillian Isaacs Russell, Ph.D. is a UK-trained psychoanalyst. She is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytical Association and the British Psychoanalytic Council. Her book, Screen Relations: The Limits of Computer-Mediated Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, was published by Karnac Books in 2015. She serves on the editorial board of the British Journal of Psychotherapy and recently co-edited with Todd Essig a special issue of Psychoanalytic Perspectives on psychoanalysis and technology. Dr. Russell writes, speaks and teaches internationally on technology and its impact on intimate human relationships, particularly in psychoanalytic treatment. She currently serves on the Covid-19 Advisory Team for the American Psychoanalytic Association. She practices in Boulder, Colorado.

Zoom webinar

Contact Hours will be awarded once the entire course is completed, as evidenced by signing in and out and completing a course evaluation. Certificates will be emailed approximately ten business days after the completion of the course.

ACE welcomes participants with diverse abilities. Please contact Kristin or Jennifer at, at time of registration, to request accessibility accommodations. Accommodation requests are considered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA), Section 505 of the Rehabilitation ACT.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations made at least five days before the event will be fully refunded. For cancellation please call 1-800-288-4279, or email us at

Inclement Weather Policy:

Should Inclement weather occur, we will be notifying all registrants via the email by which the registrant signed up. Please be sure to check your email before you leave for the course.

  • 3.0 Contact Hours will be awarded once the entire course is completed.
  • All registrations must be submitted by the Wednesday prior to the program.
  • Certificates will be emailed approximately ten business days after the completion of the course.
  • For questions regarding disability access please contact Kristin or Jennifer, at time of registration, so that we can see to it that arrangements are made to accommodate your special needs:
  • For questions regarding course content, please contact Kristin or Jennifer:
  • In the event of any grievance please contact:

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