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Taking Sides: Politics and partisanship in the consulting room

Leave your politics at the door?

Psychotherapists are notoriously left-leaning politically, and arguably most of us feel comfortable, and perhaps justified, in this position. But what are the effects, intended or unintended, of a helping profession being biased towards a particular group based on their political ideologies? During such politically concerning times, is it possible to put aside our own political beliefs in the consulting room with patients, and should we? What is our duty to larger systemic social justice issues as therapists, and what are the boundaries of that duty within work with individual clients?  

Matt Aibel, LCSW,
is on faculty at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies where he received his analytic training. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of IARPP’s international newsletter and as Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Perspectives. He served as NIP’s Associate Director of Continuing Education for five years, where he selected, organized, and oversaw 25 half-day workshops featuring many of the nation’s most influential analytic thinkers. Matt’s writing is published in Psychoanalytic Psychology and Psychoanalytic Perspectives. His paper "Being Railroaded" was nominated for a Gradiva Award and is on the syllabus of analytic training courses and professional study groups, as is his paper “The Personal is Political is Psychoanalytic.” He has presented his work and moderated panels at conferences, colloquia, and online webinars for IARPP, APsaA, NIP, and SIPP (Suffolk County, Long Island). He practices in Manhattan and on the north shore of Suffolk County.

Ryan M. Kull, PhD is the Director of Kip, is in private clinical practice in New York City specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and is a psychoanalytic candidate at New York University’s Postdoctoral Training Program in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Kull has served as an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where he also received his PhD. He has engaged in numerous research activities examining issues affecting LGBT people throughout the lifespan. Dr. Kull is the author and co-author of multiple juried papers, invited book chapters, and conference panels/symposia on LGBT-related health and mental health topics, including HIV/AIDS, STIs affecting MSM, bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, LGBT issues in education, and LGBT veterans.

Steven Tublin, Ph.D., SEP is faculty, training and supervising analyst at the William Alanson White Institute, faculty at NYU Postdoc and faculty at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity. He is the author of a number of articles on topics including contemporary psychoanalytic technique, the use of music and literature in clinical inquiry, and the interface of politics and psychoanalysis. He is in private practice in New York and is an associate at Upstart Logic, an organizational consulting firm.

9:30-10am Coffee and Registration

10-10:30am Welcome to the Taking Sides Series

10:30am-12:30pm Panel Discussion

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch Break

1:30pm-3:30pm Case Presentation and Discussion

3:30pm-4pm Closing Remarks

5 CE Hours

$75 Professionals - $45 Students & Candidates - Free for KIP Fellows
We have a limited number of scholarships available for clinicians who have been historically marginalized on the basis of their identities or experiences, and are unable to afford the cost of attendance. Please email us at

Taking sides: Politics and partisanship in the consulting room
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Earlier Event: February 20
Workshop: Clients who do sex work
Later Event: March 12
4-week course: Sexuality and desire