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Speaker Series

Each year, our speaker series includes nationally and internationally renowned psychoanalysts, some of whom are members of our own Society. Typically, the speaker presents an unpublished paper or other original material on a topic that is at the cutting edge of modern psychoanalytic theory and technique.

CANCELLED - November 13, 2022, 3-5pm - Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou - Shifting the psychoanalytic conversation: the importance and the perils of thinking transness more complexly


November 13, 2022, 3-5pm


Shifting the psychoanalytic conversation: the importance and the perils of thinking transness more complexly

Avgi Saketopoulou, PsyD


Psychoanalysis has historically treated trans life with pathologizing animosity. While this form of transphobia is far from eradicated in our field, it has recently shapeshifted into an enthrallment with “debating” whether transness is a form of gender or a gender-annexing byproduct of psychiatric illness. Such “debates” are not specific to psychoanalysis. Unfolding with great impact and force across the US, they are also enacted in the liberal press causing harm to trans people and undermining their rights (Dean, Gill-Peterson, Serano). In analytic circles, however, discussions about whether transness stands in for something else (and, therefore, whether it even exists) have become nested into some of our most prized concepts -of free speech, of resisting splitting/hearing “all sides”, and of genuine listening- and, as such, often pass as a “responsible” stance.

This presentation argues that such “debate” not only hurts trans people (including colleagues and candidates), but also hamstrings our theory and technique. Because it makes it dangerous to think about trans life complexly (as such thinking could become weaponized to “debate” trans existence), it impoverishes us. Offering clinical material from the psychoanalysis of a seriously mentally ill, trans-identified young adult, Dr. Saketopoulou takes a different stance: it is both urgent and ethically imperative to accord our trans analysands the same psychic complexity we accord all patients. Her talk takes up a series of interlocked questions: about the intersection of transness with mental illness; about whether sexual trauma may have a share in some trans embodiment; about psychic trauma vis-à-vis medical interventions; and about why concerns about “regret” need not steer the analyst. One goal is to illuminate some technical matters in working with trans patients. But her discussion will do more than that: it will show what psychoanalysis stands to lose (in thinking about psychic time, about the libidinal currents of gender, and about clinical ethics), if we fail to embrace the opportunity for better analytic theorizing presented to us by trans life.


Avgi Saketopoulou, PsyD

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is a Cypriot and Greek psychoanalyst, living and working in NYC. She is on faculty at the NYU Postdoctoral Program, where she also trained, and teaches nationally in several psychoanalytic institutes. Her published work has received numerous prizes, including the annual JAPA Essay Prize and the Ralph Roughton Award. Avgi is the 2022 recipient of the Scholarship Award from the division of psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association (Div. 39) and, with Ann Pellegrini, the recipient of the first Tiresias Prize, from the International Psychoanalytic Associations’ committee on sexual and gender diversity. Her interview on relational psychoanalysis is part of the permanent collection of the Freud Museum in Vienna and in 2021 she co-chaired the first US-based conference dedicated to the work of Jean Laplanche. Her book, Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia, is forthcoming in February 2023 from the Sexual Cultures series, NYU Press.


CEUs and CMEs are pending application.

This program will happen virtually and is $50 for non-APS and non-DISC members.  Please see following link for details and registration.

Continuing Education Units

The American Psychoanalytic Association will grant CME credits for the listed educational activities.  Our activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the Atlanta Psychoanalytic Society. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACME to offer continuing medical education to physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CEU credits will be provided for Social Workers, LPCs, and LMFTs.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial interests to disclose.

More Information

While we continue to navigate the global pandemic, for the safety of our members and the community, we will meet through online teleconference via Zoom.

For questions about the meetings, please contact Calvin Warren, Ph.D. at