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Nietzsche for Clinicians: Learning to Live Between Trauma and Tragedy is a Course

Nietzsche for Clinicians: Learning to Live Between Trauma and Tragedy

Ended May 27, 2022

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Full course description

January 27 - May 26, 2022 | 7-8:30pm (EST)-- Fully Online Workshop Series

Eligible for 7.5 CEs for LMHCs, Psychologists, and Social Workers


Nietzsche concludes the first book of Beyond Good and Evil by insisting that the time has come for those who would understand human existence to return to the practice of psychology, properly understood. “For, psychology is now again the path to fundamental problems” (§32). But what is psychology properly understood? And in what way does it lead us back to the most essential aspects of our being?

Participants in this 5-month Psychological Humanities and Ethics workshop will meet from 7 to 830 pm EST on the last Thursday of each month from January to May to examine the insights and ideas of one of history’s most formative psychologists. Reading Nietzsche not as a philosopher in the classical sense but a proto-psychoanalyst, a precursor to Freud and Lacan, participants will trace the genesis of such fundamental psychoanalytic concepts as repression, the death-drive, and the Oedipus complex and will explore Nietzsche’s understanding of the origins of morality, the value of sublimation, the movement from mourning to melancholia—or, in Nietzsche’s terms, from trauma to tragedy—and the possibility of a life lived in affirmation and self-overcoming. By the end of this course, participants will have an in-depth knowledge of the major works and ideas of one of modernity’s most prominent and influential thinkers.

  • Month 1: Mourning and Melancholia: Moving from Trauma to Tragedy
  • Month 2: The Value of Values: The Psychology of Morals
  • Month 3: Bad Conscience: Whence the Super Ego?
  • Month 4: God is Dead: Living in the Absence of the Father
  • Month 5: Free Spirits: Will to Power as Eros or a Sublimated Death Drive

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this learning series the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe Nietzsche understanding of the Dionysian and Apollonian modes of psychic life.
  2. Identify the origins of contemporary liberal democratic morality in previous epochs and ideals.
  3. Compare Nietzsche’s understanding of “bad conscience” to Freud’s work on the formation of the Super-Ego.
  4. Explain how Nietzsche’s assertion that “God is dead” expresses his conception our human beings’ fundamental psychological paradigm.
  5. Compare Nietzsche’s understanding of Will to Power with the interplay between Eros and the death drive in Freudian psychology

Timeline and Requirements:

The course will take place from January 27 - May 26, 2022. This series is presenter-led and is a fully online experience. Workshops will be conducted synchronously online via Zoom from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm (EST) on the last Thursday of each month. 

CE Sponsorship: 

University Counseling Services of Boston College is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. As a co-sponsor of this program, University Counseling Services of Boston College maintains responsibility for this program and its content." Participants will be eligible to receive 7.5 CE units from University Counseling Services of Boston College. 

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development is providing sponsorship for CEUs for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). Participants will be eligible to receive 7.5 CE units. These credits are accepted by the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Licensed Mental Health Counselors (Category I contact hours in Content Area I).

Participants must attend the workshop in full and complete the post event survey to be eligible to receive CEs.

This lecture does not offer CEs for other clinicians not listed above. 

Fees & Policies:

Payment is due by credit card at registration. Registration closes January 27th at 5pm. Refunds will be granted only up until registration closes at 5pm on January 27th. No refunds will be granted for registration or technical errors on the participant's part (such as incorrect name/email, login failure, etc.).

Additional offerings from the Lynch School Professional & Continuing Education Office can be found on our website