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LGBTQ Study Group: A New Theory of Transgender Identity - A Neuropsychoanalytic Approach

Date: Apr 3, 2019 8:00 pm

The LGBTQ STUDY GROUP of the William Alanson White Institute invites you to a conversation with:

S.J. Langer, LCSW-R

“A New Theory of Transgender Identity - A Neuropsychoanalytic Approach”


Wed. April 3, 2019
8:30 - 10:00pm
William Alanson White Institute
‪20 W. 74 St., Room 3A


Drawing from my new book and clinical practice with trans people, this talk will theorize that core gender is an aspect of consciousness.  There are no cases in the medical literature of a person’s gender identity changing as the result of a brain injury or lesion. This fact points towards a theory of gender as qualia as opposed to an aspect of personality. The feeling of gender incongruence is not only based on visual incongruence but interoceptive sensations and one’s predictions regarding those sensations. The unifying theory of neuronal processing the free energy principle will be used to explain why and how transgender people feel and experience their gender differently than cisgendered people through predictive coding.  Using the scaffolding of Damasio’s formulation of consciousness, the talk will demonstrate how gender is a foundational element of consciousness primarily integrated through the insula.  Working from a frame of the psychophysical nature of gender through interdisciplinary theorists from philosophy, psychoanalysis, consciousness studies, and neuroscience such as Damasio, Craig, Edelman, Friston, Winnicott, Tsakiris & Fotopoulou, we will explore how this changes our approach to patients in relation to gender.


Register Here

S.J. Langer, LCSW-R is a writer and psychotherapist in New York City, where he maintains a private practice.  He is on faculty at School of Visual Arts in both the MPS Art Therapy and Humanities & Sciences departments.  He is a member of the Executive Committee for the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy.  His most recent academic article Trans Bodies and the Failure of Mirrors was the co-winner of the Symonds Prize from Studies in Gender and Sexuality.  His first book Theorizing Transgender Identity for Clinical Practice: A New Model for Understanding Gender was just released from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

$95 for year-long attendance
$15 for one-time attendance

**Pizza and prosecco will be served.**
**All are welcome to attend.**

For inquiries regarding the LGBTQ Study Group please contact
Esin Egit, Ph.D. (Chair): e.egit@wawhite.org