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“Trauma and Learning Disabilities:  When Written Words Were Wrought With Worrisome Wrath”

Presented by: Burton N. Seitler, Ph.D.



2.5 Continuing Education Credits


This Event is Co-Sponsored by The New Jersey Society for Clinical Social Work

Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County
687 Larch Ave.
Teaneck, NJ 07666 United States




General Admission:$55.00

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Free Admission: Candidates currently enrolled in NJI classes and current interns.

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About This Presentation

Grey was a 17-year old adjudicated by a NYC court and remanded to a New York State Training School for juvenile offenders, where I had just been hired as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist to provide group psychotherapy five days a week.

I worked with Grey in individual, as well as group therapy. During that time, I discovered a long-held, intensely guarded secret, namely that Grey could not read. Grey thought it was better to be regarded as aggressive, thuggish, belligerent, or even sociopathic rather than illiterate or stupid.

Because I knew that even in cases of severe neurological impairment, the brain often maintains its capacity to recognize “curse” words, I devised an unusual means by which Grey could learn to read and write. Eventually, Grey was able to do just that. Not so surprisingly, Grey’s antisocial behavior slowly dissolved. This was made possible by our relational psychoanalytic connection (and a great deal of irreverent humor) which we shared together.

Learning Objectives:

1. Be able to describe how trauma can rob us of words and provide 3 examples of how this understanding was used in treatment.

2. Be able to list 3 reasons Grey why used aggression as a defense mechanism.

3. Be able to list 3 steps in the process of Grey becoming able to overcome an inability to read.

4. Be able to list 3 reasons why an unorthodox approach to reading difficulty was effective when other approaches were not.


About the Presenter:

Burton N. Seitler, Ph.D.is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst in private practice. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the new journal named, J.A.S.P.E.R. International, which stands for the Journal for the Advancement of Scientific Psychoanalytic Empirical Research, published by International Psychoanalytic Books. For over 20 years, he was the Executive Director of the former Counseling And Psychotherapy Services center in Ridgewood and Oakland, NJ and the former Director of the Child Adolescent Psychotherapy Studies program of the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis (NJI). He currently serves as a Supervising Training Analyst, Chair of the Training Board, and member of the faculty of NJI. Dr. Seitler is also on the Editorial Board of the journal, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, and is on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry. In addition, he is a Research Associate of the Psychohistory Forum. He has presented and published over 100 scientific papers locally, as well as internationally, on psychosis, paranoia, suicide, ADHD, autism, resilience, myopia, soma-psyche, neuroscience, forced hospitalization, the DSM, ethnic humor, and a number of other topics.