Dr. David Keith

PRACTICE MAKES a Pathway for Magic and Creative Play; in the Direction of an Imperfect Version of PERFECT

Friday, February 28, 2020

8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

(Break from 10:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m.; LIVE session at 10:15 a.m.)

Practice Makes Perfect. And practice is crucial to learning. Practice is a way of learning from experience. What's worth knowing can't be taught, it must be learned (Oh, and by the way, some find this disturbing, but what's worth knowing may not be evidence based). In this engaging, playful, and interactive keynote session, Dr. David Keith emphasizes the idea that psychotherapy is an art. In the realm of art, practice leads to increasing creativity. Practice leads to the freedom for therapeutic play. Creativity and play are crucial components of health. And from Donald Winnicott: All psychotherapy is play. Thus, practice makes a pathway for magic and creative play; in the direction of an imperfect version of perfect.

Immediately following his keynote address, Dr. Keith will conduct a live session with clients, focusing on the importance of conducting a consultation with families in the pursuit of helping families become "unstuck" and utilizing Dr. Keith's method of "stress interview," which encourages families to talk about the family as a whole and to think differently about the family and their roles within it.

About Dr. David Keith

David Keith is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY. He has been in practice 44 years, joining the Upstate faculty in 1988. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1967, then served as an Air Force flight surgeon with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing before doing his Psychiatry residency (both General and Child & Adolescent) at the University of Wisconsin. He was on the Psychiatry faculty at Wisconsin for 8 years, then entered private practice for 5 years with the Family Therapy Institute in St. Paul, MN.

Although board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, his clinical work has always been organized around working with families, most particularly families with chronic illness of all sorts—physical illness as well as emotional illness. He developed a relational systems-based consultative pattern he calls Therapeutic Consultation in Chronic Illness. He views himself as a medication minimalist. He is intrigued by language and how it shapes our perceptions, but more specifically by how language is used to represent illness, by patients and practitioners, and more crucially how language and relationship can be used therapeutically.

He coauthored Defiance in the Family: Finding Hope in Therapy (2001), co-edited Family Therapy as an Alternative to Medication: An Appraisal of Pharmland (2003), and is the author of Continuing the Experiential Approach of Carl Whitaker: Process, Practice & Magic (2015). He is the subject of Clinical Dialogues in Family Therapy, Based on the Psychotherapy of Carl Whitaker, M.D. and David Keith, M.D. by Howard Denofsky, MSW (2004).