Sisyphus On The Couch: Is There Meaning In Suffering? | 04/13/2019


Class size is limited. Registration closes on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

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SKU: 19-0413-VonRaffay Category:


Valérie R. vonRaffay, Ph.D.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Course will be held in the LAISPS classroom
12011 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 520
Los Angeles, CA  90049

This Course is Approved for 2 CE/CME’s

Elizabeth E. Berlese, Ph.D.
Extension Program Chair


The myth of Sisyphus will be used as a lens to explore familiar clinical manifestations such as: repetition compulsion, perfectionism, omnipotence, narcissism, moral masochism, and depression. 

Punished by the gods for his hubris and denial of mortality, Sisyphus is condemned to a life of unceasing and futile labor. Albert Camus transforms our understanding of this myth with his reflection that, “one must imagine Sisyphus as happy”, because he accepts his fate and the struggle is enough to fill his heart.

In our work as clinicians we are often confronted with patients who remain stuck in their lives because they are fixated on the illusion that ‘someday’ their struggles will come to an end. The goal of treatment can be seen as a Sisyphean transformation; the struggle and challenges of life become imbued with meaning, opening the possibility for acceptance and true happiness rather than denial of suffering and the absence of pain through pursuit of numbness. 


This program meets the needs of all mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.


Upon completion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Discuss what contributes to the development of the capacity to bear suffering (physical and psychological).
  • Explain how Camus views the character of Sisyphus as someone who finds meaning in his struggle.
  • Give 2 clinical examples of how the theme of Sisyphus is manifest in current psychological disorders.
  • Describe Frankl’s concept of finding meaning in one’s suffering.

For those who are not already members of LAISPS, $5.00 of this registration fee qualifies you as a Community Member of LAISPS for the academic year (September 1 to August 31 of the following year).   Each LAISPS Community Member is entitled to access to the LAISPS library, the right to receive any announcements of LAISPS course offerings, lectures and other events.  Community Members have the right to enroll in educational courses for which they have the requisite qualifications and for which space is available.  Enrollment in certain courses and curricula, especially courses and curricula leading to the award of a degree or certificate, is restricted and only available to members on a competitive basis with enrollment not guaranteed.


Important Disclosure: None of the planners or presenters of this CME/CE program has any relevant financial relationship to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Designation Statement

Accreditation Statement: LAISPS is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical
edu cation for physicians. LAISPS takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Physicians: LAISPS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit
commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certificate in Continuing Medical
Psychologists: LAISPS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. LAISPS
maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Board of Behavioral Sciences: The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts courses approved by the APA for Continuing Education for LCSW, LMFT, LPCC and LEP licenses.

Please Note:

  • Participants must complete an online evaluation within 2 weeks of completing this CE/CME activity in order to receive credit.
  • According to APA guidelines, CE credit can only be awarded to psychologists for full attendance