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Advanced Clinical Study Group

So you have decided that there is still so much more to learn in Tomkins’ Affect Theory and in Affect/Script Psychotherapy. We congratulate you for choosing to continue this complex, challenging, and rewarding journey! You have already learned the basics of affect theory and have begun to explore the complexities of script theory. Now it is time to delve deeply into the nature and function of scripts and to approach thereby what Tomkins has called human being theory. This Advanced Clinical Curriculum is designed to apply and further your studies of Tomkins’s entire set of theories for the human minding process. Our Advanced Clinical Curriculum builds on the knowledge of the first two years of study to make Affect Theory and Affect/Script Psychotherapy directly applicable in your clinical work. Therefore, all participants in this level of study must be licensed in their clinical fields.

We urge you to adopt the same attitude for participation in this study group as that suggested for the initial two Study Groups: Each member is equally responsible for reading, absorbing, and then presenting a share of the information assigned for each meeting. It is the sheer depth and comprehensiveness of this Advanced Clinical Curriculum that makes it ever more essential that the Study Group follow this egalitarian script. When there are questions the group cannot resolve, the Study Group Coordinator will take responsibility for communicating these questions to the Board of Directors and returning to the next group meeting with the responses.


A breakdown of the costs involved in participating in this study group is as follows:

1. The Tomkins Institute membership dues – $60.00

2. Continuing Education/Continuing Medical Education fees vary for each specific profession are outlined in the Group Member Requirements form.


In addition, the Advanced Clinical curriculum requires the availability of four books:

Silvan S. Tomkins, Affect Imagery Consciousness, Volume III, New York, Springer Publishing, 1991  (AIC III)

Silvan S. Tomkins, Affect Imagery Consciousness, Volume IV, New York, Springer Publishing, 1992 (AIC IV)

E. Virginia Demos, Exploring Affect, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1995 (EA)

Joel Aronoff, Albert I. Rabin, Robert A. Zucker, The Emergence of Personality, New York, Springer Publishing, 1987 (EOP)

In addition, you will be required to bring in articles from your current reading in appropriate journals, such as Emotion, American Psychologist, Behavioral Neuroscience, and other peer-reviewed journals publishing information relevant to this clinical study.

The Study Group process is based on a set of at least twelve meetings, handled by most groups on a monthly basis. It is important that each member attend every meeting: group process is important; the learning process is dependent on the contribution of each member; and the material for each subsequent meeting is built on what preceded it. In order to comply with accreditation standards, the Study Group Coordinator must document and attest to the attendance for each meeting and submit the minutes of each meeting to the Training Director. We hope that the hard work required by this protocol will prove as rewarding for you as it has for all of us. No matter what your previous educational experience, you will find yourselves changed considerably by what you are about to begin.

The Advanced Clinical Study Group will help Licensed clinicians build on your professional experience and knowledge through the comparison of  the Affect/Script Psychology of Silvan Tomkins with new therapeutic approaches. The group members will utilize the knowledge gained in the Basic and Advanced study groups in this advanced comparison with current alternative approaches.

Learning Objectives

The Objectives of the Advanced Clinical Study Group include:

1. Define the new theoretical understanding of how human beings function and what challenges we face,

2. Compare and contrast these new theoretical constructs with Tomkin’s Affect/Script Psychology.

3. Create a broader repertoire of effective therapeutic interventions

4. Apply the new theory to the individual, couples, family and cultural levels of human functioning, and compare this theory to Tomkin’s comprehensive theory of human development.

The specifics of each new text chosen for study will direct the specific theoretical comparisons.   The goal is to deepen our knowledge of different theoretical approaches to the universal and unique aspects of human beings and the psychological challenges we face.

All 12 sessions must be attended in order to receive the 24 continuing education credits from APA.


To participate in the Advanced Study Group, contact Nancy MacConnachie, Ph.D., and she will send you more information about the meeting times and the syllabus. drnancymac@thewestwoodgroup.org

The Tomkins Institute: Applied Studies in Motivation, Emotions and Cognition is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Tomkins Institute:  maintains responsibility for this program and its content.