Alberto Varona, Psy.D. Chicago Campus

Alberto Varona, Psy.D.

"My enthusiasm for psychology grew out of my own
curiosity about human nature and experience. This
curiosity led me to study philosophy, religion and
psychoanalysis. Currently, I am most excited about
Object Relations Theories, Evolution and Attachment
Theory, philosophy of mind and neuropsychoanalysis."
-Alberto Varona, Psy.D.

Alberto Varona, Psy.D.
Core Faculty, Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program

For over six years I have cultivated a passion for teaching psychology. In my classroom, I work hard to grow that passion in others through in-class discussion and pragmatic hands-on activities that consolidate learning. The in-class discussions span from the most abstract and theoretical to the most practical. My students discuss the nature of the mind, mental illness and health, the cultural biases of diagnosing, the function of emotion and the absolute significance of evolution and attachment in humans. In order to ensure applied mastery of those topics, my students diagnose various cases, write theoretically informed case formulations and enact live clinical role-plays.

My enthusiasm for psychology grew out of my own curiosity about human nature and experience. This curiosity led me to study philosophy, religion and psychoanalysis. Currently, I am most excited about Object Relations Theories, evolution and Attachment Theory, philosophy of mind and neuropsychoanalysis. The dynamic exchanges between speculative schools of psychology and empirical schools of psychology are necessary and very fruitful. In my daily life I try to be a reminder of the necessity of these dynamic exchanges so that empirical psychology does not lose sight of its dependence on curiosity and creativity. I also try to remind myself that curiosity and creativity, unconstrained by observable reality, can become quite wild and should remain useful to the world and to people. I hope to see you in my classes so that I can learn from you as well.

Please e-mail or call me (312-662-4335) if you have questions or would like more information about me.

Education

  • Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California
  • Psychoanalytic Psychology Certificate, Access Institute, San Francisco, California
  • B.A. Religious Studies, California State University, Fullerton, California

Professional Memberships

  • American Academy of Religion; Psychology, Culture and Religion, Steering Committee
    (2008-present)
  • American Psychological Association. Division 39: Psychoanalysis
  • American Psychological Association. Division 24. Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

Select Publications

  • Varona, A. (2013). Withdrawing from the unconscious: Toward a model of association-dissociation. Presencing EPIS. pp. 83-109
  • Varona, A. (2012). Expanding the concept of internal object relations: Introducing the concept of experiential horizons. Presencing EPIS. pp. 64-72

Select Presentations

  • Theoretical Case Conceptualization: Presented a theoretical case conceptualization from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective during a theoretical orientation discussion panel. Adler School of Professional Psychology. November, 2011
  • Advanced Concepts Group: Conducted an eight month lecture series and discussion group on the clinical concepts of Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, Thomas Ogden and Peter Fonagy. This discussion group was comprised of students who had completed psychodynamic courses and were interested in advanced consideration of clinical concepts. San Francisco, CA. February 2011 – August 2011
  • Advanced Psychodynamic Concepts: Conducted a three-part lecture series to the Psy.D. Intern cohort concerning the assessment of clients using Nancy McWilliams’ Character Organization model and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual’s Personality Axis.Psychological Services Center: CIIS Psy.D. Clinic January 18, 2011
  • Advanced Psychodynamic Concepts: Conduct a four-part lecture series to the Psy.D. Intern cohort concerning the clinical impact and theoretical contributions of Wilfred Bion with an emphasis on Bion’s theory of thought & experience. Psychological Services Center: CIIS Psy.D. Clinic, April 24, 2010
  • “Religious Practice, Doctrines, and the Production of Mystical States,” Conference Paper and Panel Presentation, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting Chicago, IL.  Oct 2008
  • “YHWH: A Structure Personality Assessment of the God Depicted in the Bible,” presented at the International Association for the History of Religion (IAHR) International conference. Toronto, Canada. August, 2010; and the American Psychological Association (APA) National Conference. San Diego, California. August, 2010
  • “Soul Splitting Headache: Imagining a soul by leaving the best for last and the worst left behind,” presented at the American Academy of Religion National Conference. Atlanta, GA. Oct. 2010