Introduction to Psychoanalysis Program Curriculum –
Course Descriptions

1st Year – Fall(Semester I)

#F101 – Basic Concepts of Psychoanalysis

(Course runs for 8 consecutive weeks—2 hours each).

This course serves as an introductory survey of fundamental psychoanalytic concepts, which will include, but not limited to an emphasis on and appreciation of anxiety, the definitions and importance of the structural theory, the unconscious, transference, countertransference and resistance.

#F102 – Psychoanalytic Theory of Early Development

This course emphasizes the psychoanalytic understanding of the structure and psychic development of the mind of the infant and young child. It will begin with an introduction to the traditional conceptualization of the developing child, using as a point of departure Freud, Anna Freud and Spitz. We will proceed with an exploration of Klein’s and Winnicott’s ideas followed by Margaret Mahler’s Symbiosis and Separation-Individuation Process. The contributions of Bowlby’s attachment theory will provide the background to address the infant and mother dyad and the theoretical and clinical practices that have evolved from it. It will address the input of Erikson and Piaget on psychoanalytical developmental theory and will touch upon some of the research and studies in infant and child development such as the work of Beebe, Stern, and Fonagy. At the conclusion of the course candidates should have developed a framework in which to conceptualize the trajectory of infant and early child development.

#F103 – Case Seminar: Clinical Considerations

This course develops the candidates’ ability to apply the primary psychoanalytic concepts to the patient. Case presentation and analysis are the basis for our class time. Students bring their cases to share with the class. If the students do not have clinical materials, the instructor will bring in representative clinical considerations for discussion.

Students learn how the complexities of their family history, identity development, and social location impact their work as clinicians. The literature on central psychoanalytic concepts will be critically reviewed and updated with recent findings and evolving clinical practice models. Students are encouraged to give attention to the impact of race, class, and gender in working with diverse populations.

1st Year – Spring (Semester II)

#S104 – Introduction to Freud

Psychoanalysis began with Freud and his groundbreaking vision of the unconscious. In this course, the students will learn how Freud created psychoanalysis as a theory of mind and as a method of treatment. The course will present an introduction to basic yet important ideas in psychoanalysis. Students will learn the concepts of unconscious motivation, drives and their expression, repetition compulsion, resistance, transference, and countertransference. Other themes will include Freud’s topographical and structural theories, dreams and their relationship to unconscious derivatives, metapsychology, symptom formation, conflict, and defense. Students will become acquainted with some of Freud’s most well-known cases. Theory and technique will be consistently examined via ongoing case presentations, case vignettes, and critical engagement with the material. 

#S105 – Developmental Theory: Latency to Adolescence

Our understanding of the Latency phase of development will be considered in the context of how successful the individual’s passage is from infancy to childhood: how this may set the stage both for the Latency period, as well as subsequent issues inherent in Adolescence. This course will draw upon the work of Winnicott, Blos, Fonagy, and other relevant experts, whose in-depth studies have described the consequences that often ensue when early infantile or childhood conflicts are not resolved.

#S106 – Case Seminar: Clinical and Ethical Considerations.

Clinical and ethical considerations will be given to the psychoanalytic process, how psychoanalysts ought to (and should not) approach the analysand/patient/ client. Recognizing that when possible, the most optimal way to learn to do this kind of work is to present an actual case, students will be asked to draw material from their actual experience. When that is not possible, case material provided by the instructor or from reading material will be utilized. In all instances regarding the way people as well as the details of their personal history are treated, descriptions of proper (and improper ethical) conduct will be given serious consideration. A term paper will be used to allow students to describe and demonstrate what they have learned.

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