Advanced Psychoanalytic Program (A.P.P.) Curriculum

Course Descriptions

1st Year – Fall (Semester I)

#F101 – Basic Concepts of Psychoanalysis

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

This course will serve as an introductory survey of fundamental psychoanalytic concepts, which will include, but not be limited to: an emphasis on and appreciation of the role 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

In this seminar we will read closely Freud’s papers on technique, exploring the fundamental ideas that guide the psychoanalytic encounter. The concepts to be explored include: free association, transference, resistance, repetition compulsion, abstinence, neutrality, and working through. The objective of the course is to develop the candidate’s appreciation and understanding of how these timeless papers are relevant to the practice of psychoanalysis today and to apply these psychoanalytic concepts to their clinical work.

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

This course emphasizes the psychoanalytic understanding of the psychic development of the latency period which sets the groundwork for the successful approach, entrance, and passage through the second separation – individuation process of adolescence. We will untangle the web of conflict (constructive and destructive processes) between parent and child (Attacks on Linking) to provide a corrective emotional experience that builds emotional muscle and a protective shield. This course will draw upon the work of Freud, Winnicott, Blos, Fonagy, Ferenczi, and Howell.

#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 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.

2nd Year – Fall (Semester III)

#F201- Transference

Transference in the context of the psychoanalytic encounter has been broadly defined as the displacement of feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and desires originally experienced in relation to significant figures from childhood/the past onto the analyst. This course explores the evolution of the concept from its classical roots to contemporary perspectives on it. It will emphasize transference’s recognition, its development in the context of the psychoanalytic relationship, its purpose, how it can further analysis or present itself as a resistance, and its analysis.

#F202 – Psychopathology I

The etiology and development of psychic disturbance will be described and discussed through the varied prisms of psychoanalytic perspectives.

#F203 – Case Seminar: Initial Resistances

Discussions of the concept of resistance are predicated on understanding that almost all instances of resistance are based upon real, imagined, or anticipated pain, which the patient (wisely) wishes to avoid. Our mission is to help students understand that this process is to be expected, therefore, we are not to judge our patients, and help students to understand the concept sufficiently so that they can help their patients learn to recognize, respect, and eventually overcome their resistance and thus, be able to analyze it, with us acting as their co-pilot in this mutual endeavor.

2nd Year – Spring (Semester IV)

#S204 – Countertransference

This course addresses the concept of countertransference in psychoanalysis.
Countertransference, narrowly defined, is the analyst’s transference. The term initially described situations in which the analyst’s feelings, attitudes, and reactions toward the analysand are the product of the analyst’s early life. The term has evolved to signify all of the analyst’s reactions to the patient’s conscious and unconscious, the analyst’s identification with the internal objects of the analysand, and a relational/constructivist mutually-influenced phenomenon.

Using as a point of departure Freud’s notion of countertransference we will track the evolution of the term, moving from a classical perspective to views presented by ego psychology, object relations, self psychology, and contemporary relational perspectives. We will gain a deeper understanding of the concept and the invaluable tool it represents in treatment, paying close attention to the self-scrutiny of the analyst.

We will address the different types of countertransference inherent in different diagnoses via case presentations and reading material. We will see how countertransference has received increased attention in the literature, mainly as a result of an increased interest in the analytic relationship.

#S205 – Psychopathology II

Built on the foundation constructed earlier in Psychopathology 1, this course will combine a developmental model with our understanding of the origin and predicted route that various kinds of psychopathologies take.

#S206 – Case Seminar: Working Alliance

Zetzel was among the first to use the term, “therapeutic alliance.” However, it was Greenson who described the therapeutic alliance as a working collaboration between analysand and analyst. It is based upon the idea that this particular alliance is an example of a largely non-neurotic rational support that the patient derived from his/her analyst. To the degree that a sound therapeutic alliance is a good predictor of success in therapy, its importance cannot be underestimated. Thus, we will focus on fostering, developing, strengthening, and ultimately solidifying a healthy bond between analyst and analysand.

3rd Year – Fall (Semester V)

#F301 – Psychoanalytic Theory of Dreams I

This course presents Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams as detailed in his 1900 classic, The Interpretation of Dreams. The eight classes combine didactic instruction and candidate discussion. Each class is organized around dream research problems as identified by Freud in his original text: Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams. The presentation of each problem is supplemented with readings and observations from contemporary research findings. Manifest and Latent Content, regression, primary process, day residue, repression, condensation, displacement, free associations of the dreamer, and so forth will be reviewed from a psychoanalytic vantage point.

#F302 – Ego Psychology

This is a particular school of psychoanalytic thought. Students will be given material derived from some of the major Ego psychological thinkers, like Heinz Hartmann, Ernst Kris, David Rapaport, Rudolph Loewenstein, and others, who greatly influenced the course that psychoanalysis took for some time.

#F303 – Case Seminar: Working Through

Described  by Freud in 1914 and in 1926, working through is the fundamental process that denotes the work of the patient in psychoanalysis. It can be described as the labor of the patient, a labor that involves recognizing and overcoming resistances, making insight more effective, and bringing about significant changes. The course will address the different schools of thought on working through and how each school might approach this process. With the use of case presentations and relevant readings candidates will become familiar with the theory and the clinical application of this process.

3rd Year – Spring (Semester VI)

#S304 – Psychoanalytic Theory of Dreams II

The imagistic quality and language of dreams will be explored in greater detail. This
will include discussion of distortions, reversals, timelessness in the unconscious, the
equivalence of opposites, symbolism, syncretistic thinking. Multiple models of
understanding dreams will be offered, including readings derived from Freud,
Fosshage, Blechner, Alperin, and others.

#S305 – Object Relations

This course will start by tracing the shift from the Freudian understanding of human experience as driven by sexual and aggressive drives to its understanding as driven by the need to connect and relate to others. We will focus on the contributions of the first theoreticians emerging from the British School of psychoanalytic thought starting with Klein and following with Fairbairn, Winnicott and Bion. We’ll also discuss and introduce more recent approaches to object relations and its influence on contemporary thinkers such as Christopher Bollas, and Thomas Ogden. A contemporary read through the lens of object relations of race and violence will be discussed at the end of the cycle.

#S306 – Case Seminar: Analysis of Character/Personality

This course will introduce candidates to the topic of character and character traits,
including the concepts of character armor, pleasure in repetition, defenses, and
resistances. Moving from Freud to Reich to contemporary perspectives, we will see
how character can shape the content and expression of the transference and how this
can contribute to the analyst’s countertransference and other subjective experiences.
Building on these concepts, we will explore how the work of analysis can render ego-syntonic traits ego-dystonic. We will also critically evaluate the use of the terms
character and personality organization, as well as the role of the analyst’s own

4th Year – Fall (Semester VII)

#F401 – Narcissism and Narcissistic Disorders

Material will be provided for the student to review information pertaining to the normal narcissist stage of development and so-called healthy narcissism, as described by Edith Jacobson. Primary and secondary narcissism will be defined and potential consequences of Narcissistic injury, such as grandiosity, narcissistic rage, and other forms that it may take, will be reviewed.

#F402 – Self Psychology

This course will introduce candidates to one of the post-Freudian psychoanalytic theories, Self Psychology. The historical context in which this theory emerged will be presented, beginning with the work of Heinz Kohut. The recognition of the individual’s need to organize his/her/their psyche into a cohesive configuration will be explored. Key concepts such as the role of empathy, idealization, mirroring, twinship, and the establishment of self-sustaining relationships between the self and its environment will be analyzed, along with the narcissistic transferences. The evolution of Self Psychology since Kohut will be explored by looking into contemporary Self Psychology theory, relational analysis, and intersubjectivity.

#F403 – Case Seminar: Comparative Orientations

In this case seminar we will be moving through the history of psychoanalytic thought, discussing major theoretical developments from Freud’s original theory through contemporary theories. We will critically analyze how each school of thought approaches therapeutic aim and therapeutic action. In doing so, our goal will be to deepen our understanding of how the analyst’s theory shapes technique. We will also seek to understand how the various theoretical perspectives see pathology, interventions, interpretations, the role of the analyst, and how analysis “cures.” Topics will also include modes of analytic listening, the formulation and timing of interventions, dealing with resistances/impasses, and other issues related to the psychoanalytic frame.

4th Year – Spring (Semester VIII)

#S404 – Psychoanalytic Theory of Depression

This course will examine depression in terms of intrapsychic dynamics including inter-and intra-systemic conflicts, etiology, and clinical manifestations. Differing analytic ideas regarding depression will be described, including drive theory, object relations, ego psychology, and interpersonal or relational approaches. Other theories and their adherents, not easily described as falling under one theoretical umbrella will also be considered. Clinical material introduced by students is always encouraged and will be utilized to differentiate and delineate this ubiquitous manifestation. The quintessential questions of whether the depression that is manifested represents a patient’s core pathology, a symptom of another primary diagnosis, a resistance, or whether it represents a normal, adaptive stage of development will be raised and will be open for discussion.

#S405 – Unmasking the Unconscious: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Undoing Racism and Healing Racial Trauma

This advanced course offered by NJI delves into the intricate intersections of racism,
psychoanalysis, and the healing of racial trauma. Through a psychoanalytic lens,
students will critically examine the deep-seated psychological and unconscious
dynamics that perpetuate racism and contribute to racial trauma. Guided by renowned
experts, participants will explore theoretical frameworks, clinical applications, and
community-based approaches aimed at dismantling racism and fostering individual and
collective healing. This course invites participants to engage in profound self-reflection,
promoting a deep understanding of the complexities of race, power, and privilege in
the therapeutic process.

#S406 – Advanced Freud/Contemporary Freudian

This seminar is organized around Freud’s seminal work and the development of his rich
legacy. It highlights how theory and practice are intrinsically related. Essays by Freud
and other contemporary authors will provide the point of departure for the exploration
of how Freud’s original theory and practice of psychoanalysis has continued to build
upon its fundamental premises.


5th Year – Fall (Semester IX)

#F501 – Borderline Disorders

In this course the borderline personality will be discussed from a historical, structural, dynamic, technical, and etiological perspective. Concepts from some of the major theorists will be contrasted. Countertransference with the borderline patient will be a major focus.

#F502 – Psychic Trauma

Psychoanalysis and the understanding of psychic trauma evolved together. Originating in the treatment of the adult hysterical response to sexual abuse in childhood, psychoanalysis has widened its scope to address still broader social issues including war trauma and PTSD, and personality disordered by often subtle but cumulative traumatic relationship in the formative years.

Psychic trauma – the dissociative closing-off of the mental processing of an emotionally overwhelming experience – will be reviewed as a central issue of psychoanalysis: historically, theoretically, and clinically. The growth of therapeutic thought and practice will be traced through the work of such originators as Freud and Breuer, Fairbairn, Winnicott, van der Kolk, Putnam, Bromberg, and Schore. Case material will be introduced and discussed throughout.

#F503 – Case Seminar: Termination

Beginning with Freud’s “Analysis Terminable and Interminable”, this course will look at carefully planned termination as well as unexpected and premature terminations, considering the role of misalliances, mistiming, misattunements, transference, countertransference, and resistance. It will also explore how, in psychoanalytic treatment that is not focused on symptom reduction, we “know” when it is appropriate to consider termination and whether that determination should be made by the patient, the analyst, or both.

5th Year – Spring (Semester X)

#S504 – Sexuality and its Vicissitudes

What used to be considered as perverse (which frequently gave rise to judgmentalism and condemnation, even within the psychotherapy community) is now being regarded along a continuum of responses to one’s personal, and thus subjective relationship to sexuality. This course will review the old view, and consider a more updated, nuanced understanding and respect for variation of the multifaceted nature of sexual expressions. Freud will be cited, along with Kraft-Ebing, Chasseguet-Smirgel, Fonagy, Leuzinger-Bohleber, Feminist analytic views, such as Horney, Coates, Slade, and others, will be discussed.

#S505 – Psychoanalysis as a Science: Neuroscience and Clinical Research

There is a greater need to emphasize research in psychoanalysis, despite the fact that psychoanalytic thinkers have been involved in research investigations since Freud, Jung, and Spitz, right up to the present time. The history of such research studies will be cited and modern researchers, including Beebe’s work, etc. will described. A bridge will then be constructed between basic research and the discoveries emanating out of the new field of Neuropsychoanalysis, which include the works of Solms, Panksepp, Zellner, and others. Readingson localization, equipotentiality, and plasticity theories will be presented.

#506 – Contemporary Writings and Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis

What is contemporary psychoanalysis? Different perspectives might answer this question differently. Many writers present the idea that contemporary psychoanalysis is a micro- revolution against the paternal authority of classical psychoanalysis, while others emphasize a person’s embeddedness in the social context, focus primarily on concepts of mutuality and recognition, base their ideas on attachment, infant, and child development research and neurobiology, or highlight the intersubjective experience of the analytical dyad.

What these perspectives share in common is the interpersonal nature of our human experience and, in relation to the analytical space, the healing properties of the analytical encounter in which the analyst and analysand work collaboratively in making meaning of the analysand’s experience in the context of the analytical dyad.

Electives: NJI Candidates and Graduates will be offered electives periodically, such as: Final Paper—single case study; Case Presentation; Writing for Publication; Practical Private Practice Issues; Couples Group Therapy; Technical Seminars.

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