Psychotherapy of Children and Adolescents Course Descriptions


#F102 – Psychoanalytic Theory of Early Development (Taken with the candidates from the Introduction to Psychoanalysis Program and the Advanced Psychoanalytic Certification Program)

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.

#F201 – Transference (Taken with the candidates from the Advanced Psychoanalytic Certification Program)

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.


#S105 – Developmental Theory: Latency to Adolescence (Taken with the candidates from the Introduction to Psychoanalysis Program and the Advanced Psychoanalytic Certification Program)

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.

#S204 – Countertransference (Taken with the candidates from the Advanced Psychoanalytic Certification Program)

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.


#104 – Psychosomatic Disorders and Characterological Issues in Children and Adolescents:

This course examines what is meant in the psychoanalytic literature by “Character” and will discuss ways it differs from neurosis and psychosis.  The developmental origins in childhood and the differentiation of ego-syntonic vs ego-dystonic concepts will be addressed.  The history of Pyschosomatic Disorders particularly as it bears upon modern ideas of the holistic approaches to human beings who are suffering with various ailments will be discussed.  The Cartesian mind-body dualism dilemma as well as the contributions of Groddeck, Freud, Ferenczi, and Alexander as well as modern day thinkers such as Mc Dougall will be addressed.

#105 – Case Presentation: Play Therapy-Theory and Technique:

This course examines the techniques and theory of play therapy and its relevance to clinical practice.  Students are invited to contribute case presentations to illustrate theory.  Students become familiar with Heinz Kohut’s concept of empathic attunement.

#107 – Clinical Issues: Planning, Interventions Strategies, and Evaluation

This course provides clinicians with planning, intervention strategies and evaluation for working with children and adolescents.  The class construct includes readings, discussions and case presentations.

#108 – Advanced Seminar – Case Formulation and Presentation

Candidates will present their final case study using outline handed out in the class in order to formulate their written and oral case presentation.  A review of learned concepts, terms, and theoretical models, as well as technical interventions will be reviewed.


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