Year 3 and 4 Psychoanalytic Training Course Descriptions

Third Year

Psychoanalytic Development Track-3rd Year Analytic Training

This three-course segment of the Developmental Track will highlight the theoretical underpinnings of a number of psychoanalytic theories as they relate to the concept of development. Development will be understood as a complex interaction between maturational/constitutional factors and environmental experiences which influence functioning. An enhanced knowledge of how derailment in development can lead to pathological compromises in mental functioning is imperative in the psychoanalytic treatment of patients at all developmental levels. The understanding of play fantasy and action as means of deepening the analytic process and promoting self-reflection in work with both children and adults will be discussed in depth. Course will be divided into three sections, and will cover Structural, Kleinian and Object Relations theories. Structural Theory- The aim of this course is to describe the developmental stages from Freudian and Ego psychology perspectives.

Kleinian Theory: The aim of this course is to describe the developmental stages from a Kleinian perspective.

Object Relations: The aim of this course is to describe the development of object relationships from different theoretical perspectives.

Psychoanalytic Development Track 2nd Trimester

During this trimester we will first be looking at development through the eyes of those adhering to the: relational, intersubjective and self-psychology schools. Then we will think about psychopathology through the lens of conflict and deficit. The last class will be a discussion of your papers. For a description of the paper we would like you to write please see below.

Psychoanalytic Development Track – Playing and Action – 3rd Trimester

This course is the third section of the Development sequence that focuses on how child development and child psychoanalysis informs adult psychoanalysis. This third section looks at two significant elements relevant to psychoanalysis that originate in childhood but can be seen throughout the life span-play and action.

Working with Dreams

The purpose of this course is to provide grounding in a range of classic and contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice in working with dreams. The goals are essentially pragmatic: to gain competence and confidence in handling dream material in psychoanalysis and to appreciate the ubiquity of unconscious communication in psychoanalytic process. Students will be asked to bring dream material of their own or their patients and be willing to engage in experiential work. Handouts will supplement the assigned readings. All participants will be required to bring either dreams of their
own or dreams of their patients to work on experientially in class.

Introduction to Conducting an Analysis

Our nine sessions introduce you to various considerations in recommending analysis, establishing a frame for the treatment, and managing boundaries. Readings, class discussions, and writing assignments contribute to your developing the analytic skills of listening-observing, conceptualizing, intervening, and reporting. Each student will be asked to provide written case material to be discussed in class. Please read the instructions for the writing assignment before the first class.

Writing the Psychoanalytic Process-3rd Year

This class will focus on writing about the psychoanalytic experience, emphasizing the core psychoanalytic principles and concepts such as transference, countertransference, free association, and dream material. Candidates will learn to communicate in writing about what has gone on between them and their patients, and to convey what has occurred in an interesting and engaging way. Drawing from nonfiction narrative writing techniques, we will learn to tap into the affective experience both of writing and of being a clinician.


Fourth Year

Case Discussion

This class is intended to expose fourth year psychoanalytic candidates to the work of senior analysts, demonstrating the relationship between theory and practice in the work of three different psychoanalysts. Students will discuss a case presented over a two-week period by each of the three analysts, seeing how the work of each is similar and different, and seeing how the clinicians’ work fits with their stated views of treatment. In the seventh week of the class, the students and instructor will review, compare, and contrast the work that has been presented over the prior six weeks.

Close Process

The candidates and instructors will follow closely the process in seven sessions of treatment acted out in the video BeTipul, the original Israeli version of the HBO show, In Treatment. In each class one session will be closely dissected, with the instructor stopping the film at various points and asking the candidates how they understand what is going on, what they imagine the therapist and patient are thinking and feeling, what they base their suppositions on (the nature of clinical evidence), perhaps why they imagine the therapist intervened (or didn’t intervene) in a particular way. We will pay close attention to the moment to moment nuances of the treatment.

Human Development II
Human Development and Pathological Formations

The study of human development provides scaffolding for understanding psychosexual and psychosocial experiences throughout the lifecycle. The intrapsychic and interpersonal phenomena at each stage lay the groundwork for the subsequent levels of development. Last year’s development course focused on multiple theoretical perspectives regarding development during infancy and toddlerhood. This course examines the oedipal, latency, pre-adolescent, adolescent and late adolescent phases of life. This task will be accomplished by looking at each individual phase of development
sequentially and thinking together about how each serves as a foundation for the next. Discussion will focus on the readings as well as the rich clinical material which will be presented by a number of different child analysts.

Oedipal Phase-First Four sessions

Oedipal phase organization is a watershed where many aspects of development converge, are integrated, and re-organized, resulting in new structural organizations. We will begin this series of seminars with some readings to serve as a foundation for understanding this time of life. Clinical material will then be presented to highlight this process.

Latency Phase-Second Four Sessions

The latency phase (ages 6-10) is a time of significant growth in all areas of development. The shifts in cognitive, social and self-regulatory capacities are transformative yet, at the same time these shifts create challenges, vulnerabilities and internal conflicts for the child at this age. The first class will provide a developmental foundation, through a psychodynamic lens. The readings will be accompanied by video illustrations. Class two, three, and four will be organized around a case presentation to further understanding of this phase from a clinical perspective.

Preadolescence-Third Four Sessions

As the latency period ends (between the ages of 10 and 12) hormonal levels begin to shift
bringing about the beginnings of visible bodily changes thus ushering in the prepubertal developmental phase. Extreme equilibrium shifts during this phase lead to struggles with regulation of affects, conflicted feelings about significant objects and a fluctuating concept of self. The preadolescences greater awareness of others leads to increased worries regarding acceptance by peers. At the same time, the shift to “formal operational thinking” (Piaget) triggers the mind to grapple in more sophisticated ways with abstract concepts, and social relationships. Discussion of readings, followed by the presentation of clinical material will be utilized to highlight the multiple aspects of this phase.

Adolescence-Fourth Four Sessions

The adolescence phase (ages 11-17) is a turbulent, demanding yet exciting period of transformation in both the body and the mind. Prepubescent scaffolding of preadolescence laid the groundwork for the onset of puberty which heralds significant bodily changes, shifting self and object representations, and profound intrapsychic struggles. Readings as well as the presentation of clinical material will be used to illustrate The complex challenges that the adolescent faces in this phase of development.

Late Adolescence-Fifth Four Sessions

Late adolescence (between aged 17-22) is a time of significant shifts in maturity, formulation of values, personality consolidation, and an increasing awareness of the future. During this phase there is greater clarity regarding one’s identity, and sexuality, as one becomes both physically and psychologically more independent from early objects.

Gender and Sexuality

In this course students will study developmental models of sexuality; Contemporary Clinical Perspectives on Working with LGBTQ patients; Contemporary Perspectives on Perversion; Contemporary Perspectives on Gender; Nonlinear Dynamic Systems; and Parents and Transgender Children


This 10-week clinical course will closely examine the analyst’s interventions. The analyst’s interventions involve all the verbal and non-verbal communications made to the patient during a session with the intention of having an impact on and creating psychic change in the patient. How to formulate a helpful analytic intervention is a complex task we hope to untangle and clarify in this course. To accomplish this goal, each student will be asked to present detailed process notes of an analytic case over two class meetings. We will reflect upon and discuss the interventions made during an
analytic hour and the patient’s responses to them. Our discussions will be structured around how the analyst listens, thinks, and ultimately constructs an intervention. This will enhance understanding of the analyst’s subjective experience and thinking about how to respond to the patient’s material.

Primitive Mental States

The student will be able to describe the theory and clinical manifestations of primitive mental states. The student will learn and implement the technique of working with patients that present these clinical features.

Psychoanalysis and Trauma

This course will address the principal writers on severe trauma and psychoanalysis, from Freud and Breuer down to the present day. For purposes of this course, “severe trauma” refers to the effects of various types of violence, including war, assaults, disasters, accidents, rape, and abuse–including intrafamilial and childhood abuse. Our readings will pay particular attention to (1)psychopathology deriving from trauma, (2)both difficulties and triumphs that psychoanalytic writers have shown with respect this topic, (3)the central place of countertransference(broadly defined) in working with those who have experienced severe trauma, (4) the interfaces of trauma and the individual and society, and (5) the nature of the cure, that is, how psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy can promote the healing of the wounds produced by severe trauma. The effects of trauma to be considered include PTSD, the dissociative disorders, somatoform disorders, and pervasive and subtle personality and life changes. Included in the major authors surveyed are J. Breuer, S. Freud, A. Kardiner, D. Laub, N. Auerhahn, F. Davoine, M. Hurvich, L. Brown, O. Fenichel, J. Herman, J-M. Gaudilliere, and J.M.Davies. The course will also briefly reference other treatment methods used for trauma victims along with psychoanalytic therapy, such as eye movement desensitization reprocessing(EMDR), meditation, yoga, movement therapy, art therapy, etc, in order to look at the synergies of psychoanalytic process and the other activities.

Advanced Seminar Psychoanalytic Technique

This course is meant on the one hand as somewhat of an overview of changes with regards to technique over the last 100+ years. We will be reading some of the analytic thinkers whose theoretical ideas caused shifts in the way analysts do their work. At the end there will be an emphasis on the relational school since there were several of you who had a particular interest in that. And on the other hand, it is my hope that the readings will facilitate discussions about our own personal ways of working and thinking about theory and technique, making use of our own clinical vignettes. It will become clear that the theories that make the most sense to each of us (based on who we are, our characters) greatly influence the techniques we feel more comfortable with, that make more sense and that feel more natural. In the end maybe we will each be able to broaden our repertoires.

Klein/Bion Seminar

The fourth year seminar entitled, “W.R. Bion and Contemporary Work in the Kleinian Tradition” is an expansion upon material presented in the second year Klein course. The first half of this 10-week course focuses on seminal readings by prominent post Kleinian writers; the objective is to deepen the students’ knowledge across diverse theoretical content areas. The second half of the course will introduce students to the essential writings and thinking of Bion.



Fifth year Elective

Introduction to Bion

The seminar will address the evolution of Bion’s thoughts on psychoanalysis in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. We will focus on the important contributions Bion made to comprehending an analytic attitude, by examining the analyst’s mind and the conditions that enhance one’s receptivity to experiencing psychic and emotional communications. We will study his papers based on the analyses of psychotic patients, and his explorations of and extension of Klein’s understanding of the paranoid-schizoid position and projective identification. We will study Bion’s model of the development of a
capacity for thinking, and the factors in a relationship and in an internalized relationship that lead to an ability to learn from experience.

Kleinian Concepts Informing Working in the Transference/Countertransference

The aim of this 10-week seminar is to discuss a set of seminal papers that illustrate the neo-Kleinian concepts informing transference and countertransference. The course will be organized around these theoretical constructs, with clinical and theoretical readings illustrating each one. Students and instructors will share clinical vignettes to enliven discussion.

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