Foundations of Child Psychoanalysis


Child analysis is fun and enhances your work with adults. We look forward to learning together. This course is the first course of the first year in a four year rotation of child psychoanalysis didactics. A new cohort typically begins every other year with the result that some clinical associates might be joining a cohort “out of order”. This entire year will be focused on the theme of “An Introduction to Psychoanalysis” or rather, answering the questions: What makes child psychotherapy psychoanalytic? What is child psychoanalysis? Each of the next three years are focused on a developmental stage:

  • Year 1 (2020) – Foundations for Child Psychoanalysis
  • Year 2 (2021) – Treatment of children in pre-latency (about age birth to 5)
  • Year 3 (2022) – Treatment of latency age children (about ages 6 – 12 or preadolescent)
  • Year 4 (2023) – Treatment of adolescence and emerging adulthood (about ages 12 -24)

Each year of child psychoanalytic training follows a rhythm:

  • Fall trimester is a didactic, theoretically focused course.
  • Winter trimester is a focus on clinical application of concepts learned in the fall with all associates presenting their case material of child analysis or psychotherapy or family work. Reading are more process oriented and focused on specific disorders of that developmental phase.
  • Spring trimester is a continuous case conference in which one or two associates present the clinical transcripts, the back and forth process between child and analyst, as material for the entire class to work with and learn from.

Elective: Application of Modern Psychoanalytic Theory with Children

Child Clinical Associates will participate in an eleven-week course developed by the CA’s and course instructors focusing on modern psychoanalytic perspectives and their application in the analysis of children and adolescents.  The course with include both close reading of relevant articles and the discussion of case material that spans all developmental stages.  This case material will be drawn from published text and from the CAs and course instructors own clinical experience.

Introduction To Child Analysis

Optional Further Readings:

Control Mastery Theory

  • Weiss, J. (1993). The therapist’s task. How Psychotherapy Works: Process and Technique. NY: Guilford Press


  • Mathelin, C. (1999). The first meeting with the analyst, in Lacanian Psychotherapy with Children: the Broken Piano. Y. The Other Press


  • Altman, N., Briggs, R., Frankel, J. Gensler, D., & Pantone, P. (2002). Including parents in the psychotherapy. Relational Child Psychotherapy. New York. Other Press.


  • Gaines, R. (1995). The treatment of children, in Handbook of Interpersonal Psychoanalysis. M. Lionells, J. Fiscalini, C.H. Mann, D.B. Stern. Hillsdale, N.J.: The Analytic Press. pp. 751-770


  • Baruch, G. (1997). The impact of parental interventions on the analysis of a 5-year-old boy. IJP 78:913-926 (case supervised by Betty Joseph)


  • Alvarez, A. (1997). Projective Identification as a communication: its grammar in borderline psychotic children. Psychoanalytic Dialogues 7:753-768.
  • Alvarez, A. (1992). The long fall. Live Company–Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived, and Abused Children. Y.: Routledge, pp. 12-25

Object Relations

  • Sandler, A.M. (1996). Some problems in transference and countertransference in child and adolescent analysis. In Countertransference in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents. J. Tsiantis, A.M. Sandler, D. Anastasopoulos, & B. Martindale. London: Karnac. pp. 69-88


  • Galateer-Levy, R.M. (2001). Aalysis of a frightened little boy. In Tyson, R.I. (Ed.) Analysis of the Under-Five Child. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. pp. 99-126
  • Miller, J.P. (1996). Secondary Selfobject, secondary self-structure. Using Self Psychology in Child Psychotherapy: the Restoration of the Child. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson. pp. 75-118; 186-194.


  • Ferro, A. (1999). Play. The Bi-Personal Field: Experiences in Child Analysis. Y.: Routledge, pp. 54-76

Pre-latency: Clinical Applications

This course is a clinical case conference. Clinical material will be presented by each CA and from the instructors (distinguishing it from the third trimester’s Continuous Case Conference). We will focus on the clinical applications of the material learned in the previous trimester’s course on treatment of pre-latency age children. We will foster a multi-theoretical perspective by looking at the same clinical material from multiple theoretical lenses. There are no assigned readings, but together we will choose a few that may feel particularly relevant to the cases presented.

(No class February 14 – APsaA Meeting in NYC)

Possible readings:

  • Fraiberg – Ghosts in the nursery, Parent-Infant psychotherapy
  • Furman – Intermittent Decathexis
  • Mahon – Psychoanalytic odyssey – guinea pig – grief and prelatency
  • Scharff – Psychoanalytic family therapy/couple therapy
  • Winnicott – transitional phenomenon
  • Tyson (Editor) – Analysis of the under 5 child
    • 4 yo with feminine presentation
    • Angry 2 ½ year old
    • Developmental considerations
    • Technique

Pre-latency: Development and Treatment

Welcome to our seminar on prelatency. Psychoanalyst Robert Tyson, the editor of Analysis of the Under-Five Child, called the years before five “the golden age for a psychoanalysis.”

However, many child analysts today have limited analytic experience with prelatency children.

And other mental health professionals generally have had little exposure to the benefits of psychoanalytic treatment for the very young.

The aim of this course is to gain knowledge and understanding of early developmental processes, illuminating the pleasures and challenges of analytic work with prelatency children.

The readings and class discussions will further your understanding of pathology in this age group. The readings are drawn from a combination of classical and contemporary articles. We will emphasize how to think psychoanalytically about the inner world of children with a focus on how that world is expressed in their relationships with significant others.

Our goal is also to provide you with an understanding of the manifold interacting elements that influence psychological development during prelatency years. We will examine the concepts of play, nonverbal communication, the role and efficacy of verbal interpretation, the analyst as transference object as contrasted with the analyst as developmental object. Our hope is that this seminar will enrich your work with this age group and their parents and equip you to conduct analytic treatment with young children.