Introduction to Relational and Interpersonal Psychoanalysis

2-Year Certificate Program (2YCP)
2023-24, 2nd Term — Mondays, 6:30-7:45pm
Leif Tellmann, MA LMHC BC-DMT
Michael R. Allison, MA LMHC


This course will foster an understanding of Relational and Interpersonal psychoanalysis, including awareness of the historical roots as well as more current trends within this area of the field.

Each class has been titled with a theme that relates to the readings for that week and may guide our class discussion. We will focus mainly on the first reading listed for a given week, while also tying in the main points of the second reading (if two are listed). Note that some weeks we have also listed “Optional Readings”. These are offered as recommendations for further exploration of the topic and will not be addressed in the class.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will have an introductory understanding of the key figures and concerns of Interpersonal and Relational psychoanalytic theory.
  2. Students will learn to apply key concepts and concerns of Interpersonal and Relational theory to their clinical work.
  3. Students will be able to describe differences between Interpersonal and Relational theory and other psychoanalytic theories.

November 20, 2023 — Introduction and Historical Roots

[41 pages]

Aron, L. (2001) “Relational Theory and its Boundaries” in A Meeting of Minds, pp31-64.

Mitchell, S. (2002) Response to JAP’s Questionnaire. Journal of Analytical Psychology 47:83-89

November 27, 2023 — Introduction and Historical Roots (Cont'd)

[17 pages]

Levenson, E.A. (1992). Harry Stack Sullivan: From Interpersonal Psychiatry to Interpersonal Psychoanalysis. CPS, 28:450-466.


Sullivan, H.S. (1953). Chapter 10: "Beginnings of the Self-System" in The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry. New York: W.W. Norton, pp158-171.

Ferenczi, S. (1949). Confusion of the Tongues Between the Adults and the Child—(The Language of Tenderness and of Passion). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 30:225-230.

December 4, 2023 — Multiplicity of Self

[17 pages]

Bromberg, P.M. (1999) Ch18, “Staying the Same While Changing” in Standing in the Spaces, pp291-307


Mitchell, S. (1993). Ch4, "Multiple Selves, Singular Self" in Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis, pp94-122.

December 11, 2023 — That Which Emerges

[59 pages]

Benjamin, J. (2004). Beyond Doer and Done to: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness. Psychoanal Q., 73(1):5-46.

Davies, J. (2023) Reawakening Desire: Shame, Mourning, Analytic Love, and Psychoanalytic Imagination. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 33:285-301

December 18, 2023 — Enactments

[26 pages]

Bass, A. (2003). “E” Enactments in Psychoanalysis: Another Medium, Another Message. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(5):657-675.

Maroda, K.J. (2019) Working with Enactment: The Analyst’s Willingness to Be Both Confrontive and Vulnerable. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 39:234-240

January 8, 2024 — Self Disclosure

[52 pages]

Renik, O. (1999) Playing One’s Cards Face up in Analysis: An Approach to the Problem of Self-Disclosure. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 68:521-539

Aron, L. (1996). Ch8, “On Knowing and Being Known” in A Meeting of Minds. NY: The Atlantic Press, Inc. pp221-253

January 15, 2024 — Bidirectional Influence

[56 pages]

Silverman, S. (2023) Who’s Transitioning? A Cisgender Analyst Working with Gender Expansive Patients. Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 20:31-48

Slavin, M.O. Kriegman, D. (1998). Why the Analyst Needs to Change: Toward a Theory of Conflict, Negotiation, and Mutual Influence in the Therapeutic Process. Psychoanal. Dial., 8(2):247-284.

January 22, 2024 — Making visible what has historically been invisible

[38 pages]

Suchet, M. (2007). Unraveling Whiteness. Psychoanal. Dial., 17(6):867-886.

Tummala-Narra, P. (2022) Can We Decolonize Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice?. Psychoanalytic Dialogues 32:217-234


Griffin, C., Echegoyén, R. & Hyman, J. (2020). The Secret Society: Perspectives from a Multiracial Cohort. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 56(2-3), 282-304.