Development of Psychoanalytic Thought and Theory

Fourth Year Adult Psychoanalytic Training (APT)
2020-21, 2nd Trimester — Fridays, 3:30-5:00pm
Julie Wood, MA
Melissa Stoker, MS



At the conclusion of this course we hope that each clinical associate will feel a personal connection from Freud to their own place in the classroom at SPSI, including a broadened perspective on their identity as psychoanalysts in 2020. We will study major transition points between schools of thought, including the social and historical context that may have influenced shifts in thinking.

We will move from the Anschluss in 1938 (when Freud was forced to move to London) which occasioned the diaspora of psychoanalysts from Vienna, Berlin, and Budapest, out to London, the United States, and South America. We will first look at these early analysts and their theories, spanning roughly 1938-1960, including “The Controversies” and early middle school in London, psychoanalysis in France and South America, and, in the States, the neo-Freudians, ego psychology, object relations.  Next we will circle back through the regional and historical movements into a next generation, roughly 1960- 90, and look at self-psychology, attachment theory, relational thought, and intersubjectivity.

Throughout our learning together, we hope to ground theory in the capacity to consider “otherness”. Psychoanalysis emerged from a marginalized intellectual culture, Judaism in Central Europe. It could be argued that Freud set the groundwork for a more inclusive climate by advocating for lay analysts, women psychoanalysts, and offering ground-breaking ideas about sexuality. We hope to look at the shifts over time and consider the stereotype of a USA-centric psychoanalysis that can privilege power, class, and exclusion.

Along the way we encourage you to consider why you like or dislike a theory, where you feel an affinity or a prejudice, how you practice now, and how you envision your future practice. We encourage you to wonder about why theory is valuable or not, how is it clinically useful and how it can be limiting. And we hope that you will feel the aliveness and vitality of where you sit at SPSI; that you are now a new branch in the family tree of psychoanalytic thinking.

For further study:

Texts that offer accessible and overarching theory and history of psychoanalytic thought:

  1. Auchincloss, E. (2015). The Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind. American Psychiatric Publishing.
  2. Makari, (20--). The Revolution of Mind
  3. Mitchell s. and Black, M (2016). Freud and Beyond: A History of Modern Psychoanalytic Thought, 2nd Edition. Basic Books, NY.
  4. Black Psychoanalysts Speak. Video. PEP

Psychoanalysis in Seattle:

  1. George "Mike" Allison
  2. Edith Buxbaum, PhD
  3. Pinel Foundation Psychiatric Hospital, 1948-58
  4. Douglas Winnett Orr, Father of Seattle Psychoanalysis

Learning Objectives

Clinical associates will:

  1. learn the history of psychoanalysis, a theory of mind that emerged from a marginalized yet intellectual class of men and women who carried a multigenerational transmission of trauma and exclusion. We will think critically together about psychoanalysis through the lens of race, power, inclusion/exclusion, religion and science; thus facilitating the associate’s increased awareness of “otherness” that is rooted in the field.
  2. be able to articulate key shifts in the social and historical context that may have influenced each emerging new school of thought; thus enabling the associate to practice locating both patient and analyst experience within a larger social and historical context, leading to improved patient outcomes.
  3. reflect on the deeply personal nature of psychoanalysis, including why they may be drawn to or avoidant of various schools of thought; thus improving patient outcome by increasing associate awareness of personal theoretical biases.
  4. be able to identify a theoretically grounded intervention from each major school of thought; thus improving patient outcome by expanding associate’s clinical repertoire and capacity to keep in mind the value and limitation of theory guided practice.

December 4, 2020 — Psychoanalytic Diaspora: Vienna 1938 – Seattle 2019

[94 pages]

Gaztambide, D. (2015). A Preferential Option for the Repressed: Psychoanalysis Through the Eyes of Liberation Theology. Psychoanal. Dial., 25(6):700-713.

We begin with a recent article by Gaztambide in which he talks about his relationship to psychoanalysis, and the connection he makes to social justice and a sense of the “other.”

Freud, S. (1926). “The Question of Lay Analysis” in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XX (1925-1926), pp179-258.

Our second reading this week is portions from Freud’s “The Question of Lay Analysis.” Using the vehicle of a spirited conversation, Freud lays out his vision of what psychoanalysis is, how it works, whom it’s for, who should practice it, and how it should be practiced. While it is too long to read in its entirety, we’ve pulled out key passages for us to think about and discuss.

Read only pages 179-190; 229-233; and 251-258 in the Freud reading.

Begin with the editor’s note on page 179 (don’t skip it – the context is helpful) and continue through all of section I (to page 190).

Next, we’re including a portion from section VI (pages 229-233) to hear some of Freud’s thoughts about the impact of medical training on learning to practice psychoanalysis.

Finally, in the Postscript (pages 251-258), Freud summarizes his views and ends with advice for “the Americans.”

Optional Reading

Gay, P. (1988) "Anna" in Freud: A Life for Our Time, pp428-446

Falzeder, E. (1998). Family tree matters. J. Anal. Psychol., 43(1):127-154.

December 11, 2020 — London: Anna Freud and Melanie Klein

[32 pages]

London became one of the early centers of psychoanalysis (just behind Vienna and Berlin).  Many Jewish analysts, like Freud, moved to London to escape the Nazis.  One of the dominant events that shaped psychoanalysis in London, and its spread beyond, was the polarizing debate between Melanie Klein, who came to London in 1926, and Anna Freud, who arrived 12 years later in 1938, after fleeing the Nazis.

We’ve chosen readings from the early 1920s, before Klein and Anna Freud had to share a city and a Society, when the differences between their respective approaches to child analysis were first being fleshed out.  Theoretical differences, which are somewhat evident here, in the following years will become weighted with political (and personality?) differences, leading to the “Controversial Discussions” from 1942-44, and the near split of the British Society.

Klein, M. (1927). Symposium on Child-Analysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:339-370.

Freud, A. (1926). The Psycho-analytical Treatment of Children. pp ix-27.

Optional Reading

Freud, A. (1966). A Short History of Child Analysis. Psychoanal. St. Child, 21:7-14.

Klein, M. (1952). The Origins of Transference, Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 33:433-438.

King, P. and Steiner, R. (1991). The Freud–Klein Controversies 1941–45. New Lib. of Psycho-Anal., 11:1-942.

Likierman, M. (1995). The Debate Between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein: An Historical Survey. J. Child Psychother., 21(3):313-325.

January 8, 2021 — London: Early middle school

[33 pages]

The best efforts at détente in the British Society produced a training program that was more or less evenly split between teaching from a Kleinian perspective and an Anna Freudian perspective.  As part of this compromise, candidates had to also have at least one supervisor who was not aligned with either side—someone from the “middle group”.  The name stuck (later changed to “Independent Group”).  Of these folks, Winnicott is one of the more widely known.  Sharpe is lesser known, but with a lively, unique teaching voice on learning analysis. 

Winnicott, D.W. (1969) The Use of an Object. IJP, 50:711-716.

Sharpe, E.F. (1930). The Technique of Psycho-Analysis, International Journal of Psycho-Anal., 11:251-277.

January 15, 2021 — Psychoanalysis in France

[9 pages]

At Freud’s request, Rudolph Lowenstein moved to France in 1925 to help establish a training institute there.  He worked with colleagues such as Marie Bonaparte, another important figure in the early years, and was the training analyst of Jacques Lacan.  In 1940 Lowenstein, a Jew, fled to southern France and then to the US in 1942, where he became a leading figure in ego psychology.

After a dormancy during World War II, psychoanalysis again flourished in France, and saw the rise and spread of Lacanian theory, which we will read about here.  While Lacan doesn’t represent all of French psychoanalysis, he is possibly one of the most widely known, if less well understood, figures.

Kennedy, R. (1987). Jacques Lacan: Psychoanalyst and Thinker. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(4):350-358.

Optional Reading

Aguayo, J. (1986). Charcot and Freud. Psychoanal. Contemp. Thought, 9(2):223-260.

Gazzola, L. (2005). Did Jacques Lacan Say Anything New? J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal. Dyn. Psychiatr., 33(2):323-332.

Glassgold, E. (2014). When Freud Was New Again: The Pleasure of Reading French Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Q., 83(1):151-167.

Sechaud, E. (2008). The Handling of the Transference in French Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(5):1011-1028.

Luepnitz, D.A. (2009). Thinking in the Space between Winnicott and Lacan. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(5):957-981.

January 22, 2021 — Diaspora: Psychoanalysis in South America

[36 pages]

Another group of psychoanalysts fleeing fascism before the war moved to South America.  There they joined a fledgling group of analysts from the region.  Psychoanalysis, particularly Kleinian theory and later Lacanian, grew and spread throughout the region.  Psychoanalysis in much of South America has entered into the mainstream culture and is respected to a degree that is not matched anywhere else on the globe.  We hope to look more closely at the mix of Latin American culture and psychoanalysis and consider how and why they have evolved together.

Midterm evaluations should be conducted at the end of this class. Discussion of how remote classes are handled and suggestions on how it can be improved will of course be very welcome. An outline to start the discussion is provided in a link below.

Midterm Evaluation Discussion Questions

Etchegoyen, H.R. Zysman, S. (2005). Melanie Klein in Buenos Aires: Beginnings and developments. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(3):869-894.

Baranger, M. (1993). The Mind of the Analyst: From Listening to Interpretation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:15-24.

Optional Reading

Bernardi, R. (2002). The Need for True Controversies in Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 83(4):851-873.

Lisman‐Pieczanski, N. and Pieczanski, P. (2014) The pioneers of psychoanalysis in South America: An essential guide. New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, London

January 29, 2021 — The English-Speaking World (UK and USA): Human Development, Self, and Attachment 

[67 pages]

Erikson is often neglected in the history of psychoanalysis, yet his contribution of attending to the entirety of the human life span was foundational to psychology, education, and the emerging science of human development. He considered himself a classical ego psychologist.

Kohut began his career as a classical ego psychologist, but then shifted his focus to the narcissistic needs and injuries to one’s developing sense of self.

Erikson and Kohut both helped shape the historical shift to a focus on the healthy growth and development of a sense of self, not just in early childhood, but into adulthood. Meanwhile in London, The Anna Freud Center turns its attention to the foundation provided by the Middle School (Winnicott, Bowlby, Sharpe, etc), human attachment in the earliest life of the infant. The war time Hampstead Nursery (Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham) and baby orphanages (Rene Spitz) vividly showed the harm of separation and loss to infants. Bowlby researched this phenomenon leading the way to attachment theory. The Anna Freud Center became the center for attachment theory, led by Fonagy and Target in London and Main and Ainsworth in the USA.


Erikson, E.H. (1984). Reflections on the Last Stage—And the First. Psychoanal. St. Child, 39:155-165

Kohut, H. (2010). On Empathy: Heinz Kohut (1981). Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 5(2):122-131.

Fonagy, P. and Target, M. (2007). The Rooting of the Mind in the Body: New Links between Attachment Theory and Psychoanalytic Thought. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 55(2):411-456

February 5, 2021 — USA:  Early Ego Psychology

[34 pages]

When speaking of the hegemony of Ego Psychology in the States during the early twentieth century, Heinz Hartmann is ubiquitous. Once called the “architect” of Ego Psychology, his ideas and theories do not still have the same outsized impact.

With these readings we hope to gain a general understanding and appreciation of what Hartmann and his collaborators (primarily Ernst Kris and Rudolph Lowenstein) contributed to theory. However, with the benefit of time and distance, we will also look at the context of when Hartmann was writing and the impact of greater social and societal dynamics. Bergmann, Blum, and Kuriloff all look at how the development of psychoanalytic theory and practice in the States may have been influenced by the fact that the “torch bearers,” the authors and practitioners of psychoanalysis, were themselves largely (but not exclusively) Jewish immigrants, having left their homes out of need rather than choice.


Bergmann, M.S. (2000). “The Hartmann Era and Its Contribution to Psychoanalytic Technique” in The Hartmann Era, pp58-67.

Blum, H. (2000). “The Idealization of Theory and the Aim of Adaptation: The Passing of the Hartmann Enterprise and Era” in The Hartmann Era, pp89-102.

Kuriloff, E.A. (2014). Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third Reich. pp34-43

(Including interviews with Martin Bergmann, Anton Kris, Dori Laub, and Otto Kernberg.)

Optional Reading

Grey, A. (1994). Ferenczi and the Interpersonal School: A Study of Political Climates in Psychoanalysis. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 3(2):103-108.

Wolstein, B. (1991). The Hungarian School. Contemp. Psychoanal., 27:167-175.

February 19, 2021 — Back to the Beginning: Freud and Ferenczi

[24 pages]

This first article (an address that Ferenczi made at the psychoanalytic congress in 1932) represents a split between Freud and Ferenczi.  The article, suppressed for years, has been framed in recent years as a portent of the more recent evolution in interpersonal and relational theories.

Ferenczi is a complicated character in the history of psychoanalysis and hasn’t always been viewed in a fair light.  Ernst Jones tried to reject his contribution outright saying Ferenczi (with whom he’d been in analysis) was mentally ill.  Maroda is both a sympathetic and critical reader, bringing a thoughtful critique to Ferenczi’s ideas.


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.

Maroda, K. (1998). Why Mutual Analysis Failed: The Case of Ferenczi and Rn. Contemp. Psychoanal., 34(1):115-132.

February 26, 2021 — USA: Early Roots, the neo-Freudians

[22 pages]

Committed to Freudian tradition, and enriched by interdisciplinary and sociological study, the William Alanson White Institute in NYC and Chestnut Lodge in the DC-Baltimore region were the focal points for what became known as “the interpersonal school” of psychoanalysis. Clara Thompson MD, intending to be a medical missionary, studied with Ferenczi in Budapest and returned to the states to collaborate with the American and German “Neo-Freudians”: Fromm, Horney, Sullivan, and Fromm-Reichman to found WAWI.


Hirsch, I. (1998). Discussion of Interview with Otto Will: Interpersonal Psychoanalysis Then and Now. Contemp. Psychoanal., 34(2):305-322.

Thompson, C. (1959). Dynamics of Hostility. Am. J. Psychoanal., 19(1):10-13.

March 5, 2021 — USA: Rethinking Authority

[52 pages]

Kernberg’s biography and thinking mirrors the historical shifts of psychoanalysis.  Born in Vienna, his family fled the Nazi’s, immigrated to Chile, where he studied object relations, before moving to the USA. Kernberg is a synthesizer; he is known for integrating ego psychology with contemporary object relations.  In this paper he considers the concept of “authority” from a variety of perspectives. While surveying the larger field of psychoanalysis and varying ideas about authority, he makes his case for a more familiar picture of authority in the psychoanalytic setting.

Stephen Mitchell is sometimes described as the founder of relational theory.  In this article he references Kernberg’s earlier article, and explains his own vision of authority from a relational perspective, differentiating it from Kernberg’s. 


Kernberg, O. (1996). The Analyst’s Authority In The Psychoanalytic Situation. Psychoanal Q., 65:137-157.

Mitchell, S.A. (1998). The Analyst’s Knowledge and Authority. Psychoanal Q., 67(1):1-31.

Optional Reading

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

Prince, R. (1997). Is Talk Cheap or Silence Golden: The Negotiation of Activity in Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Inq., 17(4):549-558.

March 12, 2021 — Letter to Freud

[20 pages]

When we began the course together, we said that we hoped to share with you a perspective of the dynamic development of psychoanalytic thought with a strong emphasis on historical context. We hoped it would feel alive and relevant to you as you begin your own psychoanalytic odyssey in Seattle (or Portland). We often used metaphors of a river of thought, a psychoanalytic diaspora, a family tree, or a travel to various countries and continents. The thinkers and healers we have considered were no different than all of us. They were once students; they sought self knowledge; they suffered and sought relief; they came from varied educational, vocational, and social backgrounds. Some we know because they published and created concepts and theories. Others we know more as clinicians in the trenches. Always, they were talking (or arguing) with each other.

When we started this course we asked, “How did you meet Dr. Freud?” We want to end with your own letter to Dr. Freud. Please craft a letter to Dr. Freud, with no expectation that it will be shared. Pause to reflect on: What’s it like to be the next generation of psychoanalysts? Where do you find your own resonance with analytic history? Where do you find dissonance? What are you curious about? In all families, there are ancestors we most identify with – with whom do you identify in the psychoanalytic family tree? How did you, like Gatzambide, identify with Dr. Freud’s experience as an outsider, as one oppressed by historical context? How have marginalized aspects of yourself called you to this vocation? How does your personal identity set the foundation for your analytic identity? Let your thoughts roam wild in your correspondence to Sigmund.

Mendes, D.M. (2011). Letter to Freud. Psychoanal. Rev., 98(6):755-774