Infancy and Attachment: Towards an Understanding of our Earliest Ways of Knowing

Integrated Child & Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (ICAPP)
2020-21, 1st Block — Mondays, 8:00-9:15pm


This course is meant to introduce you to the concepts of development from birth (including an understanding of the minds and circumstances of parents) to the oedipal and pre-oedipal stages. We will approach this from both a historical perspective and also include contemporary theorist who have added to and challenged psychoanalytic orthodoxy. As analyst we believe that an understanding of earliest development allows us to not only work with children, but also to understand primitive mental states in the adults we treat.

September 14, 2020

[15 pages]

In our first week we will examine the writings of Anna Freud and Melanie Klein. These women pioneered the adaptations of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic technique for work with children.They were fierce rivals and their conflict divided the two schools of thought between British Object Relations and Anna Freud.

Freud, A. (1981) The Concept of Developmental Lines—Their Diagnostic Significance. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 36:129-136.

Klein, M. (1958). On the Development of Mental Functioning. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:84-90.

September 21, 2020

[45 pages]

In our second week we will read an article from the contemporary British Object Relations theorist Judith Mitrani on unmentalized and, therefore, primitive/infantile experience.

Mitrani, J.L. (1995). Toward An Understanding Of Unmentalized Experience. Psychoanal Q., 64:68-112.

September 28, 2020

[37 pages]

In our third week we will be examining how ego analyst came to view the earliest phases of infant development. We will also look at Winnicott’s writing on the importance of the parent-infant relationship.

Mahler, M.S. (1972). On the First Three Subphases of the Separation-Individuation Process. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 53:333-338.

Mahler, M.S. (1972). Rapprochement Subphase of the Separation-Individuation Process. Psychoanal Q., 41:487-506.

Winnicott, D.W. (1960). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:585-595.

October 5, 2020

[42 pages]

Attachment theory, initially shunned by traditional psychoanalysis, has brought forward important ideas about the role of parents and the larger context in which an infant is raised.

Slade, A. (2000). The Development and Organization of Attachment: Implications for Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 48(4):1147-1174.

Slade, A. (2014). Imagining Fear: Attachment, Threat, and Psychic Experience. Psychoanal. Dial., 24(3):253-266.

October 12, 2020

[24 pages]

In this week we will continue to look at Attachment Theory and the importance it has had in forcing psychoanalysis to move from a one person psychological treatment toward a theory increasingly relevant to contemporary society.

Sroufe, L.A. (2017) Ch1, “Attachment Theory: A Humanistic Approach for Research and Practice Across Cultures” in Attachment Across Clinical and Cultural Perspectives: A Relational Psychoanalytic Approach, New York: NY. Routledge. pp1-24.

October 19, 2020

[31 pages]

In these next weeks we will look at how Attachment Theory is clinically useful in addressing the challenges of affect regulation.

Beebe, B.; Lachmann, F.; Markese, S.; Bahrick, L. (2012). On the Origins of Disorganized Attachment and Internal Working Models: Paper I. A Dyadic Systems Approach. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(2):253-272.

Slade, A. (1996). A View from Attachment Theory and Research. Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 5(1): 112-122.

October 26, 2020

[36 pages]

Fonagy, P. Target, M. (2002). Early Intervention and the Development of Self-Regulation. Psychoanal. Inq., 22(3):307-335.

Slade, A. (2002). Keeping the Baby in Mind: A critical factor in Perinatal Mental Health. Zero to Three Journal, 22(6), 10-16.

November 2, 2020

[19 pages]

In this last week we will focus on the topic of poverty and privilege as it pertains to our work. Guest Speaker.

Bellinson, J. (2015). View From The Front Lines: Introduction to a Case. Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 14(3): 246-250.

Evans Holmes, D. (2016). Culturally Imposed Trauma: The Sleeping Dog Has Awakened. Will Psychoanalysis Take Heed? Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 26(6): 641-654