Theory and Practice of Psychoanalysis in Middle Childhood 3

Child Psychoanalytic Training (CPT)
2022-23, 2nd Trimester — Fridays, 10:15-11:45am


This course will focus on clinical work with children from ages 6-12 (latency) as well as exploring the intersectionality of work with children and their parents as the children set out increasingly on their own into the world. We will examine how psychoanalytic treatment helps children find the capacities to develop following trauma. Additionally we will be focused on the impact of trauma (the child’s and/or the parent’s), disruptions to development, and how we as clinicians are influenced and impacted by our work with children. Our readings will be drawn from both clinical theory and literature focused on this age group. Additionally, I will bring in and ask each participant to bring in examples from films and literature to further elucidate theoretical principles.

At this point in your training you have already read numerous theoretical articles about child development and analysis including middle childhood. These last weeks will be somewhat different. In addition to theoretical and clinical materials we will be exploring themes from literature, memoirs, and films. Each of you will receive a copy of the book When the Emperor was Divine, by Julie Otsuka, (Random House, 2002). The book in its entirety is a compelling and quick read, with the middle chapters specifically exploring the impact of the Japanese internment on two children.

February 10, 2023

[63 pages]

Otsuka, J. (2003) When the Emperor was Divine, Anchor. pp2-64.

Question: What impact does this traumatic forced dislocation have on the mother’s ability to help her children mentalize?

February 17, 2023

[80 pages]

Otsuka, J. (2003) When the Emperor was Divine, Anchor, pp65-144

February 24, 2023

[29 pages]

Jemerin, J.M. (2004). Latency and the capacity to reflect on mental states. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 59:211-239.

Question: How were the children in the novel able or not able to reflect on their situation? How were both parents thwarted in their ability to help their children mentalize?

March 3, 2023

[41 pages]

Miller, J. (1989) The Analysis of a Nonverbal Latency Boy. Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre. 12:309-329

Brandell, J.R. (1993) The Unfolding of the Narrative in the Psychotherapy of a Traumatized Preadolescent Child. Psychoanalytic Social Work 1:49-68

Questions: How does the use of story telling in psychoanalytic treatment allow the child’s development of a cohesive narrative? How might you help one of the children in the novel?

What about children in refugee camps or involuntarily separated from parents at the U.S. border? What examples do you have of storytelling with patients?

March 10, 2023

[28 pages]

Solnit, A.J. (1998). Beyond Play and Playfulness. PSC 53:102-110

Meersand, P. (2009). Play and the Older Child. PSC, (64): 112-130

Question: How does play either thwart or assist the traumatized child in their development of a cohesive narrative?

March 24, 2023

In this last class I will ask each of you to write up a one page summary of a film, book or poem that speaks to you about middle childhood. Themes of trauma, intersectionality, mentalization should be at the forefront as you contemplate this assignment.

Question: How has thinking about trauma, and intersectionality influenced your work with children and parents? How does literature and art (like play) increase your ability to emotionally connect with psychoanalytic theory?