COURSES

Courses are held in instructors’ private offices on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6:25 PM to 7:55 PM and from 8:35 PM to 10:05 PM.* There are two (2) semesters per year, Fall and Spring, each consisting of fifteen (15) weeks of classes. The course of study may be completed in three (3) years. Most candidates train on a part-time basis and extend their training over a longer period. All courses are taught with an emphasis on clinical relevance. Small classes allow for individual attention.

*Courses will be offered based on adequate candidate enrollment.

FIRST YEAR - FALL

Introduction to Technique with Children and Adolescents
The beginning of the course will be devoted to the cultural context of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and will aim to sensitize clinicians to different populations. The balance of the course will introduce several aspects of child therapy with the purpose of imparting an overview of the issues required to begin to treat children therapeutically. Topics include the child vs. the adult patient, the function of play in children’s lives and in therapy, assessment, interpersonal/intrapsychic approaches to treatment, and work with parents. Candidates will present assessments of their own cases toward the end of the semester.

Psychoanalytic Theories of Development I
This course offers an overview of the beginning psychological development of the human infant from a psychoanalytic perspective. Early development will be considered from the vantage point of psychosexual stages and of drive and ego development in the oral and anal phases and from the standpoint of Attachment Theory. The development of object relations and the emerging sense of self will be addressed. The contributions from infant research will be covered. Readings will include Freud, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Spitz, Winnicott, Mahler, Pine, and Kohut. Candidates will have the opportunity to think about clinical material from various theoretical perspectives.

FIRST YEAR - SPRING

Advanced Technique with Children and Adolescents
This course will examine selected topics in child and adolescent therapy, such as working with structured games, aggression, timidity, and children’s requests for need gratification from the therapist. Emphasis will be placed on understanding transference, countertransference, dreams, and play as well as on finding answers to technical dilemmas. Exploration will proceed through readings of clinical papers of classical and contemporary analysts in addition to candidates’ presentation of case material.

Psychoanalytic Theories of Development II
This course continues an exploration of Freud’s basic stage theory and its ramifications for normal and psychopathological character structure. There will be emphasis on the Oedipus complex as the nucleus of neurotic conflict. The writings of Freud, as well as the writings of more contemporary theorists will be studied. This will include readings and discussions of gender and sexuality, including contemporary theories of femininity, female sexuality, and homosexual and lesbian perspectives.
Prerequisite: Psychoanalytic Theories of Development I or with permission from the Director of MITPP.

SECOND YEAR - FALL

Theory of Child Psychopathology
Theories of pathology in the pre-Oedipal through latency phases will be examined in the context of development, with reference to drive, object relations, and ego development. Beginning with principles of assessment, clinical entities will be studied in terms of manifest symptoms, latent meaning and structure. Candidates will have the opportunity to present clinical vignettes to illustrate the assessment process and aspects of pathology. Readings will include Anna Freud, Bornstein, Pine, Winnicott, and others. Prerequisite: Completion of all First Year courses or with permission from the Director of MITPP.

Technique with the More Disturbed Child
This course starts with the assessment and diagnosis of the pathology of childhood and then considers the therapeutic action of play and techniques of child therapy with more disturbed children. Technical interventions that we use with all children, i.e., clarification, interpretation, and working through, are explored along with modifications of technique that are necessary with some children. Clinical examples are used to illustrate the principles under consideration. The treatment of specific disorders and levels of personality organization that are covered include: character pathology, ego deficits, borderline, narcissistic and psychotic states, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Prerequisite: Completion of all First Year courses or with permission from the Director of MITPP.

SECOND YEAR - SPRING

Theory of Adolescent Psychopathology
Adolescence is a developmental phase with discriminable subphases. Urgent tasks, functions, and specific conflicts with typical “normal” and psychopathological resolutions can be identified as the phase unfolds. The theoretical contributions of A. Freud, Mahler, and Blos (and others) will provide a context for the study of adolescence and such issues as sexual identity and identity formation, the ego-ideal and moral systems, “object removal,” normality, and pathology in this apparently structurally fluid stage. Implications for treatment with expectable transference and countertransference structures, treatment alliance, and use of the therapist as a “new” object will be amplified by using clinical material and/or related readings.
Prerequisite: Completion of First Year courses or with permission from the Director of MITPP.

Technique with the More Disturbed Adolescent
This course focuses on theories, principles, and strategies of technique especially as they arise from phase-specific issues and conflicts in the adolescent. Difficulties in diagnosing and treating the adolescent who is concrete, narcissistically removed, and/or borderline or psychotic will be addressed. The issues of identity and character will be examined from the perspectives of intrapsychic dynamics (related to drive and defense) and as object-related solutions to unconscious familial necessities. Modifications of standard techniques, the inclusion of psychiatric and other team members and the involvement of family members will be considered as part of the therapist’s repertoire. Selected adolescent constellations such as anorexia/bulimia, the addictions, depressions, and sexual and social dysfunction will be studied according to the needs of the candidates and to the cases available to them.
Prerequisite: Completion of First Year courses or with permission from the Director of MITPP.

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