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Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis


Training Program In Child And Adolescent Psychoanalysis

The Institute offers a training program in the analysis of children and adolescents which is approved by the Board on Professional Standards of The American Psychoanalytic Association.  The program leads to graduation by the Institute in this special area of psychoanalysis.

A combined education and clinical training in child, adolescent, and adult analysis provides the candidate with an optimal opportunity to acquire a broad understanding of the development and functioning of the human mind and an opportunity to acquire a synthesized psychoanalytic approach to the clinical situation.  Psychoanalysis of children, adolescents and adults shares a common theoretical foundation, has analogous clinical principles, and has the mutual aim of improving mental functioning and increasing self-knowledge.  In addition, child psychoanalysis aims at restoring the progression of normal development.

Clinical training in child and adolescent psychoanalysis aims to give the candidate the clinical skills necessary to effectively utilize psychoanalytic process in the treatment of children and adolescents and the clinical skills necessary to work with their parents.  It includes learning specific techniques useful in the analytic situation with children, e.g., how to help the child move from play to verbalization through interpretation, how to understand and interpret transference, how to work with resistance, defenses, and internalized conflict, and how to understand the use of the analyst as an auxiliary ego or superego.

The Child Analytic Program involves a four year sequence of didactic seminars, covering such topics as assessment, technique, development, and work with parents.  In addition, child analytic candidates are required to treat three children, including a boy and a girl, one adolescent and one latency child, in four times per week analysis; one case must be through termination.

The didactic aspect of the Child Analytic Program begins with a seminar focused on Introduction to Child Analytic Technique.  Using clinical material presented by the candidates, this course focuses on issues of analyzibility, preparing a child for analysis, work with parents, and dynamic formulation.  The second trimester is a seminar contrasting adult and child analysis using clinical material.  Subsequent seminars focus on technique and particular phases of development, technical programs specific to working with children, developmental assessment, working with parents, and continuouis case seminars.  In addition to the didactic seminars and the analytic treatment of three children, child analytic candidates must complete twenty (20) hours of supervised observation of normal children; this may be at a day care center or school site.

Training in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents may be undertaken by a graduate or candidate in active training at an accredited Institute of The American Psychoanalytic Association. Those having the requisite background but without additional clinical experience with children (e.g., a residency in child psychiatry) may consult with the Director of Child Analytic Training regarding a preparatory program designed to acquire the necessary experience of working with children.

It is possible for any candidate to take a child into analysis at any point during analytic training without undertaking full training in child analysis.  Any candidate may also take any of the child analytic seminars as an elective during their training in adult psychoanalysis.

Candidates seeking admission to the program should apply in writing to the Director of the Child Analytic Training Program by requesting an application form from the Administrator.  After assessment by the Child Analysis Faculty, the application will be reviewed by the Education Committee for a final decision.  The adult and child analysis program may be undertaken concurrently.


E. Kirsten Dahl, Ph.D., Chair, Child Analysis Program
Phyllis Cohen, Ed.D.
Eric Millman, M.D.
Joan Poll, M.D.

The Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or physical handicap in the administration of its admission or educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, or any other school-administered program.