Washington Case Conference
April 12, 2024 — 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Psychoanalytic Infant Observation – Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Usefulness for Clinical Work with Patients of All Ages
The experience of observing infants began in 1948 at the Tavistock Clinic in London as
part of the pre-clinical part of the Child Psychotherapy Training Program. It was founded
by Esther Bick, a child psychoanalyst from the British Psychoanalytical Society, and was
later introduced at the British Psychoanalytic Institute in 1960. Infant Observations have
been sown with incredible fertility throughout Latin America, Europe, USA, Africa, Russia,
Iran, and China, among others. In this presentation, I am going to superimpose and connect
the experience of observation and its application to clinical practice. Clinical material will
be presented for a fruitful conversation on the use of an observational stance with an
individual adult patient. Maria Lima PsyD, a graduate from our program, will present the
Nydia Lisman-Pieczanski, MD, is a Child and Adult psychoanalyst, trained at
the British Psychoanalytical Institute. She is a training and supervising analyst child and
adult of the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis. She is currently faculty and
Founding Chair of the “Observational Studies Program” at the Washington Baltimore
Center for Psychoanalysis. Scientific adviser of the Infant Observation Program in “Mind
in Mind”, Beijing, China. Member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists, London,
U.K. Member of the New Washington School of Psychiatry. Member of ALOBB (Latin
American Association of Infant Observers) She has written and published papers
on Infant, Child, Adolescent and Adult analysis, APsaA Journal reviewer, and is the coeditor
with Alberto Pieczanski, MD of “The Pioneers of Psychoanalysis in South America”
New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge, U.K. and its Spanish version “Los Pioneros del
Psicoanálisis Sudamericano” Karnac, London, U.K.
Maria Lima, PsyD, was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, where she completed her
Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. In 2017, she graduated from the George
Washington University Psy.D. program in Washington DC, and from the Observational
Studies Program of the Washington School of Psychiatry. Maria has worked with children,
adults and the elderly from under-privileged communities in various psychotherapeutic
contexts. Currently, Maria works in private practice and in the British National Health
Service (NHS) where she sees adult patients in individual psychodynamic psychotherapy.
She has assisted in teaching graduate classes on psychoanalytic theory, she has led
workshops on child development and family dynamics for parents and educators, and
she is a faculty member for the Observational Studies Program (Washington Baltimore
Center for Psychoanalysis).
1. Explore how a baby and a mother develop individually and in relationship to one
2. Explain the primitive anxieties of our adult and child patients and ourselves in
relation to these patients.
3. Demonstrate an analytic way of thinking through the receptive role of taking in
affective experience for study.
– Nara Amalia Carol and Rita Sobreira Lopes, “A place where verbalization has no meaning,” pages 3 – 22
in Learning about Human Nature and Analytic Technique from Mothers and Babies.
– Susan Reid, “Introduction, Psychoanalytic Infant Observation, Chapter 1, pages 1 – 12 in Developments in
Infant Observation, The Tavistock Model.