In parent-infant work, the clinician encounters an infant, one or more caretakers and a problem as straightforward as difficulty with sleep or feeding or as frightening as a failure to thrive. The trained observer meets pathology in an emergent state, intricate processes—interpersonal, intrapsychic, biopsychosocial—at the root of the crisis. Interpretations, clarifications or shared observations—in a context of safety and trust—can relieve tensions. The analytically trained therapist may gain access to the dyadic unconscious, as well as the mutually regulating processes at its core, and begin to address what Selma Fraiberg referred to as ghosts in the nursery, irruptions of the past, even of past generations, in the present parent-child relationship. While interventions may be straight forward, therapeutic action can be dramatic, diminishing or even foreclosing pathology relatively quickly.
In this salon, we will consider what parent infant therapy teaches us about work with children and adults. What a modality that builds on but goes beyond the work of Klein, Winnicott and Bion—as well as attachment theory and self-psychology—can add to our understanding of treatment? Can parent-infant therapy, often effective in a brief number of sessions, offer clues to finding greater vitality in once or twice weekly treatments? Are there ways we can expand the boundaries of therapy to include the external as well as the internal? Can we become more available to patients, more receptive to what they are communicating, in ways that allow us and them to metabolize states that otherwise could not be thought about or reflected upon.
Talia Hatzor, PhD: Psychologist, psychoanalyst, and training analyst in NYC, affiliated with the CFS and Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center. She has a special interest in infancy and early childhood, parent-child relations and play therapy. She works with children and adults in private practice. She co-directs the Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP) Training Program at Columbia University Psychoanalytic Center, where she also trains clinicians via Bick’s Infant Observation method. She co-founded and co-directed the Family Peace Project/Safe Start Initiative (a program for children exposed to domestic violence) at Columbia Presbyterian. She worked with the Infant Family Service for abused infants and their parents at the same hospital. She trained in CPP (Child Parent Psychotherapy), an evidence-based model for children who suffer trauma and loss.
Kate Oram, PhD is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She sees adults in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis and has always specialized in working with children and adolescents and their families. Her interest in development and her experience working with children has profoundly influenced her work. This can be seen in much of her writing (2000, 2017). Most recently she has written about a developmental perspective in adult work in her paper: Room for Thought: a Developmental Perspective. Dr. Oram is on the faculty and works as a consultant in the NYU Postdoctoral program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and is a member and training analyst at the Contemporary Freudian Society. She is a clinical adjunct supervisor at Pace University and is involved in pro-bono work in the foster care system as part of her affiliation with The Fostering Connection.
At the end of the program, participants will be able to:
1) Understand and utilize close observation to generate hypotheses about problems patients are presenting
2) Consider implementing at least one new strategy for working with patients who have difficulty with self/object differentiation, concreteness or oscillation between helplessness and rage in their interactions
3) Find at least one new way to broaden understanding of what a patient is communicating as well as how the therapist might respond
Social Workers: The Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0087. CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed online evaluation form. No partial credits will be offered. It is the responsibility of the participants seeking CE credits to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program and online evaluation form, participants will be granted 5 CE credits.
Psychoanalysts: The Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the Contemporary Freudian Society is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts #P-0021. CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed online evaluation form. No partial credits will be offered. It is the responsibility of the participants seeking CE credits to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program and online evaluation form, participants will be granted 5 CE credits
The instructional level for this activity is advanced. Mental Health Professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, e.g. LPs, LCATs, and pastoral counselors) and those with an interest in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic thinking and clinical applications.
© 2015 The Contemporary Freudian Society