204 – Analytic Approach to Treatment – Part 1

Description: This 16-session course is the first part of a yearlong sequence aimed at helping the psychoanalytic therapist conceptualize an intense therapeutic relationship that is at the  core of the psychoanalytic process. As a process aimed at freeing the patient’s inner life, psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy are distinguished by the principle that has been termed the analytic attitude. This principle differentiates psychoanalytic treatments from those therapies in which the focus is generally limited to symptom relief and behavioral change.

This course is intended to deepen the student’s capacity to conceptualize, listen, and intervene in an analytic fashion-both in exploratory interventions and in supportive ones. Class readings and discussion will explore the conditions under which the therapist and patient meet, each brining their own needs and expectation, some of which naturally foster an exploratory process. 

Attention will be paid to the practical considerations required for facilitating a holding environment, as well as to the patient’s strengths, limitations, and needs for attachment, safety, and mastery. We will explore the creation of an atmosphere of non-intrusive curiosity and non-judgmental acceptance, how to help the patient engage in treatment, the use of transference and counter-transference, how to address resistances, and the promotion of free association. Classes will include discussion of the instructor’s and participant’s clinical material.

Target Audience: This course is intended for clinicians at beginning to intermediate levels.

Prerequisite: Students will need a basic exposure to and understanding of psychoanalytic theory and its application to the treatment of patients. Applicants can meet this requirement through previous coursework, training, or supervision (e.g., Thinking Psychoanalytically: The Basics; the PPSC Introductory Course; psychoanalytic coursework or supervision in graduate school/residency or post-graduation). Applicants who do not meet this requirement can register for the course with permission of the instructors.