Child/Adolescent Psychoanalysis Training

The Child Analysis Training program of the Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas prepares clinicians to assist children and adolescents who are experiencing internal interferences in their emotional development to return to a more favorable developmental trajectory. The program prepares practitioners to practice child psychoanalysis, a treatment that enables children who are able to utilize an insight-oriented, self-exploratory approach to work at a greater depth and achieve fuller change than is generally possible in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

The fact that psychoanalysis is a discipline that studies human development, human relationships, mental health, and mental illness as outcomes of the unique interaction among each individual’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, culture, and environment is especially relevant for assisting children. Children are in the midst of a complex process in which their unfolding biology interacts with their family and culture, all integrated through their subjectivity as a growing and unique person. Child psychoanalysis uniquely recognizes this individuality and subjectivity in children, as it focuses upon a systematic exploration of unconscious mental phenomena, in addition to the neurobiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social phenomena upon which other treatment modalities concentrate.

The training program in child psychoanalysis teaches this practice of psychoanalysis through an extensive study of theories of mind and of the interplay between these theories and the clinical situation.

Training Components

Classroom Study Requirements

The didactic portion of the Child Psychoanalysis Training involves in-class hours divided among courses in several categories, some focused on the conceptual basis of the psychoanalytic understanding of mind and others on the application of psychoanalytic perspectives in the clinical setting. Seminars are meant to be an active learning experience with the discussion of clinical experience relevant to the papers read. Candidates are encouraged to present examples from their work and to present to a continuous case conference when possible.

Core classes are one semester (16 weeks) long and meet for 1.5 hours per week. Some advanced courses are 8 weeks long and elective courses may meet for shorter periods. In order to graduate, candidates need to have attended at least 500 hours of classes.

Many of the required courses are also required for the Adult Psychoanalysis Training program, so there is significant overlap in courses for the “combined” candidates.

Program Details