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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions 2017-01-07T20:34:49+00:00

Infant Observation I-III

PCC was the first psychoanalytic institute in the United States to require a one-year infant observation course.  For three consecutive seminars, each candidate observes a baby from birth in the family setting for one hour per week, presents his or her observations at the weekly seminar in which an instructor and fellow candidates discuss the material with an interest in understanding early psychic experience as well as developing observational and intuitive capacity in the young analyst.

Freud I, II, III

A year-long systematic study of the writings of Sigmund Freud, 1895-1940, this course includes all of Freud’s major papers, with emphasis on his discoveries of the unconscious, the structural model of the mind, early models of object relations, dreams, and the psychodynamics of various psychopathologies through his famous case studies.

Melanie Klein I, II, III

A year-long systematic study of the works of Melanie Klein 1921-1963, including a survey of major papers by contemporary Kleinians such as Segal, Rosenfeld, Bion, Joseph, Steiner, Britton, and others. Key concepts included are unconscious phantasy, the internal object world, the paranoid schizoid and depressive positions, manic defenses, envy and jealousy, and the Oedipus complex.

Psychoanalytic Technique I

An exploration of the psychoanalytic literature on technique, including the work of Freud, Klein,  Bion, Joseph, Heimann, Strachy, Racker, Winnicott, Meltzer, and others.  Technical issues related to the setting, the initial consultation, establishment and maintenance of the frame, the analytical attitude, transference, countertransference, and interpretative processes will be discussed.

The Independent School

A survey of the work of the analysts of the British Independent School, including the work of Fairbairn, Guntrip, Balint, Winnicott, Bowlby, Kahn, and Bollas. Their views of early mental/emotional development, the impact of frustration and trauma in connection with normal and pathological processes, and the notion of two-person psychology will all be discussed.

Early states of mind:  Trauma and Narcissism

A study of the effects upon personality development of early psychic trauma stemming from disturbances in the intrauterine environment and in the mother-infant dyad. A corollary to this investigation will be the study of severe narcissistic disorders and autistic-like states which often result from early trauma.

Wilfred Bion I, II, and III

An 18-week systematic study of the works and contributions of Wilfred Bion, 1943-1980. Offers an in-depth investigation of Bion’s key concepts and attitudes including group psychology, psychosis, his theory of thinking including alpha function, container-contained, transformations, and the analytic field.

Contemporary Models in American Psychoanalysis

An introduction to the fundamentals of recent trends in American schools of psychoanalysis  including Self Psychology, the Relational Perspective, Intersubjectivity, and Dynamic Systems Theory.  Major papers by Kohut, Lachmann, Bromberg, Beebe, Mitchell, Hoffman, and others will be discussed.

Primitive Mental Disorders:  Borderline and Psychosis

A focus on the dynamics and structures in the personality which are related to psychotic states. Theoretical and technical approaches to working with borderline and psychotic patients are explored , using the work of Segal, Rosenfeld, Bion, Meltzer, Tustin, Grotstein, Green, and others.

Primitive Mental Disorders:  Perversions and Psychosomatics

Building on Freud’s psychosexual theory as laid out in Three Essays, transitional and contemporary work on understanding the object relations perspective on perversions and psychosomatic illness are studied. Topics include infantile and adult perverse sexuality, perverse use of the object, addictions, violence, projection of psychic meaning into the body, eating disorders, and alexithymia.

Infant/Child/Adolescent Psychoanalysis

Infancy, pre-school, latency and adolescent development are considered from an object relations perspective, and questions of technique pertaining to each age group are addressed. Additionally, issues of evaluation, assessment of fundamental needs, conditions for analysis, setting of the frame, case management, and parent work are discussed.

Psychoanalytic Technique II

An advanced exploration of the issues presented in Psychoanalytic Technique I are studied on a more intricate, sophisticated and subtle level which is possible due to candidates having progressed in their clinical experience.  Advanced topics such as dream interpretation, working through, the negative therapeutic reaction, and termination are discussed.

Clinical Case Seminar(s) I-VI

A critical aspect of training at PCC, each Candidate attends two years of Clinical Case Conference seminars beginning in the third year, and makes at least two case presentations of six sessions each within these seminars. Candidates present clinical material from process notes of their control cases in a small group setting with a training analyst as instructor.  The instructor functions as a consultant in an effort to help the presenter understand and intervene with his or her patient, and to stimulate constructive discussion within the group so that all improve their clinical capacities.