The curriculum meets the Standards for Training in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis of the American Psychoanalytic Association and is overseen by the Department of Psychoanalytic Education – Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Education Section.
The curriculum includes theoretical and clinical case seminars which include coverage of the following areas: basic literature in child and adolescent analysis, child and adolescent development (as taught in the Development Sequence of the Adult Analytic Curriculum), child and adolescent psychopathology, analyzability, the techniques of child and adolescent analysis, working with parents, the conversion of psychotherapy cases to psychoanalysis, and ethics.
As described above, the curriculum in the C/AAP is based on an integration of theoretical and clinical material, in which consideration of actual cases are used as vehicles to consider and understand theory and technique. We have articulated certain core questions which organize our discussions of topics taught by on-site faculty. and to approach each case presented by candidates to our distance-learning instructors. The core questions structure our discussions of the differing theoretical and clinical perspectives offered by these instructors.
Core theoretical questions
- How do culture and the social system in which one is born impact development?
- How do different theoretical systems of thought conceptualize the structure of the mind?
- What is the importance and/or limitations of the concepts of erotic and aggressive stages of development? Of developmental lines?
- What is the role of anxiety and fantasy in the concept of the development and psychic functioning?
- What is the understanding of the unconscious and its importance to a theory of health and psychopathology?
- What is transference? What is countertransference? What is an enactment?
- How is each manifested in the clinical situation?
- What are the articulated theories of therapeutic action?
- How can we use the richness of different theoretical frames and languages to find an amalgam that is most useful to each individual clinician?
- How can we think developmentally about individual self-definition and racial identity?
- What can neuroscience tell us about the human mind (especially as it is pertinent to trauma) that is currently of use to us as theoretician and clinicians? Do we need to reconsider our theories of the unconscious, repression, dissociation etc.?
- How can we re-evaluate our ideas about gender development and identity in light of contemporary thinking?
- Is there any longer a place for the importance of the notion of an “oedipal struggle”- in its classical conceptualization or in its expanded and varied conceptual form, such as, internal conflict inevitable with development, generational conflict, biological species driven incest taboo, instinctual conflict?
- How does the concept of creative or fluid gender affect our presumptions about development in general ?
- Are there common developmental realities than span many cultures? If so what are they?
- How does physical and cognitive development relate to and intertwine with emotional and psychic development?
Core Clinical questions
(Of course, there is overlap with the above theoretical questions)
- How do we recognize, understand, and take account of social and cultural context within which a given child or adolescent develops?
- How do we recognize and work with our own prejudices and blind spots as well as the important ways we may unconsciously identify with our clients- patients?
- How can we equip our office equipment, and our minds, to be sensitive to cultural differences, biases, and defenses (including those that may pertain to us as clinicians)?
- How do we take account of the developmental needs and vulnerabilities of the child while still working psychoanalytically or psychodynamically?
- What criteria make us think that analysis is the optimal form of treatment for a given child?
- What criteria make us think that the child and family can manage an analysis?
- How do we work with parents?
- How do we understand and work with the language of play?
Topics which are given specific focus depending on the interests of the group and the case material
- Eating disorders
- Cutting and other self-destructive behaviors
- How symptomatology, especially in childhood, is impacted by culture
- The effects of social media and the internet on childhood
- Psychosomatic illness
Additional Program Offerings for all Child/Adolescent candidates
- Child Colloquium Programs (offered by SFCP 4-6 times a year).
- The opportunity to participate with the adult candidates in Candidates Association and Candidates Colloquium, and in other SFCP events, such as the Scientific Meetings.
- Candidates are encouraged to attend meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APSA), the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), the Association for Child Psychoanalysis (ACP), and the Western Regional Psychoanalytic Consortium. Please inquire about them, if you are interested.