The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia

Child and Family Training

Clinical work with children has evolved radically in the recent decade.  This program’s intent is to incorporate the contemporary advances into a relational psychoanalytic training model to meet the needs of our child patients and their families.  The program builds a foundation with current views of child development informed by research (attachment, neuroscience, and infancy), as well as theoretical advances such as attachment and non-linear dynamic systems into psychoanalysis. This theoretical foundation will form a basis for technique that is centered on the medium of play and the importance of affect to the process of mentalization in work with parents and children.  The Child and Family training program consists of three years of coursework, supervised analytic work, and personal analysis.  Tuition for the third year is $1500.00 per semester, two semesters for the year.  

With the program’s emphasis on multiple dimensions, consideration of the subjective positions of the parent (and other significant attachment figures) in relation to the child defines the complex movement in a child-centered treatment.  Parental subjectivity is central to the conceptualization and treatment in a child relational model. As such, the secondary generational effects of trauma are given special emphasis in the training.  The mechanisms of the transfer of trauma, as well as how to interrupt the transmission and create a more secure base for the child are core components of the new curriculum.

Situating the child relational program in a discourse with an adult relational program is poised to open up creative thought within the model enhancing the dimensions of both programs.  Having experience moving between and within the developmental differences widens the spectrum of relational thought necessary to critical thinking about process.  The exploration of sameness and difference serves to both locate and expand subjective positions, the new frontier in a psychoanalytic psychotherapy of the people.

For those students wishing to study a third year with a child concentration, the issue of supervising cases at a certain frequency is a complex one, that is not adequately addressed by stating a specific frequency of meeting the child. This is because child work requires conceptualizing and working with the child, the family system, and other contexts within which the child inhabits.  As an initial framework, we suggest following the guidelines and requirements for psychotherapy and supervision, described in full under the Two-year program, with the understanding that these guidelines are flexible given the nature of child work.   We require that you complete a full one-year analysis with a child or adolescent.  Analytic cases are generally defined as meeting at least three times per week, although, particularly in work with children, the frequency may be less.

To complete the combined Full Analytic Training and the Child and Family Training it is required that you complete three training cases.  Working with an adolescent can be counted toward Full Analytic Training but cannot simultaneously be counted toward the Child and Family Training; three individual cases are required.    

For more information, contact: Laurel Silber, Psy.D.,

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