The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia

Play for a Change: Therapeutic Action in Contemporary Child Psychotherapy

  • 8 Nov 2019
  • 9 Nov 2019
  • Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


  • Early Bird Rate
  • Early Bird Rate

Registration is closed

Bryn Mawr College’s Department of Social Work and Social Research, The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy,  APA Division 39’s Section on Children and Adolescents, and The Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education

Proudly Present:

Play for a Change: Therapeutic Action in Contemporary Child Psychotherapy

Children learn to think, regulate emotions, have fun, heal from trauma, and find self-agency through play. However, children play less, and parents and professionals have lost sight of both the value of play in healthy development as well as play’s role in helping children work through conflicts and symptoms. Providing clinical and research evidence that reasserts that value is the goal of our conference.

6 CE credits are offered for Saturday Workshop


Radnor Hotel - 3 Miles from Bryn Mawr College 


591 E Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087

There is a block of rooms for our event. Register under "Child Therapy Conference"

Event Details

Schedule of Events:

 Friday, November 8th
  • 5:30 pm Registration begins
  • 6:00pm-9:00pm Dinner & celebration of the opening of IRPP’s Child Relational Psychotherapy Program: Ode to the Spontaneous Gesture choreographed by Marjorie Bosk, PhD. By privileging the implicit realm of experience in poem and music/sound, the space that play occupies will be brought to life by artists from ArtWell.
Saturday, November 9th
  • 8:30 am Registration begins
  • 9:00am-9:10am - Laurel Silber’s, PsyD, introduction to the day and theme and to the editor in chief of JICAP, Susan Warshaw, EdD, ABPP, and to the dean of the Social Work department of Bryn Mawr College, Janet Shapiro, MA, MSW, PhD.
  • 9:10am-9:20am Dr. Shapiro welcomes Director of Clinical Training at City College, Steven Tuber, PhD.
  • 9:20am-10:10am Dr. Tuber presents, “There’s a Place: How Parents help their Children Create the Capacity to Play.”
  • 10:10am-10:25am Dr. Shapiro moderates with audience participation.

10:25am-10:40am Break

  • 10:40am-11:30am Dr. Warshaw introduces Judith Solomon, PhD, who presents “The implications of disorganized attachment and caregiving for relational work.”
  • 11:30am-12:15pm Round table discussion about application of research concepts into practice with Dr. Larry Rosenberg, Dr. Ronald Naso, & Dr. Ionas Sapountzis, Dr. Warshaw, & Dr. Solomon

12:15pm-1:00pm Lunch provided

  • 1:00pm-1:45pm Dr. Silber presents, “The Therapeutic Action of Play Toward Knowing and Healing.”
  • 1:45-2:10 Panel discussion with Dr. Tuber & Dr. Bosk.
  • 2:10-3:00 Dr. Sapountzis & Mr. Mikulka present, “Playing with Limits and Limiting Play: Treatment of a 12-Year-Old Boy.”

3:00pm-3:20pm Break

  • 3:20pm-4:00pm Round Table discussion on clinical value of play with Dr. Rosenberg, Dr. Naso, Dr. Sapountzis, Mr. Mikulka, & Dr. Warshaw.
  • 4:00-4:30 Drs. Sophie Fink, introduces Sara Bressi, who will present on community engagement (IRPP initiative) followed by a discussion for participants to reflect and share ideas for social action initiatives on behalf of children.
  • 4:30pm Evaluation forms/CE exchange

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn to construct meaning of child’s play in the context of attachment     relationships.

2. Learn to include a child’s voice, their inner life, expressed through play in the therapeutic process.

3. Learn to address parental subjectivity to create more security of attachment in the parent-child relationship.

4. Construct a conceptual understanding of how the external environment shapes and is shaped by the inner life of the child, allowing for more portals of entry into supporting the child’s development.

5. Learn the central dilemma of disorganized attachment and the core affect of fear to best recognize what interferes in establishing safety.

6. Learn the many factors that contribute to disorganizing attachment and how to support families and communities to create more opportunities for children to experience play.

Organizing committee:

Seth Aronson, PsyD Marjorie Bosk, PhD Sophie Fink, PsyD, Ronald Naso, PhD, Larry Rosenberg, PhD, Ionas Sapountzis, PhD, Laurel Silber, PsyD in consultation with Susan Warshaw, PhD.

Brief Biographic Background of Speakers:

Marjorie Bosk, PhD, is a relational psychoanalytic clinical child psychologist who has been in private practice for over 40 years. Dr. Bosk’s work with children and adolescents has always involved the frame of the parent’s subjectivity and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Dr. Bosk specializes in very young children and parents, trauma, and chronic illness in families. Dr. Bosk consults with preschools and parent groups and has always been an advocate for appropriate developmental expectations for children, child initiated free play, keeping the child in mind in our society, and providing support for parents with young children. Dr. Bosk is excited to be on the faculty of IRPP.

Sara Bressi, LSW is an Associate Professor at Bryn Mawr's Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.  She is also a candidate at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia.  Dr. Bressi has practiced for 20 years as a social worker in a variety of community-based settings including community mental health centers, hospice services, and in oncology services.  She is currently in private practice in Bryn Mawr. 

Sophie Fink, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia where she works with children, adolescents and adults.  She has taken coursework at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia (IRPP). Her academic and clinical work focuses on gender, sexuality, and trauma from a relational and feminist lens. She is particularly interested in exploring the interaction between one’s internal psychic landscape and external sociopolitical contexts.

Joseph (JT) Mikulka, LCSW, is the Administrative and Clinical Supervisor at the Bronx Counseling Center of the Jewish Board, where he trains and supervises adult and child psychotherapists. He is graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work and the William Alanson White Institute’s Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program. He is currently a candidate in the White Institute’s Adult Psychoanalysis Training Program. JT has a private practice in New York City’s Upper West Side. 

Ronald C. Naso, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been practicing psychotherapy and performing comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for more than thirty years.   Dr. Naso is currently President of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa). He has authored numerous papers on psychoanalytic topics and currently hold positions as associate editor of Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies, editor of the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, contributing editor of Division/Review and Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, and member of the workgroup for the child section of the second edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2). His has published 6 books, including Hypocrisy Unmasked: Dissociation, Shame, and the Ethics of Inauthenticity in 2010.

Larry Rosenberg, PhD, is immediate Past President of Section II (Child and Adolescent) of the Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology of the APA and is a Member at Large on the Section V (applied psychoanalysis) board of Directors. Dr. Rosenberg served for 27 years as the Clinical Director of the Child Guidance Center of Southern CT, where he founded training programs in psychology and social work.  He served for 10 years as co-chair of the Education and Training Committee of the Connecticut Association of Mental Health Clinics for Children, and contributed to the formation of the first accredited Community Action Center in the state of CT. Dr. Rosenberg is co-editor of the Child Section of the PDM2 and a contributor to the Adolescent Section of that manual. And he is co-editor, along with Steve Axelrod and Ron Naso, of Progress in Psychoanalysis; Envisioning the Future of the Profession, published by Routledge. He has most recently co-authored, a paper entitled The Impact of Psychoanalytic Consultation for Therapists Working in the Public Sector: A Pilot Study, soon to be released in the Journal of Applied Scientific Psychoanalytic Empirical Research. Dr. Rosenberg is in private practice in Stamford where he sees children, adolescents and adult patients and continues to supervise and consult with clinicians and executives working in the public sector.

Ionas Sapountzis, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Derner School of Psychology of Adelphi University and the director of its School Psychology program.  He is a faculty member and supervisor in the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and in the Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapy programs of the Derner School of Psychology.  His articles have been published in the journals of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Review and in the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (JICAP).  He has worked with emotionally disabled children and students in the spectrum in school and community settings and maintains a private practice in Garden City, New York.

Laurel M. Silber, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice working with children and families in Bryn Mawr. She is Director of Child Relational Psychotherapy Training at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, on Board of Philadelphia Center for Psychoanalytic Education and President of Section II of Division 39. She has publications in the areas of intergenerational transmission of trauma and play. Her most recent article in JICAP is entitled: Locating Ruptures Encrypted in Gender; Developmental and Clinical Considerations.

Judith Solomon, PhD, is internationally recognized for her pioneering research and theory-building on attachment and caregiving, including the discovery and delineation of the disorganized attachment category and the first longitudinal study of infants in separated and divorced families. She developed key representational measures of caregiving and child attachment, including the Caregiving Interview, the Attachment Doll Play Projective Assessment, and the Maternal Helplessness Questionnaire. Dr. Solomon is the first editor for Attachment Disorganization, (Guilford Publications,1999) and Disorganized Attachment and Caregiving (Guilford Publications, 2011), the preeminent collections of papers on this topic and a former associate editor for the journal Attachment and Human Development. In 2013, she was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna, where she taught and did research in the Department of Evolutionary Biology. Currently, she is a visiting scientist at the Cambridge University School of Medicine in the UK and an adjunct professor in the Infant Mental Health program at Adelphi University. Solomon frequently presents workshops both in the US and abroad on the theoretical and clinical implications of attachment and disorganization and other training seminars. She also is a licensed clinical psychologist and provides consultation, training, and supervision in the area of infant and early childhood mental health. 

Steve Tuber, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology, Director of Clinical Training, and Director of the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the City College of New York, where he has taught for 34 years and counting. He has written five books, edited two more and been series editor of a book series through Lexington Books that includes four additional volumes. His areas of interest include the conceptual and clinical writings of Donald Winnicott, the usefulness of projective techniques in personality assessment, the theories and techniques of psychodynamic child psychotherapy and how the phases of parenting intersect with both healthy and pathological child development.

Susan Warshaw, EdD, ABPP, is the Clinical Associate Professor and Clinical Consultant (aka Supervisor) with the NYU Postdoctoral Program  and  was, first co-chair with Emmanuel Ghent of the Relational Orientation, during its formative years. She has since its inception been faculty and supervisor in the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program at the William Alanson White Institute and has been on faculty and supervised psychoanalytic treatment at numerous adult and child/adolescent psychoanalytic training programs. She is a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis, Distinguished Fellow of the NYState Psychological Association, was a Past Trustee of the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education, Inc. and is an Honorary Member of the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Society. A founding board member, she has been, since 2012, the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Her prior publications include co-editorship with Neil Skolnick of the 1992 book Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis, re-issued in 2015, and numerous articles and book chapters which are related to issues of therapeutic action, attachment, loss, parental death, adoption and impact on self development, as well as application of developmental theory to adult psychoanalytic process. She is in private practice in NYC.

The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia (IRPP) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  IRPP maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  For further information about continuing education and this program please contact Matthew Whitehead, Psy.D. at or 610-566-8357.

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