PT 10: Psychoanalytic Theories of Mind 1 (Klein, Bion, Kohut)

We will study the works of three foundational psychoanalytic thinkers who developed radically new ways of looking at how human experience develops, and at the nature and cure of psychopathology.

Where Freud focused on drives, for Klein the relationship with, and internalization of, objects is root to the formation of mind. She recognized aggression as the source of most mental suffering, because it can never be felt towards the object without coming back on the self as external persecution. How the child is able to handle rage can lead to either psychotic, paranoid or depressive adaptations. Envy towards objects is another potently destructive force that Klein identifies as source of psychopathology when not balanced by gratitude.

Bion created a powerful theory of mind based on how experiences are processed, or not, on an emotional level. But he also believed that the encounter of analyst and patient was based on an emotional understanding that was beyond theory, and aimed solely at the truth of feelings that had not been adequately bound by verbal processing. His interest in the immediate experience of patients is clear from his recommendation that analysts approach each session without memory or desire, as a verbalizing reflection.

Kohut discovered that the self is constructed from the mirroring and idealizing responses a child receives from its caregivers (self objects), which create a healthy narcissism which is the basis for resilience and contentment. Indifference, criticism, belittlement and shaming wound the self’s narcissism and force the child to adopt compensatory strategies to assuage the hurting sense of self. Part of the analyst’s task is to be attentive to narcissistic wounds, external or happening in the analysis, and repairing them through acknowledgement and empathy.

Classes 1-3: Melanie Klein: Birth of the Object

Learning: Students will be able to describe Freud's notion of an object as it relates to his theory of the drives, and how it appears secondary to them and possessing little psychic power. Klein's second analyst was Karl Abraham, whose ideas about the introjection of objects will deeply influence her, students will understand his contributions to her thought.

Learning: Students will learn about Klein's life and personality, including her relationship with her daughter Melitta, and with Anna Freud in a triangle with Sigmund Freud at its vertex. From her life experiences we will glean her core preoccupations, which will translate into a theoretical framework that places objects at the center of mental dynamics. The dialectic with the Freuds, with Melanie going off in the opposite direction of Anna, will be explained.

Learning: We will learn how in the first months and years children live in a constant exchange of partial and increasingly whole objects that are taken in, and projected back out, with their caregivers. Also how traumatizing the process of introjection can be. And how the each specific drive attaches to object representations which then become triggers for the affect of the drive. Students will learn about the paranoid schizoid and the depressive experiences as stages of development, and how early fixations lead to psychotic outcomes.

Classes 4-6: Rage and its Repercussions: Persecution and Submission

Learning: We will see how fear becomes a major fact of inner life for Klein, and examine the feedback dynamics between rage and fear. Students will learn of Klein's focus on an innate excessive strength of the drives as cause of pathology which perpetuates Freud's rejection of his earlier trauma based theory in favor of inner conflicts. We will study the concepts of envy and gratitude, focussing especially on the profoundly destructive effects that arises from the power differential between analyst and patient which can kindle deep feelings of inferiority leading to envious rage.

Learning: Students will learn of the work of Herbert Rosenfeld and his work on pathological narcissism and the grandiose self, splitting as defense, idealization of the bad parts of the self, and his acknowledgement of the role of trauma in the genesis of negative affects, shifting the emphasis from drive to its associated emotion. We will examine his concern that patients who had been deprived or traumatized might be re-traumatized in their analyses if the analyst put too much emphasis on innate destructiveness.

Learning: Students will learn about Bion's life and character, including a relationship with his mother that made going off to war preferable to being with his mother. We will examine the similarity between his psychic structure and that of Lacan, and how they both adopted similar ways of making sense of their own experience by creating major psychoanalytic breakthroughs.

Classes 7-9: From Object to Affect: Bion

Learning: Students will learn about the radical shift in the theory of psychoanalytic treatment that came from Bion's recasting of psychoanalytic theory in terms of mental activities that process the emotions aroused by the drives. Seeing the analytic situation as a progression tending towards truth, he was more interested in in the relationship, and what type of communication would help patients reveal what was really bothering them. His approach is descriptive and phenomenological, reflecting the actual essence of the patient, rather than giving interpretations based on a theoretical schema. We will introduce the "Grid" around which his mature thinking is symbolized and structured.

Learning: Students will learn to use the Grid to understand interactions in the analytic situation, and will also see how it might apply in everyday relationships. We will focus both on how patients' speech veers both towards and away from truth in sometimes quick oscillations, and on how beta (unspoken, unintegrated) elements intrude into conscious speech, and what kind of counter-transference alerts us to their presence. Actual cases will be used as demonstrations of the functioning of the Grid.

Learning: We will examine Bion's ideas around language, which for him was used for the management of tension, rather than its discharge as Freud thought. There are many ways we speak to manage our internal emotional churn, some of which take as away from it, others rather help us manipulate and process it. Students will learn how the mind can choose not to integrate, to remain fragmented in order to avoid the formation of mental thoughts/images that would be too destructive to the integrity of the mind. We will see the similarities with the thought of Hyman Spotnitz.

Classes 10-12: Of Containers and the Stuff Inside in Relationship to the Self

Learning: We will learn Bion's conceptualization that a personality is constituted out of dual elements: a container and the contained, where the first represents the capacity to perceive and process all the emotional experiences that come from internal needs and reactions and the external responses to them. Is the container strong and flexible or fragile and brittle? Are the contents nourishing or explosively destructive, do they fit well or is the container straining and deforming itself to hold them? As analysts, when do we attend to the container, and when do we address the contained?

Learning:Students will learn about Kohut's early issues with an absent father and obsessively involved mother that made it a challenge to establish a coherent sense of self. We will see how he dealt with this, initially through a perfect adherence to the pseudo-Freudian orthodoxy of the mid 20th century that believed the only appropriate psychoanalytic intervention was the interpretation.This type of analysis, essentially intellectual and cognitive, failed to address that which either suppoprted or undermined the basic sense of integrity and goodness of one's personal core. Realizing that his interpretations sometimes put off, hurt and disconnected him from the patient, he discovered that the self was different from Freud's Ego, and addressing its needs was crucial to curing mental suffering.

Learning: Students will learn about Kohut's idea of self and how it relates to Freud's idea of narcissism, which will be explained both in terms of drive theory, as well as a concept related to specific pleasurable or displeasurable feeling states, which Kohut terms 'self states'. We will describe the experiences of a child through the first years of life through the lense of its narcissistic experience of self. We will see how Kohut emphasizes the positive aspects of narcissism, and sees 'narcissistic' disorders as broken narcissism.

Classes 13-15: The Primacy of the Self

Learning: Students will learn the mechanisms of self development: self objects, mirroring and idealizing responses and empathy. And how introducing empathy into Freudian thinking forced a one-eighty re-orientation into the question of just what cures in psychoanalysis. We will study the role of self objects on ourselves and patients, and how unconsciously these external points of reference are always influencing us. Students will learn the nature and functon of mirroring and idealizing responses in child rearing, and the balance needed for the development of a strong sense of self.

Learning:Students will learn Kohut's idea of a developmental 'arc', a trajectory that a person will follow under optimally facilitating circumstances, and that gets deviated and perverted when: there is an imbalance between idealizing and mirroring, there is a lack of appropriate self objects that can become internalized and self sustaining, and/or there are critical, shaming, demeaning responses

Learning: Students will learn of the need the self has for twinship, to have someone who is similar and thus reinforces the sense of self, the Lacanian Imaginary. This notion will be compared to H. S. Sullivan's notion of the 'chum' as vital for healthy development Thus the idea of the twinship transference, which allows a patient to regain a healthy sense of self, from which position they can now fully understand and make peace with the knowledge of their defining relationships.

READINGS: the following are pdfs of publicly available readings:
| Hinshelwood: Klein Basics | Klein: Envy and Gratitude | Klein: Contributions | Abraham: Object Relations | Abraham: Papers | Bion: Elements of Psychoanalysis | Bion: Works | Symington: Bion | Segal:Klein | Kohut: How Does Analysis Cure | Kohut: Analysis of Self | Bion's GRID

Instructor: Jan Middeldorf, PsyD,
Starts: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 11:30AM-1:00PM MT
Meets: By teleconference. Students will receive call-in instructions following registration.
Information: 505 296 6508 or

PT9 $290

Analysis of Resistance (PT 18)

This course covers in depth the core psychoanalytic idea of resistance. Clinical and theoretical readings will clarify and illustrate the development, evolution, and use of the concept from its early inceptions to present day theoretical conceptualizations and applications. Students will be able to articulate the origins, essential role and significance of the various types of resistance encountered in psychoanalytic treatment. Case material contributed by class members will also be used to foster experiential learning of resistance.

Classes 1-3: Origins of the concept of resistance in psychoanalysis

Learning: Students will specifically focus on one or more psychoanalytic perspectives on resistance and the early stages of ego development. Readings: McLaughlin, J. T. (1995). Resistance. || Freud, S. (1912). Papers on technique: the dynamics of transference.

Learning: Students will be able to describe the concept of resistance in clinical applications through one or more psychoanalytic perspectives. Readings: Spotnitz, H. (1985). Recognition and understanding of resistance. || Winnicott D.W. (1975) Primitive emotional development Resistance.

Learning: Students will be able describe Freud’s various models of the mind as a source theoretical perspective on the overarching concept of resistance. Readings: Meadow, P. W. (1984). The royal road to preverbal conflicts.

Classes 4-6: Recognition and understanding of clinical resistance

Learning: Students will discuss the relationship between the concepts of psychoanalytic defense and resistance. Readings: Spotnitz, H., & Meadow, P.W. (1976). The analyst intervenes.

Learning: Students will understand the concept of ‘transference resistance’ in clinical applications. Readings: Spotnitz, H., & Meadow, P.W. (1995). Toward an understanding of emotional contagion.

Learning: Students will understand how the narcissistic defense operates as resistance in treatment. Documentary: Teale, S. (Producer), & De Leo, M. (Director). (2001). Bellevue: Inside out

Classes 7-9: Modern psychoanalytic perspectives on the concept of resistance

Learning: Students will be able to identify narcissistic transference phenomena as clinical resistance in treatment. Readings: Abrams, E. K. (1976). The narcissistic transference as a resistance

Learning: Students will learn how to identify and manage objective and subjective narcissistic transference resistance. Readings: Spotnitz, H., & Meadow, P.W. (1995). The narcissistic transference

Learning: Students will learn how aggression is utilized in treatment to manage patient resistance. Readings: Rosenthal, L. (2005). A modern analytic approach to group resistance

Classes 10-12: Identifying types of resistance in psychoanalysis

Learning: Students will be able to identify types of clinical resistance encountered in the treatment room and associate these resistance dynamics to correlating levels of psychological development. Readings: Spotnitz, H., & Meadow, P.W. (1995). Special resistances in group analysis.

Learning: Students will learn fundamental concepts on how to identify and manage group resistance. Readings: Epstein, L. (1987). The problem of the bad analyst feeling

Learning: Students will learn how to identify and manage the various types of specific treatment destructive resistances.

Classes 13-15: Managing the resistance in psychoanalytic treatment

Learning: Students will learn the necessary function of resistance in treatment. Readings: Sharpe, E.F. (1937). Mechanisms of dream formation

Learning: Students will learn the fundamental dynamics of following the ‘contact function’ in managing resistance in psychoanalytic treatment. Readings: Laub, L. (1990). From symbolic communication to narcissistic transference

Learning: Students will learn how to engage the various types of treatment destructive resistances and manage them toward successful outcomes.

Instructor: Amier Carmel, LCSW, Psya.D,
Starts: Tuesday March 3, 2020 1:00PM-2:30PM ET
Meets: By teleconference. Students will receive call-in instructions following registration.
Information: 646-660-1981 or

PT 18 $290


This class will introduce students to the principles of modern psychoanalysis, both in theory and practice. We will examine different transferences, counter-transferences, and how patients induce feeling in us. We will look at what interventions are useful in resolving resistances, especially in the case of highly traumatized and therefore 'difficult' people. Part of the focus will be on the role of the destructive drives in psychopatholgy. We will also learn how to deal with the stress of working with such patients and how to keep ourselves from burning out or developing reactions that could negatively impact our own lives.

PT 111 & PT 211 are limited to four students and are part of Modern Analytic training, and should not in any way be construed as licensable and licensed supervision for the purpose of fulfilling State or insurance requirements!

Instructor: Phyllis Beck, MS, NCPSyA
Starts: Friday, October ??, 2019, 8:00pm-9:30pm PT/9:00am-10:30pm MT/11:00-12:30 ET
Meets: By teleconference. Students will receive call-in instructions following registration.
Information: 516-603-6474 or

PT 111/211 $290

In order for faculty to arrange their schedules, we request the courtesy of an RSVP for classes at least two weeks before the beginning of the semester. Of course anyone is welcome at any time! To register for a course, tuition payments must be current by that time. Any other payment arrangements must be made with the Director before classes begin.

Individual class $25

Refund Policy

A full refund will be given to students who drop out before the second class. If the student drops out between the 2nd and the 5th class, the refund is 75%, no refund is given after the 5th class.

Curriculum for 2018-2019

Fall 2018

Neuroscience-Neurobiology: The Foundations of Psychoanalysis (PT 12)
Instructor: TBA
PT 24: Child and Family Analysis
Instructor: Jan Middeldorf, PsyD co-teaching with:

Winter 2019

PT 18: Analysis of Resistance
Instructor: TBA
PT 9: Lacan
Instructor: Jan Middeldorf, PsyD

Fall 2019

PT 3: Attachment Theory and Object Relations
Instructor: TBA
PT 8:Modern Psychoanalysis I

Offered every semester

PT 111 Supervision Class
Instructors: Kathy Mcleay PhD, Jeff Romer, PhD, Helene Stilman, PsyD, Pamela Armstrong Manchester, MA


Psychoanalytic Work with Neurodivergent People
their Families and Environments
Presented by: Jan Middeldorf, PsyD and Leighton Reynolds, PhD

June 8, 2019, from 10:00am to 5:00pm

Our brains are unique and multidimensional and some of us innately have aspects of our functioning that differ greatly from average. This necessitates some unconventional adaptations that can be incomprehensible and upsetting to parents and schools. We will talk about people with autism, attention issues and learning difficulties. Some folks acquire neurodivergence through physical brain trauma, and are faced with a new, unfamiliar experience of how it feels to be themselves.

We will explain the brain circuits involved in the different types of neurodivergence (ND), examine their evolutionary purpose, and how it feels to have those networks function both in the average range, as well as way above or below. Then we’ll see how these highs and lows, and the the environmental responses to them, impact the limbic system, causing strong reactions of fear, pain and thus anger, and how the whole nervous system must react to compensate. We will also illustrate the neuro-chemical disruptions following brain trauma and how this is subjectively experienced and reacted to.

The essence of psychoanalytic work is understanding the inner world of the other, so using the voices of ND folks, we will describe their experiences and behaviors, not as troublesome symptoms to be gotten rid of, but rather as adaptive response to relatable states of mind. When we listen and explore what we see and hear, it turns out that the seemingly strangest behavior and speech have a specific purpose: either to improve brain functioning in the moment or to communicate with others. And when we learn the person’s ‘language’, we can relate in ways that are supportive, helpful and healing.

ND people live in social systems, which may or may not provide a favorable environment. In order to help them we have to know how to join in with the family or school, and facilitate empathy and understanding. We will talk about the most effective ways to resolve resistances to differences and to create a positive learning experience for all concerned.

The ever plastic brain also grows from being exercised through movement, games and other neurologically challenging activities, that add helpful wiring and connections. Struggling nervous systems also benefit from nutrients and substances such as oxytocin and cannabinoids that help with inflammation, cellular support, clean up and repair, neurotransmitter balancing, and the overactive stress response.


Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the neurobiological structures and dynamics involved in different types of neurodiversity. .
  • Describe subjective experiences associated with these diverse ways of brain functioning.
  • Understand the functional nature of behaviors that fall outside the norms.
  • Learn the language of the neurodivergent person and be able to translate it to their family and environment.
  • Devise ways to address the person’s inadequate regulation of the limbic/emotional system.
  • Address the concerns of families and social systems in ways that foster understanding and acceptance.


  • Grandin, T. 1995. Thinking in Pictures. New York: Doubleday.
  • Grandin, T. 2005. Animals in Translation. New York: Scribner
  • Amen, D. 2013. Healing ADD. New York: Berkley.
  • Shore, A. 1952. The Effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health. Infant Mental Health Journal, 2001, 22, 201-269.

6 continuing education credits for Counselors and Social Workers

Sheraton Uptown, 2600 Louisiana Blvd.NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110 505-881-0000

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Conference $165 (includes sit down hot lunch)

Conference $150.00 (SWBHIPA members only) (includes sit down hot lunch)

OR, pay here if you want to attend the conference as part of a CCMPS one credit conference call class. This class offers another 4.5 CE credits, for Counselors and Social Workers.

Half Class: $175 and the $30 registration fee = $205

Connect: ☎ 505 296 6508 @ CCMPS FB