David P. Celani, PhD

David P. Celani, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who practiced for more than twenty-five years in Burlington, Vermont. In treatment, he focused on his patients’ “attachment to bad objects”, which manifested through their inability to separate from parents, friends, or marital partners who demeaned, criticized, or abused them. Celani now presents continuing education workshops throughout the United States on Object Relations theory and on Fairbairn’s developmental model of the human psyche and object relationships, including the new structural model of psyche based on attachment to bad objects proposed by R. Fairbairn.

His books with Columbia University Press include Fairbairn’s Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingThe Illusion of Love: Why the Battered Woman Returns to Her Abuser, and Leaving Home: How to Separate From Your Difficult Family. He is currently working on his fifth book, on Ronald Fairbairn’s theoretical model and its modern application, which will be published by Routledge.


Dr. Celani has been teaching at ORI since 2020. His presentations, workshops and seminars at ORI include:

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