Susan Kavaler-Adler

Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, D.Litt, NCPsyA is a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst for over 40 years and supervisor of psychotherapists practicing psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and group therapy, as well as a consultant for those involved in the wish to write for personal healing or for writing projects, related to her experience running writing groups in her practice for over 30 years. For more information on Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s private practice and her unique approach to psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, please visit the Private Practice page. Dr Kavaler-Adler is also the Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Senior Faculty & Training Supervisor of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler has an honorary doctorate in literature, as well as a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, and has a Diplomate status (ABPP) as a psychoanalyst from the American Psychological Association and the Division of Psychoanalysis. She also has had training as a dance therapist.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a prolific author. She has written 6 books and 70 articles on issues of psychological interest that relate to clinical practice, healing, and particularly to issues of mourning and creativity for healing and psychic health. In her books and articles, she has written about such difficult and fundamental to psychological growth issues as fear of success, envy, resolving blocks to creativity, creative compulsion or blocks versus free motivation, and mourning and the opening of erotic desire and spirituality, along with the opening of the creative self. She has written also about fathers and daughters, and about finding one’s voice in the world and in creative work, as well as on the capacity to surrender in life and in Argentine tango. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is acknowledged for her extensive work on defining a demon lover theme and complex that affects many women’s lives, and has an article on the modern film version of “Phantom of the Opera.” Her acclaimed articles include Mourning and Erotic Transference (International Journal of Psychoanalysis,1992), and Opening Up Blocked Mourning in the Preoedipal Character (American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1995). Dr. Kavaler-Adler has helped many in her practice to convert anxiety and depression into creative self expression in love and work. Her five well-known psychoanalytic published books are The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers (Routledge, 1993; Other Press, 2000; ORI Academic Press, 2013); The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity (Routledge, 1996; ORI Academic Press, 2014); Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change (Routledge, 2003, National Gradiva® Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, 2004); Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization through Vivid Clinical Cases (Karnac, 2013); and The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: Transformative New Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory (Karnac, 2014). The most recent book, the 1st Volume of Sr. Kavaler-Adler’s Collected Papers, titled Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference, and Object Relations Psychoanalysis, was published in 2023 by IPBooks. She has won 16 other awards for her writing in the field of psychology and psychotherapy. Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s first trade book, Saturday Nights at Lafayette Grill: True Tales & Gossips of NY City Argentine Tango Scene (MindMend Publishing, 2017), brings the reader into the center of New-York City Argentine tango craze and passion.

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Interview with Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler: Making of a Psychoanalyst

Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler, a psychoanalyst with 40+ years experience in the field of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis, talks about human nature, connection, social media, literature and Argentine tango.
  • Years in Practice: 40 +
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Gordon Derner Institute, Adelphi University, NY, 1974
  • NYS License No.: 004739, 1975
  • Fellow of the American Board of Professional Psychology and Academy of Psychoanalysis, ABPP, 2002; ABPP National Registry / 5596 (2002)
  • Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, NIP, 1981. NIP faculty & supervisor (1982-89)
  • Certificate in Supervision of Psychotherapy, PostGraduate Center for Mental Health, 1985. PostGraduate Center faculty (1986-89)
  • Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, 1991, NYS Board of Regents chartered psychoanalytic training institute
  • Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor, and Faculty, Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis since 1991
  • Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Ignatius University, 2008
  • Author of six books and over 70 peer reviewed journal articles and edited book chapters
  • 16 awards for writing, including the Gradiva® Award from NAAP in 2004