Certificate Course with 12.5 hours of post-graduate credits in psychoanalytic education

Instructor: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA

When: Thursdays, 7:15pm – 8:30pm EST, on the following dates:
1st trimester: October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1; 8; 15, 2022
2nd trimester: January 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 2023
3rd trimester: April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 15, 25; June 1, 8, 15, 2023

Location: Virtual Live
(with minimal technical requirements)

$450/ 10-week course/ trimester
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for candidates in training)
Ask for our need-based scholarships and payment arrangements
(email ORI’s administrator to ).

To Register for this course, please complete the Registration form
To Register for one of the Training Programs, follow the link HERE


This class is a group supervision experience, in which students respond deeply to each other’s clinical work, and also risk sharing their own clinical work in order to get meaningful feedback.

The course is entitled “The Analyst as Instrument” because the focus is on how the clinician uses his/hers own feelings, thoughts, sensations, and perceptions in each therapeutic session as an avenue to the most acute understanding of their patients (or clients). Students learn through firsthand sharing of clinical struggles what is deflected and projected out from the patient’s internal world. This approach is based on work of generations of object relations theorists, originally derived from the British object relations school.

This approach stems back to Melanie Klein’s concept of projective-identification, Paula Heimann’s understanding of countertransference, Heinrich Racker’s contribution on “concordant” and “complementary” countertransference, as well as on Wilfred Bion’s views on translating concrete unprocessed “beta” elements (enactments) into symbolic “alpha” communication, which involves of processing projective-identifications as an integral part of countertransference phenomenon. Further contributions were made by the representatives of the British school, such as D.W. Winnicott (in his paper on “Hate in the countertransference”) and by the American theorists who wrote about ‘subjective” versus “objective” countertransference (Otto Kernberg, Lawrence Epstein, and Jeffrey Seinfeld).

The basic idea is that everything that a psychoanalytic object relations clinician experiences while in the room with the patient can be mentally (Peter Fonagy’s “mentalization”) and symbolically processed, so that it is understood in terms of core traumas and conflicts within the patient’s internal world, which are enacted upon the therapist, because the patient cannot contain and consciously experience his/her own traumas and conflicts. Whatever is said by the patient is then seen as secondary to what the patient might be enacting at any one moment, especially in relation to a core developmental arrest trauma that disrupted basic self integration and separation-individuation. This approach is critical with character disordered patients, as their psyche does not operate on containing repression; this results in compulsion to propel their own internal experience out into the other they are with, inducing feelings in the therapist of being either the traumatizing parent (part object) or the traumatized child self (part self). Object relations theories help therapists to process those projective-identification experiences, so that they can understand the traumatic disruptions in a patient’s core, stemming from the time of the early pre-oedipal parent-child sadomasochistic enactment.

For all patients, it is essential that their analysts understand/feel how to be “in their skin.” In the case of neurotic patients, verbal associations do reflect such feelings in terms of core conflicts. Thus, the understanding of these symbolically meaningful verbal associations and memories allows the therapist to understand the patient’s core conflicts, as they are continually retriggered in the unconscious areas of a repressed psyche. Participants of this course will also benefit from the mere experiential learning of how to process “objective countertransference,” and such concepts as transitional space, transitional object, holding environment, psychic container, and projective identification.


When: Thursdays, 7:15pm – 8:30pm EST, on the following dates:

1st trimester: October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1; 8; 15, 2022
2nd trimester: January 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 2023
3rd trimester: April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 15, 25; June 1, 8, 15, 2023


  • To analyze how the patient/client may be operating with dissociated trauma in their internal world; trauma that they need to re-own, feel, and understand – in order to heal, and in order to continue their development.
  • To comprehend the distinction between dissociation and splitting (due to pre-Oedipal developmental arrest) and repression and defenses against psychic conflict (in neurotic patients).
  • To experience firsthand, through the group sharing process, how each person in the group is struggling with the same clinical and developmental distinctions. Also, for students to use the group to learn through others, as well as through their own presentations.
  • For group members to learn through empathy and identification with one another about how intrapsychic and internal world phenomena can be processed into meaningful symbolic understanding. Also, to generally understand the developmental process of mentalization, so that the inchoate enactments can be formulated into communicable relationship terms.

Please note that for this class, no reading assignments are given, but there will be references to the literature mentioned below, and beyond.


  • Epstein, L. (1977). The therapeutic function of hate in the countertransference. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 13, 442-461.
  • Fairbairn, W.R.D. (1952). Psychoanalytic studies of the personality. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • Fonagy, P., Gergely, G., Jurist, E. L., & Targe, M. (2004). Affect regulation, mentalization, and the development of the self. Other Press.
  • Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. In Collected papers (Vol. 5). Basic Books.
  • Heimann, P. (1950). On countertransference. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 31, 81-84.
  • Heimann, P. (1960). Counter-transference. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 33, 9-15.
  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (1990). Supervisor as internal object. Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, 8(1), 69-76.
  • Kernberg, O. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. Jason Aronson.
  • Kernberg, O. (1980). Internal world and external reality. Jason Aronson.
  • Klein, M. (1940). Mourning and its relation to manic-depressive states. In Love, guilt and reparation and other works 1921-1945. Hogarth Press, 1980.
  • Klein, M. (1946). Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 33, 433-438.
  • Klein, M. (1957). Envy and Gratitude. Basic Books.
  • Ogden, T.H. (1986). The matrix of the mind. Jason Aronson.
  • Racker, H. (1957). The meaning and uses of countertransference. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 26, 303-357.
  • Sandler, J., Dare, C., & Holder, A. (1973). The patient and the analyst: The basis of the psychoanalytic process. Allen & Unwin.
  • Sandler, J. (1976). Countertransference and role-responsiveness. International Review of Psycho-Analysis3, 43-47.
  • Segal, H. (1952). A psychoanalytic approach to aesthetics. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 33, 196-207.
  • Segal, H. (1973). Introduction to the work of Melanie Klein. Hogarth Press.
  • Segal, H. (1981). The work of Hanna Segal. Jason Aronson.
  • Segal, H. (1985). Chapter 3: The Klein—Bion Model. In Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work (pp. 35-47). International Universities Press.
  • Seinfeld, J. (1993). Interpreting and holding: The parental and maternal functions of the psychotherapist. Jason Aronson.
  • Winnicott, D.W. (1949). Hate in the countertransference. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 30, 69-74.
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1960). Countertransference. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 33, 17-21.
  • Winnicott, D.W. (1965). The maturational processes and the facilitating environment. International Universities Press.
  • Winnicott, D.W. (1971). Playing and reality. Penguin Books.

Read more about COUNTERTRANSFERENCE as the useful tool in analytic work HERE.
Read more about PROJECTIVE IDENTIFICATION as the useful tool in analytic work HERE.


Susan Kavaler-Adler, Ph.D., ABPP, D.Litt., NCPsyA is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, who has been in practice in Manhattan for 45 years. She is a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis, and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.  She is a Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor and active faculty member at the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, a NYS Board of Regents chartered psychoanalytic training institute.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler has an honorary doctorate in literature, and she is a prolific author, with published six books and over 70 articles and book chapters in the field of object relations psychoanalytic theory. Six of her seven published books are related to clinical Object Relations theories. They are: Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference, and Object Relations Psychoanalysis (IPBooks, 2023); The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: Transformative New Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory (Karnac, 2014); The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies (Karnac, 2013); Mourning, Spirituality and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2003; Gradiva® Award from NAAP, 2004); The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity (Routledge, 1996; ORI Academic Press 2014; Gradiva® Award nomination); The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers (Routledge, 1993; ORI Academic Press, 2013). Dr. Kavaler-Adler received 16 awards for her psychoanalytic writing. She is also on the editorial board of the International Journal of Controversial Conversations (IJCC). In addition, Dr. Kavaler-Adler conducts ongoing groups in her practice, such as a monthly writing group, a monthly online experiential supervision group, and a monthly “Mourning, Therapy, and Support Group” with guided visualization. More information can be found at


$450/ 10-week course/ trimester
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for candidates in training)

SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS are available for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for retired or disabled practitioners, or need-based or/and those who live outside of the USA.
To apply for your scholarship, please go to the registration form below.

Full refund until the 1st session.
75% refund before the 2nd session.
50% refund before the 3rd session.
No refund from the day of the third session, but 50% of the full paid tuition will be applied to any further ORI events.