Selected Papers by Susan Kavaler-Adler, Volume 1:
Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference,
and Object Relations Psychoanalysis

Publisher: International Psychoanalytic Books (IPBooks)

@ the home of Dr. Denise Phillips,
43 East 10th Street (between University Place and Broadway), Apt 1A

RSVP here: Registration form

This party is a celebration of Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s new book “Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference, and Object Relations Psychoanalysis.” This is Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s seventh of authored books, and it is the first of 3 volumes of the “Selected Papers…” published by IP Books (International Psychoanalytic Books).

This book party will be a time to feast on intellectual nurturance (including Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s speaking about her book), as well as the nurturance of refreshments, and great social ambience.

IP Books will be at the party to sell books, and Dr. Kavaler-Adler, who some call Dr. Susan, will be there to sign books, and answer questions. Dr. Susan will also bring a few of her other 6 books, for sale and signing, including her Argentine tango world related book of essays and interviews, “Saturday Nights at Lafayette Grill: True Tales and Gossips of the New York City Argentine Tango Scene” (MindMend Publishing, 2016). Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s other books are: “The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers” (Routledge 1993, 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: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis” (Routledge 2003, Gradiva® Award from NAAP 2024); “The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies” (Karnac/ Routledge, 2013); “The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: Transformative New Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory” (Karnac, Routledge 2014).

For more information about Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s practice, theories, and creative endeavors, visit

About the Author:

Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA, DLitt, a Fellow of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis; she practices (both virtually and in person) psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, couples therapy, and group therapy in New York City, in Manhattan  for over 40 years. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is the Founder & Executive Director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and is a Training Analyst, Senior Supervisor and Active Faculty. She is also a prolific author/theorist, with over seventy peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, five books on psychoanalysis—and one on the Argentine tango scene in NYC.

Visit her website for more information at:


“In these thoughtfully curated volumes we have access to the work of one of the most influential and thought-provoking psychoanalytic writers today. In the creative hands of Dr. Kavaler-Adler, British and American Object Relations theories are fashioned into a vital, dynamic theory of Developmental Mourning, a developmental process that is central not only to healing trauma, but to the growth of separation-individuation processes, “self-evolution,” creativity, eroticism, and reparation: the core elements of what it is to be human and alive. Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s writing is so thoroughly infused with her enthusiasm and passion that we encounter the theory with visceral clarity and truly feel the pain and joy of her clinical work.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler illustrates the power of the use of countertransference with a poignant and healing effect, never more vividly than in her chapters on Group Therapy. In these chapters we witness the working through of primitive affects and developmental progressions embedded in the powerful dynamics of the group with Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s illuminating understanding through the lens of Developmental Mourning. We are indebted to International Psychoanalytic Books for bringing the works of one of the master clinicians of our time together in these collected volumes.”

—Robert Grossmark, PhD, ABPP, author of The Unobtrusive Relational Analyst: Explorations in Psychoanalytic Companioning and The One and the Many: Relational Approaches to Group Psychotherapy

“Susan Kavaler-Adler’s Volume I of the Selected Papers highlights her original contributions to psychoanalytic theory and technique. Drawing upon the theories of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Balint and many others, she illustrates and illuminates her concept of developmental mourning. An independent,  philosophical psychoanalyst, Kavaler-Adler bridges past and present in theory and practice. Demonstrating the beneficial clinical outcome of mourning for loss in self and object relationships, she also emphasizes the reparative and growth promoting aspects of mourning the detrimental consequences of traumatic experience.  She describes the appreciation of the new when one can separate from fixation to traumatic loss. Reading and reflecting upon Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s insightful papers are a fascinating, rewarding psychoanalytic journey.”

— Harold P. Blum, MD, Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute; affiliated with NYU Medical School and the Psychoanalytic Society of Rio de Janeiro

These are the CHAPTERS included in Vol 1 of the Selected Papers:

Chapter 1: Pivotal Moments of Surrender to Mourning the Internal Parental Objects
Chapter 2: The Beginning of Heartache in Character Disorders: On the Way to Relatedness and Intimacy through Primal Affects and Symbolization
Chapter 3: Anatomy of Regret: A Developmental View of the Depressive Position and a Critical Turn Toward Love and Creativity in the Transforming Schizoid Personality
Chapter 4: Object Relations Issues in the Treatment of the Preoedipal Character
Chapter 5: Opening Up Blocked Mourning in the Preoedipal Character
Chapter 6: The Case of David: On the Couch for Sixty Minutes, Nine Years of Once-a-Week Treatment
Chapter 7: “My Graduation is My Mother’s Funeral”: Transformation from the Paranoid-Schizoid Position to the Depressive Position in Fear of Success, and the Role of the Internal Saboteur
Chapter 8: From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning; Part I
Chapter 9: From Neurotic Guilt to Existential Guilt as Grief: The Road to Interiority, Agency, and Compassion through Mourning Part II

Chapter 10: Mourning and Erotic Transference
Chapter 11: Lesbian Homoerotic Transference in Dialectic with Developmental Mourning: On the Way to Symbolism from the Protosymbolic
Chapter 12: Erotic Transference: A Journey to Passion and Symbolization
Chapter 13: The Therapeutic Action of Working with Erotic Transference: An Object Relations View of Clinical Experience: Differentiating Theory from Classical and Relational Viewpoints.

Chapter 14: An Object Relations Approach to Dreams: From Protosymbolic to Symbolic, in Dream Content and within the Therapeutic Object Relationship
Chapter 15: Nightmares and Object Relations Theory
Chapter 16: Treating Patients with Jealousy
Chapter 17: Fear of Intimacy
Chapter 18: Tolerable and Intolerable Regret: Clinical Transformation of the Intolerable into the Tolerable

Chapter 19: An Object Relations View of Creative Process and Group Process
Chapter 20: Anatomy of Regret and Reparation: Resolution of Transference Resistances through the Combined Use of a Writing and Creative Process Group and a Mourning Regrets Group
Chapter 21: The Culture of the Mourning Group in a Culture that Often Fails to Mourn: Evolution of Themes of Grief and Regret Related to Psychic Anorexia and Self-Deprivation
Chapter 22: Countertransference, Regret, and Aggression: Drama and Free Association in an Object Relations Group Environment

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