2nd Trimester of Year 1 of the One-Year, Two-Year and the Full Training in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (can be also taken as an individual post-graduate certificate course; no pre-requisites)

Post-graduate psychoanalytic education credits offered: 12.5hrs.

Course instructor: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA

Dates: January 9, 2020 - March 12, 2020, Thursdays, 8:40 - 9:55pm.

Tuition: $450/ 10-week course/ trimester (can be paid in 2 installments, upon request). Registration: $25/course (waived for candidates in training) - can be paid by CC via PayPal - follow the link: PayPal.Me/ORINYC . Additional registration fee ($25) for non-candidates.

Location: 115 East 9th Street (@ 3rd Avenue); 12P, NYC, 10003 or Virtual participation – via audio/video or audio only (with minimal technical requirements).

To Register for the course, follow the link HERE

To Register for one of the Training Programs, follow the link HERE


This class will consist of readings, discussions, and role plays.

This course will focus on the splitting and dissociation in the developmentally arrested character disorders, including a special look at the closet narcissist character disorder. Along with studying dissociation and splitting, which goes back to Ronald Fairbairn and Melanie Klein, we will see the narcissistic defense that is employed as compensation and shield against persecutory anxiety.

We will begin with current writing on dissociation that extends back to Ronald Fairbairn, and extends forward to a “relational aspect of dissociation.” We will cover James Masterson on the arrested self that emerges when abandonment depression affect states can be felt and navigated in treatment for those with early separation-individuation/ preoedipal/ basic fault trauma.

Then, we go back to Annie Reich on the early roots of the closet narcissist phenomenon that James Masterson and Susan Kavaler-Adler have written about later. We see splitting mechanisms, not only originating in Fairbairn’s papers, but in Melanie Klein’s “Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms.” To look at the recovery of parts of the self, we will read from John Steiner on “Psychic Retreats” and recovery through mourning; and from the articles and books on “developmental mourning” by Susan Kavaler-Adler. 

D. W. Winnicott on the true and false self interacts here, and reading Winnicott’s original thoughts then lead into Kavaler-Adler on closet narcissism, and Michael Balint on The Basic Fault, where therapeutic regression is addressed. Full cases on the developmental integration process from some of Kavaler-Adler’s cases in Mourning, Spirituality, and Psychic Change: A New Object Relations View of Psychoanalysis will be discussed.


Week 1

Klein described splitting of the objectFreud, the splitting of the ego, and Fairbairn, the splitting of the self (Modell, 2000, p. 202).

1) Elizabeth F. Howell (2005). The dissociative mind. London, UK: Routledge. Introduction (pp. 1-13); Chapter 1: Dissociation: A model of the psyche (pp. 14-37; Chapter 3: Pioneers of psychodynamic thinking on dissociation: Janet, Freud, Ferenczi, and Fairbairn (pp. 82-91, on Fairbairn). Chapter 10: Narcissism: A relational aspect of dissociation (pp. 219-228).

2) Fairbairn, W.D. (1952). Psychoanalytic studies of the personality. London: Tavistock Publications Limited. Chapter IV: Endopsychic structure considered in terms of object-relationships.

Week 2

Masterson, J.F. (1993). The emerging self: A developmental, self, and object relations approach to the treatment of the closet narcissistic disorder of the self. NY, NY: Bruner/Mazel. Chapter 3: Differential diagnosis (pp. 26-66). Chapter 9: Countertransference and projective identification, part I (pp. 217-227).

Week 3

1) Reich, A. (1940). A contribution to the psychoanalysis of extreme submissiveness in women. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9, 470-480.

2) Reich, A. (1953). Narcissistic object choice in women. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 1, 22-44.

Week 4

Klein, M. (1946). Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 27, 99-110.

Week 5

Steiner, J. (1993). Psychic retreats: Pathological organizations in psychotic, neurotic and borderline patients. London, UK: Routledge. Chapter 1: A theory of psychic retreats (pp. 1-13); Chapter 2: Psychic retreats: a clinical illustration (pp. 14-24); Chapter 3: The paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions (pp. 25-39); Chapter 4: Review: narcissistic object relations and pathological organizations of the personality (pp. 40-53); Chapter 5: The recovery of parts of the self lost through projective identification: the role of mourning. (pp. 54-63).

Week 6

1) Winnicott, D. W. (1965).  Ego distortion in terms of true and false self (1960).  In The Maturational Process and the Facilitating Environment (pp. 140-152). New York, NY: International Universities Press.

2) Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). Psychic structure and the capacity to mourn: Why narcissists can’t mourn. MindConsiliums, 14(1), 1-18.

Week 7

1) Kavaler-Adler, S. (2006). My graduation is my mother’s funeral: Transformation from the paranoid-schizoid to the depression position in the fear of success and the role of the internal saboteur. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 15(2), 117-130.

2) Kavaler-Adler, S. (in press). The closet narcissist personality: Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” Jungian and object relations theory, and Trump rally addicts (paper given on the plenary panel of the International Psychohistorical Association on May 22, 2019 and at Jungian Psychoanalytic Psychology Club on October 12, 2019).

Week 8

Balint, M. (1979). The basic fault. New York, NY: Brunner Mazel. Chapter 3: The two levels of analytic work (pp.11-17); Chapter 4: The area of the basic fault (pp. 18-23); Chapter 5: The area of creation (pp. 24-27); Chapter 22: The various forms of therapeutic regression (pp. 138-148); Chapter 24: Therapeutic regression, primary love, and the basic fault (pp. 159-172).

Week 9

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2003). Mourning, spirituality and psychic change: A new object relations view of psychoanalysis. London, UK: Routledge. [Gradiva Award winner from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, 2004]  Chapter 11: The case of Laura, Part 1. Mourning as the poetry of female eroticism: Homoerotic evolutions of a homosexual woman within developmental mourning (pp.193-219); Chapter 12: The case of Laura, Part 2. Strands and cycles of mourning and unrequited love: Modes of mourning (pp.220-241).

Week 10

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2003). Mourning, spirituality and psychic change: A new object relations view of psychoanalysis. London, UK: Routledge. [Gradiva Award winner from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, 2004]   Chapter 6: The case of June, Part 1. Finding the new identity through the mourning of traumatic loss and guilt, primal rage and poignant regret (pp. 81-109); Chapter 7: The case of June, Part 2. A mournful and spiritual journey: Spiritual and sexual evolution (pp. 110-139). Chapter 8: June’s evolution in later years of treatment: Transformation through mourning in developmental, transference, and life change terms (pp. 140-148).

Learning Goals:

BIO of the instructor:

Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler is a founder and executive director of the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ORI), chair of the ORI Board, as well as the chair of the Training Committee, advisor, training analyst, and psychoanalytic training supervisor. She has 40 years’ experience in object relations psychoanalytic practice, specializing in early psyhotrauma, character pathology, grief and mourning, blocks to creativity, and other challenging psychological issues.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a prolific author, with five books and sixty peer-reviewed articles and book chapters related to complex object-relations clinical phenomena of developmental mourning, demon-lover complex, erotic transference, female creativity, and many others. She has received 15 awards for her writing in the field of psychoanalysis including the Gradiva Award from NAAP in 2004 and four competitive Arlene Wohlberg Memorial awards. 

Dr. Kavaler-Adler’s 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 2004); The Anatomy of Regret: From Death Instinct to Reparation and Symbolization in Vivid Case Studies (Karnac, 2013); Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: New Transformative Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory” (Karnac, 2014). 

For more information – visit www.kavaleradler.com.

For more information or to discuss the scholarships and virtual attendance logistics, please call ORI's administrator Dr. Inna Rozentsvit at 646-522-1056  or email to adminorinyc@gmail.com.

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