Psychoanalytic Grand Rounds @ ORI
Fairbairn’s Paradigm Shift to Developmental Model of Psychoanalysis
as a Method and a Clinical Tool

Presenter: Dr. David Celani
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2022, 9:30am — 1:00pm EDT
Location: Zoom/Virtual Participation Only

Continuing Education Information: 3.5 CE hrs for NYS SWs and NYS LPs (from NAAP)

Participation is free (if registered before 6pm EDT on October 1st, 2022), but REGISTRATION is required.
NB: If you request the CEs, the CE fees do apply. 
If you paid the CE fee but your profession’s CEs are not covered –
you can request the CE fee ($25) to be refunded or applied for any other future event @ORI.
Please consider to support our events by making a tax-deductible donation (EIN # 133697333) via PayPal.Me/ORINYC
To Register for this event, please complete the Registration form


This three hour introduction to the psychoanalytic theory of W.R.D. Fairbairn will focus on three key issues that emerge from his revolutionary model. The first is Fairbairn’s sensitivity to the developing infant and child’s absolute need for empathic and attuned parenting. The infant and child’s fundamental need is to feel safe and nurtured by his/her all important maternal object. The feeling allows normal development to unfold in a timely manner. Any disruption to the sense of secure attachment to the mother registers as a trauma and has to be erased from the child’s awareness so his feeling of safety can continue. The child’s only defense against early disruptions of his secure attachment to his mother is dissociation, which erases the memory of the interruption and forces it into the child’s unconscious. In families lacking empathy the child has to dissociate one interpersonal parenting failure after another, and these memories accumulate in the child’s unconscious and coalesce into memories of him/self in relation to an unempathic parent.

The internalized and dissociated memories of self and others live in the unconscious and engage in dialogues with each other as the events of childhood are remembered and replayed over the years. These dissociated memories  create the individual’s inner world, which varies in strength according to how many events had to be forced into the unconscious. The internal dialogues between the self and the internalized object can be projected onto external objects and thus produce transferences and enactments. This presentation will give the attendee a careful tour of the structure of the unconscious and to ways of  dealing with it as it emerges in the treatment setting.

The third part of this educational event will emphasize the practicality and usefulness of Fairbairn’s model as a treatment tool. In the past, Fairbairn’s model was seen as a theoretical and philosophical challenge to Freud’s model that had little practical value. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fairbairn’s structural theory gives the clinician a valuable tool that allows them to assess the patient’s inner world, and monitor the individual’s progress toward separation from toxic objects as well as progress integration of previously dissociated memories from childhood.


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Presentation session: 9:30am – 12:00pm
General Q & A: 12:15pm – 1:00pm

Readings in preparation to this workshop (not mandatory) — will be sent to the registered participants (in PDF formats) – as per request:
Dr. Celani’s workshop handout “Fairbairn’s Metaphor of Human Mind.”


At the end of this educational activity, its participants will be able to:

  • Analyze Fairbairn’s developmental model with its focus on the child’s absolute dependency on his parental objects for all his psychological needs.
  • Compare Fairbairn’s model of Object Relations to other psychoanalytic models.
  • Discuss how early parental failures inhibit child’s differentiation and keep the child excessively attached to the bad objects later in life.
  • Analyze a child’s psychological modes of operation that protect him/her from awareness of childhood trauma.
  • Discuss how dissociated child’s memories create subpersonalities in the child that provoke transferences and repetition compulsions based on these subpersonalities.
  • Analyze how subpersonalities create resistance to treatment and change.


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 Setting; The Illusion of Love: Why the Battered Woman Returns to Her Abuser, and Leaving Home: How to Separate From Your Difficult Family.


National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an Approved Provider of continuing education for Licensed Psychoanalysts. #P‑0019. 3.5 hours.

National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Social Workers #SW-0168. 3.5 hours.

To receive CE certificates for the actual hours attended – please request them at the time of registration or any time prior to beginning of the conference. CE certificate fee: $25 (in addition to the registration fees). No fees charged for PD (Professional Development) certificates from ORI.


Registration is FREE (until 6pm EDT on October 1st, 2022)

Registration ‘at the door’ (after 6pm EDT/NYC time on October 1st, 2022)
$40 regular/ $25 grad students & candidates/ $10 undergrad students.

Please Note: If CEs are requested — there is a mandatory fee of $25 (can be paid on the day of the conference or in advance).

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.

This event is free if you register before 6pm EDT, October 1, 2022.
Otherwise, you will receive full refund if cancelled before the beginning of the event on October 2, 2022.
No refund from the beginning of the event, but full paid tuition will be applied to any further ORI events.