2nd Trimester 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 prerequisites)

Instructor: Susan Kavaler-Adler, PhD, ABPP, NCPsyA, D.Litt.
Date: 1/12/23 — 3/16/23 (Thursdays, 8:40pm — 9:55pm)
Location: Virtual Live
14.75 CEs for NYS SWs, NYS Psychologists, APA – for most mental health practitioners outside of NYS

To Register for this course, please complete the Registration form


This course explores the critical clinical treatment processes with the major character disorders, as defined in Object Relations developmental terms. There will be close readings of illustrative clinical dialogues for Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid conditions.

The work of several Object Relations theorists will be studied within “in vivo” dialogues between psychotherapists and patients, particularly the work of James Masterson, Candace Orcutt, and Susan Kavaler-Adler. The contributions of Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott, Ronald Fairbairn, and Margaret Mahler will also be cited in relation to these modern theorists.

The teaching emphasis will be on being in the moment with each type of character disorder patients, and on understanding the contrasting psychic structure of each of the character disorders. Participants of this course will learn how to link psychic structure with developmental arrest issues, and with the particular kind of clinical technique that is useful with each character disorder type. Also, the general commonalities between the different forms of character disorders will also be seen, i.e. splitting and dissociation as contrasted with repression in neurotics.


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

  • Analyze the developmental disruptions that create character disorders.
  • Compare the primal and secondary roles of the primal mother and the father in creating character disorders.
  • Discuss the overlap between hysterical personality phenomena and the borderline level developmental arrest.
  • Discuss the borderline character disorder and her abandonment depression in a clinical case description.
  • Analyze the developmental trauma in the borderline personality disorder.
  • Analyze the developmental trauma in the narcissistic personality disorder.
  • Compare the developmental trauma in the borderline character and developmental trauma in the narcissistic character.
  • Discuss the case of the British performance artist/poet, Edith Sitwell, which Illustrates the psycho-biographic deterioration of the “aging narcissist”: break-down of narcissistic defenses and abandonment depression.
  • Analyze the differentiation level of separation-individuation as it unfolds in the clinical process of the schizoid character.
  • Compare the developmental arrest in the schizoid character and the borderline character.
  • Discuss how movement towards the depressive position in the schizoid personality opens up love and creativity.
  • Discuss James Masterson’s “Borderline Triad,” a part of developmental process that leads into the transforming affect states of the “abandonmentdepression.”
  • Discuss the “developmental mourning” process, which includes pivotal moments of surrender to grief and experiencing the “heartache.”
  • Discuss how the capacity for relatedness and intimacy grows through moments of grief within the developmental mourning process.


Required Literature:

  • The Unanswered Self: The Masterson Approach to the Healing of Personality Disorders, by Candace Orcutt.
  • Selected Papers by Susan Kavaler-Adler (Volume 1): Developmental Mourning, Erotic Transference, Object Relations Psychoanalysis, by Susan Kavaler-Adler.
  • The Compulsion to Create: Women Writers and Their Demon Lovers, by Susan Kavaler-Adler.

Weeks One:

The Unanswered Self, Chapter 1: Overview: Personality Disorder and the Developmental Paradigm (pp. 1-28).

Weeks Two:

The Compulsion to Create, Chapter 2: From Mother to Father  (pp. 27-43); also – optional: Chapter 1 (pp. 1-27).

Week Three:

The Unanswered Self, Chapter 2: The Borderline Personality: Case Study: Confrontation of hysterical [Borderline] Transference Acting Out (pp. 27-54).

Week Four:

The Compulsion to Create, Chapter 16: The Turn to Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (pp. 347–376).

Week Five:

The Unanswered Self, Chapter 3: The Narcissistic Personality. Case Study: A Patient with Manifest Narcissist Personality Disorder and Developmental Trauma (pp. 54-90).

Week Six:

The Compulsion to Create, Chapter 14: Edith Sitwell as the “Aging Narcissist” (pp. 293-394).

Week Seven:

The Unanswered Self, “Case Study: The Differentiating Schizoid – Clinical Considerations” and “Case Study: Schizoid Fantasy: Refuge or Transitional Location?” (pp. 91-141).

Week Eight:

Volume 1, Selected Papers of Susan Kavaler-Adler, Chapter 3: Anatomy of Regret: A Developmental View of the Depressive Position and the Critical Turn Toward Love and Creativity in the Transforming Schizoid Personality. [Originally published in The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64 (1), 39-76.]

Week Nine:

The Unanswered Self, Chapter 5: Abandonment Depression, the Triad, and the Developmental Paradigm (pp. 142-158).

Week Ten:

Volume 1, Selected Papers, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2: Pivotal Moments of Surrender to Mourning the Internal Parental Object. [Originally published in Psychoanalytic Review, 94(5), 763-789.]


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. Five of her six published books related to clinical object relations theories are 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



Accreditation Statement

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Amedco LLC and Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis (ORIPP).  Amedco LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Psychologists (APA) Credit Designation

This course is co-sponsored by Amedco and Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis.  Amedco is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Amedco maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  23.0 hours

The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Counselors: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, ME, MO, NC, ND, NH, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
MI: No CE requirements
The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for MFTs: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, MD, ME, MO, NE, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
MI: No CE requirement
The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Addictions Professionals: AK, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IN, KS, LA, MD, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NY (outstate held)*, OK, OR, SC, UT, WA, WI, WY
* OK accepts APA credit for live, in-person activities. For all ethics and/or online courses, an application is required.
MA / MFTs: Participants can self-submit courses not approved by the MAMFT board for review.
The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Social Workers: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, ME, MN, MO, NE, NH, NM, OR, PA, VT, WI, WY

New York Board for Social Workers (NY SW)
Amedco SW CPE 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 #0115. 23.0 hours

New York Board for Psychology (NY PSY)
Amedco is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0031. 23.0 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.


Tuition: $450/10-week course/trimester (can be paid in 2 installments)
Registration fee: $25/course (waived for ORI’s 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.