Child Programs

Two Child Logo for Adoption and Old CDPOne of the goals of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute is to provide professionals working with children the training they need to support the social and emotional health of the children in their care.  How do you know what is “normal” behavior and what requires attention?  And how do you address the issues?  How do you recognize the social and emotional stages of a child’s development?  The Institute hopes to provide answers to the dedicated teachers, early childhood educators, social workers, and counselors who work with and care for children every day — AND, through programs featuring experts in the field — provide the tools they need to promote happy, healthy, vibrant children.

Our upcoming programs include:



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Child Development Conference LogoChild Development Conference

“Getting to Yes: Negotiating Conflict with Today’s Children”

Presenter:  Alexandra Harrison, MD

Date:  Monday, February 19, 2018 – Presidents’ Day

Location:  Ethical Society of St. Louis Auditorium, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117

Time:  8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. (on-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)

Cost: $65  (Non refundable)  6.5 Credit Hours

This course has been approved for clock hours by the Missouri Professional Development Registry. To receive these clock hours, you must include your MOPD ID number when registering.

Harrison, Alexandra 2017Today’s children are confronted with an over-stimulating, polarizing, and sometimes violent, world.  Caregivers of young children – parents, teachers, or psychotherapists – struggle to help them become “socialized”, without crushing their individuality and agency. In their landmark book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Fisher et al lay out six negotiation skills that can help adults in conflict reach an agreement. These foundational skills can also be useful to child caregivers in their efforts to help the confused, frustrated, and aggressive child. Alexandra Harrison, a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been consulting to child caregivers for decades, sees a change in the challenges facing parents, teachers, and therapists. Drawing insights from Fisher’s book, she suggests guidelines for finding one’s way through the trials of parental multitasking, screen time, and cultural disorganization.

Alexandra Murray Harrison, MD is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and on the Faculty of the Infant-Parent Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate Program at University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Harrison has a private practice in both adult and child psychoanalysis and psychiatry. In the context of visits to orphanages in Central America and India, Dr. Harrison has developed a model for mental health professionals in developed countries to volunteer their consultation services to caregivers of children in care in developing countries in the context of a long term relationship with episodic visits and regular Skype and video contact.

Zero to Six:
Understanding the Inner World of Young Children from Infancy through Kindergarten

Course Master: Edmund Sprunger, MSW
Thursdays, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2018   7:00-8:30 p.m.
Fee:  $175   9.0 Credit Hours
This course explores the powerful emotions behind behaviors. The practical and useful classes feature topics such as the developmental accomplishments during the early years of life, and the crucial roles that early feelings and relationships play during these years. Additional topics include understanding traumatic issues in the life of a child–such as divorce, loss of a parent, and loss of a sibling. We will also explore the consequences of untreated anxiety as well as the inner experiences of children who are adopted or in foster care. A particular focus of the course will be applying an understanding of childhood development to the participants’ work experiences.



Training in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis

For a deeper understanding and course of study, the Institute offers Training in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis.  When normal development is impaired or distorted by conflict, trauma or developmental impasse, the aim of treatment is the resolution of such impediments, as well as the increased awareness in the child of the meaning of the unconscious processes. As a result of psychoanalytic treatment the child’s strength increases, psychological structures are altered, adaptive capacities are restored and normal development resumes.