Open Analytic Theory Classes

NOTE:  Late registration fees apply June 2+

*Distance Learning is available  for those living outside the St. Louis metro area for all courses except where noted.

“For most mental health professionals, the graduate training experience does not fully prepare one to be a skilled, knowledgeable and confident therapist. While we continue to learn from our patients throughout our professional lives, we believe that advanced formal training is crucial to our efforts to provide the highest level of clinical competence.  (These) programs are designed to enrich psychotherapeutic skills and to provide a background in psychodynamic principles and the theoretical basis of clinical work.”  — American Psychoanalytic Association

Each year, the Institute opens several courses in the training program to non-candidates.  Graduates of an advanced Psychotherapy program (such as the Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program affiliated with the Institute or comparable training programs), individuals in psychiatric training programs, academics with a research interest in the area, along with Advanced Analytic Candidates and Faculty of the Institute may apply to take these open courses.

Up to eighty (80) class sessions, but no more than five (5) courses, successfully passed, taken as Open Classes, can count toward Analytic Training.

For the 2017-18 Academic Year, the Open Analytic Theory Classes include:

2nd Year Classes:

Freud (1st & 2nd semester)
Course-masterTodd Dean, MD
Dates: 9/8/2017-5/11/2018 *Fridays 10:30-11:45 a.m., Institute Classroom A
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $2048] [Candidate registration after June 1st $1920]

The underlying premise of the Freud course is that Freud’s thinking about the unconscious, sexuality, development, the relation between mind and body and between words and things, among other topics, remains at “the cutting edge” of psychoanalysis. Further, we are less focused on his conclusions than on the process of his thinking. To be a “Freudian” is not a matter of observing an orthodoxy, but of being open to the still radical way in which Freud thinks about the problems that psychoanalytic theory addresses. The class proceeds by close reading of major texts of Freud (usually presented in the New Penguin Freud translation), with some use of secondary literature. Class discussion and some homework will also be involved; in the spirit of the class, our focus will be less on “getting it right” than on the process of exploration itself.

Dreams (4 sessions) CLOSED!
Instructor: Nilufer E. Yalman, PhD
Dates: 9/8/2017-9/29/2017 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom A
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $256] [Candidate registration after June 1st $240]

Since time immemorial dreams have been fascinating us. In ancient Egypt people with vivid dreams were thought to be blessed and were considered to be special, bringing messages from Gods. From ancient Mesopotamia (2000 BC,) when dreams were thought of as a person’s soul taking a journey outside the body, to the Upanishads (900-500 BC,) in which dreams were seen as expressions of inner emotions, to the classical period (Greeks, Romans) dreams as omens, messages from the deceased, as prophesies, we have been wondering. Plato was the first who wrote about dreams reflecting hidden desires within us. Freud, similarly, believed that our dreams could tell us about our unconscious world, about our wishes, desires, and our motivations. He thought that if he could just understand the mechanism of dreaming, he might be able to understand some fundamentals about mental illness.

Whether understood through the prism of psychoanalysis (Freud), neuropsychology (Solms), cognitive theory, or dream research, these mental images, sounds, thoughts and sensations in sleep, at times mundane, at times complex, sometimes scary, sometimes exciting, ostensibly without any rhyme or reason, leave us wondering. Whether they reveal insights into hidden desires and emotions, help consolidate memories, or are artifacts resulting from random brain activation, the nature of dreams and what they might mean continue to elude us.

Regardless of theory, in psychoanalysis dreams are a part of the entire process of relating. Dreams do not necessarily tell us about what a certain behavior in the dream symbolizes or for that matter what the manifest dream expresses. We will approach dreams not just as something that happens during sleep but as it relates to the context of the dreamer’s life– the character and circumstances of the specific dreamer–as a part of the whole story of the individual, which also includes her relationship to her analyst and what she represents.

Attachment & Children (4 sessions)
Instructor: James Mikolajczak
Dates: 10/6/2017-10/27/2017 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom A
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $256] [Candidate registration after June 1st $240]

This Attachment course will introduce some basic principles of Attachment Theory. Among the theorists discussed will be Bowlby, Ainsworth, and Fonagy. The application of their principles to clinical work will be shown. The steps in a person’s development of Mentalization and Reflective Functioning will be elaborated and applied clinically. This will enable students to better understand human Attachment and improve treatment of patients.

Borderline (12 sessions)
Instructor: Stuart Ozar, MD
Dates: 11/3/2017-2/9/2018 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom A
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $768] [Candidate registration after June 1st $720]

This course is a detailed overview of the multiple theoretical approaches to the understanding of a large population that, historically, came to be labeled as “borderline.” This group could not be easily described or understood using the classical formulations of neurotic psychopathology. Neither did this group fit well into the theoretical or phenomenological realm of psychoses. The course will consider both clinical phenomena that demand explanation as well as developmental models that inform theory and technique. An emphasis is placed upon the relationship of theory to observational data along with an appreciation for the evolving understanding of assessment and diagnosis.

While this course is not a technique course, treatment approaches are discussed. Treatments range from psychoanalysis modified to safely allow and promote deep regression, to supportive techniques. Those who speak for the current state of the psychoanalytic art recommend specific forms of psychotherapy such as transference focused psychotherapy; mentalization based psychotherapy, or combinations of the two, for most patients. These modes of treatment are now the ones most subject to empirical validation.

Prerequisite: Core Concepts

Transference/Countertransference (8 sessions)
Instructor: Chester Smith, MEd, LPC
Dates: 3/16/2018-5/11/2018 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom A
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $512] [Candidate registration after June 1st $480]

Transference, countertransference, and resistance are primary areas of focus throughout the duration of all psychoanalytic work.This course will be broken down into three sections to allow us to spend time examining the literature on transference, countertransference, and then on resistance. The course will explore aspects of positive and negative forms of transference and their impact on treatment. We will examine how countertransference can be helpful in better understanding the patient’s inner world along with how it impacts the interactions between analyst and patient. The role of resistance in the treatment process will be addressed including ways that resistance can disrupt the work of psychoanalysis and ways of working with resistance in the analytic setting.

4th Year Classes:

Winnicott (4 sessions)
Instructor: Kirby Pope, MD
Dates: 9/8/2017-9/29/2017 *Fridays 10:30-11:45a.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $256] [Candidate registration after June 1st $240]

This course will provide a general overview of the theories and work of D.W. Winnicott. His theory of maturational processes, his ideas regarding meaning making in infancy, the use of objects in developing capacities to tolerate affect and certain being states, his ideas regarding transitional space and associated phenomena, the importance of play, and the role of creativity in analytic work as explicated by Winnicott, will all be explored. Two of his writings will be explored in detail to illustrate pertinent concepts, including “Primitive Emotional Development” and “Hate in the Countertransference.”

Interpersonal Theory (4 sessions)
Instructor: Alison Feit, PhD
Dates: 9/5/2017-9/26/2017 *Tuesdays 7:15-8:30 p.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $256] [Candidate registration after June 1st $240]

This course is intended as a brief overview of Interpersonal Theory. The course will briefly explore some of the ideas that inspired the early Interpersonalists to expand the nature of the psychoanalytic encounter. We will discuss some of the important themes in early Interpersonal Theory and examine their influence on contemporary Interpersonal practice. Some of these early themes include Ferenczi’s focus on mutuality in the analytic dyad, Sullivan’s notion of the importance of participant observation, Fromm and Thompson’s consideration of cultural norms and Fromm-Reichmann’s focus on the nature of loneliness both inside and outside the analytic encounter.

We will discuss the ways in which these ideas served as the foundations upon which the contemporary ideas of Bromberg, Levenson and Stern were built. By the end of this short course, students will have a working knowledge of both classical and modern perspectives of Interpersonal Theory.

Psychoanalysis in a Feminine Mode (8 sessions)
Instructor: Britt-Marie Schiller, PhD
Dates: 11/3/2017-1/5/2018 *Fridays 10:30-11:45 a.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $512] [Candidate registration after June 1st $480]

Psychoanalytic theorizing began in a male mode of thinking informed by a phallic imagination. Freud claimed that “the libido is invariably and necessarily of a masculine nature, whether it occurs in men or women” (1905). Female psychoanalysts have, ever since, sought alternative modes of representation to challenge the hegemony of the phallus as the sole embodiment of desire and subjectivity. We will study four contemporary theorists’ attempts at formulating alternative frameworks for representing female experiences.

Dianne Elise develops an account of female sexual subjectivity by emphasizing the importance of a mother’s recognition of her child’s desire in, what she calls, the primary maternal situation. She answers Freud’s question, “what does a woman want?” with “she wants to to want,” that is, she wants to be a sexual subject, not a sexual object.

Jessica Benjamin analyzes gender domination as complementarity of subject to object, a structure of domination that travels from the mother-infant relationship to adult eroticism. She argues for intersubjectivity, a relationship of mutual recognition that maintains ongoing tensions between asymmetry and mutuality, between break-down and repair.

According to the French analyst and philosopher Luce Irigaray, women have no language sexed female. She has cautioned women that if we don’t find our body’s language, we will have too few gestures to accompany our story. In order to represent women’s experiences as female, she argues for the irreducibility of one sex to the other. Using her concept of sexual difference, she argues that there is no one human nature, but necessarily, two.

Bracha Ettinger is an Israeli analyst and artist, who conveys her theory by use of many neologisms. She develops a “matrixial” model for a relational and shareable dimension of subjectivity and sexuality. She analyzes late intrauterine processes as integral parts of feminine sexual difference. From prenatal inter-relations co-emerges a matrixial subjectivity, which continuously changes through a process Ettinger calls “metramorphic.”

Prerequisite: Freud

Klein (16 sessions)
Instructor: Bernard Feinberg, MD
Dates: 9/8/2017-12/22/2017 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $1024] [Candidate registration after June 1st $960]

The Kleinian point of view conceives of the mind as an internal space where the individual’s phantasies about himself and others are lived out in unconscious imagination. The loving or hateful nature of these internal, imaginary scenarios determine the kinds of relationships an individual enjoys, or suffers from, in his or her relationships with actual people.

The course will illustrate the development of Melanie Klein’s concept of phantasy in her daring analytic work with young children.

We will learn how certain basic facts of life, such as the supreme goodness of the breast and the fact that we’re not self-created creatures, conditions are lives and relationships. The course will feature of a section on symbolism and will show how the dream gives us our best opportunity to glimpse the happenings of the internal world.

Several articles will illustrate the technical work of contemporary Kleinian analysts.

Prerequisite: Core Concepts, Freud or Models of the Mind

The Body in Psychoanalysis* (8 sessions)
Instructor: Linda Gibson, MD
Dates: 1/12/2018-3/9/2018 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $512] [Candidate registration after June 1st $480]

The very birth of psychoanalysis is tied to the study of Emma’s cough (i.e. conversion hysteria or the symbolized body) and the psychoanalytic drive is that elusive chameleon linking body and psyche, the earliest form of representative activity based on somatic excitability. The body functions as a template (Freud’s famous “the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego”), a reservoir (trauma and the actual neuroses), a defensive structure (Bick’s second skin and Yarom’s somatic shelters). Yet, in spite of all these psychoanalytic acknowledgements of the varied, crucial roles the body occupies in psychic life, I believe, too often the body seems to be stalled at the consulting room door while only the “psyche” or the “relationship” is allowed admission. What might result if we were to regularly bring the body into practice and not only into theory? Therefore, as we view the body and its roles in theory (McDougall, Ferrari, Aisenstein, Anzieu, Miller, Aulagnier) we will also attempt to translate the theory into day-to-day practice.

Prerequisites: Core Concepts and Freud   *Interview with course instructor Linda Gibson, MD, required as part of application process. Distance Learning is NOT available for this course.

Integrative Theories (8 sessions)
Instructor: Britt-Marie Schiller, PhD
Dates: 3/16/2018-5/11/2018 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m., Institute Classroom B
Course Fee: [Non-candidate registration after June 1st $512] [Candidate registration after June 1st $480]

In this course we will study two psychoanalytic thinkers who, dissatisfied with linearity of thought, seek to maintain standpoints embedded in a variety of psychoanalytic models of the human mind and human development.

Hans Loewald draws on the ideas of Hartmann, Mahler, Winnicott and Kohut to create his own unique blend. As he puts it, “Much can be said for an oscillation between such various standpoints, as perhaps in their juxtaposition and combination lies the secret of success in understanding more about the conflicted and ambiguous creatures that we are.”

Thomas Ogden seeks out a dialectical interplay and tensions between opposing elements that stand in dynamic and changing relations to each other. In elaborating a conception of analytic intersubjectivity and the analytic third he draws on and integrates the ideas of Klein, Winnicott, and Bion.

Prerequisite: Models of the Mind

*Course dates are subject to change.  Applicants will be notified if sessions are altered. 
An annual PEP fee of $65 will be charged to each participant. Upon acceptance a 10% or $150 (whichever is the lesser amount) non-refundable advanced course fee will be charged. Remaining course fees will be billed by semester. Each semester is 16 weeks long.

For a complete list of course descriptions for previous open classes, click HERE.


Questions?  Contact Cathy Krane, 314-361-7075 x 323,