Open Analytic Theory Classes

“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 classes 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 classes.

Up to thirty-two (32) class sessions, but no more than three (3) courses, successfully passed, taken as Open Classes, can count toward Analytic Training.

Acceptance into Open Analytic Theory Classes is by application process only.  Please submit the appropriate application linked below – Returning Students must apply at least 3 weeks in advance and New Students must apply at least 6 weeks in advance of the start date. Space is limited.


New Student Application



Returning Student/Faculty Application



Open Analytic Theory Courses for the 2019-20 academic year:


Models of the Mind (32 sessions)
Instructor: Andrew Chirchirillo, PhD & Stuart Ozar, MD Dates: 9/6/2019 – 5/8/2020 *Fridays 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Course Fee: [Non-candidate $2144] [Candidate $2048] Psychoanalysis is both a theory of pathology and its treatment and a general theory of human behavior. The course, “Models of the Mind,” is designed to help us organize the vast array of observations and thoughts about human behavior contributed to our literature over many decades. Surveying Ego, Object Relations, Self-Psychological, Intersubjective, and Relational and perspectives, we hope to present the material in a way that allows for thoughtful discussion of what is most true and most helpful. Too often, psychoanalytic debates take on the character of contests between competing ideologies, with allegiances to ideas grounded more on transferences (allegiances) to influential analysts than to reasoned assessment of the state of our knowledge. We seek to teach thinking skills that promote the highest standards of rigorous academic discourse.
Prerequisite(s): Freud or Core Concepts

Developmental Viewpoint (32 sessions)
Instructors: Mary Nielsen, MD; Denia Barrett, MSW, LCSW; Rex McGehee, MD; James Gooch, MD, PhD, FIPA; James Mikolajczak, MD; Kirby Pope, MD
Dates: 9/6/2019 – 5/8/2020 *Fridays 2:45-4:00 p.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $2144] [Candidate $2048] Developmental Viewpoint is a two-semester study of psychosexual development beginning in infancy and ending in adolescence. It is part of the core curriculum, offered as an Open Class only with the full year commitment. The writings of Freud, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, Stern and others will be presented.
Prerequisite: None



Interpretation  (8 sessions)
Instructor: Bernard Feinberg, MD
Dates: 9/6/2019 – 10/25/2019 *Fridays 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $536] [Candidate $512] According to the philosopher Susanne Langer, all experience is ‘sucked into the stream of symbols which constitutes a human mind.’[1] This course distinguishes her conception of the mind engaged in the continuous transformation of experience into symbols from the more familiar conception of the symbol as the already-given or universal representative of repressed themes. Instead, it takes up the relation of the personal, individually constructed symbol to unconscious phantasy. Through the example of authors who pay close attention to this modality of the unconscious, the course aims to demonstrate that interpretations based on the meaning of the patient’s symbols can help the individual to regain lost and rejected aspects of him or herself.
[1] Langer, S (1942). Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite and Art. New York: Harvard University press, p. 46
Prerequisite: None

Bion & Winnicott (8 sessions)
Instructor: Linda Gibson, MD
Dates: 9/6/2019 – 10/25/2019 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $536] [Candidate $512] Jay Greenberg dubbed both Winnicott and Bion “stem-cell” (Sigmund  Freud, Melanie Klein, and Jacques Lacan complete his list)—“stem-cell” in part because they provide the evolutionary origins of many contemporary psychoanalytic ideas (indeed, these two authored 6 of the top 10 most searched for texts on PEP) In this course we will take both an individual and a comparative look at the theoretical developments put forth by each of these British clinicians/theoreticians, contemporaries with one another and each having deep and intermingling roots in Kleinian earth: although, each dared to turn his gaze outward to include an external object in his formulations. Transitional objects (and phenomena), holding, reverie, container/contained, and primary maternal preoccupation are all terms frequently encountered today in all aspects of the psychoanalytic discourse. We will explore the birth and development of these concepts.
Prerequisite: Adult analytic curriculum courses in Basic Concepts (aka  Basic Theory) and, Freud. If you are considering enrolling in this course, please feel free to contact Linda L. Gibson, M.D. (314-497-0315) with any questions you may have about this course offering and to determine fit.

The Body in Psychoanalysis (12 sessions)
Instructor: Linda Gibson, MD
Dates: 11/1/2019 – 1/31/2020 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $804] [Candidate $768] 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), and 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 physical body as well as the body of the psyche and their roles in theory (McDougall, Ferrari,  Anzieu, Greenberg and Lombardi) we will also attempt to translate the theory into day-to-day practice.
Prerequisite: Adult analytic curriculum courses in Basic Concepts (aka  Basic Theory), Freud, and Winnicott & Bion: a comparative introduction. If you are considering enrolling in this course, please feel free to contact Linda L. Gibson, M.D.  (314-497-0315) with any questions you may have about this course offering and to determine fit.

Neuropsychoanalysis (8 sessions)
Instructor: Stuart Ozar, MD & Mary Nielsen, MD
Dates: 12/6/2019 – 1/31/2020 *Fridays 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $536] [Candidate $512] Freud was originally, and maybe essentially, a neuroscientist. He abandoned neuroscience, realizing that the technology of the time, clinic-anatomic studies, did not allow for investigation of dynamic relationships in the brain. We now have those tools, ones that Freud anticipated and certainly would have used. A new, interdisciplinary field of study has emerged, named by Mark Solms and colleagues, neuropsychoanalysis. This course will introduce students to some of the advances in neuroscience that allow for dynamic models of brain functioning that correlate in striking ways with psychodynamic theories of the mind.
Prerequisite: None

Integrative Theory (12 sessions)
Instructor: Britt-Marie Schiller, PhD
Dates: 2/7/2020 – 5/8/2020 *Fridays 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Course Fee:  [Non-candidate $804] [Candidate $768]

In this course we will study three 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 the 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 and Winnicott. Jessica Benjamin seeks to elaborate a theoretical perspective in which intersubjectivity rivals but does not defeat the intrapsychic. She develops a conception of double recognition, making one’s own subjectivity known while recognizing the difference of the other’s subjectivity. Building on the work of Mahler and Winnicott she integrates the work of feminist thinking as having contributed as much as psychoanalytic theory to intersubjectivity.
Prerequisite: Models of the Mind

An annual resource fee of $120 will be charged. Upon acceptance a 10% or $150 (whichever is the lesser amount) non-refundable advanced course deposit will be charged.

All sessions will be held at the Institute. Distance Learning is available  for those living outside the St. Louis metro area for all courses except where noted. For some courses, the instructor may teach the class via Zoom from an off-site location.

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


Questions?  Contact Margo Smith, 314-361-7075 x 319,