2018 - 2019 Child Psychotherapy Training Program

Rebecca Schwartz, PhD and Debbie Vuong, MFT, Co-Chairs

Latency and Adolescence

Psychoanalytically oriented treatment of children and adolescents makes demands on the therapist that are different than treatment of adults. Older children are on the threshold of new experiences of their minds and bodies. How do we reach these inner worlds when they often can’t use words to tell us about their experience?

The current year of this two-year program addresses school-age children and adolescents. Children often communicate through play, but some can't play. The therapist has to bring together the child's behaviors, and their own countertransference reactions, to try to arrive at the underlying meanings of the child's world. This two-year series of seminars addresses the relational, environmental and intra-psychic processes for both child and parents, and offers in-depth examples of interventions. The seminars use class discussion, readings and case presentations by instructors and participants. Attention will be paid to different theoretical orientations and to cultural and sexual diversity.

The Child Psychotherapy Training Program consists of two-years. This year we are focusing on Latency and Adolescence and next year we will focus on Infancy and Early Childhood. Students may enter at either year. Students will be subscribed to PEP-WEB through SFCP and will become SFCP Community Members.

Students are entitled to attend all Child Colloquia held at SFCP. The Child Analytic Program of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis provides a free series of presentations demonstrating the scope of child psychoanalysis today. These events offer an opportunity to hear a range of ideas and participate in discussions contributing to enriching clinical work and theoretical training.

Certificate Program Option: 
The Child Psychotherapy Training Program is offering interested students the option of completing a certificate program. Upon completion of the program the student will be awarded a certificate from SFCP stating that they have completed the program in Child Psychotherapy Training. In order to receive the certificate, the student must:

  1. Complete the two-year curriculum; and
  2. Complete 40 hours of weekly supervision with a supervisor chosen from any Child Psychotherapy Seminar faculty, including those not currently teaching. Reduced fee supervision may be available if needed.
Dates: Wednesdays, September 12, 2018 - May 29, 2019
Time: 07:30pm - 09:00pm
Location: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Program Fee: $ 1,750.00  General Admissions
$ 1,650.00  Students with a copy of Student ID provided

A Two-Installment-Plan option is available
see Policies tab for details
To Apply: Click here to download the Application Form →

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
(no class on 09/19/2018)

Play provides a medium where a child's emotional realities can be understood and transformed. What are the different faces and levels of play with latency aged children? We will explore what we mean by latent and how this developmental stage impacts a child’s capacity to play. We will examine from various theoretical perspectives how the child therapist enters the play, listens with her whole being, and utilizes her countertransference and imagination to move around inside the play's metaphors.Play provides a medium where a child's emotional realities can be understood and transformed. What are the different faces and levels of play with latency aged children? We will explore what we mean by latent and how this developmental stage impacts a child’s capacity to play. We will examine from various theoretical perspectives how the child therapist enters the play, listens with her whole being, and utilizes her countertransference and imagination to move around inside the play's metaphors.

Wednesdays, September 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; November 7, 2018
Kristin Fiorella, MFT, MFA

Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to

  1. differentiate three theoretical perspectives of play.
  2. describe the developmental stage of latency.
  3. describe play for the latency aged child.
  4. identify mutative moments in play.
  5. identify technical implications for play with latency aged children who are autistic or have been severely neglected.

The transition to adolescence is a dynamic and intense one. It is a time of gathering and transforming oneself while confronted by changes in one’s body and one’s thinking. At the same time, infantile issues always are present with more evolved processes and feel particularly ripe in this transitional process to adolescence. This course will present both theoretical and clinical ideas about pre-adolescence looking at relationships, complicated feelings, cultural pressures and family dynamics.

Wednesdays, November 14, 28; December 5, 12, 2018; January 2, 9, 2019
(no class on 11/21/2018, 12/19/2018 and 12/26/2018)
Reyna Cowan, PsyD, LCSW

Educational Objectives:
Participant will be able to:

  1. Use writings on child treatment to develop a working understanding of their own clinical cases.
  2. Develop a working understanding of what a child is communicating through their play and how to use interventions to make contact with the child.
  3. Formulate an idea of how to use one’s countertransference in clinical work.
  4. Learn how to use the squiggle game as a way to understand the internal world of the child.
  5. Develop a working understanding of the no entry defense.
  6. Utilize developmental and theoretical concepts as a way to understand what a child is communicating.

This conversation about adolescence will consider “what’s normal, what’s not.” Through didactic material and case discussion, we will consider such issues as gender identity, sex and sexual development within the context of the psychological and physiological stages of adolescence. From Middle School to High School, peer pressure, school and family provide a context for the development of the adult mind, distinct but engaged with the oedipal and preoedipal family. Sex, drugs, and social media all provide for the expression of the seething cauldron of this complex developmental period.

Wednesdays, January 16, 23, 30; February 13, 20, 27; March 6, 2019
(no class on 02/06/2019)
Michael Donner, PhD

Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to

  1. distinguish between "what's normal, what's not" in adolescent development.
  2. distinguish the ways that gender identity, sex and sexual development arise within the context of the psychological and physiological stages of adolescence.
  3. learn how peer pressure, school and family provide a context for the development of the adult mind.
  4. describe how sex, drugs, and social media all provide for the expression of the developmental period.
  5. apply the various principles and issues of adolescent development directly to clinical work via case presentation and clinical discussion.

Participants will have the opportunity to present detailed process notes of sessions from their own active child and adolescent cases to their fellow classmates and to two experienced clinicians who will facilitate the discussions. Following each session closely, we will track the emotional tone of the patient-therapist interactions and the transference-countertransference. We will try to identify the child’s level of psychic functioning and his or her anxieties and defenses. We will discuss how to establish an appropriate frame and how to formulate interpretations or interventions that have the potential to facilitate the child’s psychic integration and growth. Working with the child’s, or adolescent’s parents to support the treatment will be considered as well.

Wednesdays, March 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24, 2019
Era Loewenstein, PhD and Gregory Villalba, LCSW

Educational Objectives:
Participant will be able to

  1. After listening to a peer who will present clinical material from the psychotherapy of a school age child or an adolescent and engaging in a group discussion with the guidance of two experienced clinicians, participants will be able to identify the most appropriate points for therapeutic interventions in the presented hours.
  2. After listening to clinical material from the presented sessions with a patient, and following a group discussion, participants will be able to observe and describe the processes within the therapeutic interaction as they occurs, and increasingly identify the possible transference reactions the patients has and the countertransference reaction that the psychotherapist may have.
  3. observe and describe the patient’s responses to the clinician’s therapeutic interventions.
  4. describe at least two anxieties that most likely are impacting the patient in each session.
  5. describe how the clinician could integrate the child’s or adolescent’s response into further interactions, reflection and interventions.
  6. consider and adjust their suggested interventions to the developing therapeutic process as it unfolds in the presented session, and over the course of the treatment. They will demonstrate this ability by describing how they think that the therapist could intervene in the particular session presented.

In this class we will discuss a life cycle perspective of therapy, and explore how the transgenerational transmission of trauma works using clinical examples from both child and adult therapies.

If we are trained in understanding the life cycle, we can treat a person of any age. We show by playing and speaking with a child that we believe in putting the meaning being conveyed into words, one step removed from the experience of play. We can think about the play, which symbolizes what is felt and needs to be known for integrative purposes. When does the transition occur to a therapy with an adolescent or an adult who is sitting in the chair talking, using language symbolically, to describe an “as if” instead of acting out a reality? I would argue that all therapy is a kind of play therapy, in which we interact at the level of play, while starting to “think about” the play with the patient of any age. When we work with an adult we talk about their childhood in order to understand how they unconsciously hold past experiences. When we work with a child we talk to the parents in order to understand the transgenerational transmission of trauma. We help the parents speak about the “ghosts in the nursery”, the traumas of their past, that are unconsciously conveyed to their children via projection and unprocessed, split-off affect.

Wednesdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 2019
Amy Tyson, MD

Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to

  1. understand how character is formed in childhood.
  2. understand how character is transmitted via parents’ unconscious projection of their own trauma.
  3. understand how to listen to and interpret all forms of communication from patients of any age as play.
  4. understand how to listen to the child in the adult, and the adult in the child.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Rebecca Schwartz, PhD and Debbie Vuong, MFT

Certification Program Option

The Child Psychotherapy Training Program is offering interested students the option of completing a certificate program.  Upon completion of the program the student will be awarded a certificate from SFCP stating that they have complete the program in Child Psychotherapy Training.  In order to receive the certificate, the student must:

  • complete the two year curriculum; and
  • complete 40 hours of supervision with a supervisor chosen from any Child Psychotherapy Seminar faculty, including those not currently teaching.  Reduced fee supervision may be available if needed.

Eligibility

If you have any questions about your level of preparation, please contact the SFCP Office at 415-563-5815.

Registration Deposit

A $ 300.00 registration deposit is due upon registration.  This $ 300.00 deposit is fully refundable until August 11, 2018, and the remaining balance is due in full by August 15, 2018.

Two-Installment-Plan Option

A Two-Installment-Plan option is available for this program.  Tuition can be paid in two equal installments that will be processed on September 1, 2018 and January 2, 2019.  SFCP must have a current/active credit card information on file to be used for the payments.  To apply for the Two-Installment-Plan, one must contact the SFCP Office to arrange this option before August 15, 2018.

Readers Fee

The readers fee is included in the tuition fee.

Refund Policy

Before the Program Start Date

  • There will be a full refund if one requests to drop the program on or before August 11, 2018.
  • There will be a 10% cancellation fee if one requests to drop the program between August 12, 2018 and September 11, 2018.

After the Program Start Date

  • There will be a $ 300.00 cancellation fee if one requests to drop the program on or after September 12, 2018.  There will be no refund for classes in progress, and SFCP will provide a pro-rated refund of tuition for classes not yet begun.
  • The Readers fee is not refundable.