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Independence of Thought in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy - Part I

Finding Our Way

            Evolution of Independent thought and Object Relations Theory 


The focus in Part I will be on the development of the Independent Tradition in object relations theory and practice, emphasizing the contributions of early practitioners – Ferenczi, Racker, John Klauber,  Majorie Beireley, Ella Freeman Sharpe, and others. Included will be a discussion of the development of self/object, affect development, symbolization, dreams, and creativity. 

Readings:   I will distribute the selections referenced below:

The introduction chapter from Gregorio Kohon – includes the historical development of Independents.

Chapter 11 of Kohon text – Steven Groarke, Making Sense Together.

(The two selections are from: Kohon, G., Editor (2018) British Psychoanalysis: New Perspectives in the Independent Tradition. The Kohon book (2018) is available through Amazon and will be the main text.)

Location: These meetings will be virtual on Zoom. 

Dates and Time: To Be Determined

Cost: $250 total for the three segments of Part I. 

The course will be limited to a maximum of 8 participants. 

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Aims of this course:

To understand the development and evolution of object relations theory over the past several decades within the Independent Tradition of psychoanalytic thinking.

 To examine the basic principles of Independent clinical thinking – the therapeutic environment or atmosphere, the focus on affect, the psychotherapeutic relationship, and the intersubjective nature of the process, i.e., analyzing our experience of the patient in the presence of the patient.  (S. Groarke, 2018) (Parts I and II)

To provide an overview of the clinical approaches of Independent practitioners (in Part II).


To familiarize participants with the perspectives of three women involved in the Controversial Discussions that inspired independent thinking – Majorie Brierley, Ella Freeman Sharpe, and Sylvia Payne. 


The Independent Tradition and Its Influence Today – Part II

Part II will continue to focus on the influence of the Independent tradition in our clinical work.  Readings will range from Winnicott to Bollas to Ogden, giving a sense of the full range of perspectives on the therapeutic process and emotional connection, feminine sexuality, and developmental perspective.  (see below for a partial list of authors)

​Location: Virtual - Zoom 

Dates and Time: To Be Determined. 

Cost: $250 total for the three segments. 

The course will be limited to a maximum of 8 participants. 

 Readings for this course will use selections from the following…

         Charles Rycroft           Masud Khan       John Klauber      Marjorie Brierley                 

      D.W. Winnicott     Michael Parsons    Juliet Mitchell    Christopher Bollas                 

          Pearl King       R.J. Perelberg   Nina Coltart    J. Raphael-Leff

            Patrick Casement       Neville Symington      Thomas Ogden   



NB: The first two books written on the perspective of the Independent Tradition: 

Raynor, E. (1990) The Independent Mind in British Psychoanalysis 

Kohon, G. (1986) The British School of Psychoanalysis: The Independent Tradition.

    These two books offer the reader the most extraordinary collection of writings on the subject of independence in our therapeutic work. 


Rudy Oldeschulte qualified in psychoanalysis, and in child and adolescent development with Anna Freud and her colleagues at the Hampstead Clinic in London (Now The Anna Freud Centre) - following graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has thirty years of clinical experience with adults, children, and adolescents in private practice, consultation to hospitals and educational institutes in the United States and Britain. 

He has held posts as teaching and supervising faculty for the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Department of Psychiatry – developmental theory, diagnostic classification, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy, as well as teaching for the British Association of Psychotherapists and the Colorado Center for Psychoanalytic Studies. Rudy co-founded the Southwest Center for Psychoanalytic Studies (Arizona) – and presided as the founding President.

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