Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSHS2017504

Semester and Year Offered: Semester IV, M.A psychology Final year

Course Coordinator and Team: Neetu Sarin & Ashis Roy. Co-ordinator: Neetu Sarin

Email of course coordinator: neetu[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Successful completion of the first three semesters of M.A psychology as well as Fieldwork in a University approved psychiatric/ psychological setting.

Objectives and Description: The course is a culmination of the psychodynamic journey across the four semesters. Participation in this course will provide the student with an introduction to the processes involved in clinical work and psychodynamic psychotherapy. In effect the course will initiate the participants into their future professional life, dispelling some myths about psychoanalytic work and enabling a sense of skill while staying close to the phenomena of psychic work.

Course Outcomes: On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify key theorists in field of psychoanalytic psychotherapy
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of key ideas in psychoanalysis therapy such as empathy etc.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of psychotherapeutic skills required to engage with states of mental illness

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:


An Introduction to psychoanalytic psychotherapy: The Setting of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and its process. This constitutes an introduction to working alliance, setting, free association, resistance, dreams interpretation, transference and counter transference.



Psychodynamic understandings of psychoneurosis and treatment process- Obsessions, Phobias, Anxiety disorders etc.(During any given semester two symptom categories will be discussed in detail).


The emerging concern with self related pathologies and their healing: Narcissistic, depressive and schizoid states.

Narcissistic states to be taken up in detail a) clinical picture of narcissistic disorders. B) What is narcissism? C) Two major understandings on narcissism- The Kohutian and Kernbergian perspectives D) diagnosis of narcissistic states through the triad of i.symptoms ii.Defense Structures and iii. Use of countertransferential reactions and reveries. E) Drawing up a continuum of suffering in Borderline, Narcissistic , Anti-social and Hysteric states.

A variety of case presentations, peer supervisions and clinical vignettes are used to indicate the complexity of psychoanalytic work with narcissistic patients.


Psychodynamic understandings of Psychotic states.

Unit: V

The place and method of psychodynamic work with children: An engaged look at the contributions of Melanie Klein, with special reference to paranoid schizoid positions and depressive states, the relationship between envy and gratitude and their role in human relationships.


  1. Akhtar, S. Comprehensive dictionary of psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Publications,2009.
  2. Anderson, R. Clinical lectures on Klein and Bion. New Library of psychoanalysis. Routledge. 1991.
  3. Bach, S. Narcissistic states and the therapeutic process. Routledge,2006
  4. Blatt, S. J(1999). Levels of object representation in analictic and Introjective depression.
  5. Freud, S. (1913) On Beginning the treatment. Standard Edition12:121-144.
  6. Kernberg, O.(1981) Object Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis. New York: JasonAronson.
  7. Kohut, H. The Analysis of the Self. A systematic approach to the psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personality disorders. New York: International Universities Press, 1971.
  8. Pine F. The Four Psychologies of Psychoanalysis. New York: International Universities Press, 1987.
  9. McWilliams,N. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy. New York: Guilford Press, 2004
  10. Renik,O. Practical psychoanalysis for therapists and patients.2006
  11. Levenson.R. The Fallacy of understanding: An inquiry into the changing structure of psychoanalysis.1972.
  12. Greenson,R.R.(1974) Explorations in Psychoanalysis.
  13. Eigen, M.(1992) Coming through the whirlwind-case studies in psychotherapy. Illinois.Chiron Publications.
  14. Bach,S. (1985) Narcissistic states and the therapeutic process. NJ:Jason Aronson Inc.
  15. Bateman, A & Holmes (2001), J. An Introduction to psychoanalysis. NY: Routledge,2001
  16. Craib, I. A Critical introduction to psychoanalysis.

Assessment Details with weights:A variety of assessments can be used which include viva voce examinations, written home assessments, term papers and clinical case studies.

Written assignments: Assessment 1 (30%): The students are asked to elaborate the notions of subjectivity and diagnosis and empathy in a relational framework.

  • Assessment 2 (30%): Developing initial understandings about phenomena of hysteria and its underlying principles.
  • Assessment 3(40): Term Paper: Reflecting on a clinical case study through texts taught in the semester and class room discussions.