Foundations for Understanding Children

6 session distance learning course on child psychotherapy and child analysis via Zoom videoconference on Sundays from 11 am-12pm US ET.

This course, taught by IPI supervising faculty of the Child Analytic and Child Psychotherapy Combined Program, invites you to join in an overview of five major psychoanalytic theorists of relevance to child therapists: Bowlby, Fairbairn, Klein, Winnicott, and Bick.
The innovative thinking of these five analysts provides the foundation for our psychoanalytic object relations approach to psychodynamic formulation, assessment and treatment of children.  We apply ideas on attachment and early parent-infant experience to the building of internal psychic structure.  We show how aggression and love in balance are essential to a child’s relationship to parents. But this course is not all theory.  We will illustrate each lecture with a clinical vignette to show how we ground our ideas in the theory presented and how we use theory to help us develop a sensitive and effective clinical approach.

Program Chair

Jill Scharff, MD

Program Date(s):

December 4, 2022 - January 29, 2023

Course Schedule

Sundays from 11:00am - 12:00pm US ET

04 Dec
Ronald Fairbairn on the child’s development of mental structure
David Scharff
11 Dec
John Bowlby on the child’s attachment style
Janine Wanlass
18 Dec
Donald Winnicott’s work with children
Jill Scharff
08 Jan
Melanie Klein on the child’s development of mental structure
Ana Maria Barroso
22 Jan
Esther Bick on infant observation
Caroline Sehon
29 Jan
Integrating the ideas
Jill Scharff

Program Faculty

Janine Wanlass PhD
Chair, IPI’s Combined Child Analytic and Child Psychotherapy Training Program, child psychotherapist supervisor

David Scharff MD
Co-founder IPI, child psychotherapist and child analyst supervisor

Ana Maria Barroso MD
Co-chair Child Psychotherapy Track, child psychotherapist supervisor

Jill Scharff MD
Founding Chair IPI's Combined Child Analytic and Child psychotherapy Training Program, Chair Child Analytic Track, child psychotherapist and child analyst supervisor

Caroline Sehon MD
IPI Director, child psychotherapist and child analyst supervisor

Educational Objectives

After attending each of the following sessions, participants will be able to…

Dec 4, 2022  – Ronald Fairbairn on the child’s development of mental structure

  1. List one element of childhood trauma
  2. Illustrate one way in which it affected development in one of the children Fairbairn assessed

Dec 11, 2022  – John Bowlby on the child’s attachment style

  1. Distinguish secure and insecure attachment and list two types of insecure attachment.
  2. List the 5 tasks of the therapist who uses attachment theory in child therapy

Dec 18, 2022 – Donald Winnicott’s work with children

  1. Define the terms “environmental mother”, “object mother”, and “playing in the gap”
  2. Illustrate a child’s use of a transitional object in The Piggle, Winnicott’s famous case.

Jan 8, 2023 – Melanie Klein on the child’s development of mental structure

  1. Define three functions of projective identification occurring between mother and baby
  2. Illustrate one use of transference interpretation with Richard, the case Klein treated

Jan 22, 2023 – Esther Bick on infant observation

  1. Describe 3 techniques to conduct a mother-infant observation
  2. Define 2 ways that the infant observation method is helpful when treating an anxious child.

Jan 29, 2023 – Integrating the ideas

  1. List 4 major psychoanalytic theorists and summarize their relevance in child psychotherapy
  2. Describe two factors in the parent-infant relationship that can cause insecure attachment in relationships of daily life and in therapy

Continuing Education Credit Hours

6 CE credits



Tuition and Fees

General Registration: $180

IPI Member Registration: $155

Limited scholarship funds are available for this training:

Membership Benefits

Become a member of IPI at any level and you will have the option of adding on a Zoom Pro account as one of your member benefits. Associate and Full Members also receive discounted registration fees for most of IPI’s events, a subscription to PEP Web, the online psychoanalytic library, and other benefits depending on membership level.

HIPAA compliant Zoom video accounts are an optional add on for all IPI memberships. IPI has a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with Zoom, which provides a HIPAA compliant platform for our accounts. HIPPA compliance is strongly recommended for all internet-mediated clinical work and clinical teaching. The “+ Zoom Pro” add-on to the IPI membership gives the user the ability to host online meetings with multiple people at the same time. [Current members can upgrade to the “+ Zoom Pro” account and only pay the difference in price from your current membership level.]

Click for IPI Membership and Zoom Account information

Should you have any questions about the program or the application process, please feel free to contact:

IPI administrative team -

Continuing Education Information

The International Psychotherapy Institute, IPI, is approved by The American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The International Psychotherapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6017. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The International Psychotherapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the programs. The International Psychotherapy Institute is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. The International Psychotherapy Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0299.

Participants are responsible for verifying that IPI CE credit is accepted by the licensing boards in their own states. Please note: At this time we are aware that CE credit for IPI events will not be accepted by the New Jersey Board of Social Work.