Psychoanalytic Association of New York

Established 1955

Welcome to the website of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York, the affiliate society of the American Psychoanalytic Association that is
associated with The Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with NYU School of Medicine.

In these pages, you will find information about our scientific programs, our officers and members of the Board, membership, and the PANY Bulletin.


Next Event

Monday, February 6, 2017

8:15 PM

NYU Langone Medical Center

550 First Avenue - Smilow Seminar Room

The Development of the "False Object" and Transformation in Mental Representations: From Mahler Nursery Observations to Psychotherapy Process in Adulthood

Wendy Olesker, MD and Miriam Steele, PhD

The psychoanalytic theories that guide clinical work rest on the notion that childhood experiences shape adult character structure. This presentation makes use of a unique set of data about an adult psychotherapy patient across her life span and within three generations. The adult patient as a child and her mother were studied at Margaret Mahler's Masters Children's Center using film, observational notes, interviews and psychological testing. Follow-up study included videos and detailed assessments of the patient, mother and her daughter. There will be a focus on the intergenerational transmission of defenses for managing affects within the context of attachment. Included will be an emergent new idea, that of the "false object," based on what we learned from work with this family. Process from the patient's adult psychotherapy will link early relationships to the present, especially how aggression influences defense and memory. This is an unusual opportunity to evaluate central constructs of Mahler's work and their relationship to contemporary perspectives. 

Bowlby, J. (2012). On knowing what you are not supposed to know and feeling what what you are supposed to feel. A Secure Base (pp 132-155) Abingdon Oxen: Routtledge.
Lieberman, A.(l999), Negative Maternal Attributions: Effects on Toddler's Sense of Self, Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 19:737-756

Educational Objectives: 
After attending this panel, those who were present should be able to:
1. Articulate the process of development and transmission of coping mechanisms, specifically as they relate to aggression across generations.
2. Describe the development of internalized "false objects" and the implications for the creation of character pathology and its treatment.
3. Describe clinical correlations with Margaret Mahler's theories regarding separation and individuation, modes of attachment, formation and transformation of internal representations.

Psychiatrists, PhD and PsyD psychologists, LCSW social workers, psychiatric nurses, LMHC's, psychoanalytic institute candidates and fellows, and other qualified professionals interested in psychoanalytic practice.
CME Credits:
CME credits are offered at no charge to members of PANY.  Non-members who attend a PANY event may obtain a CME certificate for a $25 administrative fee.

Dr. Wendy Olesker is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and on the Faculty at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She is on the Editorial Board of The Psychoanalytic study of the Child and The International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Presently she is Director of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. In l975 until 1986 she established and ran, at Montefiore Medical Center, an observational nursery for research on gender differences in early development. From l991 until 1997 she collaborated with John McDevitt and Anni Bergman in following up the original Mahler/McDevitt babies of the Separation-Individuation Study.It is from her longitudinal research and her analytic experience that she has developed a focus on the developmental process as it impacts understanding the intrapsychic world and the handling of aggression in analytic work with children and adults. Her talk today will be drawn from a clinical study of one of the original Mahler babies now followed into their sixth decade.

Dr. Miriam Steele bridges the world of psychoanalytic thinking and clinical practice with contemporary research in child development. She trained as a child analyst at the Anna Freud Centre London and received her Ph.D. from University College London. Her research began with the study of "Intergenerational Patterns of Attachment" which embodied one of the first prospective longitudinal studies incorporating the Adult Attachment Interview and Strange Situation protocols. This work was important in initiating the concept of reflective functioning and providing empirical data to demonstrate the importance of parental states of mind in the social and emotional development of the their children with a longitudinal focus on their development into adulthood. Currently, Dr. Steele is a co-investigator on a federally funded grant "Birth to Three: A Pragmatic Clinical Trial for Child Maltreatment Prevention. Her other projects include studies exploring attachment and body representations in adults and mother-child dyads, and studies of child development in foster care and adoptive families. 


See a full list of upcoming PANY events for the 2016-17 Academic year here.