The Institute for Clinical Social Work

Syllabi Archive

CCP 555: Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Theory

Master's Program: spring 2012-13

Gregory S. Rizzolo, MA

  • 122 S. Michigan Ave.
    Suite 1430
    Chicago, IL 60603
  • Office: 773.270.2652
  • Cell: 203.435.2003
  • ICSW Office Hours:  by appointment
  • Class Meets Saturdays, 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Course Description

This course offers an overview of psychoanalytic theory, with an emphasis on the fundamental ideas and concepts that underlie psychodynamic thinking.  We will discuss many of the major contributors to the psychoanalytic literature, both in terms of their own work and in terms of their discourse with one another.  Throughout this discussion, we will pay attention to the clinical problems with which each theorist was concerned, as well as the contemporary clinical relevance of his or her work.  From an organizational perspective, the course will consist of sixteen sessions, each devoted to a major theorist, school of thought, or theoretical issue.  In preparation for each session, I have assigned one required reading, typically an overview of the material that we will discuss together in class.  In addition, you will find a range of recommended readings, including a number of classic papers.  While the introductory overviews will provide a breadth of coverage that could not otherwise be gained, a grounding in the “classics” will be essential for your development as scholar-clinicians.  The latter will be particularly important for those who will some day contribute to the literature through their own writing.  For this reason, I encourage you to make time for at least one selection from the recommended readings each week.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback throughout the course.  My hope is to facilitate a dialogue that will be responsive to the wide range of interests, concerns, and experiences in the class, while remaining mutually enriching for everyone.

Educational Objectives

Enhance students' knowledge of clinical theory
Situate major theoretical movements in the history of psychoanalytic thought
Develop students’ familiarity with primary psychoanalytic source material
Explore controversies in contemporary psychoanalytic theory
Help students to think critically and to develop their own questions about the material
Teaching Methodology: It is expected that course objectives will be achieved through a combination of lectures, class discussions, readings, and completion of course assignments.

Respect for Diversity: Guided by the NASW and ACA Codes of Ethics and the mission of ICSW, students and faculty have a shared responsibility for championing social and economic justice for all members of society. This includes a commitment to eliminate personal and institutional discrimination, ensure access to needed resources and opportunities for all persons, especially those who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised. Prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory practices are examined. Students are expected to be respectful of the opinions of others while at the same time striving to attain the ideals of social justice.

Students with Special Needs

Students with special needs or difficulties in learning and completing courses assignments are strongly encouraged to notify instructors as soon as possible so that appropriate resources and accommodations can be provided.

Student Evaluation and Grades

Classroom instructors grade students on their course work and submit written evaluative reports on the caliber of each student’s work. Practicum consultants/supervisors grade students and submit reports each semester evaluating their work. Students’ overall performance will be monitored each semester by the Student Progression Committee.

Grading Standards

Grades are assigned according to the following standards:
A - Superior Work - 4.0 value
B - Satisfactory Work - 3.0 value
C - Marginal Work - 2.0 value
F - Failure* - 0.0 value    *Applies only to Field Placement/Practicum and Thesis Seminar
P - Pass* - 0.0 value    
AU - Audit - 0.0 value    Auditing a course with approval of instructor
INC - Incomplete - 0.0 value

Grading Decision

  • The purpose of grading is to provide a learning tool for students, i.e., to provide feedback on progress, strengths and weaknesses, and issues that need to be addressed.
  • Cumulative grade point average is based on full letter grades, not plus or minus grades. Only letter grades are recorded in the students’ transcript.
  • If an instructor gives a student the option of doing unsatisfactory work over, the student will take an incomplete (INC) and will be allowed one repetition of the work for grading purposes.
  • A grade of INC (incomplete) requires the instructor’s written approval. Incomplete grades should be reserved for extenuating circumstances. If an incomplete grade is given, the student must finish any work required to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester. If the course is not completed by this deadline, the student automatically receives an F (Fail) grade for the course. Further extensions may be obtained, under special circumstances, by permission of the Student Progression Committee. Requests for any extensions beyond the semester following the assignment of an incomplete grade must be approved prior to the next semester.
  • Narrative evaluations of classroom and Practicum work are submitted at the end of each semester, along with grades.
  • Pass/Fail grades may only be given for Field Placement/Practicum and Thesis requirements.
  • Instructors are required to submit full letter grades (not pluses or minuses) within two weeks after the end of each semester. A written evaluation of each student’s performance accompanies the grade.
  • Instructor and Field Placement/Practicum written evaluations of student performance are filed in student records by the Registrar/Coordinator of Student & Faculty Services. The student records are available for inspection by student during the Registrar’s/Coordinator of Student & Faculty Services regular working hours. Students may obtain copies of these evaluations and of transcripts by completing a transcript request form and paying a nominal fee for duplication.
  • All papers submitted for class requirements are to conform to the style guide in the “Institute for Clinical Social Work Style Manual,” which is located on the ICSW website in the academic resources section. Insofar as is practicable, ICSW style follows the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, commonly referred to as the “APA style manual.”

Student Code of Academic and Professional Conduct:

  • Students are expected to adhere to both an academic and mental health professional code.
  • As mental health care providers, it is important to strive for the higher standards of personal and professional conduct. Our professional commitment is to serve our clients to the best or our abilities and to further the goals of the profession.
  • ICSW is committed to the support of the standards and ideals of the social work, counseling, and psychology professions.
  • In accordance with these goals, each student at ICSW is expected to be bound by the code of ethics for their respective discipline. 
  • Students are expected to adhere to the principles of honesty and integrity that guide the members of the mental health profession in their transactions with others.
  • Students are expected, at all times, to respect the confidentiality of their clients and must, therefore, appropriately disguise client materials in all oral and/or written presentations to consultants, and/or to teachers and fellow students during class discussions.
  • Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines set out by the Committee on Protection of Human Subjects in all research conducted in connection with work at ICSW. In addition, each student is bound by this code of academic and professional conduct. Failure to adhere to any of these articles will result in the specified sanction being applied.

Academic Dishonesty

Any student who engages in academic dishonesty, which includes giving or receiving unauthorized aid to any assignment or examination, plagiarism or tampering with grades or irregularities shall be subject to disciplinary action. Such action may include a failing grade in the course, suspension, or dismissal from the program.

Plagiarism Policy

When plagiarism is suspected, students may be asked to submit their papers electronically to a third party plagiarism detection service. If a student is asked to submit the paper and refuses to do so, the student must provide proof that all work is correctly sited and/or original.

Course Requirements

Readings: Students are required to read all assigned material and should be prepared to discuss the reading material assigned for each class.

Class Attendance and Participation: Active discussion of the ideas contained in the readings and lectures as well as class attendance and participation in class exercises are central to the success of this course. Excessive absences (more than a total of TWO classes) may result in a lowered grade. The instructor always appreciates being notified in advance by email if you will not be attending class.

Required Textbooks

  • Berzoff, J. Flanagan, L.M., & Hertz, P. (2011) Inside Out and Outside In: Psychodynamic Clinical Theory and Practice in Contemporary Multicultural Contexts (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Greenberg, J. & Mitchell, S. (1983). Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.

Course Assignments

Students will be required to write two 3-5 page response papers (each worth 20% of the final grade), and a 10-12 page final paper (worth 50% of the final grade). Participation in class discussion will account for the remaining 10% of the final grade.

Weekly Course Schedule

Class 1 – Jan 26 

The Case of Anna O. and Freud’s Seduction Theory

Required Reading:
Breuer, J. (1893).Fräulein Anna O, Case Histories from Studies on Hysteria.In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume II (1893-1895): Studies on Hysteria(pp. 19-47). [PEP]

Recommended Reading:
Freud, S. (1896). The Aetiology of Hysteria. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume III (1893-1899): Early Psycho-Analytic Publications (pp. 187-221) [PEP]

Class 2 – Feb 2 

Sigmund Freud I: Early Drive Theory (libido and self-preservative drive) and the Topographic Model

Required Reading:
Chapter 2 in Berzoff et al.

Recommended Reading:
Freud, S. (1900).The Interpretation of Dreams.In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (Especially Chapters 6 & 7) [PEP]
Freud, S. (1905).Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905).In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume VII (1901-1905): A Case of Hysteria, Three Essays on Sexuality and Other Works(pp. 123-246) (Especially Part II) [PEP]
Freud, S. (1915). The Unconscious. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works (pp. 159-215). [PEP]

Class 3 – Feb 9 

Sigmund Freud II: Later Drive Theory (libido and the death instinct) and the Topographic Model and the Structural Model

Required Reading:
Chapter 3 in Berzoff et al.

Recommended Reading:
Freud, S. (1920).Beyond the Pleasure Principle.In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XVIII (1920-1922): Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology and Other Works(pp. 1-64). [PEP]
Freud, S. (1923).The Ego and the Id. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIX (1923-1925): The Ego and the Id and Other Works(pp. 1-66). [PEP]
Freud, S. (1926).Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety.In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XX (1925-1926): An Autobiographical Study, Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, The Question of Lay Analysis and Other Works(pp. 75-176). [PEP]

Class 4 – Feb 16 

The Early Days of Ego Psychology: Anna Freud, Heinz Hartman, Ernst Kris, Rudolph Loewenstein, and Friends

***Response Paper #1 Assigned***

Required Reading:
Chapter 4 in Berzoff et al.

Recommended Reading:
Freud, A. (1937) The ego as the seat of observation. In, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (p. 1-8). Madison, Connecticut: The International Universities Press. [Scan]
Hartmann (1939) “The Conflict free ego sphere,” In, Ego psychology and the Problem of Adaptation (p. 3-21). Madison, Connecticut: The International Universities Press. [Scan]
Hartmann, H., Kris, E. and Loewenstein, R.M. (1946). Comments on the Formation of Psychic Structure. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 2, 11-38 [PEP]

Class 5 – Feb 23 

Erik Erikson: Ego-Identity and the Life Cycle

Required Reading:
Chapter 5 in Berzoff et al.

Recommended Reading:
Erikson, E. (1950) Childhood and Society (pp. 247-274). New York: W. W. Norton & Company. [Scan]

Class 6 – March 2 The British School of Object Relations: Melanie Klein

Erik Erikson: Ego-Identity and the Life Cycle

***Response Paper #1 Due***

Required Reading:
Chapter 5 in Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Klein, M. (1937). Love, guilt, and reparation. In R. Money-Kyrle (ed.), Love, Guilt and Reparation: And Other Works 1921-1945 (The Writings of Melanie Klein, Volume 1) (pp. 306-344). New York: The Free Press. [Scan]
Klein, M. (1946). Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 27, 99-110. [PEP]

Class 7 – March 9 

The British School of Object Relations: The British Independents I (Fairbairn)

Required Reading:
Chapter 6 in Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Fairbairn, W.R.D. (1952) Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality(Ch. 4 & 7). New York: Routledge.[Scan]

Class 8 – March 16

The British School of Object Relations: The British Independents II (Winnicott)

***Response Paper #2 Assigned***

Required Reading:
Chapter 7, pp. 188-209, in Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Winnicott, D.W. (1953). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena—A study of the first not-me possession. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 50, 711-716. [PEP]

Winnicott, D.W. (1960). Ego distortion in terms of true and false self. In: The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment. (pp. New York: Karnac. [Scan]

Winnicott, D.W. (1969). The use of an object. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 50, 711-716. [PEP]

Class 9 – March 23

The American Hybrid of Ego Psychology-Object Relations II: Edith Jacobson

***Response Paper #2 Due***

***Final Paper Assigned***

Required Reading:
Chapter 10, pp. 304-326, in Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Jacobson, E. (1954). The self and the object world—Vicissitudes of their infantile cathexes and their influence on ideational and affective development. [PEP] Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 9, 75-127. [PEP]

Class 10 – April 6 

The American Hybrid of Ego Psychology-Object Relations I: Margaret Mahler

Required Reading:
Chapter 9 in St. Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Mahler, M. (1975). Separation-individuation in perspective. In: The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant (p. 3-39) . New York: Basic Books. [Scan]

Class 11 – April 13 

The American Hybrid of Ego Psychology-Object Relations II: Otto Kernberg

***Response Paper #2 Due***

***Final Paper Assigned***

Required Reading:
Chapter 10, pp. 326-348, in Greenberg & Mitchell

Recommended Reading:
Kernberg, O. (1975). Borderline personality organization: The syndrome. In Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism (pp. 3-49). New York: Jason Aronson. [Scan]

Class 12 – April 20 

The Chicago School of Self Psychology: Heinz Kohut

Required Reading:
Terman, D. (2011). Self psychology. In G. Gabbard, B. Litowitz, & P. Williams (Eds.), Textbook of Psychoanalysis (2nd ed.) (pp. 199-210). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. [Scan]

Recommended Reading:
Kohut, H. (1966). Forms and transformations of narcissism. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 14, 243-272. [PEP]
Kohut, H. (1968). The psychoanalytic treatment of narcissistic personality disorders—Outline of a systematic approach. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 23, 86-113. [PEP]
Kohut, H. (1972). Thoughts on narcissism and narcissistic rage. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27, 360-400. [PEP]

Class 13 – April 27 

The Interpersonal School of Psychoanalysis: Sullivan

Required Reading:
Mullahy, P. (1940) A theory of interpersonal relations and the evolution of personality. In Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry: The First William Alanson White Memorial Lectures (pp. 119-147). Reprinted from Psychiatry 3,1 & 8,2. [Scan]

Recommended Reading:
Sullivan, H.S. (1940). Conceptions of modern psychiatry. Psychiatry, 3,1-117.

Class 14 – May 4 

Relational Psychoanalysis I: Stephen Mitchell and Lewis Aron

Required Reading:
Mitchell, S.A.(1986). The Wings of Icarus:—Illusion and the Problem of Narcissism.Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 22,107-132. [PEP]
Aron, L.(1991). The Patient's Experience of the Analyst's Subjectivity.Psychoanalytic Dialogues,1, 29-51. [PEP]

Class 15 – May 11 

Relational Psychoanalysis II: Donnel Stern and the Boston Change Process Study Group

Required Reading:
Boston Change Process Study Group (BCPSG). (2007). The Foundational Level of Psychodynamic Meaning: Implicit Process in Relation to Conflict, Defense and the Dynamic Unconscious. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 88, 843-860. [PEP]
Stern, D.B.(1983). Unformulated Experience, —From Familiar Chaos to Creative Disorder.Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 19, 71-99. [PEP]

Class 16 – May 18 

Relational Psychoanalysis III: Robert Stolorow and Jessica Benjamin

Required Reading:
Stolorow, R.D., Atwood, G.E. and Brandchaft, B.(1992). Three Realms of the Unconscious and Their therapeutic Transformation.Psychoanalytic Review, 79, 25-30. [PEP]
Benjamin, J.(2004). Beyond Doer and Done to.Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 73, 5-46. [PEP]



Please note that links to some course readings have been purged from archived syllabi. Electronic texts on the ICSW website are protected by copyright law. These files are made available strictly for individual, educational use and may not be copied or distributed in any way. Distribution of copyrighted material to non-enrolled individuals or ICSW students will be considered an act of Academic Dishonesty and be dealt with accordingly as indicated in the Student Manual. Federal penalties for copyright infringement may be found at