Joel Kanter, MSW

Joel Kanter, MSW, LCSW-C is in private practice of psychotherapy and clinical case management in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Recognized as a Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academy of Practice in Social Work, he is an Instructor in Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine and is a Consulting Editor of the Clinical Social Work Journal.  He serves on the Board of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work. He has published over 40 articles and book chapters—many on community care of persons with severe mental illness–in diverse social work, psychoanalytic and psychiatric journals.  His major publications include Coping Strategies for Relatives of the Mentally Ill (NAMI, 1984), Clinical Studies in Case Management (Jossey-Bass, 1995), and Face to Face with Children: The Life and Work of Clare Winnicott (Karnac, 2004).

Areas of Interest & Approaches to Practice

Private Practice: Individual and couple psychotherapy with children, adolescents and adults. Family consultation with “failure to launch” young adults. Clinical case management with persons with severe mental illness. Theoretical interests: Integrating object relations, interpersonal theory and self psychology both in psychotherapy and in psychodynamic social work interventions.


  • BA, University of Michigan

  • MSW, Smith College School for Social Work

  • Advanced Psychotherapy Training Program Certificate , Washington School of Psychiatry

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work

  • Clinical Social Work Association

  • National Association of Social Work

  • International Association for Relational Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

  • Greater Washington (DC) Society for Clinical Social Work

Significant Publications

  • The Trauma of Dislocation and the Transitional Participant.,
    December, 2013.

  • Helping, Healing and Interpreting: Sullivan, The Interpersonal School and Clinical Social Work.
    Journal of Social Work Practice, 27(3), 273-287, 2013.

  • On “Being” and “Doing”: Supervising Clinical Social Workers in Case-Management Practice
    (with Peggy Vogt), Smith College Studies in Social Work, 82(2-3): 251-275, 2012.

  • Social Care with the Severely Mentally Ill: Psychodynamic Perspectives.  In Falling through the
    cracks: psychodynamic practice with vulnerable and at risk populations.  Joan Berzoff (Ed.),
    Columbia University Press. New York, 2011.

  • Clinical Case Management.  In “Theory and Practice of Clinical Social Work (2nd Edition), J.
    Brandell (Ed.), Thousand Oaks (CA), Sage, 2011.

  • Clare and Donald Winnicott: Play, Holding and the Transitional Participant., June 2009.

  • Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatization: A Second Look, Clinical Social
    Work Journal, 35 (4), 289-293,  December 2007.

  • The Untold Story of Clare and Donald Winnicott: How Social Work Influenced Modern
    Psychoanalysis.  Clinical Social Work Journal, 28(3), 245-261, Fall 2000.

  • Beyond Psychotherapy: Therapeutic Relationships in Community Care.  Smith College
    Studies in Social Work.  70(3), 397-426, June 2000.

  • Engaging Significant Others: The Tom Sawyer Approach to Case Management.
    Psychiatric Services, 47(8), 799-801, August 1996.


8811 Colesville Road, #104
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910