Paula Lorig Ammerman, PhD


Functions of countertransference in psychotherapy of borderline disorder: The clinician's experience (1996)

Paula Ammerman, PhD, LCSW maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Hyde Park, where she works with individuals and couples. She has taught social work at Loyola University of Chicago and The University of Chicago, and she is currently a faculty member at ICSW. She is also an active member of the Children’s Psychotherapy Project: A Home Within, which provides long-term pro bono services to children in the foster care system. She has recently published a chapter in Treating Trauma: Relationship Based Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents. It describes the ten-year treatment of a child in foster care and the pervasive nature of unprocessed trauma as it reverberates throughout the system. Dr. Ammerman’s research topic at ICSW focused on the functions of countertransference in working with clients who have character disorders. Her work in this area is ongoing, and she speaks regularly about this subject, including a presentation titled “Submission or Surrender: Breakdown and Repair Within the Relational Paradigm.”

Areas of Interest & Approaches to Practice

Functions of Countertransference: The Clinicians Privileged Instrument /Psychodynamic Enactments in the Relational Paradigm; Trauma/ Psychodynamic; Dissociation and Systemic Reactions to Trauma in Child Welfare System / Psychodynamic; Primary Objects and Schizoid Defenses in Treatment / Psychodynamic


  • B.S., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

  • MSW, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

  • PhD, Institute for Clinical Social Work, Chicago, IL


  • L.C.S.W., Illinois

Courses Taught at ICSW

  • CF 601: Psychodynamic Psychology III: Object Relations

  • CL 731: Disorders of Adulthood I: Neurotic Personality, and Psychotic Disorders

Additional Faculty Roles

  • Consulting

  • Research Advising

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Significant Publications

  • Ammerman, P. (2013). Clemee. In treating trauma: Relationship-based psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and young adults, T. Heineman, J. Clausen, & S. Ruff (Eds). Jason Aronson Publisher.


5222 South Blackstone Avenue Garden Suite Chicago, IL 60615