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Miriam Steele, PhD: Resolving Trauma by Enhancing Reflective Functioning: An Attachment Perspective.

  • 10 May 2014
  • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • The New Haven Lawn Club 193 Whitney Ave. New Haven, CT 06511


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

You may register online and send us a check in the mail if you prefer. Details will be provided in your registration confirmation.
This talk will outline the concept of reflective functioning, covering its origins in attachment theory and intergenerational longitudinal research. The clinical relevance of the concept, as a psychoanalytic goal, will be highlighted especially with respect to patients with traumatic backgrounds. The talk will present findings from a 20 year long study from infancy to young adulthood, which assessed the capacity for reflective functioning - the most powerful predictor of quality of parenting. Translating the concept from parent-child relationships to therapeutic contexts has provided a unique framework for measuring therapeutic action and clinical outcome. Viewed as a powerful antidote to the pernicious effect that trauma has on mental health clinical material from an attachment based intervention aimed at enhancing reflective capacities in a sample of vulnerable families will be presented. Several video tape vignettes illustrating the clinical work will serve as examples of ways of enhancing reflective capacities, both of clinicians, and in turn of parents involved in the intervention.

Miriam Steele, PhD is a professor of psychology and the Director of Clinical Training at The New School for Social Research, Clinical Psychology department. Dr. Steele is the co-director of the Center for Attachment Research with Dr. Howard Steele. The Center's research concentrations have included the bonds between parents and children and the intergenerational consequences of attachment, adoption and foster care, and the intergenerational transmission of body image.

Educational Objectives: After attending this program, participants should be able to 1) Identify ways to apply infant attachment theory to treat adult trauma survivors, 2) Describe and utilize the concept of "reflective functioning"; and 3) apply the findings of attachment research to help improve the quality of parenting.

Participants: The conference is appropriate for professionals interested in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The instructional level of this conference is intermediate.

CSPP is a local chapter of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association. Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 2 continuing education (CE) credits are available for this program. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Social workers can receive continuing education credit through NASW/CT. This program has been approved for 2 Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT, and meets the continuing education criteria for Social Work Licensure renewal. If CE credit is desired, please mark the appropriate box on the registration form and include the $3.00 fee as indicated. In addition, 100% attendance and a completed evaluation form are required to receive CE credit.

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