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Self Psychology and Intersubjectivity 301 Fall 2024

12 Week Class - September 4, 2024-November 20, 2024, Wednesdays, 9:00am-10:30am

Live Interactive Webinar via Zoom


System Requirements: To attend this training, one must have access to a computer, internet and Zoom. It is vital that a computer be utilized for this training, instead of a mobile device or Ipad.

Course Description

This course examines both the unique role of Self Psychology theories in the development of psychoanalysis, and the evolution of Intersubjective Theory. First, we will look at how Kohut distinguished his ideas about the development and pathology of the self from his object relations and ego psychology contemporaries. Readings will cover concepts in self psychology that constitute case formulation from this specifically subjective approach. Major self psychological theorists to be discussed include Kohut, Wolf, and the Ornsteins. Next, we will trace the evolution of Intersubjective Theory from several different theoretical roots.  Self Psychology and its focus on empathic immersion in the subjective experience of the patient was expanded into a unique perspective on the intersubjective field by Stolorow, Atwood, Brandchaft and Orange. At the same time, in Italy, France and Argentina, psychoanalytic field theory began to consider the interplay of subjectivities with each other and with the overall analytic context. Contemporary intersubjective theory is also rooted in infant research, such as the work by Beebe, Lachmann, Daniel Stern and Ed Tronick.  Finally, intersubjectivity was crucially enriched by the creative developments in object relations theory by Winnicott, Ogden, Bion and Benjamin.


Instructor: Debi Roelke, PhD

Dr. Roelke has been involved in psychoanalytic education, training and teaching for over 20 years.  She trained extensively with senior analysts in both self psychology and intersubjective perspectives, and is well-versed in the history of psychoanalytic theory and comparative psychoanalysis.  Dr. Roelke has been on the teaching faculty of CPPNJ, teaching courses annually, since 2010.  She has taught the Self Psychology and Intersubjectivity seminar for five years (2013 to 2017).


  • Articulate at least two historical and theoretical contexts within which Self Psychology emerged. 
  • Define at least five key concepts in Self Psychology and understand the developmental process by which self structures emerge: idealization, mirroring, selfobjects, selfobject needs, optimal frustration, transmuting internalizations, intersubjectivity theory, organizing principles, the dynamic unconscious and optimal responsiveness.
  • Demonstrate an ability to formulate case material from at least three ongoing psychotherapy cases using the above concepts from Self Psychology. 
  • Define and identify in case material the three types of selfobject transferences formed in a Self Psychology treatment.
  • Describe at least two experiences of the therapist’s countertransference as seen from a Self Psychology perspective.
  • Articulate the three major theoretical roots of Intersubjective Theory and how they developed into this transactional two-person perspective: Self Psychology, Contextualism and the intersubjective field; the field of infant research; and contemporary expansions of object relations theory.
  • Articulate an understanding of the patient – therapist relationship in at least two of their ongoing cases from an intersubjective point of view.
  • Articulate two additional trends in contemporary psychoanalytic views of the self: the relational concept of multiple self-states, and the Buddhist-psychoanalytic concept of no-self.

Target Audience:  Suitable for Psychologists, Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Psychiatrists, Advanced Practice Nurses, Graduate Students, Marriage and Family Therapists.

Level of Sophistication: This is an intermediate level post-graduate continuing education program. (Some relevant background is required.)  

ADA accommodations available upon request: Requests required at least 14 days prior to course start.

Continuing Education: 

18 CEs for Counselors, Psychologists & Social Workers

For counselors: CPPNJ has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education   Provider, ACEP No. 6863. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. CPPNJ is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

For Psychologists:  CPPNJ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPPNJ maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. 


For NY Psychologists: Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0165. 

For NJ Social Workers: An application has been made for consideration of 18 clinical continuing education credits for this course.

NY Social Workers: Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of New Jersey is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0757.

Course Fee: $400

Course Refund Policy: Up to one month before a course starts there will be a full course refund less a $50 administrative fee. Less than one month before a course starts there will be a $50 administrative fee and the payment will be applied to a future course. Once a class starts, there will be no refunds. Extraordinary circumstances will be reviewed on an individual basis.

There is no potential conflict of interest and/or commercial support for this CE event.

For more information or registration, please call 973-912-4432, visit us online at www.cppnj.org, contact us by email at [email protected] or at CPPNJ 235 Main St, Madison, NJ 07940