Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Sep 3, 2019

“The background for this is actually seeing psychoanalytic principles as a basic science in thinking about how do we help people. For me, this combination of curiosity, justice, equality and alleviating suffering came together in a very powerful way around this work.”


Description: Harvey Schwartz welcomes Dr. Steven Marans, who is a child and adult psychoanalyst at the Yale School of Medicine. He is the Harris Professor of Child Psychoanalysis, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at the Yale Child Study Center.


Dr. Marans has devoted much of his career to developing and implementing psychoanalytically informed responses to children, families and communities traumatized by violent and catastrophic events including mass casualty school shootings and natural disasters. He has developed model approaches to enhance developmentally informed police practices and police mental health collaborative approaches to those impacted by traumatic events. He is the co-developer of an early brief evidence-based treatment that has been demonstrated to interrupt and prevent the development of PTSD. This intervention model continues to be widely implemented in the United States and abroad. Additionally, Dr. Marans has consulted extensively with local state and federal leaders as well as news media regarding policy and practices to best address child trauma.


As you will hear in today’s interview, Dr. Marans has immersed himself in the developmental processes that are affected by trauma and he has developed these interventions that can be life-changing for affected children, families and communities.


Key takeaways:

[4:35] Dr. Marans talk about his program’s vision.

[8:23] Working with the police department.

[12:01] Child development Policing Program.

[13:16] Dr. Marans shares an example of his team’s intervention along with the police.

[20:04] Playing a part in both the family system and the individual psychology of a child.

[20:35] Helping families to find the source of their distress.

[21:10] Child and parent speaking the same language.

[21:55] Increasing the self-observing capacity is one of the keys to recovery.

[22:41] Child and parent learning to help each other.

[23:35] Assessment tool.

[25:11] The importance of the role of the parent as a mediator.

[25:52] When an entire community is impacted by a catastrophic event.

[30:13] What brought Dr. Steven Marans to this field.

[33:38] When you feel helpless the natural response is to turn away.

[34:38] The critical role of cops: a benign, gentle and listening authority.


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch


Recommended Readings:

Marans, S (2013). Phenomena of childhood trauma and expanding approaches to early intervention.International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 10(3): 247-266


Marans. S. (2005). Listening to fear: From nightmares to the nightly news.

NY: Henry Holt and Co.


Marans, S. (1996). Psychoanalysis on the beat: Children, police and urban trauma.

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Vol 51: 522-541