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Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Mar 8, 2020


“Reflective network therapy is literally an application of child analysis in the real-life setting of a preschool.” 


Description: Harvey Schwartz welcomes Dr. Gilbert Kliman a child and adult psychoanalyst who has focused his career on providing measurable outcomes from his clinical work, which he discusses in this episode. 


Dr. Kliman has a Distinguished Life Fellow status in the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent in Psychiatry and the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Science and Psychiatry and Albert Einstein Medical College in New York. Dr. Kliman is the recipient of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s 2020 Humanitarian Award, the Anna Freud Award for Child and Research in 2016, the Dean Brockman Award in 2014 and the French Psychoanalytic Society Award in 2014. 


Dr. Kliman has been a major contributor to the field of child analysis, child therapy and essentially to the wellbeing of the people whose lives he touches. He has discovered and created a new method of intervening in children’s lives called The Reflective Network Therapy. 


Key takeaways: 

[3:45] Dr. Kliman talks about his evidence-based findings of the effects of child analysis and RNT in the cognition of preschoolers. 

[6:13] Dr. Kliman talks about Reflective Network Therapy, the treatment program that has made radical changes in the lives of many preschoolers. 

[9:33] There is no privacy in the progress of the sessions. 

[11:30] At the end of the session, there is a debriefing, where the child and the analyst try to explain to the teacher and other students what they have been doing. 

[13:55] The teachers receive training to follow the guidelines of Reflective Network Therapy. 

[17:10] Dr. Kliman shares a case example. 

[21:53] Care and tenderness have been the key to the success of the treatment. 

[25:42] Reflective Network Therapy is tuned analytic work in a classroom. 

[27:18] The observing children in the classroom become incredibly altruistic as a result of participating in the therapeutic process. 

[28:07] Dr. Kliman shares the example of a preschool in San Mateo. 

[31:17] Dr. Kliman talks about personal experiences and professional trajectory which motivated his passion for psychoanalysis. 

[36:28] Hard measures in psychoanalysis 

[39:55] Dr. Kliman talks about the liveliness of working in a preschool 

[41:40] Children learn to learn in small networks, not in dyads. 


Mentioned in this episode: 

IPA Off the Couch   

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Recommended Readings: 

Garber, Howard L. (1988) The Milwaukee ProjectPreventing Mental Retardation in Children At RiskNational Instof Handicapped Research (ED), Washington, DC. ISBN-0-940898-16-0 88.  


Heinecke, C.M. (1966) Frequency of Psychotherapeutic Session as a Factor Affecting the Child's Developmental Status. Psychoanalysis. Stud. Child 20, 42-98. 


Heinecke, C.M. and Ramsey-Klee, DM. (1986) Outcome of Child Psychotherapy as a Function of Frequency of Session. J. A.A.C.P. 25(2), 247-253. 


Jeffery, E. (2001) J Am Psychoanal Assoc vol. 49 no. 1 103-111 


Kliman, G. (2011) Reflective Network Therapy in the Preschool Classroom. U. Press of America. Lanham, MD. 


Kliman, G (2014) A unifying new theory of posttraumatic stress disorder. Am. Coll. Psychoanalysts. Joint meeting with Am. Acad. Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry. Paris. 


Kliman, G. (2015) Meta-analysis of IQ change data from eight sourcescontrol and comparison studies.  


Kliman, G. (2018) Reflective Network Therapy for Preschoolers with Autism or Posttraumatic Stress DisorderNeuropsychoanalysisAugust 2018. 


Skeels, H.M. and Dye, H.A. (1939) A study of the effects of differential stimulation in mentally retarded children. Proc. Am. Assoc. Mental Deficiency. 44, 114-136. 


Spitz, R.A. (1945). HospitalismAn Inquiry Into the Genesis of Psychiatric Conditions in Early ChildhoodPsychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1, 53-74. 


Zelman, A. Samuels, S. & Abrams, D. (1985) IQ changes of young children following intensive long-term psychotherapy. Am. J. Psychotherapy 39(2), 215-217. 


Zelman, A. and Samuels, S (1996) Children's IQ changes and long-term psychotherapy: A follow up study. In Zelman, A. Early intervention with high-risk children. Northvale, NJ Jason Aronson