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Object relations theory: An introduction for therapists

  • Kip 120 West 31st Street New York, NY, 10001 United States (map)

This 10-week course will examine the origins and development of object relations theory in psychoanalysis, focusing on the work of Melanie Klein and the Independent or Middle Group in England, specifically Fairbairn, Guntrip, Winnicott, and Balint. The course will also examine the influence of object relations on the work of Otto Kernberg and Heinz Kohut and their approaches to borderline and narcissistic disorders, contemporary practitioners and writers such as Ogden and Bollas, and the movement from a one-person to a two-person psychology seen in relational theory and practice. Students will learn critical concepts such as internalized objects, phantasy, and splitting; how to understand and use transference and countertransference in the object relations paradigm; and how relational concepts translate into real world practice with patients. Clinical examples will be used to illustrate key concepts. 

Course meetings will be held on Tuesdays from 11am-12:45pm 
October: 15th, 22nd, 29th
November: 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th
December: 3rd, 10th, 17th

Ryan M. Kull, PhD, has been an educator, practitioner, and researcher in the mental health field for over 20 years, with extensive experience training, teaching, and practicing within a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic framework. Currently in psychoanalytic training at NYU’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Dr. Kull has taught clinical theory and practice courses at a number of graduate programs, including an ongoing object relations theory course at New York University. Dr. Kull is the founder and Director of the Kull Initiative for Psychotherapy (Kip.), is in private clinical practice in New York City, and has served as a research associate and consultant with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network). He specializes in sexual orientation and gender identity issues, including HIV/AIDS, addictions, families and couples, adolescence, and aging. Dr. Kull is the author and co-author of multiple juried papers, invited book chapters, and conference panels/symposia on LGBT-related health and mental health topics, including HIV/AIDS, STIs affecting MSM, bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, professional development, LGBT issues in education, and LGBT veterans. Dr. Kull is currently funded by the Psychoanalytic Society of the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis to conduct a study on the psychodynamics of suicide among adult gay men.

$475 Professionals - $300 Students & Candidates - Free for KIP Fellows
CE Credit Details Pending
We have a limited number of scholarships available for clinicians who have been historically marginalized on the basis of their identities or experiences, and who are unable to afford the cost of attendance. Please email us at

Object relations theory: An introduction for therapists
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