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Warshaw, S.C. (2012). Application of Psychodynamic Thinking in the Practice of School Psychology. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(3):169-171.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(3):169-171


Application of Psychodynamic Thinking in the Practice of School Psychology

Susan C. Warshaw

Guest Editors Ionas Sapountzis and Stephen Hyman bring to our readers a wealth of new articles by authors who are working at the interface of psychoanalysis and school psychology. While psychoanalysis and education have a long history of mutual respect and influence (Cohler, 2008; Field, K., Cohler, B., and Wool, G., 1989), in their Introduction, Sapountzis and Hyman speak to the enormous chasm that has developed over the past several decades between the worlds of psychoanalysis and school psychology, particularly as practiced in the United States. With this compilation of articles they are taking a significant step towards re-invigorating an endangered enterprise. They present us with articles reflecting a thoughtful, scholarly exploration of the application of psychodynamic thinking to school psychology. Much as a rapprochement has occurred between attachment research and psychoanalysis, we are hopeful that those working in school settings will be helped by the insights of contemporary psychodynamic clinicians, as well as by recent developmental research with its clearly defined constructs and a growing evidence base for psychodynamic work (Fonagy, 2008).

Since its inception as a profession, school psychology has been influenced by the work of psychoanalytic clinicians. As the dominant theoretical perspective in the mental health movement from the early years of the 20th century through the 1960s and 1970s and beyond, most practitioners who worked in schools were, if not trained psychoanalysts themselves, influenced in their graduate training by psychoanalytic thought. Early work in school mental health consultation (Meyers, 1981) was significantly shaped by the seminal ideas of Gerald Caplan (1970), a psychoanalyst and pioneer in the area of mental health consultation. Psychoanalytic developmental theory, historically, and in its contemporary evolution, has informed the work of practitioners in early intervention programs, day care settings, preschools, and therapeutic programs for severely disturbed children and adolescents.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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