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Cohen, J. (2014). Mental Health Clinicians and Educators Learning Together: School Climate Reform and the Promotion of Effective K-12 Risk Prevention/Health Promotion Efforts. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 13(4):342-349.

(2014). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 13(4):342-349

Panel II: Psychoanalysts, Educators, and Law Enforcement in Dialogue

Mental Health Clinicians and Educators Learning Together: School Climate Reform and the Promotion of Effective K-12 Risk Prevention/Health Promotion Efforts

Jonathan Cohen

Educators and psychoanalytically informed clinicians have a long history of learning and working together. They are both focused on promoting children’s healthy development and capacity to learn. This was an explicit focus of psychoanalytic conversations from the beginning of analysis, when Sigmund Freud and his “Wednesday night” colleagues wondered how they could apply analytic ideas to the education of children, including their own. In fact, Freud came to believe that the application of analytically informed thinking to the education of children was “perhaps the most important activity of psychoanalysis” (Freud, 1933, p. 146).

Building on her early learning and work with Bernfeld, Hoffer and Aichhorn in the 1920s, Anna Freud set in motion four overlapping educational-analytic partnerships that continue to this day: first, analysts and educators collaboratively organizing and directing psychoanalytically informed schools; second, analysts and analytically informed clinicians providing consultative assistance to educators about a given child, school, and/or larger educational system; third, collaboratively developing replicable analytically informed programmatic school-based efforts; and, finally, analysts and educators working together with Departments and Colleges of Education and/or continuing educational opportunities to create learning opportunities for educators and school based mental health professionals in precollege/graduate school settings and in-service (continuing education “in the field”) learning.

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