Classic Readings in Psychiatry and Related Fields
A study group of the psychiatry residents at UCLA-NPI

Organizers: Cage Hall, MD PhD, Carl Fleisher, MD, Sonal Rana, MD, Cory Jaques, MD

Classics Club is an opportunity to read and discuss one or two selections each session from classic papers and authors in psychiatry and related fields, with an emphasis on seminal papers in psychoanalysis. We will also read some classic papers from academic psychology, cognitive science, and anthropology, as they may illuminate or critique psychodynamic concepts.

We have been lucky during the past year to have clinical and theoretical insights during the lunches from psychoanalytically trained psychiatrists Dr. David Coffey, Dr. Angel Cienfuegos, Dr. David Leviadin, and from our program director Dr. James Spar. We look forward to hearing from other faculty during the coming year.

The journal club began during the 2008-2009 academic year and largely focused on readings that seemed fairly digestible on their own, applicable to situations that PGY2 and PGY3 residents encounter frequently, and not employing so much of the metaphor or terminology that one can get bogged down in. In practice, this meant several articles from George Vaillant and D. W. Winnicott, as well as Sigmund Freud's “Mourning and Melancholia” and an essay by Nancy Chodorow on female development. This year (2009-2010) we are trying to work through Freud's three major theoretical models (topographic, structural, and psychosexual development), with some applications to therapy in the spring. Next year (2010-2011) we plan to cover different aspects of object relations, one of the dominant strands of psychodynamic theory in psychiatry since the middle of the 20th century.

We are also trying to generate on online annotated bibliography for those who want to read further on their own. For residents interested in additional readings on their own, the following are good introductions to psychoanalytic theory: 

See also our companion journal club, Cutting Edge topics in psychiatry. 

Practical matters:

The reading group originally met the second Friday of the month during regular resident lunches. It now meets the second Tuesday of the month, during the resident lunch following Grand Rounds at UCLA-NPI. Readings are normally distributed beforehand, along with an email briefly outlining the main concepts and their theoretical and historical context.

Please note: future readings are subject to change. This syllabus is a work in progress and responds both to the interests of the residents and suggestions from our faculty discussants.

2008-2009 year: basic elements of psychodynamic approaches in therapy

2009-2010 year: Freud's three models of mind, critiques, and applications to therapy (transference and counter-transference)

2010-2011 year: object relations and concepts of the self

Readings for Academic Year 2008-2009
8/08/2008: Ego Mechanisms of Defense

9/12/2008: Principles of Psychoanalytic Thought

10/10/2008: Sigmund Freud on Object Relations and Depression

11/14/2008: Discovering Selves and Others: D. W. Winnicott

12/12/2008: Perspectives on Female Development

1/09/2009: Cognitive Perspectives on the Self and Infant Development

2/13/2009: Cognitive & Evolutionary Perspectives on Emotions

3/13/2009: Acting Out in Psychotherapy

4/10/2009: George Vaillant - Dealing with Primitive Defenses 1

5/08/2009: George Vaillant - Dealing with Primitive Defenses 2

6/12/2009: Origins of Psychoanalytic Technique — “The Case of Anna O. ”

Readings for Academic Year 2009-2010

7/10/2009: Freud's topographic model - Conscious, Unconscious, Preconscious

8/14/2009: Attachment - John Bowlby, Mary D. Ainsworth, & Mary Main

9/11/2009: Mentalization and Attachment-based therapies: the work of Anthony Bateman & Peter Fonagy

10/09/2009: Freud's drive theory

11/13/2009: Freud's model of Psychosexual Development

12/11/2009: Ego Psychology - Heinz Hartmann

*1/15/2010: On Narcissicism

2/12/2010: Transference and Countertransference 1

3/12/2010: Transference and Countertransference 2

4/09/2010: The process of Psychoanalysis: Harry Guntrip

5/14/2010: The Process of Psychotherapy: A view from Conflict Theory

6/11/2010: Feminist Perspectives and Critiques: Karen Horney

Readings for Academic Year 2010-2011

Please Note: starting with the July 6 session, journal club will change to the second Tuesday of each month.

Now that we have surveyed some of the founding principles of psychoanalytic thought, our goal over the course of this academic year is to look more at one of the main streams of contemporary psychodynamic theory: Object Relations. Sigmund Freud's main theories focused on drives and their conflicts--the desire of the infant for food and (erotic) pleasure, sole possession of the mother, and fantasies of grandiosity and omnipotence. These came into conflict with both the (moral) demands of the parents, representing society and social mores, and with the brute facts of reality (mom can't always be there to meet our needs). Freud did acknowledge the importance of both actual and imagined relationships (most notably in his account of depression arising from the loss of an ambivalently loved object). However, his main focus remained on drives and unconscious conflicts, particularly the individual's resolution or failure to adequately resolve the Oedipus conflict, in which one reconciles onself to not having sole access to the mother and instead identifies with the father and social mores. WW II forced many prominent analysts to relocate to Britain or the US, where psychoanalysis developed in new directions. In London, Freud's daughter Anna and her rival Melanie Klein (student of Freud's Hungarian colleague Sandor Ferenczi) both tested and expanded Freud's hypotheses about early development with actual observation and analysis of troubled children. Anna Freud emphasized the role of defenses or coping mechanisms, leading to a school known as Ego Psychology (and later Self Psychology in the US, as developed by Kohut). Klein emphasized the importance of pre-Oedipal needs for love and object constancy and the role of relationships with others (or at least with introjected representations of others). Between these two, but in ways more theoretically linked to Klein's ideas, developed the so-called Middle School of theorists interested in object relations: Ronald Fairbairn, Harry Guntrip, Donald Winnicott, Alfred Bion, Michael Balint, and others, as well as the Kleinian-meets-ethology research program on attachment theory of John Bowlby and Mary Salter Ainsworth.

7/09/2010: Perspectives on the Life Cycle: Erik Erikson

8/13/2010: Sigmund Freud on Object Relations and Depression

9/10/2010: Mélanie Klein on primitive defenses 1

10/08/2010: Mélanie Klein on primitive defenses 2

12/10/2010: D. W. Winnicott: The Good-Enough Mother

1/14/2011: D. W. Winnicott: True & False Selves

2/11/2011: Margaret Mahler: Symbiosis and Individuation

3/11/2011: Selves and Others: a view from psychological anthropology

4/08/2011: The Double Bind and Expressed Emotion in Psychosis

4/22/2011: W. R. D. Fairbairn

5/13/2011: Harry Stack Sullivan: interpersonal perspectives

6/10/2011: The Process of Psychotherapy: The Holding Environment

This site was created on 21 Sep 1996. All original textual and photographic material on these pages is copyrighted 1996-2012 by Timothy M. Hall unless otherwise noted.