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204 Theories of Development II Oedipal Development – 4 seminars

Seminar Leader: Dr. P. Sutton

Course Description

This course introduces candidates to oedipal stage development. It also covers some of the necessary preceding developmental processes. The Course teaches what is meant by object constancy and how understand the way in which it is related to oedipal stage development. The Course teaches candidates to distinguish between phallic-narcissistic and phallic-oedipal stages of development and to understand differences between male and female psychosexual development in early childhood. The Course clarifies the central features of the oedipus complex and how to apply this knowledge in clinical treatments of adults.

Course Objectives

Candidates will learn to:

  1. (1.1) Foundations: Integrating a theory of human psychological functioning.
  2. Integrate knowledge of human development across the lifespan: This course deals with the Oedipal stage in development, that is the period from ages 3 to 6, the ways in which development prior to this period prepares the way for the developments during this period, and the ways in which development during this period has lasting effects on capacities and traits which become observable in subsequent developmental epochs.
  3. Integrate knowledge of contextual and systemic factors that facilitate or impair human functioning: This course examines the environmental provision necessary for optimal development and the consequences for development of sub-optimal environmental provision.
  4. Integrate knowledge of the psychological significance of spiritual, moral, social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, sexual, gender, and biological development: This course deals specifically with the biological, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social, gender, and sexual development of the preschool age child (roughly from ages three to six years).
  5. (5.1) Remain current with professional literature.
  6. Read current literature relevant to practice area: Candidates are required to read both classic and current references for this course.
  7. Access information from a variety of current sources: Candidates are required to access information from the current literature, videotaped observations, personal observations, personal reflections, and their own clinical work with children and adults.
  8. Analyze information critically: Candidates are required to consider the information from the sources given above, and to consider sources of bias and incompleteness in these sources.
  9. Determine the applicability of information to particular clinical situations: Candidates are required to consider how the information in this course is applicable to the development of children, to lifespan development, to therapeutic work with their patients both with respect to their patients’ own development and with respect to their patients’ relationships with their own children.
  10. Apply knowledge gathered to enhance practice: As for (5.1.)
  11. Remain current with developments in foundational areas: This course stimulates an awareness of and interest in the foundational area of human (child) development, an awareness of gaps in knowledge, and an awareness of the requirement to continue to remain current with developments.
  12. (5.2) Use research findings to inform clinical practice.
  13. Integrate knowledge of research methods and practices: This course identifies a number of different research methods and their strengths and weaknesses.
  14. Determine the applicability of research findings to particular clinical situations: This course critically examines various research findings and their applicability to clinical situations in child therapy, parent-child relationships, and the psychotherapy of adults.
  15. Analyze research findings critically: As for (5.1.).
  16. Apply knowledge gathered to enhance practice: As for (5.1).

Seminar 1

Object Constancy

Required Readings

Burgner, M. & Edgcumbe, R. (1972). Some problems in the conceptualisation of early object relationships: Part II. The concept of object constancy. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27, 315-333.

Gergely, G. (2000). Reapproaching Mahler: New Perspectives on normal autism, symbiosis, splitting and libidinal object constancy from cognitive developmental theory. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 48, 1197-1228.

Seminar 2

The Phallic-Narcissistic and Phallic-Oedipal Phases

Required Readings

Edgcumbe, R. & Burgner, M. (1975). The phallic narcissistic phase: A differentiation between pre-oedipal and oedipal aspects of phallic development. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 30, 161-180.

Seminar 3

Female Development

Required Readings

Fast, I. (1990). Aspects of early gender development: Towards a re-formulation. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 7 (suppl), 105–118.

Parens, H., Pollock, L., Stern, J. & Kramer, S. (1977). On the girls entry into the Oedipus complex. In Female Psychology: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Views (pp. 79-107). New York, NY: International Universities Press.

Seminar 4

The Oedipal Phase

Required Readings

Gilmore, K.J. & Meersand, P. (2014). Chapter 4: The Oedipal phase and emerging capacities: language, imagination, play, mentalization, and self-regulation. In Normal Child and Adolescent Development: A Psychodynamic Primer (pp. 73-104). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Gilmore, K.J. & Meersand, P. (2014). Chapter 5: The Oedipal phase: psychosexual development, Oedipal complex and constellation, and Oedipal phase contributions to mental life. In Normal Child and Adolescent Development, A Psychodynamic Primer (pp. 105–140). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

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