Child Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Toolkit

Play Therapy
Source: CBPS Play Therapy with Foster Care Children

Welcome to the Child Psychodynamic Psychotherapy toolkit. In this website you will find:

  • Five video vignettes of the psychotherapy of a four year-old child, conducted over one year by Timothy Dugan, MD
  • Video introduction and expert commentary for each vignette by Efrain Bleiberg, MD, Marty Drell, MD, Lee Ascherman, MD, and Sergio Delgado, MD
  • Prompts for didactic discussion
  • Sample questions and answers for evaluation purposes

This play psychotherapy “Train the Trainer” webinar series is designed for use by Training Program Directors, Site Supervisors for Psychotherapy Curricula and other educators. Although the tool has been designed to best fit Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residents, it can be adapted and used for General Psychiatry residents in their child psychiatry rotation as well as medical students. For further questions regarding the use of the psychotherapy toolkit, please contact the Psychotherapy Committee Co-Chairs Jeffrey Strawn, MD ( or Sergio Delgado, MD (

You have password-protected access to this Training Toolkit because you are an AACAP member. Please be sensitive to the fact that this is private patient information. Although consent was obtained to use this video for educational purposes, reviewed by the AACAP ethics committee and the face was blurred to further maintain anonymity, please use discretion in using the video. The video is NOT to be used in any other capacity other than for training purposes. If you have questions about using the videos or for technical issues concerning the site, please contact Jeffrey Hunter (


How to use the Psychodynamic Play Psychotherapy "Train the Trainer" Tool:

There are 6 components to the Toolkit per instructional series:

  • Stimulus Video
  • Didactic Lecture
  • Power point slides
  • Talking points
  • Bibliography for further readings
  • Multiple Choice questions with answers (CHAPTERS 1-3)

In order to best use the tool, educators should do the following.

  • Play the stimulus video
  • Play the didactic lecture and cross-reference to the accompanying power point slides
  • Use the talking points to facilitate discussion with your trainees
  • Share the reading list/bibliography for further references
  • Share the multiple choice test and review the answers

AACAP Abramson education grant
Mary Ahn, MD
Lee Ascherman, MD
Efrain Bleiberg, MD
Sergio Delgado, MD, Co-Chair, Psychotherapy Committee
Marty Drell, MD
Timothy Dugan, MD, Co-Primary Investigator and Editor
Cecil Webster, MD, Editor
Tony Green, AACAP Program Manager, Clinical Practice

Chapter 1:
Overview of the child's psychotherapy: Presenting symptoms and family history

Overview: Timothy Dugan, MD

BIBLIOGRAPHY for Chapter 1

  • Amster,F. Differential Uses of Play in Treatment of Young Children. In: Haworth, M., Ed. Child Psychotherapy. N.Y., Basic Books; 1964: 11-19.

Chapter 2:
Getting Started and Starting to Play: the Psychotherapist's Stance and the Beginning Phase of Therapy

Introduction to Session 9

Session 9, October 7th

Introduction to Session 21

Session 21, January 14th

Efrain Bleiberg, MD expert commentary on the beginning phases of psychotherapy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY for Chapter 2

  • Axline, V. (1964) The Initial Session and The Eight Basic Principles (pp91-94) in Child Psychotherapy Practice And Theory, Mary Haworth (ed) New York: Basic Books
  • Allen, F. (1964) The Beginning Phase Of Therapy (pp101-114) in Child Psychotherapy: Practice And Theory, Mary Haworth (ed) New York: Basic Books
  • Bleiberg, E., Fonagy, P. and Target, M. (1997) Child Psychoanalysis: Critical Overview and a Proposed Reconsideration in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics or North America Vol 6, No. 1, January pp 1-38
  • Chazan, S. E. (2002) Profiles of Play: Assessing and Observing Structure and Progress in Play Therapy, Philadelphia, Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Frankel, J. B. (1998) The Play's the Thing: How the Essential Processes of Therapy are Seen More Clearly in Child Therapy. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 8: 149-182.
  • Solnit, A.J., D. J. Cohen et al (eds) (1993) The Many Meanings of Play: A Psychoanalytic Perspective. New Havens: Yale University Press.
  • Winnicott, D. (1964) chapter 22, Why Children Play. The Child, the Family and the Outside World, New York, Penguin Books, 143-1

Chapter 3:
Transference and Countertransference: Feelings Generated in Work With Children and Parents and Tips on Working With Parents Despite These Feelings

Introduction to Session 29

Session 29, March 17th

Introduction to Session 31

Session 31, April 14th

Marty Drell, MD expert commentary on the middle phases of psychotherapy including transferences and countertransferences.

BIBLIOGRAPHY for Chapter 3

  • Engel, G. "The Clinical Application of the Biopsychosocial Model." American Journal of Psychiatry. 1980; 137(5):525-544, 1980.
  • Rexford, E. "Children, Child Psychiatry, and our Brave New World” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969 Jan;20(1):25-37.
  • Bornstein, B. "Emotional Barriers in the Understanding and Treatment of Young Children." Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1948 Oct;18(4):691-7.
  • Bordin, E. "The generalizability of the psychoanalytic concept of working alliance." Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice. 1979; 16(3):252-260.
  • Fraiberg, S., Adelson, E., Shaprio, V. "Ghosts in the Nursery: A Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problem of Impaired Infant-Mother Relationships," J Am Acad Child Psychiatry. 1975 Summer; 14(3):387-421.
  • Bowen, M. "Family Therapy in Clinical Practice" 1993, Jason Aronson Inc. New York
  • Terr, L. "Individual Psychotherapy" (Chapter 53), Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington, DC: APA Press, 2010, pp. 807-824.
  • Singer, JL, Sincoff, JB, & Kolligan, J "Countertransference and cognition: Studying the psychotherapist's distortions as consequences of normal information processing.” Psychotherapy. 1987; 26:344-355.
  • "Countertransference in the Psychotherapy of Children and Adolescents", Contemp. Psychoanal., 1979:595-629.
  • Paul Adams, A Primer of Child Psychotherapy (2nd Ed.), Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1982.
  • "A Model for Conceptualizating the Role of the Mother's Representational World in Various Mother-Infant Therapies." The Infant Mental Health Journal. 1989; 10(3):142-156, .
  • Novick, K.K. & Novick, J. Working with Parents Makes Therapy Work. Lanham: Jason Aronson, 2005.

Chapter 4:
Termination and the Meaning of Time

Introduction to Session 37

Session 37, June 2nd

Lee Ascherman, MD expert commentary on the role of termination in individual psychotherapy of a child.

BIBLIOGRAPHY for Chapter 4

  • Hayworth, M. (1964) Child Psychotherapy Practice and Technique (pp 287-301) Termination New York: Basic Books
  • Hayworth, M (1964) Child Psychotherapy Practice and Technique (pp 159-163) The Meaning of Time New York: Basic Books

Additional Readings:

  • A Primer of Child Psychotherapy: Paul L. Adams. Boston, Ma. : Little, Brown, and Company,: 1982
  • Child Psychotherapy Practice and Theory: Mary, R. Hayworth, Editor. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books, Inc. 1964.
  • Child Analysis and Therapy: Jules Glenn, Editor. New York, N. Y.: Jason Aronson, Inc. 1978.
  • Good Good-Byes: Knowing How to End in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Jack Novick and Kerry Kelly Novick. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson Publishers, Inc. 2006
  • Working With Parents Makes Therapy Work: Kerry Kelly Novick and Jack Novick. New York, N.Y.: Jason Aronson Publishers, Inc./Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2005

Chapter 5:
Addendum: So Much for Transferences, What about the Doctor Patient Relationship?

Sergio Delgado, MD expert commentary on the role of relational therapy and child psychotherapy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY for Chapter 5

  • Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents. 2015 by Sergio Delgado, Jeff Strawn and Ernest Pedapati
  • Psychotherapies with Children and Adolescents: Adapting the Psychodynamic Process Edited by John D. O'Brien, American Psychiatry Press Inc., 1992
  • Doing Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy. Adapting psychodynamic treatment to the contemporary practice. Richard Bromfield (2007) 2nd Ed. Wiley
  • Foundations of Play therapy 2nd ed. 2011 by Charles E. Schaefer. Wiley
  • Neurobiology and the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalytic Play Therapy with Children. 2011 Alan J. Levy. Clin Soc Work J 39:50-60
  • "Did You See That?" A Relational Perspective on Children Who Cheat In Analysis. 2000 Elizabeth Krimendahl Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy. Vol. 1(2)
  • Shut Up And Move: The Uses of Board Games in Child Psychotherapy. 2000 Jill Bellinson Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy. Vol. 1(2)
  • Therapist Self-Disclosure with Children, Adolescents, and Their Parents. 2003 Robert Gaines. Journal of Clinical Psychology. Vol 59(5)
  • What is Therapeutic in Child Therapy? I. Therapeutic Engagement. 2004 Kenneth Barish. Psychoanalytic Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 3, 385-401.
  • The Child Therapist's Generative Use of Self. 2004 Kenneth Barish. Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 3(2): 270-282.
  • The Play's the Thing How the Essential Processes of Therapy Are Seen Most Clearly in Child Therapy. 1998 Jay Frankel. Psychoanal. Dial., 8:149-182.