The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology has developed a Concentration in Psychoanalytic Psychology: British Object Relations as part of its MA in Counseling Psychology program. This is the second concentration added to the curriculum since spring 2019. This concentration is designed to provide a foundational understanding of the British Objects Relations theory to allow the opportunity for students to grow and deepen their clinical experience in the psychoanalytic tradition.

The MA in Counseling Psychology with a Concentration in Psychoanalytic Psychology: British Object Relations, to be available in Fall 2021 to enrolled students, offers experiential learning about early childhood development as it occurs in real-time. Through infant observation, students gain a foundational understanding of British Object Relations theory, a psychoanalytic modality that places one’s earliest mental formations as central to how a person comes to relate to themselves, the world, and others.

“I am pleased to announce that The Seattle School is offering a new concentration in Psychoanalytic Psychology,” said Dr. J. Derek McNeil, President of The Seattle School. “The British Object Relations (BOR) frame allows us to better understand early childhood patterns of attachment and how we might connect with significant others in our lives. Alongside our work with the concentration in Trauma & Abuse, we believe this concentration strengthens our ability to fulfill our mission of healing and the transforming of relationships.”

The Concentration in Psychoanalytic Psychology will be taught in partnership with the Center for Object Relations-Northwest Family Development Center, which is a training center for psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the aim “increase the knowledge and application of British Object Relations theory, integrating this with current developments in psychoanalytic thinking and parent–infant study and research.”

“British Object Relations is for people who are interested in reading and exploring their emotional experiences, being stimulated both emotionally and intellectually, and especially to open our experiences to each other,” said Dr. O’Donnell Day, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School. “Not in a hierarchical way of those who are on the inside and those who are on the outside, nor ‘let’s make nice and be sweet,’ but in an honest way, open to very complex pains and suffering. Today, for so many people, as Meltzer said, it is a life of surviving and actually never suffering the terrible pains and shames we have experienced. I feel deep gratitude for the British Object Relations tradition and particularly to the people whose shoulders I stand on.”

The Concentration in Psychoanalytic Psychology: British Object Relations is designed to be completed concurrently with the MA in Counseling Psychology. This degree, with this concentration, is 72 credits and includes 6 credits specific to the concentration. Students will begin their concentration coursework in their second year, starting with a year-long infant observation followed by foundational courses in the elements of British Object Relations.

Learn more about the curriculum, application process, and goals for this new offering here.