The Dynamic Interplay of Adult Development and the Treatment Process - Steven D. Axelrod, PhD (Live)

July 12, 2024

2024 Grand Round Series

Continuing education credit information to follow. 

In this presentation Steven D. Axelrod, PhD, will elaborate two perspectives on the psychology of adulthood–a developmental scheme of tasks and emerging capacities and the drivers for individual growth and vitality. 

The developmental framework Dr. Axelrod described in the recently published paper “Growth in Adulthood: A Revised Psychoanalytic Framework for Adult Development” (2024, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 77(1), 126–142.) is a modification and expansion of Erikson’s original epigenetic scheme that incorporates what we have learned from others’ observations and theorizing.  Dr. Axelrod will then describe how this developmental perspective can inform and improve our clinical work and will illustrate this with some case material. 

Dr. Axelrod's discussion of the drivers of individual growth will include, but will not be limited to, object finding and object usage in both treatment and “in the wild.” He will pay special attention to what has been called the “developmental object” by Anne Hurry and others following the child analytic work of Anna Freud. 

A consideration of follow-up data from psychotherapy outcome studies can give us a special window into the processes of growth in adulthood more generally. Some research evidence points to the existence of a group of psychotherapy/psychoanalysis patients who show continuing improvement and better adjustment over time post-termination. One instance of this has been called the “sleeper effect.” Exploration of the factors in treatment and the processes post treatment that sustain these kinds of gains will comprise the final portion of this presentation. 

Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
07/12/2024 - 12:50pm EDT
Event ends: 
07/12/2024 - 1:50pm EDT

Steve Axelrod, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in independent practice in New York City. He is on the faculty of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where he is co-chair of the Independent Track, working to foster innovation and improve the intellectual experience for all members of the Postdoc community. He is a principal in the Boswell Group of psychodynamic management consultants and is on the board of the Psychotherapy Action Network. He is the author of books and articles on adult development, the psychology of work including Work and the Evolving Self (Analytic Press, 1999), leadership and management, male development, and hospital-based psychiatric treatment. He is the co-editor of Progress in Psychoanalysis: Envisioning the Future of the Profession (Routledge, 2018). This presentation is based in part on his 2024 article “Growth in Adulthood: A Revised Psychoanalytic Framework for Adult Development” in Psychoanalytic Study of the Child

Austen Riggs Center Inc. adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. All those at Austen Riggs Center involved in the planning of this activity, including the presenter(s) listed above, report they have no relevant financial relationships with an ineligible company*.

The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Austen Riggs Center.


* An ineligible company is any entity whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

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