Education & Events

Foundational Courses

Foundational Courses

Join us in attending Roots & Branches, a two-year series of foundational classes in diverse psychoanalytic perspectives. Fall of 2018 focused on the origin and history of psychoanalysis based on the seminal work of Freud and, later, Jung. Winter of 2019 will bring you an understanding of British Object Relations theory and the techniques of Klein, Bion, and Winnicott. Meet our local experts and build relationships with like-minded students and clinicians in our analytic community!

The curriculum is especially well suited for students and those in their first decades of practice, though the concepts are of interest to therapists at all levels. Roots & Branches seeks to ground participants in the highly textured history of psychoanalytic tradition as well as contemporary schools of thought and practice as the two-year series evolves. While participants may attend individual classes, participants are encouraged to attend the curriculum in its entirety for maximum benefit.


Year One, Semester One: Fall 2018

Psychoanalytic Concepts Toward the Formation of a Basic Analytic Attitude

Sigmund Freud, Part I
Date: Saturday, October 13th, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts / Psychoanalytic Principles in Historical Context / Psychoanalytic Views of Development / Playing with Dreams / The Analytic Dialogue 
Instructor: Daniel Benveniste, Ph.D. 

Sigmund Freud, Part II
Date: Saturday, November 3rd, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Basic Psychoanalytic Technique / Defenses, Resistances, Transference and the Repetition Compulsion / Primary Process Thinking, Secondary Process Thinking and Metaphor / Psychoanalytic Listening and Clinical Technique 

Sigmund Freud is the founder of psychoanalysis, which forms the bedrock of all the depth psychologies. In this survey seminar, participants will be introduced to Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic concepts toward the formation of a basic analytic attitude. This will include discussion of the interpretation of dreams, psychosexual development, the structure of the psyche and the concepts of the conscious, unconscious, defense, resistance, transference, countertransference, and the repetition compulsion. The dissenting positions of theorists such as Adler, Jung, and Rank will be presented along the way. The basic principles of psychoanalytic technique will be addressed along with the importance of thinking in metaphor and psychoanalytic listening. 

Instructor Daniel S. Benveniste, PhD is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Bellevue, Washington. He is also a Visiting Professor of Psychiatry, Wuhan Mental Health Center, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hubei, Peoples Republic of China. In addition to his practice and teaching, he writes professional articles and books, and has taught graduate students of clinical psychology for many years. He is the author of The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna and W. Ernest Freud: Three Generations of Psychoanalysis (2015) and is the editor of Anna Freud in the Hampstead Clinic: Letters to Humberto Nágera (2015). Originally from California, he did his training and began his practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. He lived and worked in Caracas, Venezuela from 1999 to 2010 and then relocated to the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Adriana Prengler, LMHC, FIPA. In 2016, he was named Honorary Member of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Carl Gustav Jung
Date: Saturday, December 8th, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Complexes / Transcendent Function / Mytho-poetic Psyche / ‘Prospective’ Interpretation of Dreams / Active Imagination / Independence of the Unconscious / ‘Creative Illness’ / Contemporary ideas in Analytical Psychology

Four hours cannot begin to cover the wide breadth of Jung’s sixty years of collective work. Instead, I will speak about elements of Jungian Psychology and its practical applications that have had the most impact on my work and evolution as a therapist. For instance, we’ll discuss the influences upon Jung of the biographical, historical and cultural context in which he was born into. What we call today, ‘object relations’, ‘the inter-subjective field’, ‘the relational school’, ‘self psychology’, ‘cultural studies’, ‘deconstruction’, and ‘eco-psychology’, were all clearly evident in his early clinical formulations. His most accessible writing, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, contains clinical examples that illuminate his primary ideas on the unconscious, creativity, dreams, and soul. Excerpts from the famous BBC interview, two years before his death, offers us a glimpse into the spirit of the man.

Two brief and accessible pre-seminar readings are a necessary introduction to the material: Intro to Jung’s Life & Work, and Jung as a Pioneer of Relational Analysis. Additional suggested Reading: Jung’s “The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious,” the second of the Two Essays on Analytical Psychology.

Instructor Kenneth Kimmel, MFT is a Jungian psychoanalyst with thirty-five years of clinical practice, and co-founder of The New School for Analytical Psychology. He was Director of The Pacific Northwest Center for Dream Studies for the first twenty years of his career, working with over thirty thousand dreams. As a writer, teacher and consultant, he has presented locally, in the US and internationally. His interests lie in the intersection and gaps between psychoanalysis, philosophy and theology.

Year One, Semester Two: Winter 2019

British Object Relations

Wilfred Bion
Date: Saturday, March 9th, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Bion in Context / Working in Groups and the Basic Assumptions / Studies on Psychosis / Psychotic and Non-Psychotic Parts of the Personality / Learning from Experience / Container-Contained / From Beta to Alpha / Reverie / Emotional links L, H and K / Theory of Thinking / The Grid / Beyond Bion

Wilfred Bion was one of the most creative and influential contributors to psychoanalytic theory since Sigmund Freud. He turned the focus of attention from the productions that mind creates to the workings of the mind itself. At the same time, his mind-bending theories are abstruse by design, causing the reader to continually question- well, pretty much everything. As such, Bion is best approached with the help of other minds. On this very brief tour, I’ll be your guide through some of Bion’s monumental ideas. Organized chronologically, we’ll visit concepts of working in groups, excursions into psychosis, the possibilities of learning from experience, and the necessary requirements for doing so- containing others and understanding emotionally affective links. If time allows, we may even tackle The Grid, a veritable Mont Blanc of psychoanalytic endeavor.

Instructor Dana Blue, LICSW FIPA is a board certified Training and Supervising psychoanalyst with Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She has a particular interest in how the mind is established, and has extensive experience with parents and infants. Major theoretical influences include Bion and Winnicott. Dana teaches infant observation and many other psychoanalytic courses as part of the NPSI faculty and currently serves as Director of Training.

Melanie Klein 
Date: Saturday, April 6th, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Primitive Ego and the Essentiality of the Object / Anxiety and the Instincts: Life and Death / Unconscious Phantasy / The Developing Mind: Splitting, Projection, and Introjection / States of Mind: Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions / Internal World and Internal Objects / Projective Identification and the Transference

While much of Klein’s thinking remains controversial and even troubling to many, her influence on psychoanalysis and the field of mental health is irrefutable. Commonly held beliefs that babies have emotions and register experience prior to language; that babies come into the world with individual sensitivities and capacities; that the quality of early parental attunement and care has lasting effects throughout one’s lifespan; and that the therapeutic relationship is central to psychic change and healing were not fully explored or considered prior to Klein’s findings.

In the four hours we have together, we will introduce and, hopefully, think together about the main concepts of Klein’s corpus. In preparation for this course, participants are strongly encouraged to watch the movie, “Where the Wild Things Are,” and may wish to read Melanie Klein: Her Work in Context, by Meira Likierman. 

Instructor Sue N. Carlson is a psychoanalytically-informed Psychotherapist and Supervisor in private practice, working with adults and couples.  Sue received her certificate in psychoanalysis from Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute in 2005. She has over 20 years of experience teaching British Object Relations and related topics for Antioch University Seattle, NPSI, COR, SPSI, and the Alliance.  She is a member of COR and the Alliance.

Instructor Rikki Ricard is a practicing psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice, working with adults, couples and adolescents. She offers supervision individually and in groups. Rikki is a graduate of Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, with Masters degrees in both Acting and Psychology. She has been in private practice for 27 years. Rikki has taught at COR, the Alliance, SPSI and NPSI. 

Instructor Cristy Smith received her Master in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in 2013.  Her private practice work with adults and teens is guided by her interest and post graduate studies in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.   She has two years of experience teaching British Object Relations at the Center for Object Relations in Belltown.  

Donald Winnicott
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 9 am - 1 pm
Key Concepts: Primary Maternal Preoccupation / Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena / True and False Self / The Use of an Object / Fear of Breakdown / Hate in the Countertransference

Donald Winnicott was one of the Independent British Psychoanalysts who had a major influence on the direction of psychoanalysis after the Controversial Discussions split the Kleinian's and the Freudian's. Winnicott, who was also a pediatrician, believed the maternal environment was crucial in the development of the internal world of the infant. He famously said, “There is no such thing as a baby, there is a baby and someone.”

In the class we will discuss many of Winnicott's major theoretical contributions such as Primary Maternal Preoccupation, Transitional Objects/Transitional Phenomena, True and False Self, The Use of An Object, Fear of Breakdown and Hate in the Countertransference. We will discuss these theories and utilize clinical examples to deepen our understanding of the theories as well as to think about therapeutic action. We will also discuss the influence his second wife, Clare Britton Winnicott, a social worker and psychoanalyst, had on Donald Winnicott's theories.

Instructor Lisa A. Caldwell, LICSW, PsyA, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Pioneer Square. She see adults, adolescents and children in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. She also works with couples and families and parent/infant dyads. She provides psychological evaluations and expert witness testimony in court. She provides consultation to other clinicians. 


All classes will be held at the Phinney Ridge Community Center, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

Registration & Costs 

Individual classes:  

$50/nonmember; $40/member; $30/student 

**Program content has been submitted for approval for 4.0 CEUs per lecture for Licensed Social Workers, Mental Health Counselors, and Marriage and Family Therapists by the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work. 


Click Here to Register.  


You may contact Nicola Mucci, Psy.D. at with any questions.