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Welcome to the official website of Dr. Susan Kavaler-Adler. Here you will find information about Dr. Kavaler-Adler's life and work in the field of psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and Object Relations theory.

Dr. Kavaler-Adler has been practicing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in NYC for over 40 years. She is an Executive Director, Faculty, Training Analyst, and Supervisor for the Object Relations Institute. Dr. Kavaler-Adler is a prolific author with three books published by Routledge and about sixty professional articles in peer-reviewed journals.

If you are interested in joining any of Dr. Kavaler-Adler's upcoming or ongoing groups, click the Groups tab above. For information on individual and couple's psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, please click the Private Practice tab above. To read about Dr. Kavaler-Adler's books, articles, and other publications, please visit the Books and Articles pages of this web site.

For a special treat, visit the Tango page!

Calendar of Events


NIP Award!

June 20, 2014

NIP's Annual Psychoanalytic, Integrative & Creative Publications Program

NIP's Psychoanalytic, Integrative & Creative Publications Program recognizes papers published by the NIP community in the past year. In addition to providing recognition to individual authors, this program keeps members of the NIP community up to date with each other's creative and scholarly work and, hopefully, serves to inspire further contributions.

This year, we are recognizing the papers and books listed below, published between June 1, 2013, and May 31, 2014.

  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (2013). Dialectics of mortality and immortality: Time as an internal and transitional world object experience: Time as a persecutory versus a holding object. Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology, 35, 47-61.
  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (2013). The compulsion to create: Women writers and their demon mothers. New York: ORI Academic Press. (republication of the former 1993 Routledge book, and the 2000 Other Press book, with new editing and illustrations)
  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). Fear of intimacy. In Salman Akhtar (Ed.), Fear (pp. 85-121). London: Karnac.
  • Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). The Klein-Winnicott dialectic: Transformative new metapsychology and interactive clinical theory. London: Karnac.

See the original email.

Monthly Psychotherapy and Mourning Group, with Guided Psychic Visualizations

Schedule: 1st Saturday of the month, 12-4pm; September through June
115 E 9th Str., 12P, NYC
$130/monthly. Membership is limited, but openings are possible in September 2012

This a unique four hour intensive psychotherapy group has been meeting for 17 years, with new and evolving membership. Each group starts with guided psychic visualization, to help each group member enter their own internal world, where deeply needed dialogues with the others (also parts of the self) who emerge from within, can take place.

This internal world experience is translated into communication in the external and transitional world of the group as each interactive group begins with the person who wants to share their "in vivo" psychic visualization. This visualization process has a developmental journey of its own, from one group to the next. The visualization process, combined with the dynamic group interactions, allows each member to locate themselves in their own developmental mourning process, so that each person can confront and gradually let go of old internal object constellations that are inhibiting or sabotaging them. Consequently each member can open more freely to receive new internal and external relationships that enhance the creative, erotic, spiritual, and loving aspects of the self. This journey involves dealing with aggression and grief, and understanding how these powerful forces and feelings within us get played out with others. Projections and transferences can be addressed so that group members can get to their inner core, and then can re-own dissociated or repressed parts of themselves. Group communication grows as blocks to such communication (in the form of transference projections) are defined.

Monthly In-Person Supervision Group, with Role-playing and Teaching Clinical Theory

Schedule: 1st Friday of the month, 1:15-2:45pm; September through June
115 E 9th Str., 12P, NYC
$75/ month. Group is ongoing & open for new members. All mental health practitioners are welcome!

In this monthly group, group supervision is combined with experiential role-playing, as well as with Dr. Kavaler-Adler's own teachings on object relations theory as applied to clinical and developmental processes. Members of the group benefit from explanations of concepts related to borderline, schizoid and narcissistic character disorders, distinguishing between splitting, projective identification, and neurotic modes of blocked affect and blocked psychic fantasy, due to repression and unconscious psychic conflict.

Other important concepts of the object relations clinical theory are discussed, such as: "projective-identification," therapist's "object survival," the analyst as a "psychic container," "the holding environment," "primitive" vs. neurotic transferences, "primal envy" and its manifestation in treatment, "the transformational object," "object internalization," "objective vs. subjective countertransference," empathy developing through the Winnicottian "capacity for concern" and Kleinian "depressive position," capacity to process loss, and "existential guilt," self-sabotage related to "unconscious loyalties" to patient's internal parental objects, "the true self," and "the capacity to be alone," as well as such challenging topics as developmental mourning, envy, and erotic transference.

During the role-play, Dr. Kavaler-Adler takes the role of the psychotherapist, allowing the presenting group member to experience the process of being "inside the skin" of the patient. This allows the group member who is presenting a case process to feel his/her patient from the inside out, while this allows other group members to vividly experience the presented case, so that their own thoughts and feelings can become part of the dialogue about the process with the patient. Objective and subjective forms of countertransference are discussed. References to readings in the psychoanalytic and object relations literature are offered.

Monthly Virtual Supervision Group

Schedule: Second Friday of the month, 11:30am -2:00pm (NB: New time!); September – June
Virtual participation -via Internet/phone – using Go-to-Meetings
$75/ month. Group is ongoing group & open for new members. All mental health practitioners are welcome!

This virtual group was begun at the request of two practitioners in Chicago. It operates through audio-video "Go to Meetings" (through Internet or phone) and offers all the benefits of the other monthly Friday supervision group, in terms of role-playing with Dr. Kavaler-Adler and theoretical teachings related to psychopathology, developmental issues, and clinical process theory. Members take turn presenting as in the other monthly Friday group.

This group is open to mental health professionals both outside the New York area, such as our Chicago members, and also to all those in New York City. Computer expert is on call for technical support, if needed.

Individual supervision

Individual supervision (case-by-case or on-going) is available via video and audio conferencing.