Applying Psychoanalytic Principles and Practice to the Treatment of Substance Misuse

December 2, 2014
Lecturer: Debra Rothschild, PhD
Discussant: Lisa Goldfarb, MD

Substance misuse is ubiquitous in all therapy practices, including psychoanalytic ones, yet may go under-recognized, ignored or outsourced to non-analytic treatments. Dr. Rothschild, faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and addiction specialist, shows how the psychoanalytic approach is ideally suited to the treatment of substance misuse, especially in its focus on process, self-states, and the use of transference, countertransference and enactments. She shows how the analyst and patient can work together to recognize and integrate various dissociated self-states in the treatment. Dr. Rothschild, together with the discussant, Lisa Goldfarb, MD, use case material illustrating how to combine traditional/behavioral approaches with dynamic ones and what modifications are necessary when working analytically with substance misusers. Dr. Goldfarb will also review screening methods and assessment of severity/dangerousness for different types of substances/use patterns, as well as when to seek consultation.

Dr. Rothschild is a psychoanalyst on faculty of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and credentialed substance abuse counselor. She has published widely on the subject of integrating psychoanalytic perspectives into substance abuse treatment. Dr. Goldfarb is an addiction psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, on faculty at the NYU School of Medicine and Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.

Objective: After the lecture, participants should be able to.

  • Summarize major psychoanalytic contributions to theories of addiction
  • Describe the roles substance use may play in a person’s internal psychodynamics
  • Recognize when and how to include traditional substance abuse screening and interventions in a dynamic treatment