2019 - 2020 Child Colloquium Series

Sarah Stadler, MD, Chair
Jacqueline Ward, PhD, Co-Chair
David Frankel, PhD, Courtney Hartman, PsyD, Tam-Anh Pham, LMFT, and Yen Quoc, PsyD Committee Members

Children running

Language and Other Communications
The Child Psychoanalytic Program of SFCP welcomes you to a series of presentations demonstrating the scope of intensive work with children. These events offer an opportunity to hear a range of theoretical perspectives and clinical approaches. This year the series focuses on trauma recovery and the important role of the caregiver’s ability to attend to children's deep anxieties and their defenses. We hope you will attend several events and become part of the ongoing discussion, contributing to enriching clinical work and theoretical understanding.

Program Title: Call of the Whine:
Sounds of Childhood, Media and the Effects on Relational Engagement
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Time: 10:00am - 12:00noon
Presenters: Kristen Carey, PsyD and Elissa Meryl, PsyD
Location: San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Program Fee: Free
CME/CE: 2 CME/CE Credits available for $20

When children whine, they challenge parents and caregivers to engage emotionally. What happens when a device is introduced into the relational equation and a caregiver offers a screen as a substitute for face-to-face contact or bodily comfort? Children’s emotional needs are not met; rather, there is an illusion of containment where needs become sedated as children are lulled under the spell of the screen and its contents.

We propose that an over reliance on media as a mechanism for managing feelings impacts attachment and relational expectations. In this“media-centric” attachment model, children learn that when they are upset or in need of connection they should rely on a device rather than human contact. An attachment template forms based on a dyad that does not address complex emotional states. The resulting dependency on the screen by both parent and child leads to a belief that strong emotions cannot be felt or metabolized by the couple, but are best relegated to a non-human experience.

Therapists are confronted with this attachment experience as we try and meet our young patients in their relational world. The media device is presented as a third object in the room and requires creative thinking to understand their emotional landscape and to compassionately forge a way back to human connection.

Kristen Carey, PsyD is in private practice in San Francisco, where she specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their parents. Her interests include the effect of technology on psychic development, and the impact of inter-generational trauma on the parent-child relationship. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Child Psychotherapy.

Elissa Meryl, PsyD has a private practice in Noe Valley where she specializes in adolescents and couples. Her work is informed by an interest in yoga, dance and meditation and the benefits of bringing greater mindfulness to all aspects of life.


Educational Objectives:
Participants will be able to
  • analyze patients’ use of electronic devices as a means to modulate interpersonal distance.
  • assess the function of screens in patients’ regulation of their emotional states.
  • engage with resistant adolescents despite their use of devices for defensive purposes.
  • create a treatment in which an adolescent feels understood and responded to.

California Medical Association LogoThe San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

American Psychological Association LogoThe San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

PHYSICIANS: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis designates this educational activity for a maximum of 2 credits as listed for each individual program, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.

LCSWs/MFTs: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is an entity recognized by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to provide Continuing Education Credits pursuant to Section 1887.4.3.

PSYCHOLOGISTS: Psychologists attending SFCP events approved for CME credits may report AMA PRA Category 1Credit(s)™ toward their CE requirements. Psychologists self-certify the number of hours they have completed on their renewal form (whether online or paper). The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

REGISTERED NURSES: The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CEP 02677) on an hour for hour basis.

Commercial Support: None

Faculty Disclosure: All presenters and planning committee members have disclosed NO financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with commercial companies who have provided products or services, relating presentation(s) or commercial support for this continuing medical education activity. All conflicts of interest have been resolved in accordance with the ACCME Updated Standards for Commercial Support.

The Child Colloquium Series are offered free of charge through a generous support of the SFCP and the Sophia Mirviss Fund.