“Meaning Making,” Edward Tronick, Ph.D.

Wednesday Night Lecture: Nov. 6

1.5 Continuing Education Credits (Sponsored by Div. 39 APA)

  • RIAPP Members: No charge
  • Non-members: $20 at the door
  • Grad Student/Psychiatry Resident: Complimentary with ID

Based on my research on infant development and how infants and young children make meaning of themselves in the world, and illustrated with video tapes of infants engaging with objects and people, I will argue that psychotherapy is about changing the meaning people make about themselves in the world. Discussing meaning making as a biopsychological process in which different systems create different kinds of meaning, I will argue that what I call a state of consciousness, for both children and adults, is made up of multiple forms of meaning that are at best messily put together.

Moreover, a primary way that meanings get made or changed is when individuals – parents and children or analyst and analysand – bring together their individual states of consciousness to form dyadic states of consciousness.  Importantly, these multiple meaning levels suggest changes in conceptualizations of transference.

This argument relates to the work of Modell on the private self and the critical nature of meaning making, the ideas of Tom Ogden and Alexandra Harrison and the Boston Process of Change group.

Ed Tronick, a developmental neuroscientist and clinical psychologist, is a world class researcher and teacher recognized internationally for his work on the neurobehavioral and social emotional development of infants and young children, parenting in the U.S. and other cultures, and infant-parent mental health. Dr. Tronick is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Director of the UMB Child Development Unit, Research Associate in Newborn Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a Lecturer in Newborn Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He also is on the faculty of the Maternal and Child Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Human Development at the Harvard School of Education. He is a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Over the course of his career, Dr. Tronick has co-authored and authored more than 300 scientific papers and chapters and 3 books, as well as numerous videos on infant development.

Program Description


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Date(s) - November 6, 2013
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Central Congregational Church
296 Angell Street (Diman Street entrance)
Providence, Rhode Island

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