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How the Developmental Science of Early Childhood Informs Therapy with Children and Adults

November 18, 2017 @ 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Claudia M. Gold, M.D.

How the Developmental Science of Early Childhood Informs Therapy with Children and Adults

 Saturday November 18, 2017

 9:00 am — Registration/Coffee

9:30 am — 12 pm — Presentation



Psychoanalysts have known for over a century that early experience matters. In this program we will explore contemporary research at the interface of developmental psychology, neuroscience, and genetics that seeks to understand the way these experiences become incorporated in the body, brain, and mind. This area of research is subsumed under the heading of infant mental health, or the developmental science of early childhood. We will discuss the Mutual Regulation Model, reflective functioning, epigenetics, the Polyvagal Theory, and the biology of safety, and bringing the body into treatment using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. The aim of the program is to consider how the wealth of knowledge emerging from this growing discipline informs our understanding of the development of psychopathology, and how this knowledge impacts upon treatment of children and adults with early developmental disruption. There will be ample time for exploring the relevance of theory and research to participants’ clinical work.


About the Presenter

Claudia M. Gold, M.D., is a pediatrician and writer who has practiced general and behavioral pediatrics for over 25 years and now specializes in early childhood mental health. She currently offers parent-child consultations for ages 0-3 at Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires and works as a parent-infant mental health specialist at the Austen Riggs Center. She is author of The Developmental Science of Early Childhood (Norton 2017), The Silenced Child  (Da Capo 2016) and Keeping your Child in Mind  (Da Capo 2011). She is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts-Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Program, the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute, The Erikson Institute and the Brazelton Institute.



Beeghly, M., Perry, B., & Tronick, E. (2016). Self-regulatory processes in early development. In S. Maltzman (Ed.), The Oxford hand-book of treatment processes and outcomes in psychology.

Fonagy, P., & Allison, E. (2014). The role of mentalization and epistemic trust in the therapeutic relationship. Psychotherapy, 51(3), 1372-1380.

Gold, C.M., (2017). The Developmental Science of Early Childhood: Clinical Applications of Infant Mental Health Concepts from Infancy Through Adolescence, W.W. Norton & Company.

Kundakovic, M. and Champagne, F. “Early Life Experience, Epigenetics, and the Developing Brain” Neuropsychopharmacology REVIEWS 40(2015) 141-153.

Perry, B. (2009). Examining child maltreatment through a neurodevelopmental lens: Clinical applications of the neurosequential model of therapeutics. Journal of Trauma and Loss, 14, 240-255.

Porges, S. (2011). The polyvagal theory: Neurophysiologic foundations of  emotions, attachment, communication, and self-regulation. New York, NY: Norton.


Learning Objectives

 After attending this intermediate-level program,  participants will be able:


  1. To describe the Mutual Regulation Model and its implications in development of the self.


  1. To explain the role of promoting reflective functioning in treatment of problems of emotional regulation.


  1. To discuss the Polyvagal Theory and its relevance to the clinical setting.


  1. To illustrate application of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics to clinical intervention.


Sponsorship and Continuing Education

2.5 CE credits are available to psychologists and psychoanalysts, and 2.5 CE credits will be provided for LMHCs. Social workers seeking continuing education credits should contact Cindy Racine ( or 413-446-9529) for status of the application for continuing education credits.

Division 39 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Division 39 maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Division 39 is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during the discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. Please address questions, concerns or any complaints to Moi Wurgaft, Ph.D., LMHC at 413-230-7027.

WMAAPP is the local chapter of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association.

WMAAPP is committed to following APA ethical guidelines.


WMAAPP brochure Gold 11-18-17


Pre-registration has ended.





November 18, 2017
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Category:


The Red Lion Inn
30 Main Street
Stockbridge, MA 01262 United States
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