2/18/24 IPTAR Faculty Curriculum Committee Visiting Scholar Lecture


February 18, 2024 10-12:30 IPTAR and Zoom

A Clinical Illustration of Theory and Technique in Psychoanalytic Work: The Independent Tradition in British Object-Relations School

Kannan Navaratnem 


The early work by Ernest Jones, James Strachey, Ronald Fairbairn, Ella Sharp, Harry Guntrip, Donald Winnicott, Alice, Enid and Michael Balint, Paula Heimann, Marion Milner, John Bowlby, Masud Khan, William Gillespie, Pearl King, and Charles Rycroft added to and built upon the original psychoanalytic contributions of Ferenczi and Freud.

The work of this group of analysts helped to shape a school of thought that gradually differentiated itself from the Klein Group as well as the followers of Anna Freud. More recently, John Klauber, Margaret Little, Margaret Tonnesmann, Harold Stewart, Nina Coltart, Eric Rayner, Christopher Bollas, Gregorio Kohon, Patrick Casement, Michael Parsons, Jonathan Sklar, Roger Kennedy, Kenneth Wright, and others have contributed more to this body of analytic thought and practice, which bears the distinctive hallmark of the Independent Tradition in British Psychoanalysis.

In this presentation, the speaker will attempt to trace the historical development of this unique psychoanalytic tradition and highlight some of its conceptual aspects. He will also refer briefly to contemporary Independent contributions to the understanding of ‘Regression’, ‘Countertransference’, and ‘Self and Identity’. He will end with a brief discussion of Independent theory and technique and present a verbatim account of a consultation session with a patient in order to illustrate an application of Independent theory and technique to clinical practice.


Kannan Navaratnem is a psychoanalyst in private practice in London and a member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the British Psychoanalytical Society. He is a training analyst for child and adult psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and the British Psychotherapy Foundation.

Dr. Navaratnem is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London, and teaches in China, as well as at the British Institute of Psychoanalysis, the British Psychotherapy Foundation, and the Tavistock Clinic, where he has been the inter-cultural psychotherapy clinical seminar leader for the last fifteen years. He is also psychotherapy supervisor to psychiatrists in training at the Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust.

Previously Dr. Navaratnem was a consultant adult psychotherapist at the Forest House psychotherapy clinic in the NHS and editor of the News & Events and Beyond the Couch publications of the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Bulletin of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

He will be Visiting Professor in Psychoanalysis at the University of Kyoto, Japan in 2024.


Learning Objectives:

1) Participants will gain an understanding of the historical trajectory in British psychoanalytic thought that has led to the Independent Tradition.

2) Participants will be able to compare and contrast the Contemporary Independent Tradition with Modern Kleinian and Contemporary Freudian approaches to psychoanalytic practice in Great Britain.

3) Through clinical examples, participants will recognize ways in which the Independent tradition has reshaped core analytic concepts such as regression, countertransference, and self and identity.

2 CE credits will be granted to participants who have registered, have documented evidence of attendance of the entire program and have completed the on-line evaluation form. Upon completion of the evaluation form a Certificate of Completion will be emailed to all participants who comply with these requirements.


The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (1651 3rd Ave, Suite 205, NY, NY 10128) is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Psychologists (#PSY-0026), and the State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Social Workers (#SW-0226) and the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Psychoanalysts (#P-0011), Licensed Creative Arts Therapists (#CAT-0037) and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (#MHC-0112). This certificate is not applicable to any other New York State profession.


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