I am in practice in adult and child psychiatry, concentrating primarily in child and adult psychoanalysis. I have been active in teaching and supervision at my psychoanalytic institute for most of my career.
In high school and college, my academic interests in the liberal arts drew me to the work of Freud and other psychoanalytic thinkers. I went to medical school with the idea of becoming a psychoanalyst. Once I was in residency, I applied for training in child psychiatry. Ostensibly, I thought that clinical experience with children and adolescents was essential to becoming an analyst, but the truth is that I found that I had an affinity with children and adolescents and enjoyed working with them. After child fellowship, I took a half time position in consultation child psychiatry and began adult, and then child, psychoanalytic training. Decades later, I still find my work personally deeply important to me, intellectually challenging, and full of surprises. In addition to my full time practice, I remained involved in learning. The institute was the primary place for intellectual depth, but I also developed relationships with learning specialists, teachers, neuropsychologists, and pediatricians over the years. I was in a study group for twenty years with learning specialists on learning and emotional difficulties, consulted at two independent schools and one social agency, and remained involved with psychiatry, primarily child psychiatry. The advances and controversies in biological psychiatry, developmental psychology, neuroscience, education and special education have influenced my thinking and practice in child analysis. Integrating these advances and ideas into a comprehensive understanding of the whole child is one of the challenges and joys of my career. Child analysis remains indispensable, in my view. It integrates all of the other ways of understanding a child in the context of the child?s development, family, culture, and inner conflicts and strengths. It is also an optimistic discipline, and deeply fulfilling.
If I could do it all over again, I would follow the same path.
Steven Wein, M.D.