Third Annual Child Case Conference
Co-sponsored by IRPP/PSPP

Feeling into Form: A Twelve Year Old Girl and Her Mother Journey Towards Independence

Susan Kaye-Huntington, PsyD and Timothy Wright, PsyD

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Brief program description:

This case discussion considers the usefulness of nonverbal intervention through the visual arts.  A 12-year-old girl experiencing intense separation anxiety, school refusal, depression, and suicidal thinking shares art making with her mother.  Together, they examine, re-experience, and untangle their individual and joint experiences of loss and their struggles for autonomy.

Through listening, looking, and conversation, we hope to consider the following questions together:  How did change happen?  What role did art making play in facilitating the transformation from non-verbal impressions, sensations, and affects, into verbal expression?  Does this process have special usefulness in treatment with “tweens’ and young teens who don’t want to play in therapy, but are not comfortable engaging with the therapist solely in conversation?  

Additionally, we will discuss some of the basic ideas of Relational Theory and ponder the implications of these ideas for child therapy in general and Dr Kaye-Huntington’s case in particular. The attendees will also have the opportunity to experience their own reactions to some art samples and to discuss the parallel between their reactions and the reactions of the clinical triad.

This program is open to all mental health professionals and students. The instructional level of this presentation is intermediate.

Speaker bios: 

Dr. Susan Kaye-Huntington is in private practice in Center City and Chestnut Hill where she specializes in the treatment of childhood depression, anxiety, and health related psychological issues in children and adults. She has particular interest in the utilization of the visual arts and hypnosis in the context of psychotherapy.  She has worked as a clinician for over twenty years in a variety of settings with a broad range of children (including very young children) and their families, and with adults. Her recent chapter contribution “Art therapy in the context of creative expressive therapies” (2009), was published in B. Beitman & D. A. Monti (Eds.), Integrative Psychiatry, Oxford University Press.  She served as Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of the Arts and at Drexel University. Dr. Kaye-Huntington received her B.A. at New York University in Art History, her MCAT in Art Therapy at Hahnemann University, and her Psy.D. at Immaculata University.  She has also participated in courses at the Hampstead Child-Therapy Course and Clinic.  

Dr. Timothy Wright is in private practice in Cherry Hill, N.J. where he has worked with children, families and individual adults for over twenty years. Dr. Wright received his B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University, his M.Ed. In School Psychology from Temple, and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Widener University. He completed his psychoanalytic training at the Institute of Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, where he is now a member of the faculty. Additionally, Dr. Wright is currently training in Somatic Experiencing, an approach to working with trauma. He is interested in the interface between Relational Psychoanalysis, Somatic Experiencing, and Buddhist ideas.

Learning objectives:  

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe their understanding of the role the arts play in the transformation of implicit experiencing into explicit expression.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the usefulness of non-verbal interventions during the late school age-early adolescent developmental period.
  3. Discuss the basic ideas of Relational Psychoanalysis and the various ways these ideas might influence one’s work with children and their families

Tentative Program Schedule:

Saturday June 2, 2018

9:00-9:15         Registration  

9:15-9:20         Introductions

9:20-10:20       Case presentation  

10:20-10:30     Attendee reaction to art samples

10:30-10:45     Break

10:45-11:15     Discussant presentation  

11:15-11:45     Questions and discussion

Location and Parking:

1901 JF Kennedy Blvd.
Kennedy House
30th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Please use the main entrance to the Kennedy House.  There is a buzzer outside the main entrance that will prompt the security guard to let you in.  A list of attendees will be with the guard.  It is building policy that you check in upon arrival.  Please let the guard know that you are with the PSPP event.  Once you have checked in, the community room is located on the 30th floor.  Take the elevator to the 30th floor and the room will be on your left.

Garage parking is available in the building.  The entrance to the parking garage is on 19th Street between JFK Boulevard and Cuthbert Street.

The closest subway stop is Suburban Train Station.


Please register by May 27, 2018. There is no fee for this program.


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Continuing Education Credits

PSYCHOLOGISTS: This program, when attended in its entirety, is offered for 2 continuing education credits. Participants must attend 100% of the program. Upon completion of a conference evaluation form, a certificate will be issued. This serves as documentation of attendance for all participants.

SOCIAL WORKERS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors in Pennsylvania can receive CEs from CE providers approved by the APA. Since Division 39 is approved by the APA to sponsor continuing education, these professionals will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements by attending PSPP/Division 39 approved programs.

Responsibility for Program Content

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.

Accessibility, Non-discrimination, and Ethics

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 discussion periods. Participants with special needs will be accommodated as possible.

If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them. If you believe that a violation of ethics has occurred during this presentation, or if you have concerns about such issues as accessibility for persons with disabilities, or distress with regard to program content, please address questions, concerns, and any complaints to Kelly Bassett, MEd at 646-510-1593.

There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants or other funding that could be reasonably construed as conflict of interest.

Participants will be informed of the utility/validity of the content/approach discussed (including the basis for the statements about validity/utility), as well as the limitations of the approach and most common (and severe) risks, if any, associated with the program’s content.

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