Pamela Van Dalfsen, PhD

Board Member

It is an honor for me to be invited to join the board of the Center for Object Relations (COR). COR has been a primary professional organization for me for more that 15 years now and I have been in the roles of student, instructor, and committee member at different times. I hope to be able to use my specific experience and history with COR to help continue and enrich the educational and community offerings, and additionally to offer support to clinicians who are interested in British Object Relations.

Having completed a traditional research-based Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, I came out of graduate school with very little knowledge of clinical process (or even theory) beyond behavioral and cognitive-behavioral concepts. I received my license in 1988 and started in private practice in 1989: I soon found out that I needed a more complex and deeper way of thinking about my patients and my work with them in order to be effective. In 1999, without knowing what I was getting into, I enrolled in the BOR III psychopathology course at COR that was part of the sequence for the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Certificate Program. I immediately was both profoundly overwhelmed and intensely interested in what I was learning. Seeing its potential for the impact on my work, I took the remaining courses for the certificate program, and completed both the control cases and the psychoanalytic psychotherapy necessary to earn the certificate (a program that is no longer active). I also completed an Infant Observation class with Marianne Robinson. Since 2012 I have taught various year-long British Object Relations courses through COR with Ann Glasser, Ph.D. This experience has enriched me profoundly and I am grateful to have the opportunity.

In addition to much consultation, my own psychoanalytic experience as a patient, the education that I received at COR, and the community that I have been fortunate enough to build here, I have seen my work (and indeed my life) become richer and more effective. I stand with the values that I experience at COR, the values of offering the ideas and ways of thinking about both clinical material and human experience that are embedded in the body of psychoanalytic work broadly known as British Object Relations.