November 2022

Committee for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, COCAP



In 1997, at a time when only adult psychoanalysis was recognised by the IPA, Anne Marie Sandler, director of the Anna Freud Centre, created the IPA Committee for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis under the presidency of Otto Kernberg. This was in order to officially recognise the practice of child analysis. The first chairs of COCAP were Johan Norman and Peter Blos.

With Virginia Ungar, a Grandparent Clause was developed to give accreditation to the child clinicians who could provide proof of their training and psychoanalytic practice with children and adolescents. 1000 psychoanalysts received accreditation as child training analysts in 2003, and a roster of child psychoanalysts was subsequently posted on the IPA website.

COCAP developed standards for child and adolescent psychoanalysis and a code of procedure. Analytic institutes can ask for recognition of their new child training. The IPA recommends creating Integrated adult-child training, with specific standards making all analysts aware of early childhood and adolescent specificity.

Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, COCAP ChairIn 2010, the Chair was Florence Guignard, in 2014 Kerry Kelly Novick, in 2018 Nilde Franch. From 2021 to 2025, Christine Anzieu-Premmereur will chair, with Christine Franckx as the Europe Chair, including Asia Pacific, Mary Brady Chairs North America, and Fernando Gomez Latin America.

The COCAP Mission is to:
*Promote knowledge of child and adolescent psychoanalysis;
*Preserve the professionalism of child and adolescent psychoanalysts;
*Advocate for the needs of children, adolescents, and families;
*Examine sections of the Procedural Code relevant to child analysis. Gather information about outreach and service activities of child analysts and child-related programmes;
*Administer the Hayman Prize 


Like the missions of other IPA committees, those of COCAP concern not only IPA members but also IPA candidates, particularly those related to training in child and adolescent psychoanalysis.

IPA candidates are represented in COCAP by several IPA candidates’ representatives (one for each IPA area).

To better understand their views on these issues, an extensive online survey of child and adolescent psychoanalytic training, jointly organised by COCAP and IPSO, was submitted to all IPA candidates in 2022.

Interestingly, of the 270 respondents, a majority stated that:

  • experience in analytic work with children and adolescents is helpful for analytical work with adults (95%)
  • the practice of analytic work with children and adolescents requires specific training (94%)
  • they were aware of the existence of qualifying curricula in child and adolescent psychoanalysis (89%) and mixed qualifying curricula in child/adolescent psychoanalysis and adult psychoanalysis (56%). 
  • However, a significant proportion of the respondents who had not enrolled in such curricula (40%) stated that they had not done so because of the unavailability of such programmes in their area
  • they considered that a qualifying course in child and adolescent psychoanalysis (93%) or child/adolescent and adult psychoanalysis (83%) should be offered in all IPA institutes.

These first results show how, from the point of view of IPA candidates, qualifying training in child and adolescent psychoanalysis is valuable, to be considered in connection with training in duly psychoanalysis and needs to be more widely developed within IPA institutes, in particular through mixed curricula qualifying in child/adolescent and adult psychoanalysis like ITT.   


Maria Teresa Flores, Christine Franckx (EU Chair), Antonia Grimalt, Germain Dillenger (IPSO)

Our activities are intended to create awareness of this training programme, to rationalise its philosophy, and to advise training institutes who have an interest in ITT, which was officially accepted by the IPA in 2016, with additional COCAP recommendations in 2019.
Here are the projects we put in place with this aim:

  1. a platform of representatives of European Psychoanalytic Societies to exchange about wishes, understanding, and different models of ITT according to their local history and psychoanalytic culture. 
  2. a survey to all Presidents and Training directors to understand the local points of view. The responses show the need for qualified child & adolescent psychoanalysts to set up the training programme, the difficulty in finding child & adolescent cases in a high-frequency analytic treatment, the resistance in societies with a long-standing tradition of separate adult and child & adolescent training to develop an integrated training, and the importance of infant observation for all trainees.

We have received requests from several EU societies who have eitherheard about the option of ITT for the first time and are interested, or who knew about it and want some help in setting up a programme, or...who discovered that they have had ITT for many years but never bothered to have it validated by the IPA! 

We have focused on our scientific contributions to the EPF Conference and the IPA newsletter on the role of child analysis in helping to understand adult analytic patients, as well as its value as a therapeutic tool for the contemporary psychic suffering of infants, children, and adolescents.

The socio-cultural climate in Europe is dominated by the war in Ukraine and its consequences. Collaborative interventions with PACE provide supervision for colleagues dealing with patients and/or psychotherapists impacted by the war.


The North American COCAP team comprises Mary Brady (NA Co-Chair),  Donna Roth Smith, Susan Donner, Ann Martini, and IPSO Candidate Kristin Fiorella

 Mary initiated and edited the ‘Children’s Minds in the Line of Fire series, which appears in the IPA Newsletter and Website each month.  The NA, SA, and European teams take turns writing compelling articles focused on intra-psychic yet societally induced trauma in children and adolescents.  Kristin will step into the editing role in the Spring of 2023.  Donna and Mary have contributed articles to that series.   We are interested in the possibility of COCAP developing an edited book based on these short pieces.  

Another major undertaking for the North American team was the ‘Weaving and Unweaving Webs of Gender’ conference, which NA COCAP co-sponsored with the IPA Committee on Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies, APSA’s Committee on Gender and Sexuality and the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society.  Our purpose was to be able to think and talk freely about a territory that can often feel political and contentious.  In the first part of the conference, child and adolescent clinicians presented clinical material from children and adolescents grappling with gender.  In the second part of the panel, members presented our reflections on our own gender experiences.  The conference was well attended and enthusiastically received.  Mary co-chaired this event, and Kristin presented child and adolescent clinical material.  

The NA team was also actively disseminating information regarding child analytic conferences (Ann) and contact with the North American Psychoanalytic independent institutes (Donna and Mary). Members also presented child and adolescent work at various congresses, scientific meetings, and international child analytic meetings.  We have been involved in multiple proposals for the IPA meetings.

We look forward to launching a series featuring interviews with child analyst book authors in 2023.  


Fernando M. Gómez (Chair), Ester Litvin Malque Litvin, Maria del Carmen Miguez, Patricia Singer, Shirit Woliynski (IPSO) 

Our tasks were focused on several topics related to the different aspects of children and adolescent psychoanalytic training programmes, as well as the development of solid scientific contributions around different aspects in the current clinic of babies, children, and adolescents.

According to the training process, we developed two strategies. First, we launched a survey aimed at the Institute Directors of all Latin-American Societies to know their position concerning the children and adolescents’ psychoanalysis training programmes and their knowledge about the ITT programme. Several societies have provided their answers, allowing us to observe their opinions, difficulties, and resources. We are currently finalising it and proceeding to analyse the information obtained. Secondly, we have made an informative presentation of the ITT programme at the general meeting of all the Latin-American Directors of Children Departments, organised by the Children and Adolescents Area of FEPAL. Finally, we are working with societies specifically interested in the ITT programme implementation.

From a scientific perspective, we worked on the development of different theoretical and technical approaches to some of the relevant topics observed in today´s children’s clinic:  pandemic and post-pandemic impact; war, migration, political, social, and economic crises impact; trans adolescence, increased suicide in adolescence; the interdisciplinary role in children and adolescents’ psychoanalysis; children and adolescents training role in the adult psychoanalytic process. We carried out: at the FEPAL Congress, different contributions together with other IPA committees (PACE and Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies Committee); papers for the IPA-newsletter; the IPA-COCAP participation and support for the development of the 1st International Virtual Congress of Research in Psychoanalysis of Babies, Children and Adolescents in Buenos Aires (Asociación Psicoanalítica Argentina). 

First row: Christine Franckx, Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, Antonia Grimalt, Mary Brady
Middle row: Germain Dillenseger, Kristin Fiorella, Fernando Gomez, Patricia Singer
Bottom row: Shirit Wolynski, Ann Martini, Ester Litvin.

Christine Anzieu-Premmereur