Needed Relationships, The Forward Edge, and the Transformation of Traumatized States

Steven Stern, Psy.D.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

8:30am to 9:00am Registration
9:00am to 1:00pm Presentation

Dr. Steven Stern will present his richly integrative clinical approach organized around the principle of co-creating needed relationships uniquely with each of our patients. His model is deeply rooted in self psychology and intersubjective systems theory, but is equally grounded in neighboring theories, including Winnicottian, Bionian and relational theories, a non-linear dynamic systems perspective, and especially Louis Sander’s developmental process principles. At the center of Stern’s approach is the idea of “meeting the patient” – a process which, paradoxically, requires the full complexity of multiple psychoanalytic theories and frames of reference (vertices) in order to provide the “simply human” responses our patients need from us.

Dr. Stern will begin with an overview of the major elements of his model, interspersing theory with illustrative clinical material. He will then present an extended clinical example — a challenging case in which the nature of what was needed only emerged over a long period of time.

This conference aims to stimulate our capacity to develop, integrate and hold in mind a range of theoretical models while remaining open and curious to discover the unique path of growth for each of our patients.


OU College of Public Health
801 NE 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Map to the OU College of Public Health Auditorium

Registration by Mail

If you prefer to register by mail, please print off the following brochure and mail it with your check to: OSPS, PO Box 12683, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. If you have questions about registration, please email Trish Myers at

Steven Stern Brochure

Learning Goals and Objectives

Participants will be able to:

1. Apply the principles of co-creating needed analytic relationships with traumatized psychotherapy patients to their therapy practice.

2. Orient and respond to traumatized patients using a multi-theoretical, relationally-integrative framework.

3. Develop competence in the process of “meeting” traumatized patients in ways that are “fitted to” and transformative of their most traumatized states.

4. Apply an expanded, more fully relational understanding of the concept of “the forward edge” in work with developmentally traumatized patients.


Steven Stern, PsyD is a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. He is a member of the International Council of the International Association of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and was Associate Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology until 2015. He has been a frequent contributor to the contemporary psychoanalytic literature, with a particular interest in theoretical integration. His first book, Needed Relationships and Psychoanalytic Healing: A Holistic Relational Perspective on the Therapeutic Process (Routledge) was released in March 2017. Dr. Stern practices in Portland, ME with specializations in psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, couples therapy, and clinical supervision. His newest paper, “Airless Worlds: The Traumatic Sequelae of Identification with Parental Negation” (Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 29, No. 4), is scheduled to be the anchoring paper for an IARPP Colloquium in May, 2020.