Meet the Author: Steven Cooper

Join Steven Cooper, PhD, for our next Meet the Author event with Rita Teusch, PhD, and the online audience.

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Join us Monday, May 1, 2023, from 7:30 - 9:00 pm EST for a virtual Meet the Author with Steven Cooper, PhD, presenting his new book Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis. The discussion will be moderated by Rita Teusch, PhD. The online audience will have a chance to ask questions via a Q&A chat or "on camera". 

About the Book:

Building on Winnicott’s theory of play, Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis defines the concept of play from the perspective of clinical practice, elaborating on its application to clinical problems.

Although Winnicott’s theory of play constitutes a radical understanding of the intersubjectivity of therapy, Cooper contends, there remains a need to explore the significance of play to the enactment of transference-countertransference. Among several ideas, this book considers how to help patients as they navigate debilitating internal object relations, supporting them to engage with "bad objects" in alternatively playful ways. In addition, throughout the book, Cooper develops an ethic of play that can support the analyst to find "ventilated spaces" of their own, whereby they can reflect on transference-countertransference. Rather than being hindered by the limits of the therapeutic setting, this book explores how possibilities for play can develop out of these very constraints, ultimately providing a fulsome exploration of the concept without eviscerating its magic.

With a broad theoretical base, and a wide definition of play, this book will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists wanting to understand how play functions within and can transform their clinical practice.

Book Purchases can be made here.

About the Author:

Steven Cooper, PhD, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and trained at BPSI from 1981-1987. He is Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry, Columbia University. He is also on the faculty at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. He currently maintains a full time practice in New York. Steven served as Joint Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Dialogues from 2007-2012 and is now Chief Editor Emeritus. He has authored four books, most recently Playing and Becoming in Psychoanalysis.

About the Moderator:

Rita Teusch, Ph.D, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She is a Lecturer in Psychiatry (Psychology) part-time, at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Health Alliance. She is on the faculty of BPSI where she teaches courses on Freud and Melanie Klein. Her interests: psychodynamics of trauma, eating disorders, psychoanalytic history, social issues. She has a private practice in Cambridge. 

This program is made possible by the generous support of BPSI Members and friends. Your gift to BPSI supports education in the fields of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  

To make a gift to BPSI, contact Carole Nathan ( or 617-266-0953 x101), go to, or send mail to BPSI, 141 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459. 

The target audience for this program is the general public and mental health clinicians at all levels of training. 
Continuing Education 
Continuing education is not offered for this program.
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Any program participant requesting their individual program registration be canceled, must submit their request in writing via email to Stephanie Cavanaugh at For fee-based events, a request for cancellation (and refund using the original form of payment) must be received no later than 48 hours in advance of the event. Requests received later than 48 hours prior to the event will not be processed or accepted. All approved refunds are subject to a $10.00 administrative fee. If BPSI cancels an event, all registrants will receive a full refund of fees paid (no administration charge) no later than two business days following the scheduled date of the event, using the original form of payment.


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