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L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D., a licensed, supportive, experienced Clinical Psychologist located in Oakland

L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist Psy7350
Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis Consultation
email: dr.keller@kellerphd.com

5435 College Avenue, Suite 201 Oakland,  CA  94618
phone: 510 654-2420  

Past Events


Eileen Keller, PhD kellerphd@gmail.com

Fall 2016

In this course on “Contemporary Object Relations Theory” we will begin with selected roots of all contemporary object relations theory by studying some current thinking on Ferenczi’s role in the development of technique and the treatment of trauma. We will go on to think about Ferenczi’s influence on Klein and use Stephen Mitchell’s article to study the role of the object in Klein and Fairbairn.
Our third stop will be to study Fairbairn’s contribution to the theory of object relations trauma as read by Ogden.

Next, we will briefly consider field theory, a major influence on psychoanalytic thought and practice internationally.

In the third section we will consider three major contemporary theorists, Green, Brenman and Ogden. We will use selected works of each to consider the place of the object in contemporary theory and the implications for technique.

As we study each of these theoretical groups, we will read one contemporary clinical article to focus our questions: on what ground does this clinician stand? What are the implications of the clinical material presented? How do we understand the nature of the author’s clinical theory? And, how do we link the clinical theory to the theoretical ground?


Libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle

Church vs State. Father vs Son. Love vs Duty.

At the time of Spain’s brutal Inquisition, the king of Spain marries the woman his son loves and sets into motion a tension-filled chain of events.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this magnificent tale of romantic triangles, political idealism and life-and-death devotion. Making his role debut as Don Carlo, the thrilling Michael Fabiano stars alongside the dynamic Mariusz Kwiecien as Rodrigo and powerful bass René Pape as King Philip. The extraordinary Verdi soprano Krassimira Stoyanova is Elisabetta, and Bulgarian mezzo soprano Nadia Krasteva is Princess Eboli, both in their Company debuts

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Discussants: Jeanne Harasemovitch, LCSW and L. Eileen Keller, PhD

Family Romance in the Countertransference: Working with Parents

CE: 3 units
Instructors: Kelley Gin, MFT, PsyD & L. Eileen Keller, PhD
Location: East Bay/ St. Clement’s Episcopal Church (reserve)
2837 Claremont Boulevard, Berkeley CA 94705
Date: October 18th, 2014
Time: 9:30-12:30

All therapists working with children have felt the siren call of the family romance. While the romances can take many forms, all are organized around the wish for “better” parents, parents who understand the child as the therapist does, parents who can love the child more fully, and, in the deep corners of our minds, the fantasy that we would be a better mother/father to the child. Dr. Gin and Dr. Keller consider parent work essential to the project of helping children, necessitating the psychological work of the therapist to find a position in relation to the child and his parents that helps us both resist and make use of the inevitable pressures toward the family romance. In this workshop, Dr. Gin and Dr. Keller will each present their own theory of work with parents, including clinical material, followed discussion with each other and with the audience.


San Francisco Intensive Study Group:
Time and Timelessness in Clinical Work

Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (PINC), San Francisco

In the therapy hour, time slips, moves, and stops. We go back in time to under - stand the origins of our patient’s psychological organization, use the present moment to understand the past, and work together to create a new future and new experiences. Time acts upon us — in the frame of the 50-minute hour, in the developmental model of the patient and the treatment arc, and in the reality of aging and death. We also manipulate time, as we hold to the frame, interpret to the past and the present, and explore traumatic time in the form of loss, abandonment, and the disruption to time caused by dissociation. This year’s ISG will explore the shifting contours of time in the context of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Dr. Keller will be teaching eight sessions from November 8- Jan 17(with holiday breaks). Her section is titled: 
Killing Time Softly: Pathological Organizations and the Challenges of Time with Eileen Keller, Ph.D.

Money-Kyrle calls time the third fact of life, difficult to accept even in psychological health. We will study psychoanalytic views of pathological organizations, including Freud on interminability, Klein on transference, Rosenfeld on narcissism, Steiner on pathological organizations, and Bion on learning from experience. Dr. Keller will use clinical material from a long psychoanalysis to illustrate clinical experience and technique used in treating a patient with massive resistances to time passing. Participants are encouraged to bring in clinical vignettes relating to the “killing” and “living” of time.

Are You Thinking of Reading Bion?
Study and Case Consultation with Eileen Keller

Bion's works on thinking and on states of mind are wonderfully useful in clinical work, though sometimes hard to grasp in isolation. In this group we will investigate the foundations of his thinking, laid out in "Second Thoughts," a collection of papers published during his early years as a psychoanalyst. In this group of papers, Bion first articulates his understanding of the basis for attacks on reality through primitive "de-linking" defensive activity. We will use close reading of these early papers, alternating with case presentation by group members, to build an understanding of his seminal ideas about the psychotic and non-psychotic parts of the personality, attacks on linking, the psychic meaning of arrogance, and his theory of thinking.

"I have been studying and teaching Bion in the context of his contemporaries, Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, and Herbert Rosenfeld for twenty years. I continue to discover meaning anew in every group reading Bion together. I hope you will join me in this on-going endeavor to deepen clinical practice through the study of theory."


SFCP Eating Disorder Conference: Nothing Inside, Action Outside:
The Role of Mentalization in the Treatment of Eating Disorder [Link]

Presenters: Piera Piagentini, R.N., M.F.T. & Marsha Silverstein, Ph.D.
Discussant: L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D.
Moderator: Robin A. Deutsch, Ph.D.

Saturday, December 4, 2010
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
SFCP; 2340 Jackson Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco

Treating Children Who Have Parents: a Free course for graduate students

Psychotherapy of children is rarely an uncomplicated individual psychotherapy. Identification with our primary patient, the child, can lead to negative transferences to the child’s parents. This course focuses on the complexity of working with a child, who lives in a family with parents and siblings, necessitating a large view of both the child’s psychology and the capacities of the parents. I will introduce the concept of collaborative work with parents, ranging from parent guidance to parent psychotherapy, focusing on the complexity of negotiating the space between parents and their child in treatment. Then two experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapists and a psychoanalyst will present a case the following three sessions, giving students the opportunity to hear two senior clinicians thinking together about working with children and their parents.

Brief readings on working with parents will be assigned and provided.

Instructor: L. Eileen Keller, Ph.D.
Dates: Thursdays: October 14, 28 and November 4,11
Time: 7:30-9pm
Location: Lake Merritt area of Oakland

Register by calling Max Lee at SFCP: 415-563-5815

The San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
The Child Development Program &
The Members of the Pre-school Consultation Project

Cordially invite you to our 4th Annual Event and Fundraiser

Wednesday, 12/2/2009 7:00pm - 9:30pm

Loss and Mourning in Early Childhood: Holding the Child, the Family, and the Preschool Community


Jan Baeuerlen, M.D.:
Member, and Faculty, Co-chair, Child Analytic Program,
San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Eileen Keller, Ph.D.:
Member and Faculty, Chair, Child Development Program,
San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Tina Lapides, L.C.S.W.:
Member and Faculty, Co-chair, Child Analytic Program,
San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Ilene Pollack:
Director, Rosenberg Early Childhood Center, JCC, San Francisco

San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
Child Colloquium Series

The Child Analytic Program of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis welcomes you to a series of presentations representing the remarkable scope of child psychoanalysis today. These discussions will offer us an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the mind and of human development seen through the lens of clinical experience with children and adolescents.

Beyond Trauma: [Almost] Everything You Need to Know About Theory and Intervention

Robert Friend, M.D.
Eileen Keller, Ph.D.
Gilbert Kliman, M.D.

Saturday, 11/7/2009 10:00am - 12:30pm

We have gathered together three well known psychoanalysts, each with expertise in responding to trauma. They will tackle hard questions: What do we need to know to respond to a traumatic event, be it individual, institutional or environmental? When and how do we react to the death of a preschool child, the murder of a parent or to a frightening/catastrophic event with community repercussions? What are the psychodynamic strengths therapists need to stabilize themselves? What do we offer to counter psychic disorientation which is timely, developmentally appropriate and psychotherapeutic?

The Clinical Application of Winnicott's Theories of Playing and Reality

Presenter: Eileen Keller, PhD
When: April 3, 2009 (Friday) Time: 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Where: Ann Martin Center

Winnicott's contributions to psychoanalysis are paradoxically both embedded in ordinary clinical lore and elusive. In this presentation, I used clinical vignettes, descriptions from infant observation and poetry to provide a base for discussion of the "ordinary devoted mother," the "transitional object," "true and false self development," "the spontaneous gesture," and Winnicott's theory of mind.

L. Eileen Keller is a psychologist/psychoanalyst, Member and Faculty at San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis (formerly SFPI), Consultant for Children's Psychotherapy Project, Program Director for the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at SFCP, clinical supervisor for the Ann Martin Center, and in private practice in Oakland.

San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis Scientific Meeting: March 10, 2008

L. Eileen Keller presented her paper: Repairing Links: Building Attachments in the Preschool Classroom. Mary Margaret McClure discussed the paper.

Scientific Meeting - The Fostering of Agency: Psychoanalytic Views on Working With Foster Children

Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D.; April Fernando, Ph.D.; Kelley Bryan Gin, Psy.D.;
Eileen Keller, Ph.D.

Conversation About the Work of Elizabeth Tabak de Bianchedi

Join Dr. Eileen Keller for an informal discussion of the work of Elizabeth
Tabak de Bianchedi, the SFPI&S Visiting Professor for 2006.
Please read for the discussion: "Lies and Falsities", Journal of Melanie
Klein and Object Relations, 1993, v. 11:2, pp. 30-45.
Copies can be requested from the SFPI&S library for a small fee.

Eileen Keller, Ph.D., Member, Faculty, SFPI&S.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006.

SFPI&S, 2420 Sutter Street , San Francisco , CA ; 7:30-9:00 p.m. ; free.

A Case Discussion Using Bion's Ideas
May 20th, 2006

The richness and flexibility of Wilfred Bion’s thinking and writing invites us to expand our ideas about the task of psychoanalytic observation and technique. Ritual, set theories, and habit give way to innovation and spontaneity. In this clinical forum three clinicians discussed their theoretical understanding of Bion’s work and the various influences shaping that understanding, i.e. Antonino Ferro, the neo-Kleinians, attachment theory, and infant observation.

Presenter: Dena Sorbo, L.C.S.W.
Discussants: Eileen Keller, Ph.D., Henry Markman, M.D., Ray Poggi, M.D.
Saturday, May 20, 2006; Epworth United Methodist Church, 1953 Hopkins Street, Berkeley, CA; 9:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.; 3 CE credits; $75