Pretoria Reading Group Established

A reading group in Pretoria, South Africa have been coming together for the past two months now. They are approaching the Masterson theory developmentally. Developing with Masterson so to speak, reading his early works and debating theoretical issues.

Along with the theory is always Masterson’s focus on the patient. Case vignettes are presented and discussed.

Therapist’s Guide to the Personality Disorders

A Therapist’s Guide to the Personality Disorders Book Cover A Therapist’s Guide to the Personality Disorders
James F. Masterson, M.D.
Zeig, Tucker & Theisen

This volume features clear, concise chapters from experts on the Masterson approach (including Masterson) to treating what are often our most challenging clients. In reading it, we are encouraged to think more deeply about the development of who we are and we are also supported in our efforts to apply the concepts in our practices by the inclusion of the workbook questionnaire. Masterson’s seminal contributions have never been made clearer or more relevant.
— Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Author of Breaking the Patterns of Depression and Trancework: An Introduction to the Practice of Clinical Hypnosis (3rd edition)

In this remarkable book, James Masterson offers a concise theoretical overview, informative updating, and extremely practical application of his ongoing work on the etiology and treatment of developmental arrests of the self. Expanding this model, skilled clinicians give vivid case examples of how Masterson’s theories can be clinically implemented in effective treatment of borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid personality disorders.
— Allan N. Schore, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychiatry and Biobehaviorial Sciences, U. of California at Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine.

This groundbreaking volume, featuring a 160+ self-assessment review questionnaire, presents an overview of the basic tenets of James Masterson’s work. Written by Masterson himself along with members of his faculty, the book covers not only pertinent developmental theory and milestones in its evolution, but there are important discussions of its fundamental concepts; differential diagnosis; the etiology and treatment of the Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Disorders; the role of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; and countertransference.

Personality Disorders Through the Lens of Attachment Theory

Personality Disorders Through the Lens of Attachment Theory Book Cover Personality Disorders Through the Lens of Attachment Theory
James F. Masterson, M.D.
Zeig, Tucker & Theisen

The culmination of 40 years of research on the personality disorders, this book documents
the breakthrough integration that has brought Dr. Masterson’s theory into its fullest possible
dimension. Initially descriptive, it evolved into a developmental theory, then into a developmental
object relations theory, and, finally, into a developmental self and object relations
theory. Now, with the recent emergence of attachment theory and the theory of the neurobiologic
development of the self, the picture is complete and a clear and comprehensive statement
depicting the origin and development of the personality disorders has taken shape.
Dr. Masterson and his fine team of coauthors have assembled a rich and comprehensive
volume that features discussions of transference and countertransference, consciousness,
mother-infant attachment, the psychotherapy of trauma, therapeutic neutrality under challenge,
among many other important topics.

“This outstanding text, spearheaded by one of the foremost authorities of our time on personality disorders, is the culmination of four decades of clinical observation and research. Integrating the latest information from attachment theory and neurobiological development, Masterson and his colleagues have created a well-crafted text that is a must-read for serious students,researchers, and clinicians of all contemporary modalities of treatment. Surely destined to become a classic!”
– Frank M. Dattilio, Ph.D., ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Clinical study group on Disorders of Self

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FORMAT 8 weekly sessions of 2 hours duration
DATES 19 Oct – 7 Dec 2015
TIME Monday evenings 7.30pm – 9.30pm
COST Early Bird $425, Standard $495
VENUE Counselling on Stirling, 10/100 Stirling Hwy, North Fremantle

This 8 week clinical study group will introduce participants to fundamental concepts of the Masterson Approach, focussing on the distinctive treatment interventions applied to the specific needs of each of the Disorder of Self clusters – borderline, narcissistic and schizoid.

Dr James Masterson’s pioneering work in conceptualising the underlying psychic structures of the borderline and narcissistic disorders – together with the contribution of Dr Ralph Klein in illuminating the psychic structure of the schizoid disorder – formed the basis for groundbreaking treatment approaches which are remarkably effective in working with clients often considered difficult to treat. Masterson theory is founded in the developmental self, object relations and attachment models.

The study group will cover theory and case presentations, as well as offer opportunity for clinical discussion of participants’ case material. Reading of set articles prior to each session supports the learning experience. Participants will require a copy of the text, The Therapist’s Guide to the Personality Disorders: the Masterson Approach, at the commencement of the course. Additional reading material will be provided.

This professional development opportunity will suit practitioners interested in deepening their understanding of the treatment of personality disorders.




Maggie is a senior psychotherapist and supervisor with experience in mental health, private practice and university sectors, spanning 35 years. She works with adult individuals primarily providing long term psychotherapy. Maggie trained in Masterson psychoanalytic psychotherapy with the International Masterson Institute based in New York, and is currently completing training to become a faculty member of IMI. Background trainings include mental health OT, gestalt therapy and formal training in supervision. Maggie is co-principal trainer of an advanced training course in professional supervision.


After successfully completing 3 years of training with the psychoanalytic International Masterson Institute, New York, Nancy became a trainee faculty member of IMI by undertaking further training. Nancy has attended psychoanalytic conferences around the world, and been a clinical trainer and supervisor. She has worked as a therapist for over 16 years in private practice and organisations. Nancy also has a special interest in working with couples. She has a Masters of Soc. Sc. (Counselling and Psychotherapy); she is a mental health social worker; and has a Bachelor of Arts (major in Psych).