Feasibility of a Psychodynamic School-Partnered Mental Health Service: A Pilot Study

Ella Storey, Tehela Nimroody, Tracy A. Prout, Timothy Rice, Leon Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite a long and rich history of psychoanalytically informed interventions in school settings, influencing child guidance and psychotherapeutic services provided to children and families, cognitive behavioral interventions have become the predominant method for working with children in schools. In the last 20 years there has been a reemergence of psychodynamic school partnerships, addressing many of the barriers to the provision of school-based psychotherapy. However, little research exists on the implementation and feasibility of delivering psychodynamic psychotherapy services through partnerships between psychodynamic clinical teams and schools. This pilot study examines psychotherapy outcomes within one such partnership between the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and six New York City public schools during the 2020–21 school year. Therapists provided treatment using Regulation Focused Therapy for Children (RFP-C), a short-term manualized, psychodynamic intervention for children presenting with externalizing behaviors (delivered remotely/online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and hybrid school formats). After participation in RFP-C, parents reported a significant decrease in children’s symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder and some improvement in secondary attentional problems. This study also assessed the feasibility of implementing a school-based telemental health program in New York City. Strengths and limitations of the study, implications for future research, and clinical implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


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