State of the Art Lectures

The Superior Doctor: Advocating for Child centred Mental Health Policy

There is a Chinese saying that “while the inferior doctor treats disease, the superior doctor prevents illness. The purpose of good public policy, meaning “prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs”, can be seen as developing equality, mitigating disparities and translating knowledge into action. Do doctors make good advocates for policy development or are they hampered by their reductionist approach in desiring medical classification in undifferentiated issues of early childhood? A good policy must be rooted in the evidence base, supplemented by a strategic actionable plan, and must generate clear measurable outcomes. Well devised mental health policy takes into consideration the need for services to be flexibly organised, to adapt and respond to foreseen and unforeseen changing demand. However, it must achieve this structure and responsiveness in a cost-effective manner not only in the short term, but also in the long term. In this way it considers not only an immediate need, but also the needs of subsequent generations. This talk will apply the traditional principles of mental health policy development but take a child-oriented perspective. Instead of planning services as one would in creating a mental healthcare system, Dr Fung would propose transforming existing mental healthcare services towards a child-focused, family strengths-based integrated ecosystem.


Dr Daniel Fung is married to Joyce and the father of 5 grown up children. He is currently the Chairman Medical Board of Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health since 2011. Dr Fung is an Adjunct Associate Professor at all 3 medical schools in Singapore. Dr Fung is currently the President of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. He was awarded the National Day (Public Service Administration (Bronze)) Award in 2017 and the National Medical Excellence Award (Team) in 2018 for his work on community and school based mental health.Dr Fung is interested in the treatment of emotional and behavioural disorders in children and he has advocated for the development of child mental health services and strategies through his research.Dr Fung’s research is supported by the National Medical Research Council and other agencies. He has co-authored over 160 peer reviewed research papers (118), books (32) and book chapters (18).

The Effects of Trauma on Young Children: Promoting Safety and Resilience

Young children can be traumatized in many different ways including exposure to community and domestic violence, abuse and neglect, disasters, accidents, and death of a significant person. The impact of trauma on young children has behavioral, emotional, social, and cognitive effects. Children are also extremely sensitive to the traumatization of their parents or caregivers and their resultant stress, especially since they depend on these adults to protect and nurture them. The State of the Art Lecture will describe how trauma exposure can affect young children and ways to evaluate the impact, provide support, interventions, and treatment. The presentation will describe different ways to promote and support resilience in children exposed to traumatic events.


Joy D. Osofsky, Ph.D. is a clinical and developmental psychologist, Paul J. Ramsay Endowed Chair of Psychiatry and Barbara Lemann Professor of Child Welfare at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans. She is Director of the Harris Infant Mental Health Center at LSUHSC. Dr. Osofsky has published widely and authored or edited: Trauma in the Lives of Children (Praeger, 2018),Treating Infants and Young Children Impacted by Trauma: Interventions that Promote Healthy Development (American Psychological Association, 2017), Clinical Work with Traumatized Young Children (Guilford, 2011), Young Children and Trauma: Intervention and Treatment (Guilford, 2004), Children in a Violent Society (Guilford, 1997), and Questions Every Judge and Lawyer Should Ask About Infants and Toddlers in the Child Welfare System (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 2018). She is past president of both the World Association for Infant Mental Health and Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. She is Clinical Consultant and on the Leadership team for Zero to Three for the Safe Babies Court Team Programs. She played a leadership role in the Gulf Region following Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and was Clinical Director for Child and Adolescent Initiatives for Louisiana Spirit following Hurricane Katrina. She serves as Co-Principal Investigator for the Terrorism and Disaster Coalition for Child and Family Resilience, an NCTSN center. In 2007, Dr. Osofsky received the Sarah Haley Award for Clinical Excellence for trauma work from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and in 2014, she was recognized with the Reginald Lourie Award for leadership in infant mental health and outstanding contributions to the health and welfare of children and families.

The Infant, The Parents, and The Psychoanalyst

How does my psychoanalytic thinking shape my work with infants and parents?

Our therapeutic work with infants and their families is shaped by our theoretical beliefs, our psychotherapeutic training, and our concepts of how we understand the essentials of human life. For example: when we treat young children with “disturbing” symptoms it makes a difference whether we primarily aim at extinguishing these symptoms or whether we understand the symptoms as an expression of unsolved conflicts and/or unsatisfied needs (“indicating hope” as Winnicott wrote). Three theoretical concepts are essential in the developmental approach of psychoanalysis: the notion of infantile sexuality, the theories of the maturating relationship between self and object, and the developmental significance of triangulation. I will use case examples, findings of clinical studies, and elements of reflective supervision in order to elaborate on my psychoanalytic understanding of early development and to draw conclusions for psychotherapeutic strategies.


Kai von Klitzing, MD, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Leipzig, Germany, Director of the Department of Child Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at the Leipzig University Medical Center; visiting professor at the Sapienza University in Rome, psychoanalyst for children, adolescents, and adults, Past- President of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), Editor of the Journal Kinderanalyse/Child Analysis, Associate- editor of the Infant Mental Health Journal. Scientific interests: Developmental psychopathology, infant psychiatry, children’s narratives, psychotherapy research, childhood maltreatment, and biological stress regulation. Books on attachment disorder, children of immigrant families, child psychotherapy.