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Child Development Program (CDP)

Edmund Sprunger, MSW, Director



The Child Development Program provides professional training not ordinarily offered in university course work or other professional training programs. Participants gain an in-depth understanding of the psychological issues of childhood to adolescence that will aid them in supporting a foundation for sound human development. Graduates are equipped to prevent or detect crises and have the skills for short-term therapeutic intervention as well as the knowledge of when and how to refer to other professionals.


This one-year course meets from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings beginning in September.  The Institute is located at 8820 Ladue Road, 3rd Floor, St. Louis, MO 63124. (map) The program includes both course work and small group supervision. Along with assigned readings, students will participate in one hour of supervision per week to integrate theory with its practical applications. Video taped observations of infants, children and families will be included. Periodic evaluations of participants learning and discovery will occur.


Courses will follow the natural sequence of development:  prenatal life, infancy, toddler and pre-school years, and latency.  For details, click here:  CDP Course Schedule 2013-2014 (pdf, 104.88KB)


The Child Development Program has been approved by the State of Missouri for educator Clock Hours.  In addition, this course is offered by The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University - Course #S81-5024; University of Missouri-St. Louis - Course #s Fall 6655 and Spring 6656; and Webster University - ESPY 5750 or SPED 5220.  Other local grduate programs will approve this course for credit as an elective. 


This unique program is open to individuals in education, mental health and allied fields. Participants include school and day care administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychotherapists, therapists in special fields, nurses, and clergy.


Currently, tuition is $2,320 and is subject to change annually. Limited financial assistance, in the form of scholarships, is available from the Institute. 


Download the application here: CDP Application & Scholarship Information (pdf, 129.58KB) , fill it out, and mail it to: 

Bobbie Land, Programs & Services Coordinator
St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute
8820 Ladue Road, 3rd Floor
St. Louis, MO 63124

Refund Policy (pdf, 151.34KB)

For questions or to receive additional information about this program contact Cathy Krane, Executive Director at (314) 361-7075, x323, or e-mail her at

Acceptance into the program will be determined by both the written application and a personal interview. Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year.

What the Alumni Say:

"The CDP gave me a broader and deeper understanding of children's development and behavior which has been extremely valuable to me in my own work. The many superb teachers & lecturers from the Institute became resources that I have subsequently utilized in educational activities for my teachers and parents."
Andrea Atkinson
Director, Washington University Nursery School

"For a working professional, the CDP provides an excellent and well-balanced combination of the theoretical and the practical. An efficient, yet thorough course which expands one's breadth and depth of critical knowledge."
Susan Talley
Parents as Teachers, Kirkwood School District

"The CDP program helped me see young children and their parents through a completely different lens. The program had such a positive impact on my personal and professional life. I would recommend it to any adult learner working with children."
Kathryn Zigler
Director, Early Childhood Education
Shirlee Green Preschool at Shaare Emeth

"The Institute's Child Development Program has offered me keener insight as a teacher, mentor, and parent. I feel the experience has been invaluable to me as a person. I would highly recommend the program to anyone who works with children or just desires a higher understanding of human development."
Charlotte Dougherty
Co-Creator, Piwacket Theatre for Children

"The Child Development Program changed my life! CDP helped me make sense of what I was consistently seeing in the classroom and with my families. It enlightened me to a different understanding of myself and others."
Stephen P. Zwolak
Executive Director, University City Children's Center

"CDP turned out to be one of the most meaningful things I have ever done for myself professionally. I have become a better teacher and better teammate with the teachers I work with. I don't get frustrated with my children anymore because I understand what's going on or I take the time to observe and figure it out."
Jan Rudert
Infant Classroom, Webster Child Care Center

"I completed the CDP program while also working on my Masters in Social Work. CDP gave me an incredible knowledge of child development issues not addressed in my MSW coursework. CDP was an excellent compliment to my graduate training. I am using the knowledge I learned in CDP every day when working with families that have children with developmental delays."
Nikki Scheele, MSW
Teacher, Washington University Nursery School

"The Child Development Program was better than all the college courses I have taken. CDP has helped me more than anything else in my work with children and parents."
Sharon Barnholtz, PhD
Teacher, Community School

"Since taking the class I am still sharing evenings with our class-project group and we use each other for support and a network too solve problems, We have a great relationship that has common interests."
Jan Helfrich
Infant-Toddler Program Coordinator,
Clayton Child Center

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