CAGS in Child and Adolescent Intervention

The CAGS in Child and Adolescent Intervention (CAGS/CAI) is a brief (24-credit), post-master’s program providing psychoanalytic insights into working with children.  The CAGS/CAI develops the student’s understanding of the child’s psyche and its relation to behavior, provides tools for communicating and intervening with kids, and is ideal for:

• Mental health counselors and other clinicians adding children to their caseload

• Guidance counselors or educators seeking a more in-depth understanding of the emotional life of children

• Other professionals working with children.

BGSP’s integrative approach to learning combines coursework, case seminars, a child-oriented internship, and clinical supervision to provide a deeper understanding of children in their full complexity.  Through the study of child development, child and adolescent psychopathology, and the impact of trauma, students understand the origins of defensive patterns that constrain learning, provoke anger or alienation, or result in other destructive behaviors.  Students explore symbolic communications in children and clinical interventions to develop skills for managing aggression and bringing out the best in the children with whom they work.

BGSP recommends that students participate in a training analysis in order to help the student tolerate the feelings aroused by psychoanalytic study, develop a fuller appreciation of one’s own emotional dynamics, increase the student’s access to all emotional states, and increase self-understanding, which is particularly critical for understanding others.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the CAGS in Child and Adolescent Intervention program, students are expected to achieve a number of learning outcomes:

  • Students demonstrate understanding and mastery of psychoanalytic developmental theory and ability to apply this understanding to cases
  • Students demonstrate ability to diagnose disorders of childhood and adolescence and describe psychodynamic features of these diagnoses
  • Students demonstrate the ability to utilize their emotional responses to understand and work with children
  • Students demonstrate an understanding and beginning ability to work with symbolic communication in child and/or adolescent cases

Course of Study

Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of the 24-credit curriculum
  • Completion of 600 hours of child oriented internship
  • Credit for three courses and the internship may be transferred from BGSP’s M.A. program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Catalog

Please refer to the program catalog for exact graduation requirements


During the program, CAGS students participate in a 600-hour field placement that offers direct contact with children.  Depending on a student’s professional experience, s/he may request approval of his or her existing practice or employment as a field placement, or the student may request a placement through the School. In either case, students participate in an ongoing case seminar, as well as individual and group clinical supervision.

Time to Program Completion

This is a 24-credit program that takes one year (full-time) to complete. Students may also progress through the program on a part-time basis for more than one year. Training analysis is recommended during the program.

Admission Criteria

The program is open to all candidates who have earned a master’s degree in a related field . Beyond this credential, however, applicants demonstrate through their personal statement and interviews (when invited) their motivation to learn, capacity to understand oneself and others, academic and applied interests, and readiness to engage in studies of unconscious processes.

In order to apply, prospective students submit to the Director of Admissions the completed application, the application fee, and supporting materials, which include official copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts, two current letters of reference, a statement about interest in the program to which they are seeking admission, and an academic writing sample. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English may be asked to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Those educated outside the United States also submit transcripts to a credential equivalency service.

The application is complete once the above materials are submitted. The file is then reviewed by the Admissions team. Those applicants selected for further consideration are scheduled for two interviews with two faculty members. The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to express their personal interest in psychoanalytic study, and to learn more about the Graduate School and its programs. In addition, applicants may discuss possible clinical placements during the interviews.

The Admissions Committee then reviews all components of the applicant’s file to make an admission decision. Applicants who have completed graduate work in psychoanalysis may request equivalency at the admission interviews. Equivalency requests should be accompanied by documentation including syllabi of courses to be evaluated.

BGSP does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic status in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other School-administered programs.