Jerrold Brandell

Jerrold Brandell

Distinguished Professor


Jerrold Brandell


NOTE: Brandell is on Adminsitrative Leave for the 2019-20 academic year

Brandell, who was appointed Distinguished Professor in 2008 by action of the WSU Board of Governors, has previously held several administrative appointments within the School of Social Work. In 2017-18, he served as interim Dean, and has also been Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (2018-19), as well as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2011-12 and 2016). Brandell has taught at Wayne State since 1992, and previously held faculty appointments at Boston University and Michigan State University. He has been a visiting professor at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland (2014, 2016), Lund University School of Social Work, Lund, Sweden (2010), and The University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand (1999). He has led workshops and lectured widely on clinical topics in the United States, as well as in Greece, Spain, Sweden, China, France, Israel, Switzerland, Taiwan, and New Zealand. Brandell also teaches in the Professional Development Program at The University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, and will be a faculty member in the postgraduate training course at the Michigan Council on Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in spring, 2020. He is a past recipient of Wayne State University’s Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Award and the School of Social Work Award for Outstanding Teaching, and was a past recipient of The University of Chicago’s Edith Abbott Doctoral Teaching Fellowship. In March 2017, he was presented with the first-ever Selma Fraiberg Award for his contributions to the field of child and adolescent psychoanalysis at the 15th National Conference of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work, and in October 2017, received the Edith Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.

A practicing child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapist, and psychoanalyst, Brandell is the author, coauthor, or editor/coeditor of fourteen books, including Trauma: Contemporary Directions in Theory, Practice, and Research, 2nd Edition (Columbia University Press, 2019); Of Mice and Metaphors: Therapeutic Storytelling with Children, 2nd Edition (Sage Press, 2016), Essentials of Clinical Social Work (Sage, 2014); Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work, 2nd Edition (Sage, 2011); Psychodynamic Social Work (Columbia University Press, 2004); Attachment and Dynamic Practice (Columbia University Press, 2007); Celluloid Couches, Cinematic Clients: Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in the Movies (SUNY Press, 2004); and Countertransference in Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents (Jason Aronson, 1992). In 2020, Cognella will release a significantly revised and expanded third edition of his 31 chapter text, Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work. Brandell is the (Founding) Editor-in-Chief of Psychoanalytic Social Work (now in its 26th year of publication), and also serves on two other editorial boards. In 2001, he was recognized as a distinguished practitioner by the National Academies of Practice.

Brandell balances his academic and clinical interests with a life-long passion for musical performance. A former student of Oliver Nelson and Joe Daley, he periodically plays alto, tenor and soprano saxophones with a big jazz band in the Ann Arbor area, and has also led his own small jazz group.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Social Treatment, University of Chicago
  • M.S.S.W., University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Board Certified Diplomate (BCD) in Clinical Social Work
  • Certificate in Psychoanalysis, Michigan Psychoanalytic Council (2002)

Teaching Interests

  • Childhood and adult Clinical interventions with children, adolescents, and adults
  • Psychodynamic theory and practice
  • Therapeutic storytelling with children
  • Cinematic portrayals of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy

Areas of Expertise


  • Psychoanalysis
  • Film and popular culture
  • Child/adolescent/adult psychotherapy
  • Clinical process in psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic supervision
  • Psychotherapy outcomes


  • Psychoanalysis


  • Portrayal of psychoanalysis in media
  • Psychodynamic social work
  • Supervision in psychotherapy
  • Child psychotherapy
  • Adult psychotherapy
  • Psychoanalysis

Research Project

Of Mice and Metaphors, 2nd Edition

  • An expanded, updated, and fully revised version of a work originally published in 2000, this book’s focus is on reciprocal storytelling, a specialized psychoanalytic technique employed in work with children.  Drawn from the author’s clinical practice with children and adolescents over a nearly forty-year span, the cases include children suffering from traumata, developmental problems, selfobject disorders, nascent personality disorders, and situational reactions (e.g., parental divorce and object loss).  Published in March 2016 by Sage Press.

Essentials of Clinical Social Work

  • This sixteen-chapter anthology, published in 2014 by Sage Publications (Los Angeles and London), addresses frameworks for treatment, therapeutic modalities, and specialized issues, themes, and dilemmas encountered in clinical social work practice.

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: One Hundred Years After Little Hans

  • This is an international anthology released in 2012 by Routledge Press (London). 

Trauma: Contemporary Directions in Theory, Practice, and Research

  • An eleven-chapter anthology (coedited with Shoshana Ringel) published by Sage Publications in late Spring 2011.

Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work, Second Edition

  • A newly revised and expanded 28-chapter graduate clinical social work text, Theory and Practice in Clinical Social Work, Second Edition, was published in February 2010 by Sage Publications, Inc.

For further details on other research, see the Center for Social Work Research website.

Courses Taught

  • SW 8125 Therapeutic Storytelling with Children
  • SW 8360 Application of Psychodynamic Theories to Interpersonal Practice I
  • SW 8370 Application of Psychodynamic Theories to Interpersonal Practice II
  • SW 9210 Theories for Practice and Research with Individuals
  • SW 9500 Advanced Clinical Social Work Theory
  • SW 9510 Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice
  • SW 9550 Advanced Clinical Practicum I
  • SW 9560 Advanced Clinical Practicum II