Barbara Shapiro, M.D.
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in Psychiatry and Lecturer in Anthropology;
Faculty, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia
I originally trained as a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and
became interested in acute and chronic pain especially the pain of sickle cell
disease. This led to involvement with an acute and chronic pain service at
Children’s Hospital. Over time I developed a specialty working with children and
adults with various chronic pain and other mind-body problems. Eventually I
pursued psychoanalytic training to deepen my understanding and skills.
Over the past 25 years I have maintained a private practice in psychotherapy and
psychoanalysis with children, adolescents, and adults. My approach is
contemporary psychoanalytic and eclectic, strongly influenced by the confluence
of developmental, intrapsychic, familial and relational, transgenerational,
biological, traumatic, social, cultural, and systemic considerations.
I love to teach. Infant development, chronic pain and other mind-body problems,
trauma, child development, and working with parents are among the courses I
currently teach to psychotherapy and psychoanalytic students at the
Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, and to adult and child psychiatry
residents at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s
Hospital of Philadelphia. I also co-teach with Dr. Larry Blum a semester course at
UPenn, Psychoanalytic and Anthropologic Perspectives on Childhood, which is
part of the Psychoanalytic Studies minor.
Supervision also brings me much enjoyment and mutual learning. I supervise
various mental health professionals, including psychiatry residents at Penn,
psychoanalytic candidates, psychotherapy students, and various mental health
professionals. My goal is to facilitate learning in a process that is enjoyable,
relaxed, and open, and in which both participants learn from each other and from
My areas of special interest include: chronic pain and other mind-body problems;
chronic illness; trauma; development in infancy and throughout the lifespan; non-
verbal communication; and cultural and micro cultural influences on
development, mental health, and psychotherapy.
Selection of Papers
Shapiro B (2014). Revenge and reparation: Thoughts about the treatment of a
boy and his family. In Akhtar S, Parens H (eds.): Revenge. New York, NY: Jason
Aronson, pp 33-42.
Shapiro B (2008). Resilience, sublimation, and healing: Reactions to a personal
narrative. In Parens H, Blum H, Akhtar S (eds.): The Unbroken Soul. New York,
NY: Jacob Aronson, pp 117-128.
Shapiro B (2006). Bound together by chronic pain and trauma: A study of two
mother-daughter relationships. Psychoanalytic Inquiry 26:92-117.
Shapiro B (2003). Building bridges between body and mind: The analysis of an
adolescent with paralyzing chronic pain. International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Shapiro B (1999). Sibling rivalry: A phenomenon of construction and destruction.
In Kramer S, Akhtar S (eds.): Brothers and Sisters: Developmental, Dynamic, and
Technical Aspects of the Sibling Relationship. Jason Aronson, pp 135-158.
Shapiro B, Benjamin L, Payne R (1997). Sickle cell related pain: Perceptions of
medical practitioners. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 14(3):168-174.
Shapiro B (1996). The suffering of children and families. In Ferrell B, (ed.):
Suffering. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Chapter 3, pp 67-93.
Shapiro B (1995). Treatment of Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents.
Pediatric Annals 24(3):148-156.
Shapiro B, Dinges D, Orne E, Bauer N, Reilly L, Whitehouse W, Ohene-Frempong
K, Orne M (1995). Home management of sickle cell related pain in children and
adolescents; natural history and impact on school attendance. Pain 61(1):139-