Steele, Miriam


Miriam Steele
PhD 1990, University College, London
Professor and Director of Clinical Training

.My work aims to bridge the world of psychoanalytic thinking and clinical practice with contemporary research in child development. My research began with the study “Intergenerational Patterns of Attachment,” which embodied one of the first prospective longitudinal studies incorporating the Adult Attachment Interviews and Strange Situation protocols. This work was important in initiating the concept of “reflective functioning” and providing empirical data to demonstrate the importance of parental states of mind in the social and emotional development of their children. I am also interested in the field of adoption and foster care with a view to understanding the impact of attachment representations from both the adopters and the children's point of view. Currently, my main area of research is an NIH funded study on the efficacy of an innovative attachment-based intervention with high-risk families, a collaborative venture with colleagues at the Rose Kennedy Center, Albert Einstein School of Medicine. I am also conducting research on the intergenerational transmission of body and attachment, and am investigating family relationships in the context of Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Courses Taught:
Clinical Externship Seminar, Development and Psychopathology, Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy, Trauma, Loss and Resilience
Recent Publications:

Steele, M., Murphy, A., & Steele, H. (2010). "Identifying Therapeutic Action in an Attachment-Centered Intervention with High Risk Families," (PDF) Clinical Social Work Journal (2010), Volume 38, pp. 61-72.

Steele, M., Hodges, J. & Kaniuk, J., & Steele, H. (2010). "Mental representations and change: Developing attachment relationships in an adoption context." Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30, 25-40.


Office Location:
Room 609, 80 Fifth Avenue
Office Hours:
By Appointment
Phone Number/Extension:
212-229-5727, ext. 3111


Personal Website:

Research Interests:
  • Intergenerational Patterns of Attachment
  • Attachment based Interventions
  • Prevention of Maltreatment
  • Adoption and Foster Care
  • Intergenerational Transmission of Body Representations
  • Family relationships and Assisted Reproductive Technology
Awards and Honors:
2013-2014      $15,000 Co-Investigator with Sabine Seymour: “The Body as
                        Metaphor” New School Research Cluster Award

2012-2015      $900,000 Co-Investigator: "Birth to Three: A Pragmatic Clinical
                        Trial for Child Maltreatment Prevention Extramural MCH Research" (MCHR) Program Award                                                 R40MC23629-01-01

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