The Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program is a two-year course of study for mental health professionals who recognize the significance and underpinnings of childhood, whether working with children and adolescents or with adults. Using contemporary psychoanalytic thinking, courses explore assessment, psychopathology, and core clinical concepts in conjunction with clinical case seminars. Meeting one evening a week, students benefit from small group settings. Typically, each entering group becomes a cohesive peer group enjoyed long after the two years of formal training. Faculty tailor the coursework so that each student feels intellectually stimulated, individually supported, and safe in ways that enable students to be candid and engaged. Eligible participants are assigned a patient and receive rigorous, compassionate supervision. Personal psychotherapy is strongly recommended. A limited number of spaces are available to students who wish to pursue only course work without the clinical component.
Furthermore, because of WCSPP’s uniquely welcoming community, graduates enjoy enduring personal connections and professional opportunities long after completion of the training. Many return to participate in WCSPP’s additional programs: psychoanalytic training, adult psychotherapy training, couples therapy training, and the diverse collegial committee-lead events.
“WCSPP is a non-profit organization, chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.”
• PSYCHIATRY: M.D. from an accredited medical school, completion of one year of psychiatric residency plus ongoing residency while in training.
• PSYCHOLOGY: Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology from an accredited university or professional school. Eligibility for state licensure.
• SOCIAL WORK: Masters or doctoral degree from an accredited school of social work. Eligibility for state licensure.
• Other Licensed MENTAL HEALTH professionals from accredited programs: This includes marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, and mental health counselors. Others are considered on an individual basis.
Admission is by application and interview. Applicants are encouraged to apply prior to May 15. Each applicant must have current professional liability insurance, a copy of which will be retained in the WCSPP office.
• COURSE WORK: The two year academic program is organized as a trimester system with one course per trimester. The course meets for one hour and twenty minutes for 11 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:20 PM. A clinical presentation is offered once in each trimester as an additional class. On the twelfth Tuesday of each trimester candidates attend a Town Meeting where WCSPP candidates, graduates, and faculty assemble for discussion.
• SUPERVISION: A minimum of 80 hours of faculty supervision are required over two years. In order to earn credit, candidates must have at least 40 hours with the same faculty supervisor. Supervision is offered at a reduced fee of $50 per individual session.
• CLINICAL REQUIREMENT: Candidates are required to provide treatment on a weekly basis to patients. Training patients are assigned through the Psychotherapy Service for a minimum of 80 hours over two years. Upon graduation, training patients may be transferred to the candidate’s private practice.
• FEES: There is an annual $75 registration fee for each academic year to cover administrative costs. Course tuition is $450 per course and the tuition is to be paid prior to the start of each trimester. If needed, individual payment plans can be arranged. Supervision is offered at a reduced fee of $50 per individual session.
There are three trimesters per year fall (F), winter (W), and spring (S). Candidates take one course per semester:
• FALL: In the Beginning – This course examines the fundamentals of working with children and adolescents. The focus is both practical and theoretical and covers a variety of clinical issues ranging from setting up a playroom to working with families and understanding the nature of play.
• WINTER: Approaches to Child Psychotherapy – This course uses a case study approach to understand the process of change in child psychotherapy. Readings include published case reports by therapists of different theoretical orientations to study the nature of effective clinical work with children.
• SPRING: Approaches to Adolescent Psychotherapy – This course reviews early theoretical understandings of adolescence, examines contemporary research on normal adolescent development and explores modern theoretical conceptions of adolescence.
The course then focuses on contemporary adolescent treatment from interpersonal, self-psychological and post-Freudian as well as DBT/mind-body viewpoints.
• FALL: Child Development – This course emphasizes the relevance of attachment theory for enriching the psychotherapist’s understanding of the child’s behavior and sense of self. It includes a review of the history of attachment theory, comparisons with other theories of development, and the impact of this model on psychotherapy with children.
• WINTER: Disorders of Childhood – This survey course considers the problems of childhood that typically lead to a consultation. The course considers ways of thinking about psychopathology and looks at children’s difficulties from the vantage points of attachment theory, neuropsychology, and affect regulation. Theoretical material is linked with clinical material in classroom discussion.
• SPRING: Working with Parents – Helping parents think about their children can offer significant benefit alongside of and/or as a corollary to individual clinical work with children. This course provides readings as springboards for discussing how to involve parents in the work, helping them through different modalities to develop their own successful styles. Clinical material is focused on promoting and realizing these goals.
“From the beginning of my training in WCSPP’s Child and Adolescent Program and then my years in WCSPP’s Psychoanalytic Training, my experience of the community has been one of the utmost respect and encouragement to get involved. Beyond the serious professional training, WCSPP is an extremely rewarding experience. - Geri Friedman, LCSW