The Couples Psychotherapy Training Program is a one-year course of study intended for mental health practitioners who recognize the complexities and responsibilities of doing effective couples work. The program integrates contemporary psychoanalytic thinking with systems theory from a practice-oriented, clinical perspective. Meeting one evening a week, students benefit from small seminar settings. Typically, each entering group becomes a cohesive peer circle enjoyed long after the formal training.

In addition to this classroom experience, the WCSPP community gives a uniquely welcoming and supportive collegial atmosphere where one can expand and advance their interests. In particular, graduates enjoy enduring personal connections and professional opportunities long after completion of the training. Many return to enroll in WCSPP’s additional programs: psychoanalytic training, adult psychotherapy, child/adolescent psychotherapy training, and the variety of collegial committees.


“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 one 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. 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 30 hours of faculty supervision with one faculty supervisor are required. Supervision is offered at a reduced fee of $50 per individual session.

CLINICAL REQUIREMENT: For the supervision to count toward graduation, one needs to be seeing a Psychotherapy Service patient, and all policies and procedures in the Psychotherapy Service Manual need to be followed. All training patients must be seen for a minimum of 24 of the 30 supervisory sessions; if this does not occur additional supervision will be required. If more than one couple is used to meet the supervisory requirement, each couple must be seen for at least 8 sessions to qualify. It is strongly recommended that a couple being seen for training purposes be seen once a week for at least the first eight weeks of the treatment.

FEES: There is an annual $75 registration fee to cover administrative costs. Course tuition is $525 per course and the tuition is to be paid prior to the start of each trimester. If needed, individual payment plans can be arranged.



There are three trimesters for the year: fall (F), winter (W), and spring (S). Candidates take one course per trimester:

FALL: Introduction to Couples Therapy – This course will focus on basic concepts in the treatment of couples as well as practical issues. Included will be the process of engaging the couple, setting the treatment frame and working with concurrent individual treatment. The assessment process will consider the couple’s degree of attachment/separation from the family of origin and the couple’s mutual ability to communicate and deal with differences.
Syllabi Available to Download Fall – Introduction to Couples_Therapy, Cohen

WINTER: Beginning Phase of Couples Therapy – Looking through the dual lens of the Intrapsychic and the Systemic – This course will bring together psychodynamic and family systems models that are helpful to beginning a couples therapy. Some of the topics explored are: entering the couple’s world, assessing the couple’s attachment styles, understanding how they have co-created their problems, evaluating the negative cycles of conflict and beginning to de-escalate tensions, instilling hope for change, staying on both of their sides, understanding the contribution of multigenerational issues, and dealing with one’s countertransference.
Syllabi Available to Download Winter – Beginning Phase of Couples Therapy, Abrams

SPRING: Special Topics – This course will focus on special topics related to couples therapy, including secrets, extramarital affairs, divorce, nontraditional families, sex therapy, infertility, substance abuse issues, and multicultural issues.
Syllabi Available to Download Spring – Special Topics in Couples Therapy, Smelson Kanwal


“Though I’ve gone on for training in other fields after graduating from WCSPP’s psychoanalytic training, the fulfillment derived from returning to WCSPP to study again is incomparable. No less, my thanks to our outstanding teachers.” – Lorraine Schorr, LCSW