Foundations of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training

Foundations of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Training Program is a carefully structured two-year program which will develop knowledge in the conceptual framework, technical parameters, values and goals of a psychodynamic approach to working with individual adult psychotherapy patients. Candidates will take a series of weekly seminars (Tuesday evenings) designed to convey the core concepts and professional attitudes that embody the unique qualities of psychoanalytically informed relatedness. The curriculum will include approaches to psychoanalytic listening; the therapeutic relationship; initiating treatment with a new patient; fundamental ideas about the mutative processes of psychodynamic therapy; the crucial roles of unconscious influences and motivations in treatment; as well as an overview of a psychoanalytic concept of human development. In addition, all candidates will be required to engage in carefully supervised clinical work and to pursue personal psychotherapy with an experienced, psychoanalytically certified analyst who is 5 years post their analytic training. Students who have completed this program (or who are in their second year of training) may apply for advanced standing in the Advanced Psychoanalytic Training Program. A Faculty Advisor will be assigned to each candidate; the Faculty Advisor will be working closely with each candidate throughout the entire program.


Directors: Judith Berenson, LCSW and John Turtz, PhD
Associate Director: Cynthia Heller, PhD


Admission is by application and interviews.

• PSYCHIATRY: M.D. from an accredited medical school and psychiatric residency. State license required.
• PSYCHOLOGY: Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Psychology from an accredited university. State license required.
• SOCIAL WORK: M.S.W. or Ph.D. in Social Work from an accredited university. State license required.
• NURSE PRACTITIONER: N.P. from an accredited university. State license required.
• Other Licensed MENTAL HEALTH professionals from accredited programs, Marriage and Family Therapist, Mental Health Therapist, Creative Arts Therapist. State license required.


SUPERVISION: A minimum of 80 hours of faculty supervision is required over two years. In order to earn credit, participants must have at least 40 hours with the same faculty supervisor. The first Faculty Supervisor will be assigned by Co-directors of the Program, and this first-year supervisor will then be the candidate’s advisor throughout the entire program.

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.

PERSONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY: Personal psychotherapy must be concurrent with treating a patient from the WCSPP Psychotherapy Service. The minimum requirement is weekly psychotherapy with a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who must be a graduate of either WCSPP or another recognized institute program in psychoanalysis and have at least five years of experience beyond certification. Therapists trained outside WCSPP must be approved by the Training Committee. Training psychotherapists do not participate in administrative decisions about the candidate, nor do they report on the candidate’s progress.

COURSE WORK: The two-year academic program is organized on a trimester system with one course per trimester. The course meets for one hour and twenty minutes for 11 weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:20 PM. On the twelfth Tuesday of the Fall and Spring trimester, candidates attend a Town Meeting where WCSPP candidates, graduates, and faculty assemble for discussion. In addition, there is a monthly group supervision, which candidates in both years of the program participate. The group meets after class from 8:30 to 9:45 three times a trimester.


Tuition: $575 per course per trimester, to be paid prior to the start of each trimester

Administrative fee: $75 per trimester, to be paid at the time of course registration

Individual supervision: $50 per session

Group supervision: $100 per trimester

Financial assistance may be available on a need documented basis, and individual payment plans may be arranged with prior approval.



1. Principles of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy 1 (Fall Trimester)
This course will be organized around exploring the meaning of all aspects of the frame details including the consulting room arrangement, frequency and length of time of meetings, fee, vacations, policy for missed visits, and modifications of the frame due to special circumstances. Other topics may include transference, countertransference, therapeutic alliance, ethics, and boundaries. The class will consider what defines a psychoanalytic treatment.

2. The Art of Listening (Winter Trimester)
Candidates will focus on deepening their understanding of all aspects of the complexity of listening from a psychoanalytic perspective–listening for unconscious influences, transference, countertransference, multiple levels of meaning in language/imagery and understanding of empathic engagement.

3. Principles of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy 2 (Spring Trimester)
Candidates will consider theories of mental health, what is mutative in treatment, what is the focus of therapeutic attention, and how to understand verbal and nonverbal communication and enactment in the treatment setting. Current issues and controversies in psychoanalytic work will be discussed.


1. Human Development (Fall Trimester)
This course emphasizes the use of psychodynamic/psychoanalytic theories of development to study the impact of patients’ personal histories. It follows the shift from the internal, instinctual focus of early theory to attachment theory and relational theory. It explores the impact of developmental perspectives on psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and adults.

2. Principles of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy 3 (Winter Trimester)
This course will focus on the unconscious dimensions in the therapeutic process that includes dreams, symptoms, fantasy, thoughts, feelings, and the therapeutic relationship.

3. Contemporary Clinical Issues in Treatment (Spring Trimester)
This course will focus on theory and technique with patients who present different clinical concerns such as abuse, trauma, substance use, affect regulation, body image and sexuality. Issues of ethics and boundary violations will also be discussed.

Group Supervision:

The Clinical Presentation Seminar is taught in the Foundation Program to the combined first and second year classes. This course meets once per month on the second Tuesday of the month from 8:30-9:45 PM. In this course, candidates will have the opportunity to present the treatment of their training patient to fellow candidates and a senior faculty member. Discussions are focused on integrating concepts which have been introduced in readings and in class. A different candidate will present at each meeting.