Table of Contents

I. Foundations of Psychoanalytic Thought
     i. Year One
     ii. Year Two - 4:45 pm Psychoanalytic Track
     iii. Year Two

     i. Year Three
     ii. Year Four
     iii. Year Five
     iv. Electives


     i. Year Three




Foundations of Psychoanalytic Thought

Foundations of Psychoanalytic Thought is the two-year core curriculum for all of PCOP’s training programs: the Adult and Child Psychotherapy Training Programs and the Adult and Child Psychoanalytic Training Programs. Applicants can indicate their preferred program during the admissions process, or at various points during the two years.

FOPT was designed for a wide variety of students who are interested in advancing their understanding of human development and functioning. Students are introduced to the basic tenets of psychoanalytic thought: that we have a dynamic unconscious, that we have thoughts, feelings and fantasies worthy of study, and that experiences from early life stay with us into adulthood. These basic psychoanalytic tenets are covered both in original texts and as understood from contemporary perspectives. The focus is on clinical application of these theories in both psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Classes are held weekly on Tuesdays at Rockland Mansion, E. Fairmount Park, 3810 Mt. Pleasant Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121 OR virtually.  Starting and ending times of classes vary from year to year.

Each session offers 1.5 CE/CME credits. Specific class information (date, time, location, instructor) will be provided to students upon acceptance to the program.



Metapsychological Perspectives

5 Sessions

This 5-session course will delineate, define and describe the conceptual notions subsumed under the term ‘metapsychology’. Freud coined this term to designate a set of vertices that deconstructed mental phenomena and helped reveal their deeper meanings. There were 3 such vertices, which Freud referred to as ‘perspectives’. These were (1) The Topographic Perspective, (2) the Dynamic Perspective and (3) the Economic Perspective.

A little over four decades later Rapaport elaborated on the metapsychology in further detail and added many other perspectives, two of which are still widely recognized. These are (4) the Genetic Perspective and (5) the Adaptive perspective. The course being offered here will address these five perspectives and illustrate their theoretical basis as well as their clinical relevance

At the completion of this course, students will be able to enumerate the perspectives of Freudian metapsychology, distinguish the later additions to this theory, and utilize these new insights to improve his or her clinical approach.


Basic Psychoanalytic Concepts

4 Sessions

This course will serve as an introduction to core concepts in psychoanalytic theory and practice; and it is also intended to be a framework for future courses. We will focus on four central areas of psychoanalytic thought around which the program curriculum is built: theory, development, assessment and psychopathology, and technique. 

At the heart of psychoanalytic theory lies the unconscious, which is a descriptive term that reflects how aspects of mental experience are not accessible to conscious awareness; a conceptual term that refers to the mind operating as a system according to the pleasure principle and that is characterized by primary process thinking (use of displacement and condensation, non-verbal imagery, and not bound to the reality principle); and a dynamic view of the mind as comprised of an ever-changing system of psychological forces such as wishes and inhibitions whose interplay determine how thoughts, feelings and behaviors are expressed.

Various schools have developed that offer ways of thinking about what constitutes the unconscious, the role it plays in mental illness and suffering, and how the psyche changes and heals over time. We will start with an overview of several important schools of thought and consider what they have to say about these fundamental questions.


Motivation (Cohort A)

5 Sessions

This course will explain how feelings are central to human motivation. Describe how motivation changes across the lifespan. Appreciate the role of love and connectedness as key to life satisfaction. Appreciate the role of purposeful work and belonging in community as key to life satisfaction. Appreciate the role of play, creativity, and spontaneity as key to life satisfaction.

Motivation (Cohort B)

5 Sessions

What motivates us as human beings is complex, the result of many factors which occupy our minds from moment to moment, day to day. What distinguishes psychoanalytic conceptions of motivation from those of other psychologies is the view that much of what directs us in our daily activities is based on unconscious forces, the nature of which we are totally unaware, or at best, dimly aware. 

The purpose of this course is to acquaint you with the evolution of the psychoanalytic conception of motivation from its origins in the 1890’s to the present day, based on Fred Pine’s “Four Psychologies of Psychoanalysis,” drive theory, ego psychology, object relations theory and self psychology. To this end we will read and discuss writings by noted theoreticians and clinicians who represent each of the four areas. In the process it is expected that you will gain a clearer understanding of motivation from a psychoanalytic perspective, which will be of benefit to you in both your clinical work and your daily lives. Upon completion of the course students will be able to define motivation from a psychoanalytic perspective, summarize the main features of the “four psychologies” as defined by Fred Pine, and describe similarities and differences in the role played by motivation in each of the four psychologies.


Introduction to Psychoanalytic Listening

5 Sessions 

The purpose of this course is to introduce some central concepts and techniques of psychoanalytic listening with special attention paid to objective, subjective, empathic and intersubjective approaches. We will consider the advantages and limitations of each approach while applying such concepts both in and out of the clinical setting. Our first class provides an overview of each of these techniques. The following four classes will go over a relevant paper on a particular mode of listening, allowing us to explore the topic at a deeper level and also solidify our understanding of the topic. To facilitate our understanding, we will apply the main modes of listening to works of art as a way to practice listening analytically. We will also use this practical application as a means to constructively critique the particular mode of listening. I encourage students to first read the psychoanalytic paper for each week and then either watch, read, or listen to the work of art, coming up with some ideas of how the ideas presented in the essay might be used to understand the motivations (conscious and unconscious) of the central character(s) of the piece. As you feel more adept with the concepts being presented, I encourage everyone to apply what you learn to patient encounters and share what you come up with. The more discussion we are able to have the more we can all learn. Feel free to email me with any questions or concerns you may have. At the completion of this course, students will be able to describe the four methods of psychoanalytic listening: objective, subjective, empathic, and intersubjective, apply these methods of listening to the material provided as a means to practice applying them to clinical material, begin to develop how different modes of listening lead to different interventions. 

Development Infancy
5 sessions

Over the past 40 years we have seen a burgeoning of knowledge about emotional, social,  relational, cultural, cognitive, and psychophysiologic development in the first year of life.  There have been technical advances in clinical research concerning infancy and dyads,  such as split -screen video analysis. Conceptual evolutions, such as dynamic systems  theory and the questioning of binaries as in post modern feminism and queer theory, have  influenced our vision of development in general and of the first year of life in particular.  Finally psychoanalytic and psychological anthropologists have observed infants and  children in their families, communities, and societies, and have produced fine grained  written analyses of the day-to-day fundamental roles of multiple cultural factors in human  development. 

Over the past 25 years, psychoanalysts have become increasingly interested in infant  development. Many have participated in infant observation and research, and some have  written about the relevance of the research findings to the psychoanalytic understanding  and treatment of older children, adolescents, and adults. This research is particularly  helpful in understanding non-verbal communication, psychophysiologic regulation,  implicit relational patterns, the formation of internal representations of self, other, and  self-with-other(s), mood and self states, and early developmental trauma. Quite a few  psychoanalytic psychotherapists have become involved in working with parents and their  infants and toddlers, both preventively, as in running infant parent groups, and  therapeutically, as in infant-parent psychotherapy.  

Some caution is needed. Understanding the first years of life may help us to better  understand and work with some of the vicissitudes of our adult patients. However,  development is complex, transformational, and non-linear, and there is not a one-to-one  relationship between adult experience, adult memory, and the reconstructions of  psychodynamic psychotherapies; and actual infant experience. Through a  psychodynamic and multifactorial lens, we enhance our recognition of nonverbal  interactional patterns that underlie all relationships and senses of self and other  throughout the course of life. 

The purpose of this course is to give you some knowledge and understanding about  development in the first year. We will also discuss implications for working with older  children, adolescents, and adults in the psychoanalytically based psychotherapies,  including psychoanalysis. 


Technique I - Fundamentals of Psychotherapy 

10 Sessions 

The purpose of this course is to expand upon what you have learned in previous courses this semester and to begin to apply this to your ongoing work in psychotherapy.  Thus far, you have learned how to listen beneath the surface for different levels of unconscious material; to identify specific patterns of presenting problems; to assess a patient’s conflicts, ego strengths, and character; and to formulate your understanding of a patient.

Now that you have a better sense of what to listen for and how to understand it, it is time to address the question of how you use this understanding to help your patients.  This course will offer ways of thinking about therapeutic interventions from a variety of perspectives, and it will encourage you to begin integrating them into your practice.  It will also provide an initial framework for thinking about therapeutic interventions in general and about the experience of being a therapist.The goals are that you will be able to summarize the essential principles of psychodynamic psychotherapy, you will be able to apply psychodynamic principles to your therapy practice, and you will be able to recognize instances of resistance, transference, and countertransference as they occur in treatment and will be able to respond to them effectively.


Development: Toddlerhood (Cohort A)

5 Sessions

Objectives are to understand the basic development tasks of the toddler (16-36 months) and how  these impact on how psychic structure is “built,” ie. gradual development of an intrapsychic self representation, intrapsychic maternal representation, etc. To understand the basic concept that the infant’s experience with his body and with his world (including mother’s body & responsiveness) is the “stuff” from which he  builds psychic structure and the basis for the development of his entire internal world, including his sense of himself & “the other” —this “stuff” is the primordial soup of development. To make use of a developmental line of thought while understanding development is  not linear but complex and multifactorial. To begin to appreciate the interplay between theory and practice 5. to develop a beginning grasp of how Mahler’s and other early object relations  theorists (ie. separation/individuation, attachment) is relevant to how we conduct  treatment with our adult patients. 


Development: Toddlerhood (Cohort B)

5 Sessions 

This course focuses on the developmental issues that emerge in the second and third years of life.  These include: separation/individuation; autonomy; shame; aggression; language and symbolization; object constancy; the discovery of sexual differences and gender; and the development of inner conflict.  We will explore the above issues from a psychoanalytic theoretical perspective while simultaneously making use of a developmental perspective to further our understanding.  In addition we will look at the multiple determinants of behavior, intrapsychic functioning, and the dynamic interaction between child and family/environment.

These factors provide the underpinnings for technique. While this is not a technique course, and we will concentrate on theory, it is useful to keep in mind how these factors speak to the therapeutic relationship, interpretation, other interventions, and clinical challenges.  It is useful to contemplate the interplay between theory, clinical concepts and practice. To understand the basic developmental tasks of the young child between 16 mos.-three years. To view development not as linear but as complex and multifactorial. To make use of a developmental line while maintaining the ability to understand how all of the developmental tasks are intertwined with each other building on and playing off one another.  To appreciate and make use of the interplay between theory and practice. To understand children’s intrapsychic functioning and how children communicate their internal process. To integrate different theoretical perspectives (such as separation/individuation, attachment and conflict theories).


Core Dynamic Problems

2 sessions

This course will present a contemporary model of psychodynamic therapy.  We begin with a discussion of the notion of the core psychodynamic problem, review each of the six core problems – depression, obsessionality, fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, panic anxiety and trauma – and conclude with a consideration of how to choose the core problem most useful for each patient.



3 sessions

For many practitioners, assessment entails an initial evaluation of a patient’s presenting problems, often with a focus on symptoms, and creating a treatment plan to alleviate those symptoms. Psychoanalytic psychotherapists also have a keen interest in symptoms, and the history of their formation, but a key feature that distinguishes psychoanalytic assessment is our wider focus on the person in whom the symptom is occurring. 

To that end, in conducting an assessment, we try to clarify the wider context for understanding a patient’s presenting problems; including their developmental history, relational world, character type and level of psychological functioning (levels of organization). Assessment can help determine the choice of treatment and where on the supportive-expressive-exploratory continuum our work should begin. Assessment is also a continuous process as we need to evaluate the effects of our interventions, and to determine if and how treatment is helping.Students will be able to identify the key elements that differentiate psychodynamic assessments from other clinical forms of evaluation. Students will be able to use techniques of assessment to determine the central concerns of patients and how to engage them in the therapeutic process. Students will be able to articulate potential biases in how they assess and understand patients, and to evaluate their ongoing impact on treatment.


Psychopathology (Cohort A)

5 Sessions

At the completion of this course, students will be able to, gain an understanding of the unique contributions of psychodynamic thinking to understanding psychopathology. Appreciate varying psychodynamic frameworks for thinking about psychopathology. Learn to read with the dual objectives of extracting key points and simultaneously thinking about how these points may apply to actual persons and treatment.


Psychopathology (Cohort B)

5 Sessions  

Psychopathology, literally the study of the sufferings of the soul, or the mind in the modern sensibility, is the arena of origin for psychoanalysis. Both psychoanalytic theory and method were forged in efforts to understand and relieve the distress of those for whom neurological and psychiatric medicine were inadequate. Approaches to psychopathology have evolved, and continue to evolve, in a multitude of directions. But however few or many we embrace in our clinical practices, they serve to orient our therapeutic efforts, give these efforts coherence, and facilitate deeper and more multifaceted understanding of our patients.

This course is, in a sense, a survey course, as we will treat topics which you will have the opportunity to enlarge upon throughout your full curriculum. We will first consider the unique contributions of psychodynamic approaches to psychopathology and how they supplement and differ from those of the psychological and psychiatric mainstream. We will then proceed to examine several of the more widely accepted psychodynamic approaches. These approaches include psychodynamic classification and diagnosis, the role of development, defensive and conflictual factors, attachment and object relations, self, and society. Although we will consider these approaches separately, we will discover that all are related, and encompass the ever-present factor of development and the impact of trauma, as well as the persistent attempt to link psychodynamics with neuroscience. Since this attempt remains generally at a research level with more tentative clinical correlations, its uniqueness and complexity demand separate study and will not be explicitly covered in this course.


Trauma (Cohort A & Cohort B)

5 sessions

Describe the development and evolution of psychoanalytic theory and technique in the understanding and treatment of trauma and dissociative disorders. - Describe several diagnostic indicators of dissociation and how to assess them. - Describe some treatment implications of an early trauma history.


Development III: Infantile Genital Phase/Oedipal Phase (Cohort A)

5 sessions

At one time, the discovery of the Oedipus complex was considered Freud’s crowning achievement and the key to unlocking psychological problems in adult life. This course will describe the emotional, motoric, psychological, and cognitive revolutions that take place in the child emerging from toddlerhood. We will investigate what all the fuss is about during these ages between 3 and 6. While the idea that vitally important changes happen for the 3- to 6-year-old child still powerfully holds up, the particulars about what motivates these children, what they need for healthy development, and what they fear have all changed plenty since the days of Freud. 

Since we still believe that what goes on during the infantile genital phase influences personality and symptoms in later life, we will try to apply the concepts to clinical material to grasp how the echoes childhood are preserved and expressed in our consulting rooms. As you read try and connect the dynamics to current struggles your patients are going through. Even if you aren’t sure if something applies, please bring case examples to class so we can apply the concepts to real life.


Development III: Infantile Genital Phase/Oedipal Phase (Cohort B)

5 sessions

The course is designed to cover the child developmental period of the infantile genital phase, part of the psychosexual line of development (Anna Freud) which includes a dyadic preoedipal phase classically called the phallic narcissistic phase and the triadic oedipal phase as well as to understand how the residue of this period is thought to underpin neurosis in adults.  I request that each of you scan your clinical work and provide process notes from a session you think demonstrates oedipal material in an adult patient and send that to me by the second meeting of the class.


Balint Group

5 sessions

A Balint group is a group of clinicians who meet regularly and present clinical cases in order to better understand the clinician-patient relationship. The focus of the group is on enhancing the clinician’s ability to connect with and care for the patient. 

A Balint group session begins with a member presenting a case for the group to discuss. The group learns about the patient through the presenter’s story, which includes not only the “facts” of the case but also the presenter’s reactions and responses to the patient. During the facilitated discussion the group members uncover different and new perceptions about the patient's and clinician’s feelings and their experiences with each other. Balint process groups serve to develop a new sensitivity to unconscious processes at work in the therapist-patient relationship, and the role of the facilitators is to help participants examine their experience of the case and also to wonder about the patient’s experience of the treatment.

This Balint group will have two leaders to facilitate the process. The success of a group depends on group members being honest, respectful, and supportive of divergent opinions.  The group will meet approximately once every month and each student in the class will be encouraged to present a case at least once. The content of the group is confidential


Writing & Formulation

5 sessions

The purpose of this course is primarily to help you become comfortable writing. We will also use writing as a means of developing psychodynamic formulations that will serve as working hypotheses about your patients’ inner lives and guide you in deciding how best to treat them. We hope to show how the most helpful formulations emerge from your experience of the patient, and do not require a formal structure or theoretical jargon.



The Adult Psychoanalytic track curriculum includes in its second year additional classes each Tuesday beginning at 4:45pm.  While not required for Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy students, all are welcome to attend these additional classes if interested and space permitted.


Practicing Psychoanalysis 

4 Sessions

The goal of these four sessions is to give you a broad overview of basic aspects of the psychoanalytic situation, attitude, process and technique.  These issues will be dealt with in more depth in future courses.  Our aim is to give you a preliminary vision of how all these ideas tie together.  These ideas take time to integrate.  At the completion of this course, students will be able to describe Solms 3 core claims of psychoanalysis. Students will be able to articulate how the therapeutic alliance is essential to psychoanalytic treatment. Students will be able to present an understanding of basic technique and the value of flexibility in the treatment of an analytic patient. Students will be able to discuss ways psychoanalysis has evolved over time.


Structural Theory - Ego

3 sessions

During this study we will seek to define the historical development of the concept “ego” in Freud’s formulations: what it encompasses, how it forms and develops in the mind, and how it functions in interaction with other parts of the psychic apparatus and with external reality.  These functions are manifold, but two of the most salient from the perspective of clinically observed conflict are the defensive and synthetic functions.  The greater part of the course will consider these two.


Structural Theory - Superego

4 sessions

A study of superego in Freud's Structural Theory.


Object Relations Theory

5 Sessions 

This course has several objectives which are to consider what it means to be a theory so that we can be more thoughtful about the different psychoanalytic theories to which we are exposed and how they might be useful to us. To trace the emergence and development of Object Relations Theory, beginning with Freud, and briefly study some of its main developers. This should give you both a general understanding of each approach, its evolution and an historical frame to help you locate different theoretical positions (hopefully, to make them less confusing). To consider how different theories may either emphasize developmentally emerging inner structuring of experience and/or emphasize how external experiences become internalized and to raise questions about what is the range of psychoanalytic inquiry - what is psychoanalytic and what is non-psychoanalytic thought otherwise important? How did Freud think about this question? And how might we?


Modern Conflict Theory

5 Sessions

In this course we will examine the primary tenets of modern conflict theory. Focusing on psychic structure we will explore both pathological and non-pathological solutions to conflict as well as introduce the notion of adaptation and defensive structures in coping with life experiences. We will briefly examine countertransference and implications of intersubjectivity in modern conflict theory and implications for technique and practice. Compromise formation as an organizing principle will be the central theme of the course as it defines the quintessential nature of modern conflict theory practice.


PsA Process Research

5 sessions

Description TBA.


An Analytic Reading of First Person Short Stories as Case Studies

5 sessions

Description TBA.



4 sessions

Some questions to consider as we go: Definitions of enactment, broad, narrow, and otherwise. - Are enactments inevitable?  To be avoided?  Part and parcel of the analytic process? - Are there enactments that are inherent in the psychoanalytic process? - Are there factors that push toward enactments?  What might these be? - Do enactments promote or hinder the analytic process?  How? - How and when are enactments best interpreted?   - How is the concept of enactment related to questions of self-disclosure?  Is self-disclosure inevitable in resolving an enactment?  What sort of self-disclosure? - Are enactments with suicidal patients similar or different from those with other patients? - How are enactments related to boundary crossings and boundary violations?




5 Sessions

Objectives are that students will be able to describe what is meant by the term “neurosis”.  Students will be able to assess for and identify different types of neurotic presentations (aka “neurotic styles”).  Students will be able to identify the associated developmental drives, affects, defenses, and transference/countertransferences for each neurotic style. Students will be able to apply their understanding of neurotic character toward the clinical encounter to address neurotic problems. 

At its most basic level neurosis can be understood as repetitive symptomatic patterns of behavior that result from internal conflicts as informed by underlying character structure. These conflicts are typically related to childhood experiences and at times trauma. Patients in psychotherapy and analysis often present in some degree of distress which can be understood as their unconscious compromise between these conflicts. Although each person is unique, there are common clusters of symptoms that have been categorized and described by David Shapiro as “neurotic styles” in his books Neurotic Styles and Psychotherapy of Neurotic Character. Nancy McWilliams defines these more along the lines of personality types and expounds upon them in her book Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. In this course we will review a subset of these categories using these books and additional literature and to better identify, assess, and treat these styles using an understanding of their associated developmental drives, affects, defenses, and transference/countertransferences. 


Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy: Similarities & Differences

5 Sessions

The course will take up the question of similarities and differences in the practice and aims of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. One question that we can and will ask throughout the course is whether the difference between analysis and therapy is one of kind rather than of degree.  And if it is one of a kind, wherein lies the difference? Is it in the outcome, or is it in the practice of both forms of treatment? If so, what are the areas of similarity and overlap? 

Other questions that we will consider include what impact does that have on our professional identity when most of our practice is composed of therapy patients? What impact does it have on our patients? And does the practice of one form improve the practice of the other? If psychoanalytic theory informs the practice of both, can we speak of meaningful differences in use of technique? And are both modalities striving for the same outcomes?

There are also clinical implications in being trained primarily as an analyst and yet practicing predominantly as a therapist. Is it appropriate, effective and ethical to assume that the practice of psychotherapy simply requires approaching it as “analysis-lite”? And do psychotherapists require more psychoanalytic training if they are seeing patients 3-5 times a week? To better address these questions, we will consider how the two modalities may differ and overlap in terms of specific interventions, the use of time, and the goals of treatment. 



5 Sessions

We will be reading and discussing how narcissistic difficulties develop, and a range of therapeutic approaches. The classes will start with a lecture period and be followed by the group dividing into two groups to discuss the material more in depth. This will be an opportunity to include any clinical information you would like to discuss

Overall learning objectives are that at the end of this course the student will be able to assess narcissistic personality disorders, and pathology and discuss approaches to treatment. 


Technique III: Transference

5 Sessions

The course will provide a sample of important papers on the topic of transference with the goal of providing both a historical perspective and showing the evolution and use of the concept over time. Much of what has been written about transference is in relation to psychoanalytic treatment, but I encourage you to consider how it is also present in your therapy cases. Please prepare a brief (no more than one page) vignette from one of your clinical cases which demonstrates transference material. 

Goals are that students will be able to define the concept of transference, students will be able to explain how transference applies to their work, and students will be able to distinguish various forms of transference and understand their clinical implications. 


Technique IV: Countertransference 

5 Sessions

Countertransference class objectives are for students to gain an understanding of the history of countertransference. Students will be able to articulate ways in which hate in the countertransference can be understood and managed in therapy. Students will be able to describe different types of countertransference love and how to avoid pitfalls, and students will gain a preliminary understanding of how to manage projective identification and enactments in treatment. 

The therapeutic encounter can stir up strong emotional responses in the therapist as well as in the patient. Understanding and sensitively handling countertransference is an integral part of therapeutic work. We will consider ways to listen for, become aware of, and determine how to handle our reactions to our patients. We will discuss the nature of enactments and how to understand and use them to advance the therapy.  Bring questions and case examples to discuss in class.


Development IV: The school aged child ages 6-12 from Latency to Preadolescence

5 Sessions

This course focuses on cognitive, social, and physical development from ages 6 to 12. The child emerges from the preschool oedipal stage at one end  and transitions to early adolescence at the other. We’ll consider implications for the psychotherapeutic approach to children as well as implications for adult assessment and treatment.

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:describe developmental challenges from early to later latency and preadolescence, and describe how difficulties in latency may affect adolescent and adult development.


Continuous Case Conference I

5 sessions

There will be a description of an adult case and then discussion by group members about the case. Learning Objectives are to improve understanding of adult psychodynamics, to improve understanding of the technique of psychotherapy with adults, and to better understand countertransference issues.


The Clinical Choreography of Defense and Resistance

5 Sessions 

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a brief overview of defense and resistance, as it manifests itself within the clinical process.  Starting from the nature of its discovery and its mid-century resurgence, we will then move swiftly to a contemporary examination of the bedrock motives for defense and resistance and to the mutuality of defense and resistance in the analytic process.  We will examine the notion of intrapsychic danger in all of its complexities (e.g. defense and resistance come in many forms, defend against various painful contents and serve many conflictual purposes); why defense and resistance are inevitable (along with the inevitable countertransference); how working with defense and resistance are  connected to gaining access to deeper layers of the mind; and how it creates the context for an emotionally transformative experience for everyone involved. 

Course objectives are that students will learn how to recognize momentary and overarching defensive and resistant patterns in the clinical process, including its role in transitioning psychotherapy patients to psychoanalysis. Students will learn to formulate an intervention as well as to monitor and address its impact on the process, and students will learn to identify these dynamics in the countertransference and the impact this has on the enactment process.


Borderline Personality Organization 

5 Sessions

At the completion of this course, students will be able to describe the development and evolution of psychoanalytic theory and technique in the understanding and treatment of borderline level disorders. Understand the concepts of splitting, projective identification, and countertransference and their particular relevance to treatment of persons with borderline level disorders. As well as understand the use of the therapist’s self in treatment.

Throughout the course, participants are encouraged to discuss identity-disguised clinical examples from their own practices when relevant to the topic being presented.



5 sessions

In this course on Ethics, which we view as a life-long and evolving foundation for psychoanalytic practice, we hope to highlight ethical concerns, conflicts, and dilemmas that surface in beginning, conducting, terminating, and even following a psychoanalytic treatment.  As you all know, the most conspicuous ethical matter that has garnered attention within and from outside our field has been that of boundary violations, most notoriously of the sexual kind, and we will be focusing on that subject within our course.   We will also be focusing on non-sexual boundary matters, such as self-disclosures, gift exchanges, dual relationships, fee negotiation, and potential conflicts of interest for the analyst.  We will discuss how ethical considerations regarding some of these issues may shift over the course of a long treatment.  We will touch on reporting obligations for the analyst, and on the candidate’s perspective regarding breaches of ethical conduct.  We will assign some readings about ethical considerations inherent in writing about the clinical experience.  We will talk about institutional dynamics surrounding an ethical violation.  And finally, we will have one class devoted to the ethical perspective regarding informed consent when you begin a psychoanalytic treatment, and engage your patient in a dialogue about the pros and cons of analytic treatment while you are candidates, subject to the impingements of the educational system and the supervisory process.  Of course, for each of these subjects, we will welcome students’ case vignettes from their own clinical experiences.


Development V - Adolescence

5 sessions

To broaden your knowledge of the psychoanalytic understanding of adolescent development. - To examine several concepts that are key to a contemporary analytic conception of the adolescent period: separation from parents, movement toward adulthood, sexual identity, consolidation of the superego and the ego ideal. - To address adolescent themes, struggles and conflicts in the treatment of adult patients.


Gender & Sexuality I

5 sessions

This course is designed to provide you with an opportunity to think about gender and sexuality. In our practice as psychotherapists, this topic will help us develop a better understanding of some of the basic questions regarding identity and one's sense of self.


Continuous Case Conference II

5 sessions

There will be a description of an adult case and then discussion by group members about the case. Learning Objectives are to improve understanding of adult psychodynamics, to improve understanding of the technique of psychotherapy with adults, and to better understand countertransference issues


Technique V - Working with Dreams

5 sessions

In our five classes we’ll plan to learn some general knowledge and theory of dreaming, to read a few classic articles, and study one of the most famous dreams in history (along with some additional remarkable dreams).  At the same time, we’ll try to maintain a clinical focus, discussing the place of dreams in the therapeutic process, considering vignettes from your practices and mine.


Upon completion of the two years of Foundations of Psychoanalytic Thought, students can elect to start either the Adult Psychoanalytic Program or the Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program. The Psychoanalytic Program consists of three more years of coursework, and the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program consists of one more year of coursework.


Adult Psychoanalytic Program

The curriculum for training in psychoanalysis is tripartite, including: the personal analysis, supervised clinical work, and didactic seminars.  The Center has a well-respected, scholarly faculty that ably convey the complexity of psychoanalytic thinking today.  The didactic curriculum consists of a series of seminars, given weekly over three years, designed to impart a thorough knowledge of psychoanalytic theory.

The curriculum keeps abreast of contemporary issues such as gender theory, trauma theory, research in child development, and findings in neuroscience.  An active Curriculum Committee reviews courses and explores ways in which new areas of knowledge may be incorporated into the program. Candidate representatives participate as voting members on the Curriculum Committee.

Classes are held weekly on Wednesdays at Rockland Mansion, E. Fairmount Park, 3810 Mt. Pleasant Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121 OR virtually.  Starting and ending times of classes vary from year to year.

Each session offers 1.25 CE/CME credits. Specific class information (date, time, location, instructor) will be provided to students upon acceptance to the program.



Female Psychology

5 sessions

This course examines psychoanalytic understanding of female psychology beginning with Freud's initial formulation and noting modifications and innovations within the framework of psychoanalytic theory. Recent contributions from direct infant observation are discussed.


Advanced Transference-Countertransference

5 sessions

To understand how to work with transference and its resistance. - To understand the interplay between countertransference and enactments - To understand some particularly difficult types of countertransference and enactments


Interpreting Dreams II

5 sessions

This course will build on the “Interpreting Dreams” course by integrating clinical material with readings and discussion about the different ways in which dreams inform the analytic process. Candidates will be assigned to summarize and review the weekly readings and share clinical dream material. 


Male Psychology

5 sessions 

There appear to be few, if any, such courses taught nationally, so this one is made from scratch and necessarily an experiment.  It used to be that learning psychoanalysis and learning male psychology were much the same pursuit.  The unfortunate neglect of female psychology has been corrected in the last 40-50 years with new courses on this subject.  Specific focus on male psychology, however, has fallen into relative obscurity, and in recent years trainees have had diminished opportunity to get a good grasp of it.  This course is an effort to remedy this problem.


Trauma II

5 sessions

This course provides an overview of contemporary analytic thinking about trauma, linking it with classical psychoanalytic views, trauma theory, and current psychiatric thinking. There is particular emphasis on such topics as developmental considerations (with an emphasis on attachment), repetition, enactments, reconstruction, traumatic memory, trauma-related disruptions of memory, the inter-generational transmission of trauma, the impact of trauma upon transference and countertransference, dissociative psychopathology, and modifications of technique in response to trauma-related psychopathology. It will discuss the evolution of a trauma-informed, dissociation-inclusive, and hypnotizability/dissociative-sensitive approach to both the understanding and treatment of mixed relational trauma and Criterion A PTSD severe stress trauma that reintegrates elements marginalized in psychoanalytic scholarship and clinical work since the 1890s.


Adult Development and Aging

5 sessions   

This course will explore the psychological aspects of development across the adult life span. We will seek to understand the unique nature of adult development by considering the specific tasks and challenges that arise from young adulthood through very old age. We will explore how the unique developmental tasks in adulthood might guide our understanding of and work with our adult patients in the context of their particular stage of life. 


Racism, Diversity & Otherness

10 sessions

This course will address discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or sexual preference.


Deepening the Treatment

5 sessions

Students will become familiar with some of the psychodynamic factors that contribute to the deepening of a psychoanalytic process.  Students will learn how to develop interventions meant to clarify and facilitate this process. Students will learn to identify factors that impede the deepening process and how to address resistance in their patients and in themselves. Students will learn to recognize the contribution of relational enactments and handling them, to psychoanalytic deepening.


Psychoanalytic Listening II

5 sessions

Freud’s (1981/1912) recommendation to physicians: “To put it in a formula: he must turn his own unconscious like a receptive organ toward the transmitting unconscious of the patient. He must adjust himself to the patient as a telephone receiver is adjusted to the transmitting microphone. Just as the receiver converts back into sound-waves the electric oscillations in the telephone line which were set up by sound waves, so the doctor’s unconscious is able, from the derivatives of the unconscious which are communicated to him, to reconstruct that unconscious, which has determined the patient’s free association.” (pp. 115–116)

Freud’s classic description of psychoanalytic listening tells us that a psychoanalyst cannot listen to a patient without listening to themselves. Advanced listening requires an open-minded attitude in which different organizing concepts and strategies for listening inform the analyst’s interventions. In this course, we will cover several dimensions that highlight an integrative approach to psychoanalytic listening.


Object Relations II

5 sessions

In Object Relations II we will look at dimensions of how Object Relations further evolved.  After both Melanie Klein and Anna Freud came to London, there was great controversy between them {the Controversial Discussions).  A Middle Group emerged that was neither Kleinian nor purely Anna Freudian (Ego Psychological). The writers from ORI (except Klein) were all in this group and had varying concerns.  Fairbairn argued directly that libido was, from birth, object seeking and elaborated theory growing from this.  Bowlby developed attachment theory from an ethological perspective. Winnicott never broke openly with either group but developed theories unique to his clinical observations that stress the emergence and empowerment and creativity of the self. 

All the theorists we are reading in this course focus on the earliest experiences of the infant as profoundly formative. Labeling these as “preoedipal” (as Ego Psychologists do) assumes that the Oedipal Complex is the given and defining moment for all.  This is often questioned indirectly in these formulations.


Advanced Writing 

5 sessions

The central aim of this course is to encourage you to use writing as a way to reflect on your work with patients, to slow down and notice more, and to disentangle some of the complexities of the clinical moment. As it is also your first writing course as analytic candidates, I hope to show how important writing is to the development of your analytic identity, as you learn to find and express your own unique voice.


Clinical Problems

5 sessions

Each week a candidate will present a clinical situation for a discussion about alternative approaches.


Adult Continuous Case Conference (Third & Fourth Year Candidates)

10 sessions

The central aim and focus of this continuous case is to learn from the case material, learn from each other and to share our analytic ideas, approaches and views.  The case will be a springboard for discussion.   The overarching theme will be looking at the material from many different facets.  


Klein & Winniccott

5 sessions

Enumerate the major theoretical contributions of the renowned psychoanalyst, Melanie Klein - Enumerate the major theoretical contributions of the renowned psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott. - Distinguish between the therapeutic approaches of these two analysts. - Apply these insights to his or her own work with patients



Intersubjectivity II 

5 sessions

We discussed papers by Philip Bromberg, Irwin Hoffman, Owen Renik and Jessica Benjamin in our first course on Intersubjectivity that consolidated the two-person psychology in the United States. Most were influenced by Harry Stack Sullivan and the Interpersonal school, and incorporated Object Relational Theory under the leadership of Stephen Mitchell along with Self-psychology approaches. This strain has blossomed into the contemporary relational psychoanalysis most widely practiced in the United States today.  The current course will build on the concept of the analytic third  as we discussed in the work of Benjamin, and more recent courses that covered papers by Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Thomas Ogden, and your introduction to the work of Wilfred Bion. The work of these innovators has evolved the two-person interpersonal psychology to a view of the psychoanalytic situation as an analytic field that encompasses the subjectivities of both patient and analyst where each is implicated in its co-construction-  but are also formed by the field. We will also be reading work by Diane Elise who connects this turn back to our original foundation of the body ego, libido, and infantile sexuality by considering the erotic dimensions of the analytic field. This intersubjective view of psychoanalysis shifts the view of therapeutic efficacy from processing or uncovering historical object relational internalizations and conflicts to the potential expansion of psychic processes that allow for the emergence of authenticity, creativity and meaning. All of the readings are an opportunity to appreciate both the complexity and the ineffable aspects of psychic reality.


Advanced Psychoanalytic Process

5 sessions

The Psychoanalytic Process is the bedrock of our clinical work. It is what we look for in defining psychoanalysis, cure, graduation and certification. At the same time it is an elusive concept – inter-rater reliability is weak though the stridency of various proponents is strong. We will be studying and comparing different authors’ views of the psychoanalytic process and noting how it relates to their theories of cure.



5 sessions

Summarize and critique the classical and more recent psychoanalytic theories of the Depressions. Describe and compare the various clinical manifestations of depression, including its characteristic symptoms, character traits and dynamics. Study the clinical techniques necessary to address these manifestations of depressed adults and children by psychoanalytic treatment. Differentiate normal from pathological mourning and compare and contrast the various treatment techniques that have been shown to be effective for varieties of pathological mourning. Summarize the factors that contribute to suicide; enumerate the clinical signs of impending suicide; learn about interventions for suicide prevention and the treatment of suicidal patients; and discuss the effects of suicide on the therapist.


Varieties of Sexual Orientation

5 sessions 

This class is intended as an introduction to the varieties of sexual and relational orientation we encounter in our practices.  We will begin with heterosexuality and consider some of the developmental factors that often get ignored with heterosexual patients and some of the variety that exists in heterosexual experience.  We will spend the next several class sessions thinking about homosexuality—developmental experiences of children who are growing up gay, our discipline’s history (lasting into the present) of pathologizing homosexuality,  the intersection of gender and homosexuality, internalized homophobia, and the experiences of both straight and LGBTQIA analysts working with the transference-countertransference with both straight and LGBTQIA analysands.  In our last class session we will speak about bisexuality and non-monogamy (the latter better conceptualized as a relational orientation than as a sexual one) and how our field has, and more often has not, considered these topics. 


The Social Unconscious

5 sessions

In this course, we are going to take on Dorothy Evan Holmes’ call to articulate the various ways in which we internalize our community at large. The classical Freudian/object relational/self psychological models have lacked sufficient explanatory power for this endeavor. Some relational and intersubjective writers use concepts that move in the direction of conceptualizing a social unconscious- an idea derived in part from neighboring fields of group psychoanalysis/group dynamics and social science. Ogden and Benjamin’s concepts of an analytic third bring the dyad into a “small group” in relation to a third. The many field/interpersonal theories in psychoanalysis, by Sullivan, Ferro, and others, look at the individual in a social context, but focus on what the individual projects onto the field. 

To understand the introjection of the social- Holmes’ call to articulate the ways in which we internalize our community- we turn to the concept of the social unconscious, a term first used in psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm. The concept has been developed in the US by relational /intersubjective writers looking to engage as psychoanalysts with racism as a social phenomenon, and also by group analysts outside the US: in the United Kingdom, South America, and France. Bion is a founding father of group dynamics, however, he did not use the term social unconscious- he was primarily focused on the effect of projection by individuals onto group members, as was Freud. Siegmund Foulkes and Earl Hopper, group analysts from the Tavistock Group Relations Group, and Norbert Elias, a sociologist, have made foundational contributions to understanding the internalization of social phenomenon- and we will be reading an article by Farhad Dalal who reviews and expands their work. The concept was developed independently in other parts of the world, often using different terms – normative unconscious processes, social objects, etc. From South America, we will be reading Pichon-Rivière from Argentina, and from France, René Kaës.


Representations of Sexuality in Psychoanalytic Process

5 sessions

 At the completion of this course, students will be able to have an awareness of defensive use of derivatives of sexual fantasies that are first represented in the associative material as forms of resistances that gradually give way to the more actual primal fantasies originating in the oedipal period. This can take the form of language usage, interpersonal relatedness, bodily symptoms, and physical gestures, etc. Also - differentiate the different forms, levels, and primitivity of sexual fantasies as revealed in neurotic and borderline patients with perversions. For example, a borderline patient may initially reveal very explicit sexual fantasies of an apparent genital nature only to be concealing primitive oral libidinal and early object attachment deficits and defects; whereas, a neurotic patient could present at first dependent attachment issues, which defensively are concealing higher-level oedipal and castration issues.


Adult Continuous Case Conference (Third & Fourth Year Candidates)

10 sessions

The central aim and focus of this continuous case is to learn from the case material, learn from each other and to share our analytic ideas, approaches and views.  The case will be a springboard for discussion.   The overarching theme will be looking at the material from many different facets.  


Independent Study Project

5 sessions

This is a new seminar, initiated by the Curriculum Committee. Its purpose is to do the opposite: to give  candidates an opportunity to kindle their own flames of inquiry, to explore, on their own, some aspect of the psychoanalytic literature about which they have curiosity and to share this with their colleagues. Individual projects for the course will take an existing body of psychoanalytic literature as their field of inquiry, and in this respect, will be concerned with what has already been said. But the projects for the course will also be synthetic, and in bringing together various ideas on a topic, the hope is that the projects will also be creative in organizing these ideas, commenting on them, and/or offering additional thoughts and/or questions. This seminar is intended to kick off these projects and to help get them underway. The idea is that you will have time to develop your project on your own over the course of the next year and conclude it during the second half of the seminar a year from now.


Adult Continuous Case Conference

10 sessions

The central aim and focus of this continuous case is to learn from the case material, learn from each other and to share our analytic ideas, approaches and views.  The case will be a springboard for discussion.   The overarching theme will be looking at the material from many different facets.  


International Cases 

5 sessions 

In this class we will explore psychoanalytic papers and questions regarding different cultures in theory. We will discuss how our understanding of different cultures effects our work. There is an important value to be aware of different cultures and how it intersects developmental processes.  In a series of papers and discussions we will hopefully improve our knowledge and our attention to early childhood and cultural aspects and how identity is affected along with how this may impact our clinical work. 


Varieties of Therapeutic Action

10 sessions

This course attempts to answer a simple question regarding psychoanalytic treatment: how does this work? The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with various perspectives on therapeutic action in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the hopes of allowing students to elaborate and articulate their own philosophies of therapeutic action. The class will follow a structure of 1) understanding theoretical concepts 2) understanding how these concepts are used (as technique) by experts in the field and 3) examining how our understanding and application of theory may be similar or different from the ideas presented.


Writing Workshop

5 sessions

The goal of this course is to continue the process of learning to write psychoanalytically about psychoanalysis. Previous writing courses included (among other things) concepts of formulation, describing the patient, creating your own voice, how to write about clinical material using the experiencing-reflecting-transition model, and how to address the need to include required information in a report without extinguishing the life from the analytic dyad in the process. This is a challenge, to say the least.

This course will focus on narrative style as well as content––the more confident you are in your ability to write, the freer you will be to express complex and nuanced concepts and to include your own responses to the patient in the report.


Child/Adult Continuous Case Conference

10 sessions

A candidate will present process material from an analytic case on a weekly basis. Readings may be assigned as needed on topics which come up in the discussion.


Independent Study Project

5 sessions

A continuation of the Independent Study Project from Year Four.





Integration of Psychoanalytic Concepts with Child and Adult Clinical Material 

5 sessions 

This course is designed to revisit basic psychoanalytic concepts such as: free association, analytic process, defenses, self and object representations, developmental object, insight, transference, unconsci-ous fantasy, and psychic structure as understood from different theoretical lenses.  We will also discuss what is thought to be mutative in analytic work. To demonstrate these concepts.and to enhance discussion, we will use clinical material from work with adults and children



The Masters Series classes are required for Fourth and Fifth Year Candidates and are open to analytic and psychotherapy members of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. The topics for the Masters Series courses vary each year, but below are examples of course offerings from this academic year.


Development: Practicing Psychoanalysis

2 sessions

Metabolizing Love-Bringing Together Attachment and Separation-Individuation Theory: An Introduction Based on Considering Autism Spectrum Disorder

Because ASD is a neurobiological disorder, the significant contributions that psychoanalysis can make in understanding and treating ASD are not widely understood. An integrative model of ASD which describes how neurobiological and psychological factors interact in the development and alleviation of ASD will be presented. Clinical material from analytic treatment of patients from childhood will be presented to demonstrate psychoanalytic technique and its effectiveness in ASD. A PowerPoint presentation will be used to help understand and demonstrate neuroplasticity and the effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatment in ASD. Emphasis will be on the importance of recognizing the often-hidden talents and abilities of children on the spectrum and helping them develop their skills as a source of meaning, purpose and well-being as well as important communicative tools in the therapeutic process. A focus will be on a young child’s drawings which he intended to published as a book in order to explain the inner world of the ASD child.


Development: Fonagy Master Class

5 sessions

To enable the student to list at least five major contributions of Peter Fonagy to the psychoanalytic literature. To enable the student to understand and describe mentalization: its definition, development, and value in therapy.



Adult Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program

Year Three of the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program provides further immersion in psychoanalytic theory and practice for students seeking to deepen what they learned in Foundations of Psychoanalytic Thought. 

Classes are held weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, beginning in September, at Rockland Mansion, E. Fairmount Park, 3810 Mt. Pleasant Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19121 OR virtually.

Each session offers 1.5 CE/CME credits. Specific class information (date, time, location, instructor) will be provided to students upon acceptance to the program.


Eating Disorders

5 Sessions

Integrating Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with other modalities (Cognitive Behavioral/Educational, Biological, Cultural/Feminist, and Family Theory) to treat the whole person. This course introduces the history and treatment of eating disorders, reviews current theories in eating disorders, and encourages the clinician to think in a multifaceted way when evaluating and treating a person with disordered eating.


Development V: Adulthood

5 Sessions

Development does not cease once childhood and adolescence have been negotiated. Adulthood brings new challenges and opportunities to develop and to rework his/her core conflicts.

Together, we will read Vallaint’s views on what development means in the context of adulthood, and Levinson, who will provide us with a model of adult stages of development. We will also look at articles which will help us to connect developmental models with the psychoanalytic, and to help us to think about areas where other models of adult development are appropriate.  


Case Conference III - Termination

5 sessions

There will be a description of an adult case and then discussion by group members about the case. 


Substance Abuse

5 sessions 

This course provides an overview of the psychoanalytic concepts and theories of substance abuse and addictive disorders. Emphasis will be on current ideas and approaches. We will explore issues including differentiating symptomatic substance abuse vs. addiction, etiologic factors in addictive disorders, the biology/psychology interface in addictions, integration of 12-Step programs with psychotherapeutic approaches, trauma, helplessness, and addiction.


Discussions on Difference

5 sessions

This course will consider human diversity including race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, religion, and ability. In this course, we will not explicitly cover sexual orientation or gender differences, as these are covered in two other curriculum courses. Within a context of thinking psychodynamically, we will examine these questions: What can we understand about how difference and the dynamics of diversity, privilege, and oppression shape the intrapsychic and play out in the relational field? How do our theories aid us in understanding and working with difference and in what ways do they limit us or perpetuate harm?


Depression and Masochism

4 sessions

This course will explore the theoretical underpinnings of depression, both as a clinical state and as an effect.  The course begins with Freud’s concepts of depression as rooted in early object loss and its relation to mourning, through Freud’s differentiation of mourning from the state of depression.  Brenner’s reformulation of depression as an affected state in response to an experienced calamity will be presented in contrast to Freud.  The relationship of masochism to depression though identification with a hated object will be discussed.

The course will have a heavy focus on the presentation and discussion of clinical material provided both by the students and faculty.  Students should be prepared to present case vignettes several times during the course.



5 sessions

At the completion of this course, students will be able to develop an understanding of a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic theory of the origins of psychosis, understand the general principles of psychoanalytic/psychodynamic treatment of psychosis, and appreciate the effort involved in the psychodynamic treatment of those at the psychotic level of organization.


Mind & Body

5 Sessions

We will focus on understanding how mind and body are interrelated, how these connections become problematic and symptomatic, and implications for clinical practice.  Many of the readings are of clinical cases, and we will discuss clinical cases, yours and mine, throughout the course.


Case Conference IV 

5 sessions

There will be a description of an adult case and then discussion by group members about the case. 


Varieties of Therapeutic Action

5 sessions

This course explores the question: how does psychoanalytic treatment work?  The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with various perspectives on therapeutic action in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the hopes of allowing students to elaborate and articulate their own philosophies of therapeutic action.  The class will follow a structure of 1) understanding theoretical concepts 2) understanding how these concepts are used (as technique) by experts in the field and 3) examining how our understanding and application of theory may be similar or different from the ideas presented.


Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

5 sessions 

This course provides an overview of contemporary analytic thinking about trauma, linking it with classical psychoanalytic views, trauma theory, and current psychiatric thinking. There is particular emphasis on such topics as developmental considerations (with an emphasis on attachment), repetition, enactments, reconstruction, traumatic memory, trauma-related disruptions of memory, the intergenerational transmission of trauma, the impact of trauma upon transference and countertransference, dissociative psychopathology, and modifications of technique in response to trauma-related psychopathology. It will discuss the evolution of a trauma-informed, dissociation-inclusive, and hypnotizability/dissociative-sensitive approach to both the understanding and treatment of mixed relational trauma and Criterion A PTSD severe stress trauma that reintegrates elements marginalized in psychoanalytic scholarship and clinical work since the 1890s.


Psychodynamic Group Psychotherapy

5 sessions

 In this course, we will be discussing group psychotherapy as a psychotherapeutic treatment modality.  We will briefly discuss the origins of group psychotherapy as a modality, its having branched away from psychoanalysis, and its re-entry into the psychodynamic field as a treatment option.  Most of the course will focus on the nuts and bolts of establishing a long-term psychotherapy group:  the indications for the treatment modality, patient selection, stages of group development, therapeutic factors in operation, leadership stance and techniques, and combining individual with group psychotherapy.  We will spend some time on other kinds of group therapy, such as short-term issue-focused groups and support groups, and we will discuss how they differ from long-term therapy groups.  We will rely mostly on the standard group psychotherapy textbooks, those by Yalom, and Rutan and Stone.  I will also assign several other articles to illustrate some of the points that will be the stimulus for discussion.  Most of all, I hope to share with you my excitement about leading groups, and their potential benefit when added to some patients’ individual treatments.  Moreover, it is fun to learn, and has the ability to increase the breadth and depth of your therapeutic skills.


Gender & Sexuality II - Queer &Trans/GNC Identities

5 sessions

Psychotherapy with trans and queer people asks clinicians to listen differently. While staying attentive to intrapsychic and intersubjective phenomena, we are also called to listen for ways that social forces function =in the psyches of our patients. Because queer and trans peoples’ desires and embodied experiences place them at a slant to the norms that structure social belonging, their experiences render audible the processes by which all people come to possess a sexed body, a legible gender, and a sexuality both in the world and in their minds. These processes include biomedical discourses, cultural practices, technological interventions, and structural forces like race and class. We must ask ourselves as we listen: when in patients’ histories, with what people and in what early experiences, were these processes most acutely felt. And then how do (and did) they metabolize them in ways that make space for vitality and aliveness? Where can we lend our minds to enhance this process? On the contrary, when do our patients’ psychic structures intersect with these processes in ways that render them less alive, and less able to imagine and experience livable futures? And when do our interventions do the same?


Psychoanalytic Review

5 sessions

This course is designed to provide a capstone experience for your learning and experience in the PPTP program, incorporating the principles and practices of “outsider witnessing.”

Child Program 

The Child Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Seminars are required for both Child Psychoanalytic Candidates and Child Psychotherapy Students. Child candidates and students also participate in group supervision.

Classes are held virtually on 7 Saturdays October through June, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Each session offers 2 CE/CME credits. Specific class information (date, time, location, instructor) will be provided to students upon acceptance to the program.


Child Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Seminars – Deepening Treatment  

7 sessions

This course is designed to focus on those aspects of clinical work with child patients and their parents which will facilitate the deepening of the therapeutic work.  Discussion will focus on therapeutic alliance with the child/adolescent patient, how to help the child/adolescent patient understand mental functioning especially understanding their own inner world and its functioning, how to work with unconscious elements such as defenses, dreams, transference, etc.and parental work within the context of an ongoing psychodynamic psychotherapy.  This knowledge should be applicable to cases in which psychodynamic therapy is the primary mode of treatment or to prepare a patient and parents for an analytic treatment.    


Statements of Accreditation

Continuing Medical Education (CME):

These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates these Live Activities for a maximum of 1.25 or 1.5 or 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ per session (refer to section introductions). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


None of the planners and presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s)* to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. *Financial relationships are relevant if the educational content an individual can control is related to the business linesor products of the ineligible company. - Updated July 2021 -



Continuing Education for Psychologists (CE):

The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Continuing Education for Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors (CE):

In accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth of PA dated 12/23/06 [PA Code: Title 49, Ch. 47-49], The State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors recognizes the American Psychological Association (APA) as a preapproved provider of continuing education programs for social workers and clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors in the State of Pennsylvania. The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education programs.


For further information, please contact the administrative office of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.

Rockland – East Fairmount Park

3810 Mt. Pleasant Drive

Philadelphia, PA  19121


[email protected]