Curriculum

The curriculum consists of a four-year course of study with three 10-week trimesters in each year.  Classes meet every Wednesday from 12:00-5:45.  The primary focus of the course work is to integrate theoretical issues with actual psychotherapy and psychoanalytic practice, and each theoretical course is paired with a complementary case seminar.  Each year an additional  clinical case seminar is offered to augment the theoretical coursework.

Three kinds of courses are offered. (1) In theoretical courses, a heavy emphasis is placed upon a thorough knowledge of psychoanalytic theories and developmental theories of emotional problems and disorders.  (2) On the practicum level courses that deal with interview techniques, dream interpretation, analysis of transference, countertransference,  etc., provide the opportunity to develop understanding of the psychoanalytic and psychotherapy situation, and to refine one’s technical skills.  (3) Case seminars are offered one or more times a year.

FIRST YEAR/First trimester:

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS I:  The Therapeutic Relationship

This course attempts to conceptualize the therapeutic process with particular emphasis on the evolution of the therapeutic relationship, and draws upon readings from a variety of theoretical orientations.  It is a course designed to orient you to the rich variety of psychoanalytic courses to follow. It will allow for general questions such as how do we promote an atmosphere of safety and deal with the general problems of beginning a treatment. In an introductory format it will address the basic definitions of, transference, countertransference, mutuality, neutrality and the working alliance, to name a few of the concepts you will be examining.

  • INITIAL CASE SEMINAR

This course accompanies the one above and is designed, through presentation of initial interviews and early sessions in the beginning of treatment, to explore clinically the theoretical parameters dealt with in the early segment of a treatment.

  • DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERSON I

The goal of this course is to focus on the psychoanalytic study of the infant.  Discussions will be based on an extensive reading list covering the following topics:  constitution and endowment, early phases of ego development, maternal deprivation and its consequences, the latest developments in infant research, as well as the earlier work of Bowlby, Winnicott, Melanie Klein, Mahler and Anna Freud.

FIRST YEAR/Second trimester:

  • FREUD I

A study of the evolution of Freud’s concepts covering the period from 1895 to 1915, through readings of selected writings.  Freud’s clinical material will be used in studying the interrelation between theory and clinical experience in the development of his thinking.  Relevance to later theory and practice will be discussed.

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS II:  Therapeutic Relationship and Diagnosis

This is a continuation of Psych. Process I with an attempt to differentiate treatment approaches with patients at different levels of psychological organization.  What would we expect the subjective experience of the analytic situation in the early phase to be for different patients?  What is the clinical “feel” of these differing configurations?  How do we assess the patient’s strengths and vulnerability?

  • DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERSON II

This course will explore the stages of development from the oedipal stage through latency.  Attention will be focused on the intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics of childhood, psychosexual development, determinants of superego functioning, and the interaction between the individual and the assimilation pressures of society.

FIRST YEAR/Third trimester:

  • FREUD II

The focus of this course is on Freud’s later writings (after 1915).  Topics include the structural model of the psyche, the revised theories of instinct and anxiety and the beginnings of Ego Psychology.  In addition to clarification of theoretical concepts, the aim will be to see what clinical material led to these re-formulations and, in turn, how these re-formulations effected the analytic setting and treatment.

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS III:  Listening and Interpretation

By using tape recordings of sessions, and intensive review of dialogue this course attempts to sharpen the Candidate’s sensitivity to nuances of development in the therapeutic encounter.  Careful attention will be paid to inflection, timing of patient verbalization, pregnant pauses, etc. with an eye to understanding the functions of different interventions.  The differences between confrontation, clarification and interpretation, as well as issues of timing, will be reviewed as interventive devices.

  • CASE SEMINAR

A clinical case seminar is offered so that Candidates may present their work to their colleagues.  A seasoned supervisor will lead the seminar.

SECOND YEAR/First trimester:

  • SELF PSYCHOLOGY I
  • This is the first of two Self Psychology courses where concepts will be introduced within an historical context.  The seminar will introduce the theories of self psychology from its origin as a framework within which to understand and treat narcissistic personality disorders through its evolution into a more generalized psychology of the self.  Emphasis will be on the unique contributions self psychology makes in regard to how we listen, understand, and respond to patients.  Concepts will be contrasted with their function in classical theory and compared to other theories.  Later expansions of Kohut’s ideas will also be read and discussed.
  • DEVELOPMENT OF THE PERSON III

This course covers issues from adolescence through adulthood and aging, and their relationship to the growth and development of individuals through various stages of their lives.

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS IV: Concepts of Transference

This course begins with an experiential exploration of transference from a classical, interpersonal, object relations, and self psychological viewpoint.  How much is transference an intrapsychic, an interpersonal, or an intersubjective phenomena?  How much is it a distortion, a product of the patient’s emerging wishes and defenses projected onto the analyst, and how much is it a perception formed by the intervention of the analyst?  How much does one’s position on the above questions influence the interpretative process?  Transference is examined in light of a “two-person” field.

SECOND YEAR/Second trimester:

  • SELF PSYCHOLOGY II:

Continuation of Self Psychology I with an emphasis on the evolution of self-psychological thinking as it appears in  contemporary contexts.

  • FREUD III

This course will deal with a focused study of Ego Psychology, its importance as a theoretical bridge between early Freudian concepts and later contributions emphasizing greater autonomy for self-determining processes.

  • DREAM SEMINAR I

The goal of this course is for students to develop knowledge, comfort, and confidence in working with dreams.  Students are encouraged to work creatively with dreams and integrate this work into analytic practice.  The course involves readings in psychoanalytic dream theory from Freud to present day writers.  Part of each class is a workshop in which Candidates present the dreams of their patients which are then explored in the light of the different theoretical perspectives as well as the points of view of the members of the class.

SECOND YEAR/Third trimester:

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS V: Comparative Concepts of Resistance

The exploration of resistance will include classical, interpersonal, object relations, and self psychological viewpoints.  These concepts of resistance are compared and contrasted with the following issues in mind: 1) What aspects of resistance are due to a) a patient’s behavior during treatment that stands in opposition to the therapeutic process, b) the critical role played by the parcipitants within the analytic situation or c) a reaction by the patient to the empathic failure of the analyst? 2) What is the relationship between resistance and defense? 3) How does character affect resistance?, etc…

  • SELF PSYCHOLOGY CASE SEMINAR

This seminar is designed to explicate aspects of self psychology theory.  Through case presentations various phenomenological experiences of empathy, the various forms of transference, and direct contact with narcissistic acting in the psychoanalytic encounter will allow the Candidate to integrate previous theoretical study.

  • CASE SEMINAR – Enactment  

A clinical case seminar is offered so that Candidates may present their work to their colleagues.  A seasoned supervisor will lead the seminar.

THIRD YEAR/First trimester:

  • SULLIVAN I

This course deals with the clinical application of some of Sullivan’s major theories.  Starting with the theory of anxiety, we focus on the development of the Self System and the major security operations.   Sullivan’s ideas of “not me” and his understanding of dissociation are introduced.

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS VI: Concepts of Countertransference

In order to appreciate the multiple meanings and usage of the term Countertransference, this course will be explore the term from an historical perspective comparing and contrasting those ideas with concepts of countertransference that comprise current analytic thinking.  Concepts of Neutrality and Intersubjectivity are reviewed in relation to the clinical experience of Countertransference.  The clinical utilization of countertransference data as a means of knowing and communicating with the patient will be a particular focus of attention.

  • PARANOID/SCHIZOID PHENOMENA 

This course shows how paranoid and schizoid phenomena are viewed in many different theoretical orientations, as well as the application of these theories in the treatment room.

THIRD YEAR/Second trimester:

  • CASE SEMINAR- Interpersonal

This course helps candidates integrate Sullivan’s concepts into Interpersonal clinical practice.

  • PSYCHOANALYTIC PROCESS VII: Therapeutic Action, Working Through, and Termination

This course will provide an overview of contrasting theoretical perspectives on the concept of cure.  Discussion will include varying conceptualizations of the analytic processes considered central to growth and change by different theoretical orientations.  The move away from interpretation, as the sine qua non of analytic technique and the primary mutative factor, to the focus on interventions centering on curative aspects of the therapist-patient relationship, will be a central focus of discussion.  The concept of “working through,” including Freud’s original concept, will be discussed, as well as more contemporary views regarding this aspect of the curative process.

  • MODERN INTERPERSONALISTS

This course will focus on the extension and changes in Sullivan’s interpersonal approach by modern Interpersonal thinkers such as Levenson, Mitchell, Epstein, etc.

THIRD YEAR/Third trimester:

  • ADVANCED DREAM SEMINAR

This is primarily a clinical course designed to sensitize Candidates to the possibilities inherent in working with dreams.  Through presentation of dreams with the object of predicting what meaning the dream brings to the session, as well as attending to what movements in the treatment are revealed by the ongoing stories in the dreams, the course examines how the dream becomes a vital and necessary adjunct in the analytic repertoire.

  • OBJECT RELATIONS I

British object relations theory will be considered in historical perspective.  The developmental psychologies of Melanie Klein, Fairbairn, Winnicott, and Guntrip will be discussed, along with their clinical implications.  In this first section there will be an emphasis upon the internal object world in the parent-infant relationship, primitive emotional development, primitive defensive organization, regression, the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.

  • CASE SEMINAR – Interpersonal and Relational 

 A clinical case seminar is offered so that Candidates may present their work to their colleagues.  A seasoned supervisor will lead the seminar.

FOURTH YEAR/First trimester:

  • CASE SEMINAR – Object Relations
  • TREATMENT OF THE BORDERLINE

This course attempts to bridge theoretical and clinical understandings of borderline dynamics.

  • OBJECT RELATIONS II 

This course is a continuation of Object Relations I with an emphasis on the work of Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion among others. .

FOURTH YEAR/Second trimester:

  • OBJECT RELATIONS III  – Winnicott

This is a continuation of Object Relations II. Through the work of Winnicott and Fairbairn, the focuses on: the antisocial tendency, concepts of relatedness and the true vs. false self, psychic life, dissociation, autistic and barriers in neurotic patients.

  • SEX AND GENDER

This course will focus on the understanding of sexuality in various psychoanalytical theories.  It will review the nature of gender identity, love, paraphilia, and homophilia, as well as issues and problems of gender in the treatment.

  • COMPARATIVE  INTERSUBJECTIVITY AND RELATIONAL TRENDS

The course investigates the dialectical interplay of subjectivity within the analytic couple.  Drawing on a confluence of both historical and contemporary sources ranging from the Hungarian and British Schools, American Interpersonalism and Relationalism, Self Psychology, contemporary Freudians and infant research, this course explores interaffectivity, interfantasy, bi-directional empathy, mutuality, relatedness and negotiation.

FOURTH YEAR/Third trimester:

  • OBJECT RELATIONS IV  – Remaining Theorists

This course is a continuation and further refinement of the three previous Object Relations courses, with further attention paid to the development of thought in Relational psychoanalysis.

  • CASE SEMINAR – Relational

This course emphasizes counter transference from a relational perspective.

  • CASE SEMINAR 

A clinical case seminar is offered so that Candidates may present their work to their colleagues.  A seasoned supervisor will lead the seminar.

 


The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy provides training without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity or any other classification protected under applicable federal, state and local law.