Affective Learning Model

The Group Affective Learning Model is an experimental method for the teaching and learning of psychoanalytic object relations theory and its clinical application. Participants have different learning styles, and so we use multi-channel teaching with lecture, PowerPoint,  video, readings, and discussion in large and small groups for process and review and learning from experience. Participants tell us that the small group experience is the cornerstone of the learning has been validated empirically and can be read about in Tuning the Therapeutic Instrument (Jason Aronson 1996). 

Call for Papers

Family and Couple Conference
“Settings and Modalities in Family and Couple Treatment”
February 1-4, 2018


For four days February 1-4, 2018, IPI and the IPA’s Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis are planning a conference on psychoanalytic family and couple therapy, to be held in Rockville, MD, near Washington, DC, and co-sponsored by the International Psychotherapy Institute.

In this conference, we will explore variations in arrangements for therapy, such as combined individual and couple or family treatments, arrangements of the setting with families of adolescents or young children, other concurrent family and couple interventions, mother-infant therapy, home settings for therapy, or therapy for conditions such as psychosis or addiction. We will have a variety of presentations – papers, case presentations and discussions, with a focus on clinical cases and vignettes. The conference is jointly organized by IPI and the IPA’s Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis and will be held in IPI’s conference hotel in the suburban Washington, DC area.

We invite submissions from faculty, candidates, students and colleagues for consideration for presentation, as well as volunteers of colleagues willing to act as discussants. If you wish to submit a presentation but are unsure about whether it is appropriate, we invite you to write us and we would be glad to discuss it with you. Selection for presentation will require registration for the full conference.

Write to
David Scharff, MD
Chair, IPA Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis


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For more information on the work of the IPA’s Committee on Family and Couple Psychoanalysis, read the Karnac Books blog post: Clinical Dialogues on Psychoanalysis with Families and Couples, by David Scharff and Monica Vorchheimer

eBook Acquisitions Editors

To:  Acquisition Editors

From:  Jason Aronson

You’ll get a print out about the book we want that I’ve taken from the Amazon list.  It will have the author, title and the name of the publisher.  It’s usually just the first page of the Amazon report.

  1. Go to Amazon. Key in the author and title to check if the book is still out of print.  It may have been reprinted or my data might be wrong.
  2. Now you have to be a Sherlock Holmes.  Track down the email address of the author. Enter his name on Google and add “email”.  You may have to explore the items that come up under his name.  You may have to go back to the Amazon report for it sometimes has the author’s academic position.  You may need to call the author.  Often they have a clinical practice.  Briefly explain to him (or his secretary) the project and ask for his email address.  If the author is deceased you may have to enter his name on Google and add “obituary”.  This will give you information on the next of kin–wife or children and where they live.  Then you can follow up with them.
  3. In your email to the author you will ask him to write to his publisher to ask for the return of rights since the book appears to be out of print. 

This is a commitment of at least several hours a month.

Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

International Psychotherapy Institute 

2017-2018 Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy Course

Special Topics In the Theory, Technique, and Practice Of Couple Therapy


Course Directors:  David Scharff, MD and Carla Trusty-Smith, Ph.D., LMHC
FALL SEMESTER BEGINS SEPTEMBER 6 - Wednesdays 9:45 -11:45 am ET

Participate in person at a local site or join this live web seminar from your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone

The Special Topics in the Theory, Technique and Practice of Couple Therapy course will focus on special topics and challenges in the practice of couple treatment, using presentations, case presentation and discussion, and advance readings. The course will feature presenters from the International Psychotherapy Institute and colleagues from the U.S., Argentina, England, Greece, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, and Spain. Participants may join the course at several established sites including Chevy Chase, MD, Indianapolis, IN, Long Island, NY, Panama City, Panama, and Tel Aviv, Israel, or join over the internet.  Internet participants will all have the opportunity to participate fully in the seminar by joining in the live discussion with the presenter and local sites. Participants joining over the internet can do so easily by downloading a free program and clicking on a simple link provided for each session.

Register for one semester or both

Fall 2017 Semester
7 two-hour sessions: 14 CE credits


September 6                           Caroline Sehon (Washington, DC)
Reverberations of Couple & Family Links Across Generations
October 18                              David Scharff (Washington, DC)  
The Process of a Couple Intervention
October 25                              Jamie Loveland (Houston, TX)
Then There Were Three: Working with Couples with Substance Addiction
November 1                            Molly Ludlam (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Connecting with the Internal Couple
November 15                          Christopher Clulow (St. Albans, England)
Sexual Fantasy and the Dynamics of Attachment
November 29                          Dina Oren (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Love, Drugs and Sex
December 6                            Monica Vorchheimer (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The Film 45 Years: An Approach Through a Link Perspective


Winter-Spring 2018 Semester
8 two-hour sessions: 16 CE credits
January 10                               Damian McCann (London, England)
The Couple and Family in Transition: Exploring Gender and Gender Reassignment
January 24                               Ana Maria Barossa (Mexico City)
Treating the Transmission of Symptoms from Parent to Child
February 7                               Anastasia Tsamparli (Athens, Greece)
Conflict and Reconciliation in Couple Therapy
February 21                             Carl Bagnini (Port Washington, NY)
Couples with Mourning Challenges when Experiencing Miscarriages
March 7                                    Amita Sehgal (London, England)
Working with Couples in Co-therapy
March 28                                  Hanni Mann-Shalvi (Tel Aviv, Israel)
The Unique Unconscious Dynamic in Family Psychoanalysis
April 11                                     Carla Trusty-Smith (Indianapolis, IN)
The Couple as Container: Thinking Inside and Outside the Analytic Box
May 2                                        Elizabeth Palacios (Zaragoza, Spain)
Contemporary Families: New Approaches in Theory and Clinical Practice

$295 per semester
Participants register for the full semester of seven or eight sessions — not open to registration for individual sessions.  Register online using the online registration form. You can also click here to download a registration form. 

Make an online payment to complete your registration, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange payment.

CE Credit:
Fall Semester 2017:  14 hours
Winter-Spring Semester 2018: 16 hours

For more information
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      301-215-7377  

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question to see the answer

Do I have to enroll in a full Training Program to take advantage of IPI's training opportunities?

No. Many of IPI's training events are open to the interested participant without requiring enrollment in a full training program. See the Open Enrollment pages for more information.

Does IPI only provide Object Relations-oriented training and therapy?

IPI is solidly grounded in an Object Relations approach. However, we strive to maintain a stance of openness and active interest in new developments in the field, and in integrating them into our existing paradigms. In this spirit, training offerings in the past have included numerous presenters who do not hail from an Object Relations background, but who have made important contributions to psychotherapy - whatever their orientation.

How can I tell which IPI program is right for me?

The national training programs and events offered by IPI, as well as the local programs offered by IPI affiliates and independent IPI faculty members, are designed for a diverse audience at varying levels of experience. Feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or any of the local program faculty, for more information about what program is right for you.

What are IPI’s admissions criteria?

All applicants for certificate training programs will be interviewed to evaluate their professional experience and credentials and their readiness for advanced training. The only specific criteria for admission are a background in one of the mental health disciplines, interest in object relations theory, and commitment to group learning. We recruit a diverse body of participants at various levels of experience and from all mental health disciplines. Our admission policy is deliberately non-exclusive.

What is Object Relations Therapy?

Object Relations theory holds that human development is driven by our inherent relatedness. We are born with the need to relate to our mothers and other family members. As babies, we look for closeness, warmth, and safety. We need to feel that we matter to the people who matter to us.

But being dependent on another person means that we have to deal with frustration. Taking in and coping with frustrating experience sets up personality patterns that should mature at each developmental challenge. Sometimes, though, we get stuck. Psychotherapy reaches in to unlock the logjams left over from early years, and open the personality to new learning and better relationships.

Please see Object Realtions Theory for more information.

What kind of organization is IPI?

IPI is a nonprofit corporation devoted to providing quality training in the theory and practice of psychotherapy, in maintaining a spirit of intellectual openness, and in incorporating community service and diverse membership throughout the Institute.

Where do IPI's programs take place?

The two-year Object Relations Theory and Practice Program, the Weekend Conferences (with periodic exceptions), the summer Couple, Child and Family Institute, and the International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training are held in the Washington, DC/Bethesda, MD area.

Study groups, distance learning seminars, supervision, special conferences, and other training opportunities are available from IPI faculty or IPI affiliates in 15 cities worldwide (for more information about these opportunities, see the IPI Affiliate Programs page). Some study groups, distance learning seminars and supervision are also available by telephone.

Who can apply to for admission into IPI’s Training Programs?

Anyone with a degree in any mental health discipline, working in the mental health field, or currently enrolled in a mental health-oriented graduate program may apply.