Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy: Special Topics in Theory, Technique & Practice

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

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


Wednesdays from 9:45am to 11:45am Eastern Time.

Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy distance learning course will focus on special topics and challenges in the practice of couple treatment, using didactic lectures, 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, and Scotland. Participants may join the course at Indianapolis, IN, Athens, Greece, and Tel Aviv, Israel, or join by video 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.

This course is one component of the Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy Certificate Program. Click for More Information about the full Certificate Program.

***Registrants in this course are encouraged to also attend the one-day online course Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy on September 12, 2020.  Click for more information on and registration for the one-day course.

Program Chair

David Scharff, M.D. and Carla Trusty-Smith, Ph.D., LMHC

Program Date(s):

September 9, 2020 - May 12, 2021

Fall Semester 2020

09 Sep
Reviewing sensate focus through a Winnicottian lens
Susan Pacey
14 Oct
Case Presentation
Presenter: Anastasia Tsamparli
Discussants: Kleopatra Avdelidou and Telemachus Georgakis from Athens
28 Oct
The role of secrets in the invention or reinvention of families
Susana Muszkat and Monica Vorchheimer
04 Nov
Co-Parent Therapy
Identifying Defenses and Establishing Containment in High Conflict Separating & Divorcing Couples
Dana Iscoff
18 Nov
Falling in Love, Falling Apart
Nestor Kapusta
02 Dec
Transitional and transformational states in couple life
Winnicott, Bollas, Goldman and others
Julie Friend
09 Dec
Right and Wrong Ways to Mourn
the Difficulties of Mourning Differently, in three situations of lost pregnancy
Rachel Cooke

Spring Semester 2021

13 Jan
The binds that bond; disavowed vulnerability in traumatized couples
Ortal Kirson-Trilling
27 Jan
Do sex and marriage go together like a horse and carriage?
Hanni Mann-Shalvi
03 Feb
Shared Unconscious Beliefs
Opening a thinking space
Carla Trusty-Smith
24 Feb
Consultation between Individual and Couples/Family Therapists
Is the “new couple” a space for collaborative growth or a toxic agglutinated mass?
Leora Benioff and Lee Slome
03 Mar
When Couple Therapy Reactivates Trauma
Bridging Psychoanalytic and Trauma Theory and Technique
Sheila Longerbeam
21 Apr
From Dysfunction to Erotic Discovery
Transforming the Couple Sexual Narrative
Suzanne Iasenza
28 Apr
Oedipus for Everyone
Revitalizing the Model for LBGTQ Couples, Families, and Single Parents
Shelley Nathans
12 May
Family psychoanalysis with case of sexual abuse at home
Merav Sabban

Educational Objectives

Overall Course Objective 

Participants in this course will enhance their repertoire of psychoanalytic couple therapy and technique regarding how to discriminate specific couple syndromes from individual partner difficulties.


Continuing Education Credit Hours

Single Session: 2 hours CE credit

Fall Semester 2019: 14 hours CE credit

Spring Semester 2020: 16 hours CE credit


Register for the Fall Semester herefull course registration is closed, but you can still register for single sessions in the fall schedule above.

Register for the Spring Semester here

The individual sessions each have their own register link in the schedule above


Tuition and Fees

$55 per session (IPI Members $45)

$360 per semester (IPI Members $315)


Membership Benefits

Become a member of IPI at the “Associate Member PLUS”, or “Full Member PLUS” level and you will receive an IPI Zoom Pro account as one of your member benefits. Associate and Full Members also receive discounted registration fees for most of IPI’s events, a subscription to PEP Web, the online psychoanalytic library, and other benefits depending on membership level.

HIPAA compliant Zoom video accounts are provided for all IPI Associate Member Plus and Full Member Plus memberships. IPI has a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with Zoom, which provides a HIPAA compliant platform for our accounts. HIPPA compliance is strongly recommended for all internet-mediated clinical work and clinical teaching. The “PLUS” add-on to the IPI membership gives the user the ability to host online meetings with multiple people at the same time. [Current members can upgrade to the “Plus” account and only pay the difference in price from your current membership level.]

Click for IPI Membership and Zoom Account information

Should you have any questions about the program or the application process, please feel free to contact:

Continuing Education Information

The International Psychotherapy Institute, IPI, is approved by The American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The International Psychotherapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6017. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The International Psychotherapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the programs. The International Psychotherapy Institute is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. The International Psychotherapy Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers.

Participants are responsible for verifying that IPI CE credit is accepted by the licensing boards in their own states. Please note: At this time we are aware that CE credit for IPI events will not be accepted by the New Jersey Board of Social Work.