Object Relations Theory and Practice

The Two-Year Certificate Program in Object Relations Theory and Practice located in the Washington D.C area, provides a concentrated immersion in object relations theory and therapy.

(CORE Program)

The Two-Year Certificate Program in Object Relations Theory and Practice is an in-person program in the Washington, D.C. area, providing concentrated immersion in object relations theory and practice. The program is designed in a modular, block-training format to accommodate both local professionals and those who commute to Washington. The two-year program consists of two 7-day summer conferences offered in late spring or early summer, and eight three-day weekend conferences over the course of two years. Video-link seminars are offered to facilitate learning continuity between the weekends and access to the Master Speaker Seminar Series is included at no extra cost.

Come study with internationally acclaimed object relations experts, IPI faculty, and other program participants.  Enhance your clinical learning through lectures, videos, case presentations by faculty and participants, and your small Affective Learning Group.

Program Date(s):

June 8, 2019

Program Components

Summer Institutes

Each program year begins with a summer institute, The summer on infant observation integrates infant studies and object relations theory as it applies to clinical work and the use of countertransference. The summer on theory reviews the major contributions of Klein, Balint, Bion, Bowlby, Guntrip, Segal, Sutherland, Winnicott and more recent contributors, Bollas, Casement, Joseph, Mitchell, Ogden, Tustin, and Scharff and Scharff. IPI faculty teach the didactic content and lead small group discussions. The summer institute is restricted to those who enroll for the two-year program.

2019 Summer Institute
June 8-13

This institute will cover the basics of object relations theory from Kleinian and British Independent object relations points of view as applied to clinical practice.

2020 Summer Institute
June (TBD)

Infant Observation and Research Contributions to Object Relations Theory and Practice Infant observation, non-human primate research, attachment, and neuroscience research as applied to the use of containment and countertransference in clinical work.

Weekend Conferences

Each weekend features a guest contributor of international note whose work is at the leading edge of contemporary object relations theory. Advanced program participants are encouraged to prepare themselves as teachers by giving clinical presentations. At each weekend conference, the membership of the large group of the two-year program is enriched by the addition of weekend-only registrants, IPI faculty, and members of other IPI advanced certificate programs.

2019-2020 Weekend Conferences

Supervision and Personal Therapy

While supervision and personal therapy are not required for the two-year Object Relations Theory and Practice Program, supervision is recommended and available individually or in groups in cities with IPI faculty or anywhere by telephone or video link. Participants often undertake personal therapy by choice.

Telephone Seminar/Videoconference

Dates, times, and instructions for the telephone/videoconference seminar will be given to registered applicants.


Applicants should submit:

  • current C.V.
  • completed registration form
  • reference letter from a supervisor
  • application fee of $100 for the Object Relations Theory and Practice Program

IPI does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual preference or physical handicap. See this page for registration form and complete details about the application process.

Selection of Applicants

Participants are mental health professionals or advanced students who are accepted on the basis of their 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.

Tuition and Fees

Annual tuition is $3,160.

Annual tuition includes four 2.5-day conferences per year, one summer institute per year, an optional monthly one-hour telephone/videolink seminar for program students, and full IPI Membership.  Annual tuition also entitles students to attend the monthly Master Speaker videoconference series at no extra cost.

Program Chair

Sue Cebulko, Ph.D.

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