Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

This program is geared for 2-year Object Relations Theory and Practice program graduates (or the equivalent) who desire advanced training in couple treatment.

Psychoanalytic couple therapy is a challenging endeavor and a useful, rewarding area of clinical practice. The didactic content of the program covers assessment and consultation with couples, establishing and maintaining a couple perspective in treatment, understanding and utilizing the therapist’s countertransference responses, and dealing with common challenges in couple work such as polarizing identifications, aggression in couples, differing degrees of motivation for treatment, and couples with trauma histories. Although this program is primarily targeted for those psychotherapists seeing couples in treatment, child psychotherapists may find it helpful as well in addressing parenting issues and understanding the effect of the couple relationship on the child.

Includes both in-person and distance learning components.

Program process and content are consistent with IPI policies regarding inclusivity and sensitivity to issues of cultural, racial, LGBTQ, ethnic and religious equality.

To receive a certificate, all educational requirements of the program must be met; however, clinicians may participate in aspects of the program without enrolling in the program to pursue the couple therapy certificate.

Beginning Date(s):

Two semesters: Beginning new classes September 29, 2021 and January 12, 2022

Program Chair

Carla Trusty-Smith, PhD

Program Components

Students enrolled in the Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy Certificate Program need to complete all of these requirements to receive a certificate.

  • attend Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy online 1-day introductory course
  • complete 6 semesters of the Foundations In Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy distance learning series by video or phone link
  • attend 2 couple, child, and family summer institutes*
  • join us for 1 IPI child, couple, and family weekend conference*
  • demonstrate competency in three supervised couple cases (35 hours each)
  • present a couple case to peers
  • meet with an advisor bi-annually
  • complete 2 years of twice weekly psychoanalytically-based psychotherapy (or analysis).

*Affective small groups will take place during the summer institute and the IPI weekend conference.

Program Faculty

Norma Caruso PhD
IPI Program Faculty

Hanni Mann-Shalvi PhD
Adjunct Faculty

Damian McCann D.Sys
Psych Adjunct Faculty

Elizabeth Palacios MD
Adjunct Faculty

Jim Poulton PhD
IPI Program Faculty

David Scharff MD
IPI Program Faculty

Jill Scharff MD
IPI Program Faculty

Amita Sehgal PhD
Adjunct Faculty

Caroline Sehon MD
IPI Program Faculty

Anastasia Tsamparli PhD
Adjunct Faculty

Carla Trusty-Smith PhD
IPI Program Faculty

Janine Wanlass PhD
IPI Program Faculty

Rich Zeitner PhD
Adjunct Faculty

Continuing Education Credit Hours

CE Credits are awarded on an hour-per-hour basis for participation in the Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy Video course, the 1-day introductory course, child, couple and family weekend conferences, and the summer institutes.

  • Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy online 1-day introductory course provides 6 CE Credits
  • Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy distance learning series provides 14-16 CE credits per semester.
  • IPI Weekend Conferences provide approximately 14 CE credits each.
  • Summer Institutes vary in the amount of CE credit offered. The number of continuing education hours will be stated in each institute description when scheduled.


Prospective students must have completed the IPI Object Relations Theory and Practice Program (or its equivalent), and have an interest in advanced couple therapy training


To apply for enrollment in the Psychoanalytic Couples Therapy Program complete the online registration form.


Register for the Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couples Therapy distance learning series here.

Register for the Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy online 1-day introductory course here.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is a sum of the fees for the individual course components:

  • $180 for Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy 1-day introductory course ($153 for Associate and Full Members)
  • $360 per semester ($316 for IPI Full and Associate Members) for the Foundations of Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy videoconference
  • $497 advance registration fee for weekend conferences (Member Discount: $410 for IPI Associate Members; $359 for IPI Full Members)
  • Summer Institute registration fees will be announced when scheduled

Limited scholarship funds are available for this training:

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:

Carla Trusty-Smith -

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.