Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PPP) Videoconference

Distance Learning program to address important foundational psychodynamic concepts and techniques in individual psychotherapy.

 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for Fall 2024 – A Thorn in the Flesh: Trauma


General Overview

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an effective form of treatment, as shown in numerous studies involving thousands of patients. However, many clinicians have had little exposure to it in their post-graduate training.

This course is an eight-session seminar held by online video conference.  The seminar meets on Friday mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. US Eastern Time. The first hour is a lecture/discussion seminar designed around assigned readings.  The second hour is a discussion of a case presentation and the application of the theory, technique, and research findings that apply to the patient.

The seminar meets over the internet as a live class using a secure Zoom videoconference platform that can be used on any device: computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

This videoconference rotates through 4 Modules (1 per semester) on a cyclical basis. Participants can join at the beginning of any module.

Fall 2024 – A Thorn in the Flesh Trauma
Spring 2025 – There’s Always Something: Clinical Challenges and Dilemmas
Fall 2025 – The Therapeutic Frame
Spring 2026 – Generating Psychic Structure

For descriptions of each module visit the main Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program page.

Program Chair

Stephen Morris, PhD

Fall 2024 - A Thorn in the Flesh: Trauma

(Module III of the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program)

Psychodynamic trauma theories have evolved on the basis of two models, a psycho-economic model and an object relations model. To grasp the long-term consequences of trauma we need both models. In addition to the psychodynamic approach, successful treatment may include other interventions based upon neuroscience, upon an understanding of cultural contributions to the patient’s experience, and upon an understanding of the empirical research that supports the efficacy of a variety of treatment approaches.

In this module you will learn more about theories and techniques of treating trauma and about the empirical research that supports successful treatments.

You may enroll in this course even if you have never participated in a Psychodynamic Psychotherapy videoconference.

Program Date(s):

September 20, 2024 - December 20, 2024

Fall 2024 Course Schedule

9-11am on Fridays (US ET)

20 Sep
Trauma as a Thing, Nameless Nothing, No One, Nowhere
Sheila Hill, LCSW-C
27 Sep
Will This Night Never End: Dissociation and Trauma
Mike Stadter, PhD
18 Oct
Things Fall Apart: Traumatic Experience in the Body
Bryan Votaw, MA, LMHC
25 Oct
Two Bodies/One Mind: Finding the Disappeared Patient
Karen Fraley, LCSW, BCD
01 Nov
Words That Touch: The Therapist as Witness
Charles Ashbach, PhD
22 Nov
Scars on their Souls: The Aftermath of War
Mike Stadter, PhD
13 Dec
It Never Entered My Mind: Developmental Trauma
Sheila Hill, LCSW-C
20 Dec
Dark Contemplation: From Nightmares to Dreams
Jim Poulton, PhD

Educational Objectives


Fall 2024 – A Thorn in the Flesh: Trauma

  1. Explain the Freudian concept, “thorn in the flesh” and list two clinical examples.
  2. List two of the vital mental processes that “go missing” that Levine cites as clinical
  3. List two examples of the ways in which patients show that they are unable to represent an experience.
  4. Describe how memory can become embodied rather than represented.
  5. Give two examples of how trauma organizes the experience of self.
  6. Describe the phenomenon of discontinuous selves and the phenomenon of dissociation.
  7. Participants will be able to identify a patient in the grip of somatic overwhelm and a method of coping with it.
  8. Participants will be able to describe a patient’s use of concrete bodily experience.
  9. Participants will be able to describe 2 ways that a therapist protects a patient from sensorial and psychic overload in the clinical situation.
  10. Participants will be able to describe a clinical example of Winnicott’s theory of the fear of breakdown and describe two defenses that arise from this fear.
  11. Using an example, participants will be able to explain Winnicott’s technique of “holding” the fear of breakdown.
  12. List the eight “forms of knowing” in the process of witnessing that trauma work requires.
  13. List the first three foundational guidelines for treating psychic trauma.
  14. Describe a clinical example from your own case load that indicates your willingness as a therapist to engage, listen, be alive with the story of your patient’s trauma, and provide a safe space, a secure base from which to face the trauma together.
  15. Identify 3 challenges for clinicians in working with combat veterans.
  16. Give one example of a “leaning in” countertransference and one example of a “leaning away” countertransference.
  17. Describe Bion’s personal war trauma and explain how it influenced his theories.
  18. Explain “out of sight, out of mind” and list two clinical examples.
  19. Define ” unrepresented state” and list two clinical examples.
  20. Define “unseen wounds” and list two examples.
  21. List two reasons for a person’s inability to dream and two ways a clinician might respond to facilitate development and understanding.
  22. Explain two concepts from Bion that are central to understanding the role dreams play in waking and nighttime mental processing.
  23. Describe two ways in which dreaming helps to maintain and enhance psychological functioning.

Continuing Education Credit Hours

Each eight-session seminar provides 16 hours CE credit.


The IPI’s unique Group Affective Model of teaching and learning includes group processing of the material on both the cognitive level and the affective level. This experience is impossible to replace with study alone. Group dynamics evolve in the context of a secure frame which includes the expectation that group membership is stable. For these reasons, attendance is a vital part of the learning experience.

The IPI is an APA-approved provider of continuing education credit. APA has high standards and regularly audits all of our courses, objectives, and attendance records. The APA expects 100% attendance for a student to receive credit. One of the APA’s standards is that a student may not receive partial credit for a unit of instruction. For example, if the unit of instruction is a two-hour presentation (such as those in the Master Speaker Series or the Clinical Child and Family program), a student may not receive a CE certificate for attending just one hour of that class. If the unit of instruction is a module or semester (as in the PPP) a student may not receive credit for that module or semester unless they attend all of that semester’s classes. If a student must miss a class on a rare occasion, she or he is required to do make-up work. Once the semester has started, registration is closed. Attendance is taken at each class.

Each semester of the PPP consists of 8 two-hour classes, resulting in a total of 16 credits per semester.


Register for Fall 2024 videoconference: CLICK HERE
Registration will close Sept 19, 2023.

Tuition and Fees

Registration fee is $440.

Discounted registration for Full and Associate IPI Members $375.

Certificate Program students – make sure you are logged in before registering; your tuition already includes this module.


To apply for the full Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program, choose one of the following:

Academic Track Certificate Program Application

Clinical Track Certificate Program Application

Applications for the Academic Certificate or Clinical Certificate Program are now being accepted for Fall 2024 – Deadline to apply, Aug 1, 2024.

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

Stephen Morris -

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

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 authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education learning activities and maintains full responsibility for this program. This training qualifies for Category I continuing education units. 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 #SW-0299.
Participants are responsible for verifying that IPI CE credit is accepted by the licensing boards in their own states.