Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

A post-graduate program in contemporary psychodynamic theory and therapeutic technique designed to develop clinical competency in working with patients from an object relations/intersubjective approach.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program (PPP)
An Advanced Program of Current Theory and Technique

Meets online using Zoom videoconference on Two Fridays Per Month from 9-11 a.m. US Eastern Time

The Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program (PPP) is a post-graduate program in contemporary psychodynamic theory and therapeutic technique designed to develop clinical competency in working with patients from an object relations/intersubjective approach.  Participants may opt to participate in three ways, depending on their resources, availability, focus, and desired level of educational and clinical commitment.

Participants span all levels of clinical experience but should have prior exposure to psychodynamic theories and practice.

Each semester includes 16 CE credits of reading seminars and clinical case discussions taught using a two way video link. The seminars are led by an IPI faculty member using IPI’s unique teaching method, the Group Affective Model (GAM). The GAM approach helps the participants link theory and technique to the feelings stirred up by the experience of learning.

Beginning Date: Two Semesters begin in September and January annually

Program Components

PPP has 3 Tracks

Didactic Participation
Readings and clinical case presentations only

Academic Certification
The didactic seminars plus 1 summer institute and 1 IPI weekend conference.

Clinical Certification
The academic track plus clinical supervision

The didactic track may be taken one semester at a time. The academic and clinical tracks require a four semester commitment. The didactic reading and case seminar meets twice a month for two hours: one hour is a discussion of an assigned reading; the other hour is a discussion of a clinical case presentation by a seminar participant.

Current Semester

Module I: The Therapeutic Frame

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.

The Fall 2019 didactic seminar is designed to give you a deep understanding of some important foundational psychodynamic concepts and techniques, including how to think like a psychodynamic therapist, how to understand and formulate cases, how to set up the treatment to facilitate deep work, and how to focus in therapy on the processes that facilitate change. Readings and case presentations will form the basis of our discussions. You will also experience IPI’s unique way of integrating cognitive and affective responses to the material.

Fall 2019 Didactic Seminar Schedule

The Therapeutic Frame (Register using link under "Application Information" section below)

13 Sep
Psychotherapy or Psychoanalysis?
20 Sep
Creating the Therapeutic Environment I
11 Oct
The Psychodynamic Sensibility
25 Oct
Creating the Therapeutic Environment II
01 Nov
Case Formulation I
22 Nov
Case Formulation II
13 Dec
An IPI Attitude
20 Dec
Therapeutic Action

Educational Objectives

Course Objectives for the Fall 2019 Didactic Seminar

At the conclusion of this program:

  1. Participants will be able to describe one difference between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
  2. Participants will be able to discuss one aspect of the experience of listening to a patient’s narrative on two levels (conscious and unconscious) at the same time.
  3. Participants will be able to:
    • report two observations of their experience of listening to their own and their patients’ body sensations as these are manifested in session;
    • explain how these sensations represent primitive mental states (the autistic-contiguous position).
  4. Participants will be able to define the term “break in the frame” and list 3 examples of this.
  5. Participants will be able to:
    • Explain how and why the pronouns a patient uses can help a clinician assess the patient’s level of psychological functioning;
    • explain one indicator of difficulty;
    • create a formulation of the work to be undertaken.
  6. Participants will be able to discuss one indication of a patient’s sense of self-awareness or its absence.
  7. Participants will be able to describe two examples of a movie, TV show, novel, song, or comic strip that illustrates a situation similar to a patient’s narrative.
  8. Participants will be able to compare the experience of listening with benevolence to the experience of listening with fear.

Course Requirements

All participants working toward certification in the academic or clinical tracks will attend one two-day summer institute taught via video link. The summer institute experience will include participation in a Group Affective Model (GAM) group.

All participants working toward certification in the academic or clinical tracks must attend one program-designated IPI training weekend in person during the second year of the program at which they will participate in a GAM group comprised of PPP participants.

All participants working toward certification in the academic or clinical tracks must complete sixty-four hours of video seminars.

Didactic seminars of 2 hours each session meet bi-monthly for eight months each year (total 32 hours per year)

  • Each seminar will include a one hour case presentation by a program participant and a discussion of the case by participants and a discussant.
  • Participants who have prior completion of a PPP mini-series may apply that seminar work to a portion of the academic requirements with the approval of the Program Director.
  • Participants who have been in supervision with a member of the IPI National Faculty may apply 35 hours of that prior supervision to the requirements for clinical proficiency certification.

Academic Track Requirements:

  • 64 hours of seminars
  • 16 hours in the summer institute
  • 16 hours during an IPI weekend conference

Total: 96 hours

Clinical Track Requirements:

  • Complete the academic requirements
  • Complete either two individual supervisions of 35 hours each or two paired supervisions of 50 hours each. Participants in this track will receive supervision at a reduced fee from PPP faculty.
  • Personal therapy is not a requirement for completion of the program. However, because a certificate of proficiency is awarded at its completion, individual participants may be required to enter treatment to address personal issues if, in the judgment of the program steering committee, those issues are interfering with the quality of the participant’s clinical work.
  • Total 96 hours academic and 70 or 100 hours of supervision.

Summer Institute and Seminar

The summer institute is designed to take the students from an understanding of drive theory through object relations theory and technique with an emphasis on the contemporary importance of the work of both Donald Winnicott and Wilfred Bion, and on to the contemporary object-relations/intersubjective approach. The emphasis will be on understanding the theory and technique of working with both developmental and event-based trauma.

In the summer institute and in the seminars, we will be working toward the development of the therapeutic skill of thinking concretely and symbolically at the same time. That is the skill of thinking that underlies the capacity to develop and maintain an analytic sensitivity no matter the frequency or duration of treatment and no matter the disruptions in the frame. The seminar assignments will be heavily weighted with readings from the recent literature paired with classical texts: Winnicott with Ogden, Bion with Ferro, Klein with Steiner, and Bion with Adrienne Harris, for example.


The academic certification requirements may be taken in any order and must be completed within three years of entering the program.

The clinical certification requirements must be met within four years.

Continuing Education Credit

  • 16 credit hours per semester for the reading and clinical case seminars
  • Additional credit for the Academic and Clinical tracks is awarded on an hour for hour basis for the track components
  • Academic and Clinical Track annual two-day institute: 16 credit hours
  • IPI Weekend Conference: approximately 14 credit hours


Didactic Videoconference Seminar Only – Open registration each semester.  Deadline for Fall 2019 registration is September 3, 2019.

Academic/Clinical Track Application formApplications are now being accepted for enrollment in the next Academic and Clinical Certification class, scheduled to begin in fall 2019.  Application deadline is August 23, 2019

Tuition and Fees

The total program cost is a sum of the components required by the separate tracks:

  • Didactic Reading and Case Seminar: $428 per semester
  • Academic and Clinical Track annual two-day institute: $428
  • IPI Weekend Conference (academic and clinical tracks): $497
  • Supervision: $75 per hour

Program Chair

Stephen Morris, Ph.D.

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

Stephen Morris -