Object Relations Theory and Practice


Two-Year Program in
Object Relations Theory and Practice

(CORE Program)

Beginning June

Chair: Sue Cebulko Ph.D.

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Program Overview

The Two-Year Certificate Program in Object Relations Theory and Practice provides a concentrated immersion in object relations theory and therapy in the Washington DC area. 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. Telephone seminars are offered as an ongoing link between the weekends and access to the Videoconference Seminar Series is also offered at no extra cost.

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


Applicants should submit:
  • current C.V.
  • a completed registration form
  • and an 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 General Information for registration form and complete details about the application process.


The Theory and Practice Certificate is earned upon completion of the national two-year core program in Object Relations Theory and practice (approximately 200 credit hours).

Selection of Applicants

Participants are mental health professionals or students who are accepted on the basis of 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. Participants who also wish to enroll in the Clinical Application Program must be licensed or license-eligible.

Summer Conferences

Our Sumer Conferences begin our program year. On even years, the focus is on the integration of infant studies and object relations theory in application to clinical work and on the use of countertransference. On odd years, the program offers an immersion in Kleinian and British Independent group theoretical constructs and technical approaches to psychotherapy. We read Balint, Bion, Bowlby, Guntrip, Segal, Sutherland, Winnicott and more recent contributors, Bollas, Casement, Joseph, Mitchell, Ogden, Tustin, and Scharff and Scharff. The curriculum is taught by faculty who also lead small group discussion and by additional guest presenters. The summer institute is restricted to those who enroll for the two-year program.

2018 Summer Institute

June 9-15

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

2019 Summer Institute

June (TBD)

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

Supervision and Personal Therapy

While supervision and 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 videolink. Faculty will be offering group supervision by telephone for participants in order to facilitate clinical application of object relations theory. 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.

Tuition and Fees

(Summer institute and 4 weekend conferences annually beginning June) Annual tuition is $4,390 and includes full IPI Membership. Approximately 200 credit hours.

Weekend Conferences

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 theoretical discussion papers and 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 who then participate in their own weekend-only small groups and the large group plenary review meeting.

2017-2018 Weekend Dates:

October 6-8, 2017   Guest Presenter: Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (in psychiatry) Columbia University
November 10-12, 2017  Date (TBD) IPI Faculty
February 2-4, 2018   Child, Couple & Family conference with optional pre-conference Thursday Feb 1st
April 27-29, 2018    Guest Presenter: Lee Jaffe, Ph.D., Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, President-elect of the American Psychoanalytic Association

2018-2019 Weekend Dates:

October 2018   TBD 
November 9-11, 2018  Ricardo Lombardi
February 1-3, 2019   Claudio Eizirik
 April 2019 TBD