Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program

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Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program (PPP)

An Advanced Program of Current Theory and Technique

Chair: Sheila Hill, M.S.W.

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Taught by Zoom Videoconference on Two Fridays Per Month from 9-11 ET 

The Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program (PPP) is a post-graduate program in contemporary psychodynamic theory and therapeutic technique designed to develop clincial competency in working with patients from an object relations/intersubjective approach.

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.

PPP has 3 Tracks

  • Didactic Participation
    Readings and clinical cas 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. We will meet 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.

Fall 2018 Schedule
A Thorn in the Flesh: Trauma


The understanding and treatment of developmental, man-made, and natural traumatic experiences is the major and defining clinical focus for both therapist and patient in contemporary psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.
Becoming aware of and learning to use the emotional, cognitive, and biosocial forces that operate on a subcortical level of both brain and psyche is a demanding and important aspect of the training of all mental health clinicians.
Successful treatment must include the therapist's understanding of the neuroscience and cultural contributions to the patient's experience of traumatic events. It must also include knowledge and understanding of the empirical research that supports the efficacy of a variety of treatment interventions and approaches.
This program is designed to teach an understanding of the theories and techniques of the treatment of trauma and the empirical research that supports successful treatments.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the concept of "kindling" taken from biological research and apply the concept to traumatic experiences.
  • Define dissociative structuring of the mind and demonstrate the ability to adjust procedures, processes, and interpretations as they affect assessment processes and clinical responses.
  • List the steps in the process of witnessing and explain the difference between witnessing and listening with a particular attention to the practitioner's non avoidance of the patient's trauma related experiences
  • Define "passage into action" and identify the difference between "passage into action" and enactment.
  • List three action interventions for a clinical situation and demonstrate an ability to assess their impact and three ways a clinician might respond to facilitate development.
  • List five examples of somatic manifestations of traumatic stress.
  • Define traumatic helplessness and its clinical implications.
  • List two reasons for a person's inability to dream and two ways a clinician might respond to facilitate development and understanding.


September 14, 2018                                                              Sheila Hill, LCSW, BCD
Trauma as a Thing, No Thing, No One, Nowhere
September 28, 2018                                                              Mike Stadter, PhD
Will this Night Never End: Dissociation and Trauma
October 19, 2018                                                                   Patrizia Pallaro, LCMFT, BC-DMT
Words that Touch: The Therapist as Witness
October 26, 2018                                                                    Mike Stadter, PhD
No Good Choice: The Aftermath of War
November 16, 2018                                                                Michael Kaufman, LCPC
Alternative to Words: The Action Therapies
November 30, 2018                                                                Patrizia Pallaro, LCMFT, BC-DMT
Two Bodies/One Mind
Finding the Diasappeared Patient 
December 14, 2018                                                                  Sheila Hill, LCSW, BCD; Steven B. Morris, PhD
It Never Entered My Mind: Developmental Trauma
December 21, 2018                                                                  Jim Poulton, PhD
Dark Contemplation: From Nightmares to Dreams


Didactic Track Registration form 

Academic/Clinical Track Application form (Applications will be accepted in summer 2019 for enrollment in the next Academic and Clinical Certification class, scheduled to begin in fall 2019)

CE Credit and Tuition

16 CE hours per semester for the reading and clinical case seminars

$360 per semester

$75 per hours of supervision

Program Requirements

All participants working toward certification 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 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 must complete sixty-four hours of video seminars. 

  • Seminars of 2 hours each 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 participated in the 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 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 judgement of the program steering committee, those issues are interfering with the quality of their 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. 


Should you have any questions about the program or the application process, please feel free to contact Sheila Hill, LiCSW, Chair, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.