The Clinical Program on Psychotherapy Practice is a two-year certificate training program which offers an in-depth study of contemporary psychodynamic theories and their application to various models of psychotherapy. The unifying thread within curriculum is an understanding of the therapeutic relationship as a powerful force for healing.

The Program employs both didactic and experiential approaches to learning. Classes are lively and consist of lectures, group discussions, and clinical material provided by the faculty and students.  Experiential process groups provide an additional opportunity for learning in the “here and now” experience of the classroom. Graduates of the Clinical Program regularly report increased confidence in their work, a firmer theoretical base from which to practice, greater knowledge and flexibility with regards to technique, a life-long interest in learning about psychodynamic theory and practice, and a close-knit community of colleagues and friends with whom to prosper professionally and personally.


The first year of the Program provides students with a solid grounding in psychodynamic theory and practice.  The second year introduces alternative models of treatment (brief, couples, group) as well as special topics such as dreams and infant observation.  “Reflection/Integration” classes are held at the end of each semester to integrate material learned thus far in the program.  Coursework covers the following subject areas:   

Assessment: Assessing clients from a psychodynamic perspective — going beyond simply observing symptoms to the exploration of intrapsychic processes, capacities and vulnerabilities.

Psychodynamic Theory: Theories taught in the approximate order they were conceived to provide a firm foundation for practice:  ego psychology, object relations theory, self psychology, attachment theory, relational theory, trauma, and existential theory.

Phases of Treatment: Courses in Beginning Phase, Middle Phase and Termination which note the special importance and specific attributes of each phase of treatment.

Group Psychotherapy: Theories related to group work as well as a “here and now” experience in a process group.

Couples Psychotherapy: An exploration of intrapsychic and interpersonal processes within couples and the use of this understanding to inform treatment.

Brief Psychotherapy: Principles of brief therapy from a contemporary object relations perspective, with a special emphasis on the therapist’s use of self and the therapeutic relationship.

Infant Observation;  Listening, Observing and Containing: The close observation of an infant to enhance skills related to listening, observing and containing within the practice of adult psychotherapy.

Dreams and the Unconscious: An exploration into what dreams reveal about the nature of the unconscious, what role they play in the therapeutic process, and how they may be used to deepen the intensity and meaning of psychotherapy.

Neuroscience: An introduction to current theories of brain functioning and their relevance to the treatment of mental illness. 

Psychopharmacology: An introduction to the various classes of psychopharmacological medications and their use in conjunction with psychotherapy.

Thinking Multi-culturally: A day-long exploration of issues related to diversity and the experience of otherness, including thinking more deeply, as clinicians, about working with clients who are different from ourselves.

Sexual and Gender Diversity: A day long exploration of issues related to gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual/relational/erotic expression. 



During the first year of the program, students receive 30 hours of weekly supervision in individual psychotherapy. During the second year, students receive 25 hours of supervision in individual psychotherapy and 25 hours of supervision in a modality of their choice (couples, group, or brief psychotherapy). WSP’s Meyer Treatment Center may be able to provide clients for students; however, this is not guaranteed.


Classes meet on Thursday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30pm and 7:30 to 9:30pm with a one hour break for dinner. Classes begin the Thursday after Labor Day and conclude in mid-May.

All classes will be held virtually for 2020-21.

Eligibility and Selection

Students are expected to have a graduate degree in a mental health field, some knowledge of psychodynamic theory, and some experience conducting psychotherapy. Admission to the Program is by application, interview, and professional references. Personal psychotherapy is strongly recommended. An incoming class is composed of a maximum of twelve students. For further information, contact Carolyn Curcio, MSW at or 202-250-0622. 


“The program has greatly exceeded my expectations…a wide range of treatment modalities and practices are taught in an atmosphere of collegiality and openness…Last but not least the relationships with my fellow students have provided a valued network of professional colleagues and personal friends.” - recent alumnus

“Being a part of CPPP and the WSP family has been a career elevating experience. Beware–this kind of learning experience is highly addictive and will forever inform your practice of psychotherapy.” – recent alumnus

“I have the opportunity periodically to teach outside of the DC area. When I mention my WSP affiliation, I am consistently impressed by the reputation that the Washington School of Psychiatry enjoys nationally and internationally.” – current faculty member


Annual tuition is $2,300. Tuition is billed each year. Payment installments may be arranged through the administrative office.
Supervision is $75 per session.
Most reading materials are provided online. A few books are required to be purchased.

Limited scholarship money may be available, based on need and merit.


Carolyn Curcio, MSW, Chair

Steering Committee:

Andrew Carroll, PsyD
Leyla Kenny, PhD
Margo London, MSW
Marilyn Meyers, PhD
Shoba Nayar, MSW
Jane Prelinger, MSW
Michael Stadter, PhD

Additional Faculty:

Sally Bloom-Feshbach, PhD
Kirsten Chadwick, PhD                
Patricia Davis, MSW
Molly Donovan, PhD
Megan Flood, MSW
Lee Futrovsky, PhD
Jennifer Grosman, PhD
Jaedene Levy, MSW
Randall O'Toole, MSW
William Pinney, PhD
Janna Sandmeyer, PhD
Kimberly Satin Kubler, MSW
Philip A. Seibel, MD
Jonathan C. Stillerman, PhD
Barry J. Wepman, PhD



The Washington School of Psychiatry

5028 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016-4118

Call us at 202-237-2700 or 202-537-6050

Celebrating its 84th year, the School is an accredited provider of post-graduate continuing education.

The Washington School of Psychiatry is an independent non-profit organization. It is not affiliated with the government of the District of Columbia or the government of the United States.

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