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Psychodynamic Training Program

Required Training for Clinical Psychology, PsyD

Coursework and Practicum

All students in the clinical program receive broad exposure to psychodynamic therapy in the form of four didactic courses: Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Object Relations Therapy, and Self Psychology. All students must complete the Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Therapy in their first year, and then either interpersonal or self psychology in their second year depending on which student group one is in. After completing two psychodynamic courses, students are eligible to participate in the psychodynamic practicum (called a lab) starting their third year. Students interested in concentrated psychodynamic training may elect to take a PD psychotherapy practicum for their required third-year lab and an Advanced PD psychotherapy lab for their required fourth-year lab toward the fulfillment of the required two-year psychotherapy practicum. Students starting their psychodynamic practicum must take the remaining two of those PD theory of intervention courses not already selected within the same school year. 

Practicum Experience

Students enrolled in the Individual Psychodynamic Practica are assigned individual psychotherapy patients from the Parnes Psychology Clinic. The patient diagnoses may include a range of personality disorders, as well as past substance abuse and/or hospitalizations.  There are additionally patients whose complaints are relationship difficulties, family difficulties, and sequelae from trauma.  Patients from the Parnes Clinic are diverse in socioeconomics, ethnicity, sexual orientation, possible disability, and therapeutic issues. While every student in the Psychodynamic Training Program is exposed to classical theoretical concepts, the thrust of the practica is on contemporary psychoanalysis. This includes a focus on the exploration and use of the therapeutic relationship in the here and now, the affective interactions of the therapeutic dyad, unconscious communication, and the use of the therapist's self to illuminate the dynamics of the therapy. The lab is a small group, generally six students plus the instructor (a senior psychoanalytic faculty member), who develop a safe atmosphere in which to discuss any issues of the patient, the therapist, the therapeutic dyad and the supervisory experience. We train students to use contemporary conceptualizations of transference and countertransference as some of the primary material in the sessions as well as to observe and utilize the process and flow of continuity and disruption between the therapeutic dyad. Students receive three hours of weekly supervision for treating 3-4 patients: one hour in an individual format with an off-site supervisor and two hours in a group format through the practicum labs.  All instructors are graduates of psychoanalytic institutes and active in writing, presenting, and practicing in psychodynamic psychotherapy.  All off-site supervisors have significant postdoctoral training in various orientations within psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Students may also further extend their training by enrolling in other elective PD courses offered at the school (for example, Dreams in Psychotherapy taught by Dr. Aviram), and by completing externships that specialize in psychodynamic training.  

Clinical Research Experience

Clinical research is facilitated through the psychodynamic program in the areas of trauma, geropsychology, supervision issues, multicultural issues and experiences, and diverse couples and family investigations, identity issues, therapy process, and others including issues of those seeking asylum.  A student is paired with a psychodynamic faculty member whom the student has requested and who agrees to work with the student.  The student and faculty member then work on developing the research project together.

These areas of research are facilitated through two semesters of research seminars that eventually lead to Doctoral Research Projects I and II: 

  • PSC 6520, PSC 6528:  Effective Psychotherapists: An Integrative Approach I and II, Dr. Catherine Eubanks
  • PSC 6474, PSC 6575: Psychotherapy Research and Training I and II: Dr. Katie Aafjes-van Doorn
  • PSC 6576, PSC 6577: Psychodynamic Process of Trauma I and II: Dr. Vera Békés
  • PSC 6529, PSC 6530:  Research in Depression and Personality Disorder in Older Adults I and II, Dr. Richard Zweig

Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Therapy
PSC 6486 (Dr. Katie Aafjes-van Doorn) 

This course will further develop your understanding of psychodynamic psychotherapy, including the theoretical foundation, clinical application and empirical research for this treatment approach. Core principles of psychodynamic psychotherapy and the varieties of psychodynamic practice will be covered, with an emphasis on individual work with adults. Students will be introduced to the empirical support for a selection of psychodynamic psychotherapies that have robust research evidence backing. Emphasis will be on developing a psychodynamic perspective and an appreciation for the importance of psychodynamic psychotherapy research. For some of the students this might be only class on psychodynamic therapy so I try to cover the background/theory as well as give you a flavor of an array of evidence-based dynamic treatments. This is not a therapy practice course. Although you will be shown clinical vignettes, I won’t expect you to be able to practice psychodynamically after completing the course; the aim is to introduce you to the different evidence-based psychodynamic psychotherapies, and their research evidence.

  • Core Courses

  • Interpersonal and Relational Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
    PSC 6498 (Dr. Katie Aafjes-van Doorn)

    This is an in-depth exploration of the process of psychotherapy from an Interpersonal and Relational viewpoint. Beginning with the writings of H.S. Sullivan, we will discuss basic key concepts, and methods that form the basis of contemporary relational psychoanalytic approaches. Included will be discussions of transference and countertransference, the basic inquiry, therapeutic use of the self, working in the here and now, contributions of attachment and field theory, dissociation, neutrality, intersubjectivity, and strategies of intervention.

  • Object Relations Therapy
    PSC 6175 (Ron Aviram, Ph.D.)

    The Object Relations Theory and Therapy course will familiarize students with the major theories that were developed primarily by the British Independent group of psychoanalysts in the first half of the twentieth century.  These object relations theories influenced the evolution of psychoanalysis.  A major contemporary trend known as relational psychoanalysis is a direct outgrowth of the writings of those early psychoanalysts.  The course will discuss the early contributors to Object Relations Theory, including Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, W.R.D. Fairbairn, Harry Guntrip, D.W. Winnicott, and John Bowlby.  Each class will integrate clinical material that will be discussed in the context of that day's reading material.  In addition to the early contributors to object relations theory, we will read and discuss the work of contemporary writers who have been directly influenced by the early object relations psychoanalysts.  These writers include Christopher Bollas, Thomas Ogden, David Scharff and Jill Savage Scharff, and Stephen Mitchell. We will continuously make an effort to understand how theory influences our clinical applications using clinical material from recent and ongoing cases.
  • Self Psychology 
    PSC 6491 (Dr. Vera Békés)

    Self Psychology, a form of psychoanalytic theory developed by Heinz Kohut, focuses on the vicissitudes and disturbances of self-experience in therapy and in life.  One of its major concepts is the self-object, a term referring to other people on whom the person's self-experience depends.  After reviewing basic psychoanalytic concepts, the course focuses on Kohut's modification of the classical psychoanalytic theory, self-psychological understanding of psychological problems, psychopathology, and their treatment in psychotherapy. Contemporary developments based on Kohut's initial formulations are also discussed, as well as criticisms of self-psychology within contemporary psychoanalysis.
  • Optional Courses
  • Clinical Concepts in Couples and Family Therapy
    PSC 6463 (Ruthie Israeli, M.S.)

    This course covers an analysis of couples' and families' healthy functioning and malfunctioning.  Students examine mate selection, some theories of technique, and techniques from a variety of couples and family therapy perspectives including: Interpersonal Psychoanalytic-Systemic; Emotion Focused, Object-relational; Bowenian Systems; Structural; and Neuroscience views.

  • Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Lab I (Multiple Instructors)
  • Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Lab II (Multiple Instructors)
  • Advanced Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Lab I (Multiple Instructors)
  • Advanced Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Lab II (Multiple Instructors)

A highlight of our program is the significant amount of supervision that students in the Psychodynamic Practicum receive. For individual psychotherapy, each student is paired with a licensed clinical psychologist for weekly supervision that takes place at supervisors' private offices

Group supervision is also provided in a weekly, two-hour lab. The lab group consists of approximately five students and is led by a clinical professor who is also a practicing psychoanalytically oriented therapist, and graduate of a psychoanalytic institute. All adjunct clinical professors have also received extensive postdoctoral training and are graduates of highly esteemed psychoanalytic institutes. Clinical supervisors associated with the psychodynamic labs are also practicing therapists with extensive experience in treating patients using psychodynamic approach.These include the William Alanson White Institute, the New York University Post Doctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, National Institute for the Psychotherapies, and Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. 

Co-Directors, Psychodynamic Training Program

Dr. Katie Aafjes-van Doorn and Dr. Vera Békés

Core Faculty

  • Dr. Katie Aafjes-van Doorn
  • Dr. Vera Békés
  • Dr. Catherine Eubanks
  • Dr. Richard Zweig


  • Dr. David Abrams
  • Dr. Richard Angle 
  • Dr. Carl Auerbach
  • Dr. Lauren Atlas 
  • Dr. Ron Aviram
  • Dr. Victoria Azara
  • Dr. William Baker
  • Dr. Rachel Bloom  
  • Dr. Alex Camargo 
  • Dr. Ellen Carni 
  • Dr. Illene Cohen 
  • Dr. Nancy Dallek 
  • Dr. Patricia Goodman
  • Dr. David Gordon
  • Dr. Elizabeth Groisser 
  • Dr. John Gregory
  • Dr. Nava Kaplan 
  • Dr. Rachel Karnovsky
  • Dr. Matthew Korner
  • Dr. Sandy Krohn 
  • Dr. Steven Kuchuck
  • Dr. Eli Mayer
  • Dr. Nora Moore 
  • Dr. Marc Rehm
  • Dr. Bruna Rieder
  • Dr. Chaya Rubin
  • Dr. William Salton
  • Dr. Hilary Siegel
  • Dr. Donna Silbert
  • Dr. Leslie Warfield

For more information about the PD training program please email or

To make a patient referral or schedule an intake evaluation for the psychodynamic program, please contact the Parnes Clinic at 646.592.4399 or email

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