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Resident & Graduate Students Course Material

Sample Syllabi for Psychoanalytic Research Courses

For more information about this webpage, please contact APsaA member Andrew Gerber, M.D.

Process of Normal Development: Infancy to School Age
A one semester course taught to all first-year Harvard Child Psychiatry Fellows, to introduce them to both research-based and classical psychodynamic accounts of early development.

Process of Normal Development: Infancy to School Age

Early Development and Psychoanalytic Theory
A one semester course taught for the past ten years to second-year psychoanalytic candidates at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Early Development and Psychoanalytic Theory

Research Initiatives in Psychoanalysis
This syllabus is far-reaching in that it includes papers on research instruments, methodology, neuroscience and psychoanalysis, process and outcome studies of psychoanalytic treatments and naturalistic studies. It was written specifically to be relevant to those interested in the empirical basis of psychoanalysis.

Ray Levy's 8 Week Sample Research Syllabus

Psychoanalytic Research Primer for Psychoanalytic Candidates and Faculty
This syllabus was designed to give a short primer for psychoanalytic candidates and faculty members with no prior background in psychoanalytic research. The goals are to make participants more aware of the volume of existing work, particularly along the lines of research into process, outcome, and attachment. Readings are meant to emphasize the sophistication and clinical applicability of this work as well as methodological challenges which would benefit from the expertise and creativity of practicing analysts. This course has not yet been offered.

Andrew Gerber's 10 Week Psychoanalytic Research Syllabus

Psychotherapy Research course for psychiatric residents in a psychodynamically-oriented training program
This course has been taught for the past three years at the Weill Cornell Payne Whitney psychiatric residency in New York City to third year residents who are beginning to practice and be trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy but whose overall training model has been in evidence-based medicine.

The goal is to introduce both the importance of an evidence based psychotherapy model, discuss its current limitations (particularly in regards to excluding psychodynamic treatments), and to suggest a model for integrating an interest in evidence with the practice of dynamic therapy and psychoanalysis. Emphasis is placed on process and outcome research and a review, by major diagnosis, of the evidence for psychotherapy (particularly dynamic) in the treatment of mental illness.

Andrew Gerber's 7 week Psychotherapy Research Syllabus

Research Problems in Clinical Psychology
15 classes, 2 hours each, currently offered to clinical psychology graduate students of any year, but also suitable for psychology interns, psychiatry residents, or psychoanalytic institute candidates. This course utilizes contemporary research in psychopathology, psychotherapy process/outcome, program evaluation and psychological assessment as class readings to stimulate discussion in order to provide real world/pragmatic examples of these key concepts in an accessible/understandable context. Students will be able to demonstrate/communicate this understanding of applied clinical research methodology, key conceptual issues and contemporary research in written and oral formats.

Mark Hilsenroth's 15 week course "Research Problems in Clinical Psychology"

Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy
15 classes, 2 hours each, currently offered to 2nd, 3rd, 4th year Psychology Graduate Students, but also suitable for Psychology Interns, PGY 1-4 Residents, and Psychoanalytic Institute Candidates. The course is best for trainees that have begun to see psychotherapy patients as this personal clinical experience is vital to class discussion. The basic format of this course consists of review of (videotaped & transcript) applied clinical material, lecture, group discussion and in-class activities relevant to the content area being presented on any given day in the class. The class focus will include reviewing transcript and videotaped treatment interventions of various techniques utilized from a variety of sources. Then, discussion of these interventions with regard to theory, case conceptualization, technique, and research will be developed from this clinical material

Mark Hilsenroth's 15 week course "Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy"

Psychodynamic Theory, Therapy, and Research
15 classes, 3 hours each, currently offered to clinical psychology graduate students of any year, but also suitable for psychology interns, psychiatry residents, or psychoanalytic institute candidates. This seminar will educate students on contemporary what Psychodynamic Theory and Therapy is and is not, as we will review how various concepts have evolved over the last 100 years and are applicable to current clinical practice.

This course utilizes readings in contemporary Dynamic theory, research in psychopathology, psychotherapy process/outcome, program evaluation and psychological assessment to stimulate discussion in order to provide real world/pragmatic examples of these key concepts in an accessible/understandable context. We will also examine the integration of how contemporary Psychodynamic concepts overlap with current theoretical models from Development, Attachment, Learning, Cognition, Social, and even Behavioral perspectives Students will be able to demonstrate/communicate this understanding of applied clinical research methodology, key conceptual issues and contemporary research in written and oral formats.

Mark Hilsenroth's 15 week course "Psychodynamic Theory, Therapy, and Research"

The Scientific Basis of Psychotherapy
This syllabus was originally created for a graduate school course in psychotherapy research. It contains references for seminal papers in process and outcome research, offers papers with a historical view of the field and contains papers of original research.

Stuart Ablon's 11 week course "The Scientific Basis of Psychotherapy"

Introduction to the Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind
19 week course currently being taught to second year psychiatry residents at Weill Cornell Payne Whitney Clinic in New York City. The course is a research-linked introduction to the psychoanalytic model of the mind meant to frame the residents' concurrent training in psychodynamic psychotherapy and, more broadly, their introduction to a psychodynamic framework in contemporary psychiatry.

Elizabeth Auchincloss's 19 week course "Introduction to the Psychoanalytic Model of the Mind"

Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Neuroscience
This is a bibliography for a general course aimed at psychiatric residents linking psychoanalytic thinking and contemporary topics in cognitive neuroscience. The mission is to show that though emerging from different traditions and using vastly different vocabularies, these two fields address overlapping questions about cognition, affect, attention, and self-regulatory control.

Elizabeth Auchincloss's bibliography for a course on "Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Neuroscience"

Psychotherapy II - Technique, Theory, and Research
15 session graduate course for second year doctoral students in Clinical Psychology. 8-10 students meeting for three hours once-a-week. Seminar/discussion format. About 2,000 pages of reading. Currently being taught at the University of Tennessee.

Mike Nash's 15 session course "Psychotherapy: Technique, Theory, and Research"

Empirical Approaches to Psychoanalytic Thinking
Following a "critical thinking" model, this course addresses current controversies about the place of psychoanalysis among the sciences, particularly the interface and conflicts between clinical approaches and systematic empirical approaches. We discuss the current status in psychoanalysis of outcome research and process research.

Leon Hoffman's 12 session course

Psychoanalytic Research Sequence
Part 1 - The Underlying Logic of Clinical Psychoanalysis
Following a “critical thinking” model, this course addresses current controversies about the place of psychoanalysis among the sciences. Is it sui generis, one of the biological sciences, or is it a non-scientific intellectual endeavor? Usual scientific methods generate “public” raw data which can be scrutinized and re-evaluated by others in the field. How does one reconcile this scientific requirement with the case history method (i.e., inferences based on essentially “private” data)? In what way are recordings of sessions useful? What are the differences between the case history approach and the single-case research design method? What is the value for psychoanalysis and the mental health field of laboratory studies which evaluate (confirming or disconfirming) basic psychoanalytic concepts? The class discusses these questions as well as the current status in psychoanalysis of outcome research, process research, single-case design studies, and the implications for psychoanalysis of the “Empirically Supported Treatment” controversy.

Robert Galazter-Levy's and Arthur Nielsen's 6 session course

Doctorate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy/Analytical Psychology
This is a rather different syllabus for a psychoanalytic research methodology course run by the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK.

It is for a clinical doctorate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and analytical psychology, and deals more with clinical and conceptual research for small-scale practitioner-based research, rather than outcome studies, etc.

Nick Midgley's Curriculum


Honorary APsaA member Jonathan Shedler's Book Chapter
It was once easier to teach psychoanalytic concepts and treatment. There was greater consensus regarding essential principles, and trainees were more receptive to psychoanalytic thought. Now psychoanalysis is characterized by theoretical pluralism, subsuming diverse theories with different and sometimes contradictory assumptions. It is no longer clear how to offer beginners a balanced introduction to the field. Additionally, trainees are often exposed to high levels of disinformation early in their careers. Many hold highly inaccurate and highly pejorative preconceptions. They require an introduction to contemporary psychoanalytic thought that meets them where they are by addressing negative preconceptions, describing psychoanalytic concepts without jargon, and building bridges to empirical research and to other forms of therapy with which they may be more familiar. These chapters are intended as such an introduction.

Jonathan Shedler's book chapter on psychodynamic psychotherapy

Attachment Videos
List of attachment related videos