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Clinical Program on Psychotherapy Practice

Carolyn Curcio, MSW, Chair

"The Clinical Program transformed me as a clinician. Not only did I get a firm grounding in theory; but, I was shown meaningful and thoughtful ways to deepen my work with individuals and couples. My clients and I have both benefited from this program." — Clinical Program Graduate

The Clinical Program on Psychotherapy Practice is a two-year certificate training program which provides an in-depth study of contemporary psychodynamic theories and their application to various models of psychotherapy. The underlying thread unifying the 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 generally consist of lectures, group discussions, clinical material provided by the faculty, and case presentations by students.  Process groups provide an additional opportunity for learning by attending to the “here and now” experiences of the classroom.

Graduates of the Clinical Program regularly report (as in the earlier quote) 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 which serve to integrate the material learned during that semester and previous semesters.  Coursework covers the following subject areas:

Enhances students’ capacity to assess their patients from a psychodynamic perspective, going beyond simply observing symptoms to exploring intrapsychic processes, capacities and vulnerabilities.
Psychodynamic Theory:
The curriculum presents theories in the approximate order they were conceived in order to provide continuity for thinking psychodynamically as well as providing a firm foundation for practice:  ego psychology, object relations theory, developmental theory, self psychology, attachment theory, and existential theory.
Phases of Treatment:
Courses in Beginning Phase, Middle Phase and Termination note the special importance and specific attributes of each phase of treatment.
Group Psychotherapy:
Theories related to group work combined with the theoretical concepts in the “here and now” experience of process groups.
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.
Thinking Multiculturally:
Exploring feelings about diversity and the experience of otherness and 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.
Infant Observation:  Listening, Observing and Containing
An opportunity to closely observe an infant in order 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.
Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy:
Enhances greater comfort and skill in dealing with the most frequently presented sexual issues in psychotherapy.
An introduction to current theories of brain functioning and their relevance to the treatment of mental illness. 
An introduction to the various classes of psychopharmacological medications and their use in conjunction with psychotherapy.


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.


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.
Supervision is $75 per session.
Books and materials are not included.

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


Carolyn Curcio, MSW, Chair

Steering Committee

Lee E. Futrovsky, PhD
Margo London, MSW
Marilyn Meyers, PhD
Shoba Nayar, MSW
Jane Prelinger, MSW
Michael Stadter, PhD

Additional Faculty

Sally Bloom-Feshbach, PhD
Richard Chefetz, MD
Patricia Davis, MSW
Megan Flood, MSW
Jennifer Grosman, PhD
Leyla Kenny, PhD
Jaedene Levy, MSW
Shelley Rockwell, PhD
Janna Sandmeyer, PhD
Kimberly Satin Kubler, MSW
Philip A. Seibel, MD
Carolyn Shank, MSW
Jonathan C. Stillerman, PhD
Barbara Wayne, PhD
Barry J. Wepman, PhD


Guest Faculty

Andrew Carroll, PhD
Kirsten Chadwick, PhD
Linda McGhee, PsyD

Scholarship Application

WSP has very limited scholarship funds. However we will try to help students with a payment plan and scholarship where possible.

About the
Washington School of Psychiatry

Celebrating its 80th year, the School is an accredited provider of post-graduate continuing education.

The Meyer Treatment Center provides low cost access to mental health services. It is an out-of-network facility for insurance purposes.

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.

Location and Telephone

5028 Wisconsin Ave NW #400
Washington DC 20016

202-537-6050 Treatment Center

202-237-2700 School

202-237-2730 Fax




Washington School of Psychiatry

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The Washington School of Psychiatry is a registered 501(c)3 charity.​