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Washington School of Psychiatry

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. Tuition is billed each year.
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

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
Mary Fitzgerald, MSW        
Megan Flood, MSW
Lee Futrovsky, PhD
Jennifer Grosman, PhD
Jaedene Levy, MSW
Randall O'Toole, MSW
William Pinney, PhD
Shelley Rockwell, PhD
Janna Sandmeyer, PhD
Kimberly Satin Kubler, MSW
Philip A. Seibel, MD
Jonathan C. Stillerman, PhD
Kara Veigas, MSW
Barbara Wayne, PhD
Barry J. Wepman, PhD


To Apply

Complete an application form, available at the School website, Choose the training programs link to download the form. Enclose the application fee of $50 and the requested background information.

1. Send the application by post to Washington School of Psychiatry, 5028 Wisconsin Ave NW #400, Washington DC 20016.

2. Or send the application by email to but pay the fee online on our Payment page or by mail or phone.



The Washington School of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Washington School maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The School is approved by the Social Work Board of the State of Maryland as a provider of continuing education for social workers in DC, MD, VA and WV.

The School is a National Board for Certified Counselors-Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP #6388, and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The School solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.

The School is accredited by MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School designates each session for a maximum of number of AMA PRA Category I Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Disclosure of Commercial Support and the Unlabeled use of a commercial product. No member of the planning committee and no member of the faculty for this event have a financial interest or other relationship with any commercial product.