Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I have to enroll in a full Training Program to take advantage of IPI's training opportunities?

No. Many of IPI's training events are open to the interested participant without requiring enrollment in a full training program. See the Open Enrollment pages for more information.

Does IPI only provide Object Relations-oriented training and therapy?

IPI is solidly grounded in an Object Relations approach. However, we strive to maintain a stance of openness and active interest in new developments in the field, and in integrating them into our existing paradigms. In this spirit, training offerings in the past have included numerous presenters who do not hail from an Object Relations background, but who have made important contributions to psychotherapy - whatever their orientation.

How can I tell which IPI program is right for me?

The national training programs and events offered by IPI, as well as the local programs offered by IPI affiliates and independent IPI faculty members, are designed for a diverse audience at varying levels of experience. Feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or any of the local program faculty, for more information about what program is right for you.

What are IPI’s admissions criteria?

All applicants for certificate training programs will be interviewed to evaluate their professional experience and credentials and their readiness for advanced training. The only specific criteria for admission are a background in one of the mental health disciplines, interest in object relations theory, and commitment to group learning. We recruit a diverse body of participants at various levels of experience and from all mental health disciplines. Our admission policy is deliberately non-exclusive.

What is Object Relations Therapy?

Object Relations theory holds that human development is driven by our inherent relatedness. We are born with the need to relate to our mothers and other family members. As babies, we look for closeness, warmth, and safety. We need to feel that we matter to the people who matter to us.

But being dependent on another person means that we have to deal with frustration. Taking in and coping with frustrating experience sets up personality patterns that should mature at each developmental challenge. Sometimes, though, we get stuck. Psychotherapy reaches in to unlock the logjams left over from early years, and open the personality to new learning and better relationships.

Please see Object Realtions Theory for more information.

What kind of organization is IPI?

IPI is a nonprofit corporation devoted to providing quality training in the theory and practice of psychotherapy, in maintaining a spirit of intellectual openness, and in incorporating community service and diverse membership throughout the Institute.

Where do IPI's programs take place?

The two-year Object Relations Theory and Practice Program, the Weekend Conferences (with periodic exceptions), the summer Couple, Child and Family Institute, and the International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training are held in the Washington, DC/Bethesda, MD area.

Study groups, distance learning seminars, supervision, special conferences, and other training opportunities are available from IPI faculty or IPI affiliates in 15 cities worldwide (for more information about these opportunities, see the IPI Affiliate Programs page). Some study groups, distance learning seminars and supervision are also available by telephone.

Who can apply to for admission into IPI’s Training Programs?

Anyone with a degree in any mental health discipline, working in the mental health field, or currently enrolled in a mental health-oriented graduate program may apply.