Certificate Program in Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy


Certificate Program in Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy

 Chair: Carla Trusty-Smith, PhD, LMHC, LCAC 

Beginning a new class in September and January

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Program Overview

Psychoanalytic couple therapy is a challenging endeavor and a useful, rewarding area of clinical practice.  This program is geared for 2 year Object Relations Theory and Practice program graduates (or the equivalent) who desire advanced training in couple treatment.  The didactic content of the program covers assessment and consultation with couples, establishing and maintaining a couple perspective in treatment, understanding and utilizing the therapist’s countertransference responses, and dealing with common challenges in couple work such as polarizing identifications, aggression in couples, differing degrees of motivation for treatment, and couples with trauma histories.  Although this program is primarily targeted for those psychotherapists seeing couples in treatment, child psychotherapists may find it helpful as well in addressing parenting issues and understanding the effect of the couple relationship on the child.  To receive a certificate, all educational requirements of the program must be met; however, individual clinicians may participate in aspects of the program such as the videoconferencing course without pursuing the couple therapy certificate.


Educational Components

Participants will: 

complete 6 terms of the Foundations In Psychoanalytic Couple Therapy course by video or phone link

attend 2 couple, child, and family summer institutes*

join us for 1 IPI child, couple, and family weekend conference** 

demonstrate competency in three supervised couple cases (35 hours each)

present a couple case to peers  

meet with an advisor bi-annually

and complete 2 years of twice weekly psychoanalytically-based psychotherapy (or analysis).

Affective small groups will take place during the summer institute and the IPI weekend conference.


  • completed Object Relations Theory and Practice (or its equivalent)
  • an interest in advanced couple therapy training

Tuition and Application

Full program cost is a total of the registration fees for the component parts.

To apply, you may download the registration form here or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-215-7377