Members of the program convene for monthly dinners and case discussion at the homes of PiP faculty.

Program in Psychodynamics

PIP Co-Chairs:  Richard Schwartz, M.D. and Robert Waldinger, M.D.



Program Mission:

To foster the career development of residents with an interest in psychodynamic research, psychoanalysis, and psychodynamic psychotherapy, our program offers a flexible sequence of opportunities for additional academic and clinical pursuits in each of the four years of the residency. In collaboration with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (BPSI), the Program in Psychodynamics allows residents to enhance and deepen their psychodynamic interests and to integrate in-depth psychodynamic training and scholarship into the rigorous clinical training provided to all MGH-McLean residents.

Program Goals:

  • to foster the career development of residents who will become leaders in the application of psychodynamic principles to clinical care
  • to help residents acquire skills needed to become scholars/researchers in psychodynamically-related areas of inquiry
  • to mentor residents who want to incorporate psychodynamic expertise in academic careers

Components of the PIP:

  • Program mentorship: A psychodynamically-oriented mentor will oversee each resident’s progress throughout training. Available mentors will include MGH-McLean faculty and BPSI-affiliated psychoanalysts.
  • Clinical work: Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy will be part of residents’ clinical caseloads.  PGY 3 and 4 residents will see at least one patient in intensive treatment (2X/week).  Where feasible, residents will videotape some sessions and participate in ongoing clinical research on psychotherapy process and outcome.
  • Supervision: Residents will be paired with psychodynamically-oriented supervisors for supervision of appropriate cases; supervision will include review of videotaped therapy sessions that may provide data for research projects. Supervisors will include faculty from MGH, McLean, and BPSI.
  • Scholarly mentorship: Residents who choose to do a scholarly project that is psychodynamically informed will work with a psychodynamically-oriented scholar/researcher will oversee the project. This will include help with preparation of publications and/or national presentations, and (where appropriate) preparation of grant applications for continued research (e.g., Kaplan, Dupont-Warren).
  • Travel Awards: Residents may apply for travel grants to attend the Annual Meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Psychoanalytic Research Training Program (Yale Child Study Center or University College London), or other relevant national conferences.
  • Individual tutorials/seminars: Elective individual or small-group tutorials/seminars will be developed, based on interest, to study the psychoanalytic literature and/or review empirical work on psychodynamic treatment.
  • Program dinners: There will be regular dinners for PIP residents in all years of the program at faculty members’ homes.
  • Advanced training opportunities: Participation in the BPSI Fellowship in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy or equivalent program is required in the PGY4 year.
  • Teaching experience: Interested PGY 4s may be paired with a faculty member to teach psychotherapy courses offered to junior residents.
  • Training in Supervision: Instruction in clinical supervision of psychodynamic psychotherapy will be available to interested residents.
  • Special programs:  PIP residents are invited to be guest members of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, which includes access to BPSI psychoanalyst mentors, a subscription to the PEP-web (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing), and special evening and weekend lectures at BPSI.

2 Phases of the PIP

    PGY 1 and PGY 2

    • Entry to the program is flexible, based on a resident’s evolving interests.
    • Application to the program will only require a written statement of interest and your CV.
    • Residents will:
      • Work with a clinical mentor
      • Participate in elective seminars and tutorials if desired
      • Work with a scholarly/research mentor to develop academic interests if desired
      • Attend program dinners at faculty homes

    PGY 3 and PGY 4

    • Participation in the program in the PG3 and PG4 years will reflect a more serious commitment to the development of specialized expertise in psychodynamic research and treatment.
    • Application to the program for the PG3 and PG4 years will require a statement of clinical interests, a statement of scholarly interests, and a CV.
    • PIP residents will participate in the clinical, scholarly, and didactic activities described above.
    • One seminar experience will be required in each year:
      • A weekly continuous case conference for PGY 3s
      • The BPSI Fellowship in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (or equivalent program) for PGY 4s

Desired Outcomes of the PIP:

  • More in-depth experience in psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • Understanding the evidence base for psychodynamic treatments.
  • Design and completion of a quantitative or qualitative research project or scholarly clinical paper suitable for national presentation.
  • Skills in teaching and supervising psychodynamic clinical work and readiness to embark on further training in psychodynamic research, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, or psychoanalysis.

Examples of Elective Tutorials/Seminars (usually 4-6 sessions each)

  • “Practical Freud: An Introduction to Psychoanalytic Theory”
  • “Great Concepts in Psychoanalysis”
  • “Process and Outcome Research in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy”
  • “Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Love and Intimacy”
  • “The Neurobiology and Practice of Empathy in Psychotherapy”
  • “Medical Ethics and Boundaries in Dynamic Psychotherapy”
  • “Gender Issues and Psychoanalysis”
  • “Psychoanalysis and the Media”
  • Observed Psychotherapy Seminar (weekly all year)
  • “Shakespeare Meets Freud”

How to apply:

  • Email Drs. Richard Schwartz, Bob Waldinger, and Felicia Smith to let them know of your interest in the Program. Include a statement of your clinical and scholarly interests, and your CV.
  • Meet with Drs. Schwartz and/or Waldinger to discuss your interests.
  • (For those applying to be in the PIP as PG3s and/or PG4s): Ask one psychotherapy supervisor to write a letter of recommendation and send to Drs. Schwartz and Waldinger.

Through the PiP, I’ve been able to get more intensive psychodynamic training, seeing patients more than once a week and getting mentored closely by superb clinical and research faculty at MGH, McLean, and BPSI. The automatic acceptance into the BPSI fellowship is truly a privilege. Alex Keuroghlian, Class of 2014

The Program in Psychodynamics helps residents develop expertise in psychodynamic thinking and apply it to all of their interests in psychiatry — everything from substance abuse to global health to the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy. And the Program does this in a very personal way, with lots of contact between PiP faculty and residents. Bob Waldinger, Co-Chair of PiP