The Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia

First Two Years:

The initial two years includes a dual focus on adults and children and families, with both didactic courses and clinical seminars.  While there are some discrete topics, including a history of psychoanalytic theory, and key findings from infancy research and their relevance to clinical theory, the coursework is organized to foster ongoing dialogue in regard to key aspects of relational therapeutic work. These include a deepening capacity to participate in the therapeutic relationship in a way that is both real and reflective; to use developmental thinking as a way to understand both child and adult clients; to engage critically with theories of development, diagnosis, and therapeutic action in order to make use of these in more flexible ways; to consider the role of trauma, including intergenerationally transmitted trauma; and to consider the pervasive, subtle and overt ways that race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, and trauma are influencing both the client’s and therapist’s lived experiences in the world and in the therapeutic relationship.  

The majority of the coursework takes place on a three-hour block on Friday mornings, in addition to approximately 2-3 weekend days per semester.  

Tuition for the first two years is $1000 per semester, two semesters per year.   


Because relational work makes considerable use of the self, we ask all students to be in therapy in their first two years of training with a psychodynamic therapist or analyst that is at least weekly in frequency.  Personal therapy is the responsibility of the student; we are available to consult about therapists, the majority of whom work with sliding scales. Please talk with us about any questions or concerns you have about the range of such scales. 


As a training institute, we are committed to modeling good practice, and therefore require students to be in supervision throughout their training.  During the first year, each student will be assigned to a small supervision group comprised of two or three members of their cohort, led by a member of our faculty, for a fee of $30 per session.  Of course, you may also choose to be in individual supervision in your first year, but this would be in addition to the small group. In the second training year, students will be expected to participate in weekly individual supervision.  Should you decide to continue your training past the two-year program, one year of individual supervision (40 hours) in these first two years may be counted toward the supervision requirement for analytic training provided the supervisor is on the list of IRPP supervisors or is on the faculty of the Stephen A. Mitchell Center in New York (see website for IRPP supervisors). If a student wishes to work with a supervisor not on our list, that supervisor must receive board approval.   The fee for individual supervision is generally $100/session for a number of local faculty as well as some of our faculty in New York.  If you have additional questions regarding supervision, please speak with the Clinical Training Coordinator.   


Continued study:

For those who wish to continue on for full Psychoanalytic Training, years three and four consist of additional coursework that provides ongoing exploration of psychoanalytic theory; personal analysis (minimum 3x week); and conducting analyses with weekly supervision. (Please consult the drop-down menu under Training Programs for an in-depth description).

For those who wish to continue for a third year in the Child and Family track, please consult the drop-down menu under training programs for an in-depth description).

We are a vibrant community of relational clinicians engaged in thinking together about both larger social issues and deeply personal ones, as well as the multiple intersections of these domains.  We welcome your inquiries.  

For general information, please contact our Outreach Chair, Dr. Denise Lensky, at

For information on the Relational Child training specifically, please contact Dr. Laurel Silber, and

© Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia, Suite 808, 255 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, PA  19103

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