The Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program takes three years to complete. Scroll down for a complete list of courses and a description of each below. Any major course (12 hours or more) may also have a discussion seminar component, at the discretion of the instructor. Students will give presentations to serve as a starting point for the discussion.

Year One

PPP 101 Models of Psychotherapy

A discussion of the various modes of psychotherapy that can be found in Ontario.  A wide range of psychotherapy systems are examined, with emphasis on those that are best known, such as psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioural, couple and family therapy, gestalt, transpersonal therapy, and Jungian therapy.

CFT 103 Human Development: The Family Life Cycle

Family systems view of development; vertical and horizontal flow of stress in the life cycle; life cycle stages and accompanying emotional tasks; transitions, rituals, and culture; individuation and differentiation of self; the unfolding of life cycles in the context of community and the larger society; genograms.

PPP 108 Human Development: Psychodynamic Perspective of the Life-span

Attachment, separation and individuation, pre-oedipal and oedipal dynamics, latency, adolescence, adulthood.

CFT 202 Assessment and Diagnosis

Assessing symptoms of mood disorders. DSM approaches to diagnosis, including relational diagnoses. History taking; case formulation; assess for medication. Disturbances endemic to various cultures and communities.

PPP 203 Assessment and Diagnosis

PDM – A whole person approach to assessment, including assessing symptoms, depression, anxiety; history taking; case formulation; assessing for medication; developmental/psychological organization: normal, neurotic, borderline and psychotic individuals on a continuum.

PPP 109 (CFT 105) Risk Assessment for Self Harm and Suicidality 

Recognizing self-harm symptoms. The meaning of self-harm symptoms.  Conscious and unconscious dynamics, self-harm associated with certain levels of disturbance especially borderline personality, eating disorders, cutting, and suicidality. Containing and resolving self-harm tendencies, when hospitalization is needed. Suicidal feelings and impulses. Suicide attempts. Assessing lethality. Developing strategies to keep suicidal clients safe. Hospitalization. Systemic and relational considerations regarding self-harm and suicidality.

PPP 105 Theories of Change and Goals of Treatment in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

How do people change? What is the role of psychotherapy in bringing about change? What does psycho- dynamic psychotherapy accomplish? When is psychotherapy completed? What is an effective closure process?

CFT 104 Theories of Change and Goals of Treatment in Couple and Family Therapy

What is the nature of human problems, and how do people change? What is the role of CFT in bringing about change?  What does CFT accomplish? When is psychotherapy completed? What is an effective closure process?

CFT 204 (PPP 207) Psychotherapy and Cultural Diversity

The role of culture in the development of strengths and abilities.  The role of culture in the formation of emotional disorders.  The influence of culture on the form and language of psychotherapy.  The incorporation of cultural systems in the development of psychotherapy.  Cultures and the future of psychotherapy.

PPP 208 (CFT 205) Pre-supervision Seminar: Preparation for Psychotherapeutic Practice

What is psychotherapy?  Location of therapy practice.  Initial contacts with client. Psychotherapy contract. Fees. Third-party payments. Obligations of psychotherapist and client. Confidentiality. Structure of the therapy. The psychotherapeutic relationship.  Transference and countertransference in practice. Listening and tuning in.  Interpretation. Working with traumatic memories. Resistance. Crises and psychotherapy.  Suicidality. Involving other professionals. Evaluation for group therapy. Attaining goals of psychotherapy and termination. Ethical issues. Record keeping, Business.

Year Two

CFT 101 Couple and Family Systems Therapy: Foundations of the Field

Introduces systems concepts and some major theories guiding couple and family therapy (CFT). The course will focus on the historical development of systemic therapy, including the transgenerational, structural, and experiential models, and post-modern approaches, including narrative and brief, solution-focused.

PPP 102 Theorists and Theories of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (Part 1)

The rise and evolution of psychodynamic psychotherapy before the time of Freud. Beginnings of modern psychodynamic psychotherapy with the work of Puységur. Frederick Myers and Pierre Janet.   Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis.  The part played by Freud in the development of psychodynamic psychotherapy. 

CFT 201 Couples and Sex Therapy

Students will gain an understanding of couples as intimate human systems, systems approaches to sexual issues, and ways of enhancing sexual relations for adults. This an opportunity to become aware of attitudes and beliefs that may impede one’s ability to deal effectively with the variety of sexual issues one may encounter in contemporary practice.

PPP 104 Psychoanalytic Structure and Functioning of the Psyche (mind)

Topographical model: conscious, preconscious and unconscious, the dynamic unconscious, creative unconscious and the wisdom of the unconscious. Structural model, tripartite model of the mind: ego, id, superego, conscience, guilt, conflict. Interrelationship between the 3 aspects of the mind. The influence on personality and behavior.   

PPP 202 Jungian Structure and Functioning of the Psyche (Part 2)

The collective unconscious common to all human beings.  Archetypes, anima and animus.   The personal unconscious. Complexes and the personal unconscious.  The self, ego, and individuation.  The shadow. Jung’s psychotherapy.  Contemporary Jungian psychotherapy.

PPP 206 Transference and Countertransference

Transference and countertransference as important key psychodynamic concepts whose understanding leads to the development of essential therapeutic skills.

PPP 205 Psychopharmacology and Medical and Other Referrals

This course will prepare the student to:  maintain a professional referral network; identify situations in which referral may benefit the client or be required; organize referrals in a timely manner.
The student will also learn to recognize the major classes of psychoactive drugs and their effects.

Year Three

CFT 203 Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents

Course content includes an overview of common presenting problems of children and adolescents, the effective use of play therapy, and the interface of children, family therapy, and larger social systems, such as schools.

CFT 303 Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Family Crises

This course examines crisis situations commonly experienced, including alcohol and substance use in family members, violence and abuse in couples and families, divorce, and the impact of chronic illness and disability on couples and families.

PPP 302 Theorists and Theories of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy  

Major psychoanalytic theorists: Winnicott (object relations), Bowlby (attachment theory), Mitchell (relational model), Stolorow/Attwood (Intersubjectivity) (these may change) and their contributions to the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy.   Contemporary non-psychoanalytic approaches to the practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

PPP 304 Using Hypnosis and Trance States in Psychotherapy 

The nature of trance states.  Trances as part of everyday life.  Hypnosis as a type of trance. Induction of therapeutic hypnosis.  Access to unconscious material through therapeutic hypnosis.  Uses of hypnosis in psychodynamic psychotherapy.

PPP 305 Dream Analysis as a Psychotherapeutic Tool

The physiology of dreaming.   Dream as expression of unconscious dynamics.  Dream symbology.  Dream analysis.  Freudian and Jungian psychologies of dream interpretation.

CFT 301 Trauma, Grief and Loss

Course addresses trauma, loss (normative and nonnormative life transitions, divorce, physical health changes) and bereavement experiences. It identifies variables that heighten risk for individual, couple, or family dysfunction and describes key processes that foster healing and growth.

PPP 307 Psychosomatic Disorders

The body and emotions are interwoven. Many clients will have their inner world expressed physically through aches and pains or illness. The focus of this course is to learn to help the client to translate and express these distressing symptoms in a conscious way through dreams, creative expressions and dialogue. Various techniques will be explored.

PPP 303  Defences and their Varieties

Psychotic defences, such as psychotic denial and delusional projection.  Neurotic defences, such as intellectualization, reaction formation, dissociation, displacement, repression. Immature defences, such as fantasy, projection, passive aggression, acting out.  Mature defences, such as humour, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation.  The ego and its defenses.

PPP 306  Trauma and Treatment of Trauma

Nature of psychological trauma. Complex psychological trauma: single incident trauma, cumulative trauma, chronic trauma, childhood trauma and adult trauma.  Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.   Post-traumatic stress disorder.  Dissociative disorders.  Treatment of trauma in psychotherapy.

PPP 210 Professional Responsibility and Self-Care

In this course the student will learn about the fundamentals of reflective practice as a tool for enhancing and evaluating their professional practice. Personal health care as related to responsible practice (safe and effective use of the self) will be discussed. The course explores the relevant federal and provincial legislations which affect professional practice such as the Personal Health Information Privacy Act (PHIPA).

CFT 306 PPP 308 Application of Research to Psychotherapy Practice

The focus of this course is on research on psychotherapy, including issues related to therapeutic process and outcome. The course includes an introduction to efficacy research and the importance of evidence-based practice, and critical analysis of findings in the current research literature.

PPP 309 Workshop on Preparation for CRPO exam

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