Distance Courses

Audio Courses

Psychodynamics of Child Abuse and Trauma (8 CE Credits)
Physical, sexual, and emotional child abuse and neglect reflect a devastating corruption of the child-caretaker relationship and have deleterious effects on both intrapsychic and interpersonal development.   In this course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson considers emotional, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes; multigenerational issues; and pertinent DSM diagnoses.  His in-depth discussion from a psychodynamic perspective includes considerations of trans-diagnosti
Ego Psychology (8 CE Credits)
Ego psychology represents a particular emphasis of psychoanalytic theory and practice that focuses upon the significance of the ego system, and is a major theoretical model in American psychoanalysis. In this ego psychology course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson begins with a brief overview of the evolution of S. Freud’s perspectives on the role of the ego, includes A. Freud’s contributions to understanding the dynamics of ego defenses, and ends with Hartmann
Classical Psychoanalytic Theory (8 CE Credits)
With Freud’s challenge to free will, it is little wonder that psychoanalysis has been the object of so much controversy.  In this classical psychoanalytic theory course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson examines the basic principles and models of Freudian psychoanalytic theory.  The course begins with a review of the theory's presuppositions of psychological determinism, consciousness, motivation, and a genetic approach, and then describes and discusses, in dep
Object Relations Theory (8 CE Credits)
Object relations theory reflects a perspective of psychoanalysis that emphasizes the significance of the interpersonal experience on the development of mind and character.  In this course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson begins with the work of Melanie Klein, as contrasted with that of S. Freud, and then moves on to examine that of Fairbairn, Balint, Winnicott, and Guntrip.  This course provides essential groundwork for more recent developments in theory.  
Personality Disorders from a Psychoanalytic Perspective (8 CE Credits)
Psychoanalytic thought, from the pioneering work of S. Freud, Abraham, and Fenichel, to the contemporary work of Kohut, Kernberg, Masterson, and Bollas, offers rich insights into an understanding of personality formation and pathology. In this course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson considers Personality Disorders described in the atheoretical compendium, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), through the lenses of a variety of psychoanalytic t
Psychodynamics of the Therapeutic Relationship (8 CE Credits)
While the therapeutic alliance, transference, countertransference, defenses, and resistances comprise the cornerstone of psychodynamic psychotherapy, they are relevant to virtually all forms of psychotherapy.  By monitoring, examining, and exploring these concepts, the therapy is moved beyond the day-to-day examination of circumstances and events into the reality of meanings, conflicts, and imagination.  In this course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson will provide

Articles and Books

What Works in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy With Adolescents? (2 CE Credits)
Research supports the effectiveness of psychodynamic work with adolescents, but psychodynamic approaches are complex. What aspects of the treatment can account for its success with adolescents? Earn 2 CE credits for reading a journal article that presents findings from in-depth interviews with adolescents enrolled in a 28-week online program of psychodynamic psychotherapy. The interviews reveal a number of factors that predict successful treatment and give
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Online for Adolescents (2 CE Credits)
There is growing empirical support for the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy for adolescents, particularly in treating depression. Designing treatments that are accessible and practical is an urgent challenge, leading to creative treatment delivery methods such as internet-based approaches. Earn 2 CE credits for reading a journal article that presents a randomized controlled study demonstrating the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy on
Evidence Base for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy With Children and Adolescents (2 CE Credits)
The quality and quantity of empirical support for psychodynamic approaches with children and adolescents are growing, especially for such issues as depression, anxiety, emerging personality disorders, and trauma-related issues. Earn 2 CE credits for reading this journal article presenting a narrative synthesis of findings for the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy with children and adolescents (Midgley, N., Mortimer, R., Cirasola, A., Batra, P.,
Jacques Lacan: Introductory Overview (4 CE Credits)
Learn about Jacques Lacan and his theory, and earn 4 CE credits, by reading an article by an expert on his work (Johnston, A., "Jacques Lacan", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Winter 2016 Edition], available through the Friends of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Society). Please contact our Director ( for help in accessing it. Lacan is a provocative figure in the history of psychoanalysis and relevant to a grow
Intrapersonal Factors Promoting Diversity Tolerance (2 CE Credits)
Understanding factors that promote diversity tolerance is crucial in an increasingly globalized society. Earn 2 CE credits for reading an interesting journal article by Butrus and Witenberg. The article presents an empirical study that demonstrates the importance of considering personality factors as differential predictors of tolerance regarding beliefs, speech, and actions. A Certificate of Completion follows reading the article (Butrus, N., & Witenb
Analytic Mindset (2 CE Credits)
Earn 2 CE credits for reading an interesting journal article by Dr. Stephen Seligman (Seligman, S. [2014]. Paying attention and feeling puzzled: The analytic mindset as an agent of therapeutic change. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 24, 648-662. doi: 10.1080/10481885.2014.970966). A proponent of the relational analytic approach, Seligman applies the characteristics of nonlinear dynamic systems theories to the analytic process. He discusses the psychoanalytic m
Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis (1 CE Credit)
Earn 1 CE credit for reading an interesting journal article by Dr. Alejandro Ávila (Ávila, A. [2014]. The intersubjective: A core concept for psychoanalysis. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 1-5. doi: 10.1080/0803706X.2014.967813). Ávila reviews the main tenets of the relational perspective, which focuses on intersubjectivity as a fundamental frame for humans and a means for change. He asserts, "psychoanalysis represents an opportunity of discov
Consciousness and the Id (4 CE Credits)
Earn 4 CE credits for reading an interesting article by leading researchers in neuropsychoanalysis, Solms and Panksepp (Solms, M., & Panksepp, J. [2012]. The ‘id’ knows more than the ‘ego’ admits: Neuropsychoanalytic and primal consciousness perspectives on the interface between affective and cognitive neuroscience. Brain Sciences, 2, 147-175. doi: 10.3390/brainsci2020147). This thought-provoking article revisits Freud’s understanding of co

Video Courses

Lacan – Inspired Psychotherapy (4 CE Credits)
French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, is regarded as one of the most influential theorists and clinicians since Freud. Hundreds of books and articles have been written about his ideas; yet, his work is largely unknown to many American psychotherapists. Those who are familiar with Lacan typically describe his contributions as intriguing, but esoteric and enigmatic. Dr. Michael Gerson explores Lacan’s key constructs as they may be helpful to the psychothera
Mindfulness Training: Body Scan Meditation and Informal Mindfulness Practices (2 CE Credits)
This mindfulness training course is designed for psychologists who are interested in applying the body scan and mindfulness practices.  Discussions are supplemented by practical tools, for application in a clinical setting or for personal use.  Topics include safe mindfulness training practices, with a sample client intake form; the body scan meditation, with a 20-minute audio file of a body scan for those who wish to experience it; suggestions for in
Mindfulness Training: Introduction, Attention, and the Present Moment (2 CE Credits)
Since its introduction to the mainstream of western medicine and society in the late 1970s, mindfulness has received considerable scholarly attention. Scientific research has demonstrated its effectiveness for stress reduction, emotional regulation, chronic pain, and a variety emotional and behavioral disorders. This introductory mindfulness basics course is designed for psychologists interested in learning about theory and research findings regarding what
Modern Systems Thinking for Psychotherapy (2 CE Credits)
Gregory Bateson offered "a difference that makes a difference" as a definition of information, asserting an epistemology that is still greatly under-appreciated by many in the behavioral sciences, and especially by psychology.  This definition carries with it implications for relationships and systems as the most appropriate context for studying people, if not all living things.  Systems thinking differs from rationalism and empiricism in that it require

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