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Course Details
Price $119.00

Psychodynamics of the Therapeutic Relationship (8 CE Credits)

The therapeutic alliance, transference, countertransference, defenses, and resistances form the cornerstones of psychodynamic 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.


Course Objectives

Psychodynamics of the Therapeutic Relationship is an intermediate level course designed to help the participant:  

  • Identify the emergence of subtle and overt expressions of transference, countertransference, defenses, and resistances;  
  • Evaluate the significance of these phenomena for building the therapeutic alliance;  
  • Distinguish their clinical significance for clinical assessment;  
  • Consider their clinical significance as elements of therapeutic action;  
  • Appraise the importance of understanding these phenomena for maximizing the effective treatment of challenging patients;  
  • Determine the best methods for managing these phenomena during therapy;  
  • Examine unique problems that can arise in the expression of transference, countertransference, defenses, and resistances;  
  • Describe the history of the concepts as they relate to changes in clinical theory and their contemporary understanding.


Product Description

Psychodynamics of the Therapeutic Relationship

Therapeutic RelationshipUnderstanding the psychodynamics of the therapeutic relationship can deepen the work of all clinicians.  The therapeutic alliance, transference, countertransference, defenses, and resistances comprise the cornerstone of psychodynamic psychotherapy, but they are relevant to virtually all forms of psychotherapy.  

Our terms and constructs about the mind, our affects, and behaviors remain sterile and stagnant until we frame them in the context of the interpersonal relationship.  As participant-observers, psychotherapists promote a living and dynamic process that helps facilitate healing and growth for all members of the interaction.  We are afforded the potential to engage with a virtual stranger at a level of intimacy that is rarely achieved in a lifetime.  This brings an enormous responsibility that demands a careful and thoughtful respect for the complexity and power of the therapeutic relationship.

The therapeutic alliance is the conscious, deliberate, and directly expressed agreement between the patient and therapist to pursue treatment aims and goals.  The therapeutic process involves many levels that go beyond this conscious intention.  In this course, Dr. Michael J. Gerson will provide you with knowledge and case examples to help you differentiate each of these components and how they may impact your clinical work.



Michael J. Gerson, PhDThe Instructor is Dr. Michael J. Gerson, an experienced Psychologist and Psychoanalyst in California.  He has been training clinicians for over 30 years, both in his private practice, in community counseling centers, and as a professor of Psychology in graduate programs.  He is renowned for his depth of understanding of the therapeutic process and for his keen ability to translate complex concepts into terms that are clear and that can be applied to the clinician’s own work.


Course Format

The course includes an online written manuscript and accompanying audio files, for optional review in multiple modalities.  An online multiple choice test and Certificate of Completion follow completion of the course for 8 CE credits.  Intermediate level.  A brief video provides opening remarks by Dr. Gerson.  This course may be applied to our Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy if desired.  $119.

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