A Working Conference Focusing on Psychodynamic Training Issues



Division 39 president Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., ABPPThe 2015 Psychodynamic Graduate Training in Psychology: Crises, Challenges and Opportunities II is an opportunity for training directors at graduate programs and internships, staff and students, or as conference director Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP, stated, “anyone trying to support psychodynamic work at a graduate level” to come together, identify areas of shared concern, work toward solutions and develop a supportive social network. The conference will be held at the Austen Riggs Center on October 3-4, 2015. 

Dr. Charles developed this training conference after hearing a professor at a Division 39 board meeting lament how difficult it was becoming for institutions with a psychodynamic focus to keep their accreditation. This difficulty came as a result of constricting standards in the field that did not allow for more diverse perspectives, including a psychodynamic one. As it turns out, this was a frustration shared by many and yet those faced with this frustration often had to deal with it alone, without a broader network of support. This training conference is a response to that lack and seeks to bring people together. 

The first conference saw good attendance, enthusiasm and moved one attendee to begin developing a website that will eventually contain statistics for accreditation standards, syllabi and training information. There is a hope to develop a more self-sustaining network of support and information as a result of this year’s conference. 

The conference model, like the College Counseling Service Conference held annually at Riggs, “is a good model to come together and develop a working network” said Dr. Charles. Attendees can expect both small and large group experiences with multiple opportunities to identify the most relevant problems, share ideas related to the problems and explore solutions. Several Riggs staff members will be working to facilitate the conversations that emerge. 

In addition, a representative from the American Psychological Association (APA) Education Directorate will be attending the training conference to answer questions about accreditation and training requirements: Jacqueline Remondet Wall, PhD, Director, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation and Associate Executive Director, Education Directorate of the APA.

While the focus of this training conference is on psychodynamic training and work, Dr. Charles has long believed in the importance of diversity in the field, stating “it is in everyone’s best interest that people are included; that there is room for a variety of voices. The human experience is not simple and it helps to have different vantage points.” 

Questions can be directed to Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP at: marilyn.charles@austenriggs.net

2015 Psychodynamic Graduate Training in Psychology: Crisis, Challenges and Opportunities