2013 San Francisco Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program Graduates

2013 San Francisco Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program Graduates

In March of 2013, I completed my Marriage and Family internship at the Marina Counseling Center. I have since been busy establishing and developing my private practice in San Francisco. I work with adults, adolescents and couples. My participation in the PPTP program has provided me the building blocks to work psychoanalytically, deepening my understanding of classical as well as contemporary psychoanalytic theory. As a result of completing the program, I feel supported and strengthened as a clinician, and I am very excited to continue my learning in the years to come. Beyond my clinical work, through my studies in the PPTP program I have developed collegial, friendship and supervisory relationships that add energy and meaning to my life.

I'm a psychiatrist who graduated from the UC Davis residency program about a year ago. I'm now living in the East Bay, and I'm working in a variety of places: a clinic in San Rafael serving transitional age youth with mostly psychotic disorders, and another clinic in Sacramento working with a refugee population. I also have a small psychodynamic therapy practice in Sacramento that I hope to expand over time. The PPTP has been a great introduction to psychoanalytic ideas, which have informed my thinking in all aspects of my work.

I am so grateful to the PPTP faculty, students, and the broader SFCP community for their support of the PPTP, particularly for reaching out and making the training accessible to those of us in the Sacramento/Davis area. I began the PPTP while in my fourth year of psychiatry residency at UC Davis. Since finishing residency in 2012, I have continued seeing psychotherapy patients in a small private practice in Sacramento, while also working part-time at an inpatient facility. The PPTP has provided an invaluable opportunity to grow my interest in psychoanalysis, expand my knowledge and clinical skills, and to connect with the analytic community in both San Francisco and Sacramento. I hope to continue building a practice in psychodynamic psychotherapy in the near future and eventually to pursue psychoanalytic training. My practice will be on hold temporarily, however, as my husband and I are eagerly expecting the arrival of our first child at the end of June!

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in a program like PPTP. This program could not have come along at a better time in my career, just as I was beginning my transition into private practice. These past two years of training have helped me develop the skills and confidence needed to better face the challenges of practicing psychotherapy in this new setting. The ways in which I have learned to listen to and think about my patients have made me reconsider how I can truly be helpful to them as a physician. I am currently seeing adult patients, but having gained a deeper understanding of psychoanalytic theory and development has stirred my interest in expanding my practice to adolescents and children. I also continue to be interested in ways that psychoanalytic principles can be incorporated into my practice of medication management.

PPTP has been a wonderful introduction to all the educational opportunities SFCP has to offer and I look forward to continuing my association with the Center in future educational endeavors.

Why I did not do this much earlier in my life is beyond me. The program has been so rich; I have broadened and deepened my knowledge of psychoanalytic concepts, many especially useful for more difficult patients. The combination of supervision, seminars, and the challenges of presenting, along with my own psychotherapist’s input, set up a convergence that has permitted me to take in much more, and think I know much less, than I had believed when doing therapy all these years. Some obvious results have been the ability to work with a broader range of patients with comfort, responding more therapeutically in tight situations, much increased attention to my own being and feeling as sessions proceed, and the ability to retain patients I might have lost in the past through insensitivity or misunderstanding. I am grateful to my two supervisors, to the whole program, and to all who have worked hard to make its quality so high. I plan to spend at least another decade practicing and learning. I feel I have grown, and continue to grow personally on the basis of immersion in the learning process you have fashioned. Sessions, and life, have grown remarkably richer. Perhaps that is the highest recommendation I could give.

I came into the program after decades in the field: private practice, writing, teaching, speaking, and doing seminars and workshops. I was looking for a deepening and fresh approach to understanding the relationships between my patients and me. I have been seeing and experiencing a significant difference in my work: in immediacy, authenticity and increased ease with what is still unclear. I have loved the group I was in; I appreciate and admire everyone's different take on the cases presented and very much enjoy how we have worked together. What impressed me most about the faculty was how natural, real and authentic most instructors were. It was a treat to be exposed to clinical material through a variety of different lenses and personalities.

The past two years of training has been a challenging and hugely rewarding journey. I walk away having learned much more than I could have imagined and with the recognition that there is much more for me to learn in my psychotherapeutic work. This experience has also shown me the importance of developing other aspects of my life. This fall I will go back to an old interest, singing, and begin to study classical voice. I am deeply grateful to my fellow trainees, whose support and good humor carried me through the ups and downs of my training; to my supervisors, who taught me to trust my analytic heart and mind; and to my husband and daughter, who were always interested in what I was learning and really understood my desire to learn. 

The ways in which I have grown as a result of the PPTP are hard to articulate and even more difficult to quantify. I do know that my sense of myself as a psychoanalytic clinician has deepened, as has my respect for and awe of the nuances in the therapeutic relationship. As theory has informed how I listen to my patients and begin to get a sense of their internal worlds, experience has shown me that our work is delicate, filled with mystery and seemingly endless opportunity. For this is an endeavor in which we dive fully and with all of our senses, using creativity and intuition as guides along the way. Following PPTP, I will continue my work in my private practice in San Francisco, and at Kaiser where I strive to honor psychodynamic thinking and practice within a managed care system. In the coming years, I hope to grow in my capacities as a clinician and continue to be an active part of the psychoanalytic community. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to be inspired, challenged, and educated by a group of passionate, dedicated and ever-curious analysts.

I started the PPTP after finishing my psychiatry residency at UC Davis in 2011, and it has been a truly wonderful experience. I currently have a mixed practice, working with low-income patients at a county clinic in Sacramento part-time, in addition to running a small private practice where I do primarily psychotherapy. I see adult patients and have particular interests in trauma and women’s health. The supportive instruction and continued learning through PPTP have been essential as I have navigated my transition out of residency. Both the theoretical and practical components have helped me grow as a therapist, and I have already noticed the program’s influence in my practice as I develop my own clinical style. I am not sure what combination of work I will have later in my career, but I am certain that it will include psychotherapy, as it has become the most rewarding part of my practice. I am thankful for my PPTP group members and group leaders, and I hope to stay in touch with all of you in this community. Thank you for the opportunity to learn with you!

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