Palo Alto Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program

Palo Alto Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program

by Dena Sorbo, LCSW, Program Chair


This September after our orientation meeting with the new PAPPTP class we convened for a picnic on the patio of the Psychiatry Building at Stanford . Our new student group and some members of our Guidance Committee,-Michael Smith, Jeff Yost, Neil Brast, Cheryl Goodrich, Ric Almond, Elizabeth Biggart, Ann Martini--all gathered to snack on fruit and coffeecake and get to know one another a bit. The students could connect with their advisors and meet some of the faculty who will be teaching them this year. The excitement and anxiety mixed to make for a lively gathering

This fall we admitted 10 new trainees for the Two Year Training Program. They are: Efrat Arar-Sheba, MSW, Regina Campos, PhD, Lovina Chahal, MD, Blair Fingerhut, LCSW, Beate Klein ,PhD, MFTI, Yookyung Kwon, PhD, Nadia Mayo, MFTI, Hila Maoz- Mezer, MSW, MFTI, Maria Porch, LCSW and David Ruso,MFTI. Several trainees have had extensive careers in other countries, many work with children and families, run groups, and have had experience providing mental health care to marginalized populations. They are an international group representing Korea, Germany, Brazil, Serbia and Israel. I am happy to say that even early in the year this group seems to be energized by one another and deeply engaged in their learning process.

Last year we initiated The Fellowship Program, a 20 week series of case presentations of their own clinical work by senior analysts. It was an extremely successful program that had 14 students, 4 of whom continued this year into the Two Year Program. We started our second Fellowship group this fall and it was oversubscribed in a brief time. We again have 14 students and a waiting list. The class is composed of private practitioners, Stanford psychiatry residents and fellows, Psychology post-docs, MFT interns and a cohort of licensed clinicians from The Help Center at Stanford. They
are also a multi cultural group. We hope that this program continues to introduce clinicians to psychoanalytic listening, formulating and interpreting in a setting that we hope will encourage observation and inquiry.

Many of our PAPPTP students are continuing to progress towards graduation after finishing the two years of seminars. Toward that end, we have two ongoing case conferences to help them stay connected to the psychoanalytic community
in Palo Alto and to The SF Center for Psychoanalysis.

As Program Chair, I have been repeatedly impressed with the dedication and devotion of our more than 29 faculty participants from SFCP, PINC, and Stanford Psychiatry, as well as the graduates of our program who are asking to stay involved and volunteering to help with committee work.

Since our first class in 2007, PAPPTP’s presence has grown steadily and now people are finding us through word of mouth and reputation as well as from the SFCP website. Our outreach efforts and collaboration with other South Bay SFCP programs such as the Extension program, Psychoanalytic Grand Rounds at Stanford and the Clinical Forum as well as Student Outreach and the Low-Fee referral service have created ways for practitioners of all levels of experience and exposure to psychoanalysis find a way to engage with our programs and ideas.

According to senior faculty in the Stanford Psychiatry Department, the influence of SFCP analysts and PAPPTP has begun to transform what is being taught to residents, fellows, post docs and faculty in the department. There is more enthusiasm and support for teaching psychodynamic thinking than there has been for a very long time. Together the various programs sponsored by The Center have contributed to promoting and sustaining psychoanalytic principles in theory and practice in the South Bay.

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