tirp.ca

Our Program
Curriculum
Students & Faculty
How to Apply
Find a Therapist
Low-Cost Therapy
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CONTACT US
For inquiries about
the Toronto Institute for
Relational Psychotherapy
program please contact the registrar at registrar@tirp.ca
or mailing address:
1046 - 7 B Pleasant Boulevard
Toronto, ON  M4T 1K2
site address:
918 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON M5R 3G5

For inquiries about the
Low-Cost Therapy service
please call 416.465.2392

Curriculum

Becoming a relational psychotherapist is a demanding process involving many kinds and levels of learning. The TIRP program is designed to offer the necessary learning components. Our ultimate goal is the integration of these components in each student's professional sense of self.

The core group

Through the experience of group process, students learn about the dynamics and patterns of relational interaction. They experience the power of empathic attunement and the challenge of being with another deeply without losing oneself. As they learn a therapeutic use of self, students deepen their self-awareness, which includes the capacity to work with a wide range of emotional states in themselves and others.

Theory

In each phase, theory seminars are presented on topics fundamental to relational psychotherapy. Students participate in theory presentations and write integrative papers in response to theory they have read and discussed.

Practice therapy

Practice therapy sessions with peers are introduced in Phase I, and practice therapy remains an important part of training in Phases II and III. In a practice therapy session, a student therapist works respectfully with a peer's real issues, and then the student therapist receives immediate, constructive feedback from peers and faculty who have observed the session.

Supervised work with clients

Unless students have clients when they begin training (in which case they will have individual clinical supervision all along), students begin direct work with clients and regular supervision of that work early in Phase II.

Personal psychotherapy

To integrate personal and professional growth, students are engaged in their own personal therapy, on a weekly basis, while they are in training.

Additional Workshops

In addition to the curriculum activities outlined below the following workshops are also required to graduate: Psychotherapy Research, Jurisprudence and Ethics, and Comparative Psychotherapy.


Phase 1

Time

3 hours weekly, September to April, two weekends (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon), readings and papers.

Primary focus

An introduction to relational therapy through group experience, theory, and practice therapy. Experience in the intensive group process is a ground for learning the dynamics of relational patterns and responses. Theory seminars encourage dialogue with current relational theory concepts. Students begin practice therapy sessions in the second semester.

Content
Students are introduced to basic concepts of relational psychodynamic theory: self psychology, intersubjectivity, self-in-relation theory, attachment theory, and feminist therapy perspectives on diversity and trauma.

Requirements
  • Attendance at weekly classes (absent from no more than three classes) and mandatory attendance at two scheduled weekend intensives
  • Weekly reading assignments
  • Integrative papers

Students should note that prior to beginning Phase II they should have a (student) membership in a professional organization such as the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists and have contracted for professional liability insurance through that professional organization.

Evaluation

At the end of the year students will be evaluated by their peers and faculty and will provide a self-evaluation. Readiness to proceed to Phase II will be based on an assessment of:

  • Capacity to be in relationship
  • A sense of self cohesion
  • Ability to engage in group process
  • Comprehension of theory presentations and reading assignments
  • Ability to be self-reflective, to work with the patterns of relationship within the group, and to make use of the concepts being taught in the course

Phase II

Time

3 hours weekly, September to April, two weekends (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon), weekly readings, seminar and paper preparation, at least 30 hours of client work and 15 hours of supervision before commencing Phase III.

Primary focus

Development of the therapist's self through integrating theory and practice; continued learning through the dynamics of group process with an emphasis on using group experience to enhance self understanding within a practical and theoretical framework, supervision of clinical work.

Content

Theory is expanded from the previous year with a focus on moving theory into practice. Increased attention is paid to empathic attunement, forming a therapeutic alliance, understanding transference and co-transference, and the use of the intersubjective field, all in preparation for work with clients. Students continue in practice therapy and begin work with clients under supervision.

Requirements
  • Attendance at weekly classes (absent from no more than three classes); mandatory attendance at two scheduled weekend intensives
  • Weekly reading assignments and preparation for seminar presentations and discussions
  • Integrative papers
  • Students will begin to work with clients in October. Bi-weekly supervision is mandatory. Weekly supervision is required with 4 weekly client hours or more.
  • At least 30 hours of direct work with clients is required before commencing course work for Phase III.
Evaluation

Students will be evaluated by their peers, faculty and supervisors and will provide a self-evaluation. Readiness to proceed to Phase III will be based on an assessment of:

  • A growing capacity to be in relationship
  • Comprehension of theory presentations and reading assignments
  • Supervision of 30 hours of direct clinical work with clients
  • Deepening self awareness and empathy as a therapist
  • Increased understanding of the intersubjective dynamics of the therapy relationship

Phase III

Time

3 hours weekly, September to April; two weekends (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon); preparation time for theory and case presentations; client work and at least bi-weekly supervision.

Primary focus

Further development of the student's professional self; integration of theory and practice; continued learning through the dynamics of group process with an emphasis on using group experience to enhance self understanding within a practical and theoretical framework, supervision of clinical work.

Content

Theory content includes self psychology, intersubjectivity, relational and attachment theory, with a special emphasis on applying content to practice. Specific clinical issues will be highlighted. Students are also involved in practice therapy and in presenting their own case material.

Requirements
  • Attendance at weekly classes (absent from no more than three classes) and mandatory attendance at two scheduled weekend intensives
  • Reading assignments and theory presentations
  • Integrative papers
  • Maintaining a practice of at least 2 clients with at least bi-weekly supervision
  • Regular case presentations to the core group and one presentation to / with the student training community on the spring residential weekend.

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated by their peers, faculty and supervisors, and will provide a self-evaluation. Completion of the course work will be based on an assessment of:

  • Capacity to integrate theory and practice
  • Ability to sustain a therapeutic alliance and to provide effective therapy
  • Demonstration of a sound working knowledge and clinical ability in central aspects of relational psychotherapy


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