The Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy is a Recognized Education and Training Program with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
The next intake of applications will be in March 2020 for the class to start September 2020. Due to the large number of applications we are unable to respond to individual requests for feedback about previously unsuccessful applications.
The Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy (TIRP) offers a comprehensive training program in the theory and practice of relational psychotherapy. Training takes place in Tuesday evening interactive learning groups, September - April, and in two residential weekends per year, and in five Saturday workshops. Each year's group moves through three years of intensive training together.
Components of training:
Group process that emphasizes authenticity and empathy
Theory readings, with connections made to students' personal and professional experience
Supervised practice therapy in a supportive learning group
Supervised work with clients starting in year two
Case presentations in a supportive learning group starting in year three
All aspects of training aim to help students develop their own best personal integration of self, theory, and practice.
Advantages of training at TIRP:
Choosing to train at TIRP is a wise choice because the program is:
Professionally sound. Program requirements are aligned with requirements and competencies of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. www.crpo.ca/home/education-programs
Academically sound. TIRP's synthesis of relational psychotherapy theories provides a solid foundation for general practice and further specialization.
Attention to Diversity. Training is embedded in an awareness of social power and diversity and how social context constructs self-experience.
Practical. From year one, theory, experience, and practice are integrated in training sessions; by year three, a student is developing a supervised private practice.
Intensive. Training is experiential in small groups.
Manageable part-time. All course work, supervision, and client work can be scheduled for evenings and weekends.
Affordable. The cost per year is $4900 for tuition and fees, plus $120 per hour for supervision.
Personally rewarding. As members of a community committed to diversity and to respectful mutual interaction, students enjoy enhanced personal and professional self- esteem and the beginnings of long-lasting bonds of friendship and collegiality.
what is Relational Psychotherapy?
Relational psychotherapy is a powerful, effective model for working with individuals who suffer from chronic emotional, psychological, and/or relational distress. Relational psychotherapy is based on the following principles:
Emotional well-being depends on having satisfying mutual relationships with others.
Emotional distress is often rooted in patterns of relational experience, past and present, which have the power to demean and deaden the self.
The relational therapist tries to understand the client's unique self-experience in its social/relational context and to respond with empathy and genuine presence.
Together, client and therapist create a new in-depth relationship which is supportive, strengthening, and enlivening for the client.
Within this secure relationship, the client can safely re-experience, and then find freedom from, the powerful effects of destructive relationships, past and present.
Relational therapists help clients understand, on the one hand, their own patterns of thoughts and feelings about themselves, and on the other hand, the power of significant relationships, past and present, to shape this self-experience. Through the interpersonal process of therapeutic interaction, relational therapy strengthens and transforms a client's sense of self, which in turn enhances his/her/their confidence and well-being in the world. Empowerment and growth through interpersonal connection are both the process and the goal of relational psychotherapy.
With this perspective on therapy and relationship, a relational therapist takes seriously the interpersonal impact of power differentials and social issues such as race, class, culture, gender, and sexual difference, and works with these issues as they are present in the client's life and in the therapy relationship.
The principles of relational psychotherapy taught by the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy are drawn from self psychology, intersubjectivity theory, relational psychoanalysis, interpersonal neurobiology, psychodynamic developmental theory, trauma theory, and feminist theories of psychotherapy.
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 1, and practice therapy remains an important part of training in Phases 2 and 3. 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 2.
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: Where Great Frameworks Meet: Anti-oppression & Relational Approaches, Jurisprudence and Ethics, Research in Psychotherapy, Understanding Pharmacology in the Context of Relational Psychotherapy and Working with the DSM in the Context of Relational Psychotherapy: Two Models of Assessment.
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.
Attendance at weekly classes (absent from no more than three classes) and mandatory attendance at the Anti-oppression Workshop, Jurisprudence & Ethics Workshop and at two scheduled weekend intensives
Weekly reading assignments
Students should note that prior to beginning Phase 2 they should have a (student) membership in a professional organization such as the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy or the Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists and have contracted for professional and commercial general 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. Progress of all students is routinely discussed at faculty meetings and decisions about whether or not studetns successfully complete the year are made following completion of all classes. Readiness to proceed to Phase 2 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
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 3.
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.
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
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 3.
Evaluation: Students will be evaluated by their peers, faculty and supervisors and will provide a self-evaluation. Progress of all students is routinely discussed at faculty meetings and decisions about whether or not students successfully complete the year are made following completion of all classes. Readiness to proceed to Phase 3 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
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.
Attendance at weekly classes (absent from no more than three classes) and mandatory attendance at two scheduled weekend intensives
Reading assignments and theory presentations
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. Progress of all students is routinely discussed at faculty meetings and decisions about whether or not students successfully complete the year are made following completion of all classes. 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
Use the form below to contact us with any questions you have regarding our training program.