Psychodynamic Reading Curriculum (2023)


Basic Reading Curriculum

Extra-Curricular Readings


Erotic Transference/Countertransference

Gender Diverse and Gender Non-Conforming Patients



Premature Termination

Psychosis and Psychotic Symptoms

Research on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Textbooks and Resources

Required Textbooks

Cabaniss, D. L., Cherry, S., Douglas, C. J., & Schwartz, A. (2016). Psychodynamic psychotherapy: A clinical manual. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Frankland, A. G. (2010). The Little Psychotherapy Book: Object Relations in Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McWilliams, N. (2011). Psychoanalytic diagnosis: Understanding personality structure in the clinical process. New York: Guilford Press. 

Optional Additional Textbooks

Lingiardi, V., & McWilliams, N. (2017). Psychodynamic diagnostic manual: PDM-2 (Second ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

Scharff, D. E., (2005). Object relations theory and practice: An introduction. Oxford, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Optional Video Resources offers a video series on Object Relations Therapy

Basic Reading Curriculum

Psychodynamic Assessment

Review Cabaniss 4 Assessment of Ego Function

Review Frankland 3 Assessment and Formulation

Finn, S. E., & Tonsager, M. E. (1997). Information-gathering and therapeutic models of assessment: Complementary paradigms. Psychological Assessment9(4), 374–385.

Psychodynamic Formulation and Diagnosis

Review Cabaniss 23 Unconscious Conflict and Defense

Review McWilliams Psychoanalytic Diagnosis Book

ENTER LINK Video: Psychodynamic Formulation

Beginning Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Review Cabaniss 8 Setting the Frame and Establishing Boundaries

Review Cabaniss 20 Free Association and Resistance

Review Frankland 5 The Treatment Contract

Review Frankland 7 Beginning the First Session

Review Frankland 22 Putting It All Together: A Sample Session

Psychodynamic Techniques: Listening

Review Cabaniss 16 Learning to Listen

Review Cabaniss 14 Looking for Meaning

Review Frankland 8 The Four Levels of Meaning

Psychodynamic Techniques: Reflecting 

Review Cabaniss 17 Learning to Reflect

Psychodynamic Techniques: Intervening

Kernberg, O. F. (2016). The four basic components of psychoanalytic technique and derived psychoanalytic psychotherapies. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 287-288.

Review Cabaniss 18 Learning to Intervene

Review Frankland 9 Tools of the Trade

Psychodynamic Techniques: Transference

Review Cabaniss 12 Our Patient’s Feelings about Us…

Review Cabaniss 21 Transference


Psychodynamic Techniques: Countertransference

Review Cabaniss 22 Countertransference


Object Relations Theory: Basic Concepts

Review Frankland 1 So What is Object Relations Anyway

Review Frankland 2 The Big Picture

Review Frankland 10 Projective Identification

Ogden, T. H. (1983). The concept of internal object relations. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64 (Pt 2), 227.

Object Relations Theory: Therapeutic Process I

OPTIONAL McGrath, R. E., & Donovan, G. J. (2013). Commenting on process: Highlighting a basic psychotherapeutic technique. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(2), 193-203.

Object Relations Theory: Therapeutic Process II

Levine, H. B. (2015). The transformational vision of Antonino Ferro. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(5), 451–464.

Object Relations Theory: Therapeutic Process III

Bion, W. R. (1967). Notes on memory and desire. Psychoanalytic Forum, 2, 271–286.

Ogden, T. H. (2015). Intuiting the truth of what’s happening: On Bion’s “notes on memory and desire”. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 84(2), 285-306.

Object Relations Theory: The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions

Review Frankland 11 Anxiety and the Paranoid-Schizoid Position

Sehrbrock, J. (2018). Coming out and coming in: Splitting, mourning, and meaning making in gay identity formation.

The Unconscious

Mourning and Loss


David, L., & Han, S. (2010). A dialogue on racial melancholia. Asian American Studies Now: A Critical Reader, 10(4), 55–79.

Object Relations Theory: Narcissism and Enactment

??? Bateman, A. W. (1998). Thick- and thin-skinned organisations and enactment in borderline and narcissistic disorders. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79 ( Pt 1), 13.

Countertransference Revisited

Brightman, B. K. (1984). Narcissistic issues in the training experience of the psychotherapist. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 10, 293–317.

Trauma: Psychodynamic Perspectives

??? Alford, C. F. (2018). Trauma and psychoanalysis: Freud, Bion, and Mitchell. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 23(1), 43-53.

Cultural Trauma

??? Evans Holmes, D. (2016). Culturally imposed trauma: The sleeping dog has awakened. will psychoanalysis take heed? Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 26(6), 641-654.

??? Tummala-Narra, P. (2014). cultural identity in the context of trauma and immigration from a psychoanalytic perspective. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 31(3), 396-409.

Psychodynamic Techniques: Dreams and Dreaming

Ferro, A. (2009). Transformations in dreaming and characters in the psychoanalytic field. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 90(2), 209–230. 

Ogden, T. H. (2004). On holding and containing, being and dreaming. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 85, 1349–1364.

Review Cabaniss 24 Dreams

Object Relations Theory: The Role of the Clinician

Psychodynamic Techniques: Enactments


Psychodynamic Techniques: Neutrality, Gratification, and Self-Disclosure

Review Cabaniss 10 Therapeutic Neutrality

Review Frankland 20 Self-Disclosure

Gabbard, G. O. (2022). The decline and fall of neutrality in psychoanalytic discourse.Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 70(2), 309-315.

OPTIONAL Palmer, A. B., & Meyer, W. S. (1995). Gratification versus frustration: The legacy of the schism between Ferenczi and Freud. Clinical Social Work Journal, 23(3), 249–269.


Review Cabaniss 30 Termination

Review Frankland 24 Termination and Other Therapy Endings

??? Gabbard, G. (2009). What is a “Good enough” termination? Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(3), 575-594.

(Recommended) Salberg, J. (2009). Leaning into termination. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19, 704–722.

Psychodynamic Techniques: Intersubjectivity and Relational Psychoanalysis

Buirski, P., & Monroe, M. (2000). Intersubjective observations on transference love. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 17(1), 78–87. 

Wachtel, P. L. (2017). The Relationality of Everyday Life: The Unfinished Journey of Relational Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 27(5), 503–521.

Assessing Progress and Change in Psychodynamic Therapy

Review Cabaniss 29 Working Through

Review Frankland 23 What is Progress in Therapy?

Object Relations Theory: Winnicott

Winnicott, D. (1953). Transitional objects and transitional phenomena: A study of the first not-me possession. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34, 89–97.


Extra-Curricular Readings


Cramer, P. (2015). Defense mechanisms: 40 years of empirical research. Journal of Personality Assessment, 97(2), 114-122.

OPTIONAL Cramer, P. (2015). Understanding Defense Mechanisms. Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 43(4), 523–552. 

Erotic Transference-Countertransference

CAVEAT: Please note that the following article (Gabbard) presents explicit and potentially disturbing material.

Gabbard, G. O. (1994). On love and lust in erotic transference. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42(2), 385-386.

Davies, J. M. (1998). Between the disclosure and foreclosure of erotic transference-countertransference can psychoanalysis find a place for adult sexuality? Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 8(6), 747-766.

Gender Diverse and Gender Non-Conforming Patients

DeBord, K. A., Fischer, A. R., Bieschke, K. J., Perez, R. M., & PsycBOOKS. (2017). In Perez R. M., Bieschke K. J., DeBord K. A. and Fischer A. R.(Eds.), Handbook of sexual orientation and gender diversity in counseling and psychotherapy (First ed.). American Psychological Association

Dominguez, M., Shrestha, A., Ahuja, A., & Ashley, K. (2020). Treatment in transition: The rapidly evolving landscape of transgender and gender non-binary care. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 24(1), 112-134.

Janssen, A., Leibowitz, S., SpringerLink ebooks – Medicine, & SpringerLink (Online service). (2018). Affirmative mental health care for transgender and gender diverse youth: A clinical guide. Springer International Publishing.

Losty, M., & O’Connor, J. (2018). Falling outside of the ‘nice little binary box’: A psychoanalytic exploration of the non-binary gender identity. Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 32(1), 40-60. 

Vincent, B., Lorimer, S., & eBook Nursing Collection – Worldwide. (2018). Transgender health: A practitioner’s guide to binary and non-binary trans patient care. Jessica Kingsley Publishers


American Psychological Association. (2012). Guidelines for psychological practice with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. American Psychologist67(1), 10–42. 

Baron, J. (1996). Some issues in psychotherapy with gay and lesbian clients. Psychotherapy, 33(4), 611-616.

Cochran, S. D., Sullivan, J. G., & Mays, V. M. (2003). Prevalence of mental health disorders, psychological distress, and mental health services use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology71, 53– 61.

Downs, A. (2005). The velvet rage: Overcoming the pain of growing up gay in a straight man’s world.Cambridge, MA: DaCapo Press. 

Garnets, L., Hancock, K. A., Cochran, S. D., Goodchilds, J., & Peplau, L. A. (1991). Issues in psychotherapy with lesbians and gay men: A survey of psychologists. American Psychologist, 46, 964–972.

Hunter, S. & Hickerson, J. C. (2003). Affirmative practice: Understanding and working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Johnson, S. D. (2012). Gay affirmative psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: Implications for contemporary psychotherapy research. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(4), 516-522.

Liddle, B. J. 1996. Therapist sexual orientation, gender, and counseling practices as they relate to ratings of helpfulness by gay and lesbian clients. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43: 394–401.

Pachankis, J. E. & Goldfried, M. R. (2004). Clinical issues in working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(3), 227-246.

Phillips, J. C., & Fischer, A. R. (1998). Graduate students’ training experiences with lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues. The counseling psychologist26(5), 712-734.

Remafedi, G. (2002). Suicidality in a venue-based sample of young men who have sex with men. Journal of Adolescent Health31, 305– 310. 

Ross, M. W. & Rosser, B. R. S. (1996). Measurement and correlates of internalized homophobia: A factor analytic study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(1), 15-21.

Shelton, K. & Delgado-Romero, E. A. (2013). Sexual orientation and microaggression: The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer clients in psychotherapy. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 1(S), 59-70.

Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2012). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons.

Veltman, A., & Chaimowitz, G. (2014). Mental Health Care for People Who Identify As Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and (or) Queer. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Revue Canadienne de Psychiatrie, 59(11), 1–8. 


Crisp, H., & Gabbard, G. O. (2020). Principles of psychodynamic treatment for patients with narcissistic personality disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, 34(Supplement), 143-158. doi:10.1521/pedi.2020.34.supp.143

Mitchell, S. A. (1999). The wings of Icarus: Illusion and the problem of narcissism. In Mitchell, S. A., & Aron, L. (Eds.). Relational psychoanalysis, volume 1: The emergence of a tradition. Taylor and Francis.

Premature Termination

Ogrodniczuk, J. S., Joyce, A. S., & Piper, W. E. (2005). Strategies for reducing patient-initiated premature termination of psychotherapy. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 13(2), 57-70.

Psychosis and Psychotic Symptoms

Bergstein, A. (2018). The psychotic part of the personality: Bion’s expeditions into unmapped mental life. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association66(2), 193–220.

Research on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Leichsenring, F., & Leibing, E. (2007). Psychodynamic psychotherapy: A systematic review of techniques, indications and empirical evidence. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80(2), 217–228. 

Shedler, J. (2010). The efficacy of psychodynamic psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 65(2), 98–109.