Psychodynamic Reading Curriculum (Sociopolitical)

The emphasis in this curriculum are essential readings in contemporary object relations theory and practice with a particular emphasis on sociopolitical, cultural, and critical perspectives.


A. Textbooks and Resources
B. Basic Reading Curriculum
C. Extra-Curricular Readings


Dream Analysis

Erotic Transference/Countertransference

Gender Diverse and Gender Non-Conforming Patients



Premature Termination

Psychosis and Psychotic Symptoms

Research on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

A. 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.

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

(Introduction, Chapters 1-3 and 15-16)

Optional Additional Textbooks

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

B. Basic Reading Curriculum

Psychodynamic Foundations: The Therapeutic Frame

Cherry, E. F., & Gold, S. N. (1989). The therapeutic frame revisited: A contemporary perspective. Psychotherapy (Chicago, Ill.), 26(2), 162-168.

Review Cabaniss 7  Informed Consent and Setting Goals

Review Cabaniss 8  Setting the Frame and Establishing Boundaries 

Psychodynamic Foundations: Therapeutic Assessment

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

Review Cabaniss 4 Assessment of Ego Function

Review Frankland 3 Assessment and Formulation

Psychodynamic Foundations: Formulation and Diagnosis

Video: Psychodynamic Case Formulation (requires password)

Lingiardi, V., & McWilliams, N. (2017). Psychodynamic diagnostic manual: PDM-2 (Second ed.). New York: The Guilford Press. (Review: Introduction, Chapters 1-3 and 15-16)

Psychodynamic Foundations: The First Session

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 Technique: Listening

Review Cabaniss 16 Learning to Listen

Review Cabaniss 14 Looking for Meaning

Review Frankland 8 The Four Levels of Meaning

Psychodynamic Technique: Reflecting 

Review Cabaniss 17 Learning to Reflect

Psychodynamic Technique: 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 Technique: Transference

Bonovitz, C. (2005). Locating culture in the psychic field: Transference and countertransference as cultural products. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 41(1), 55-75. 

Review Cabaniss 12 Our Patient’s Feelings about Us…

Review Cabaniss 21 Transference

Psychodynamic Technique: Countertransference

Burch, B. (2021). Engaging the whitewashed countertransference: Race unexpectedly appears for therapy. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 31(1), 28-37.

Review Cabaniss 22 Countertransference

Object Relations Theory: Basic Concepts

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

Review Frankland 1 So What is Object Relations Anyway

Review Frankland 2 The Big Picture

Review Frankland 10 Projective Identification

Object Relations Therapeutic Process I: Content and Process

Miller, C. W. T. (2022). Finding the focus: Content versus process. In The object relations lens: A psychodynamic framework for the beginning therapist (pp. 67–83). American Psychiatric Association Publishing. 

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 Therapeutic Process II: Container/Contained

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

Object Relations Therapeutic Process III: Memory and Desire

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.

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

Object Relations Therapeutic Process IV: Working Through

Aron, L. (1991). Working through the past – Working toward the future. Contemporary Psychoanalysis27(1), 81–109.

Unconscious Processes and the Self

Schore, A. N. (2011). The right brain implicit self lies at the core of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 21(1), 75-100.

Unconscious Processes: Sociopolitical (and Neuroscientific) Perspectives

Weinberg, H. (2015). From the individual unconscious through the relational unconscious to the social unconscious. Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 23(1), 1.

OPTIONAL: Berlin, H. A. (2011). The neural basis of the dynamic unconscious. Neuropsychoanalysis, 13(1), 5-31.

Psychodynamic Technique: Enactment

Maroda, K. J. (2019). Deconstructing enactment. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 37(1), 8-17. 

Psychodynamic Technique: Enactment, Race, and Identity

Layton, L. (2006). Racial identities, racial enactments, and normative unconscious processes. Psychoanalytic quarterly (75), 237-269.

Countertransference Revisited

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

Object Relations Theory: The Paranoid-Schizoid and Depressive Positions

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

Review Frankland 11 Anxiety and the Paranoid-Schizoid Position

Object Relations Theory: Mourning and Racial Melancholia

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


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

Review Cabaniss 30 Termination

Review Frankland 24 Termination and Other Therapy Endings

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

Trauma: Psychodynamic Perspectives

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

Trauma: Cultural Perspectives

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 Technique: Working with Dreams

Ellis, L. (2020;2019;). Common factors: Toward a universal approach to working with dreams. A clinician’s guide to dream therapy (1st ed., pp. 27-37). Routledge.

Review Cabaniss 24 Dreams

Virtual Therapy: Psychodynamic Perspectives

Ferber, S., Goldstein, & Weller, A. (2022). The inanimate third: Going beyond psychodynamic approaches for remote psychotherapy during the covid-19 pandemic. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 38(2), 316-337.


C. Extra-Curricular Readings


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

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

Dream Analysis

Ellis, L. (2020;2019;). Common factors: Toward a universal approach to working with dreams. A clinician’s guide to dream therapy (1st ed., pp. 27-37). Routledge.

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.