Psychodynamic Reading Curriculum (Standard)

The emphasis of this curriculum are classical readings in contemporary object relations theory and practice.


Basic Reading Curriculum

Extra-Curricular Readings

Erotic Transference/Countertransference

Gender Diverse and Gender Non-Conforming Patients



Premature Termination

Psychosis and Psychotic Symptoms

Textbooks and Resources

Required Textbooks

Cabaniss, D. L., Cherry, S., Douglas, C. J., & Schwartz, A. (2011). 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. 

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

Optional Additional Textbook

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

Optional Video Resources offers a video series on Object Relations Therapy

Basic Reading Curriculum

Psychodynamic 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 Formulation and Diagnosis

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

Review Cabaniss 23 Unconscious Conflict and Defense

Review McWilliams Psychoanalytic Diagnosis Book

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: Interpreting

Ogden, T. H. (1997). Reverie and interpretation. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 66, 567–595.

Review Cabaniss 18 Learning to Intervene

Review Frankland 9 Tools of the Trade

Psychodynamic Techniques: Transference

Freud, S. (1958). Observations on transference-love. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 12) (pp. 159–173). London: Hogarth Press.

Scharff/Klein 13 The Origins of Transference

Review Cabaniss 12 Our Patient’s Feelings about Us…

Review Cabaniss 21 Transference

Psychodynamic Techniques: Countertransference

Jacobs, T. J. (1986). On Countertransference Enactments. Journal Of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 34, 287–289.

Winnicott, D. (1994). Hate in the countertransference. Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, 5(4).

Review Cabaniss 22 Countertransference

Object Relations Theory: Basic Concepts

Scharff 1 The Major Trends in Object Relations Theory and Practice

Review Frankland 1 So What is Object Relations Anyway

Review Frankland 2 The Big Picture

Object Relations Theory: Projective Identification

Scharff/Grotstein 49 Splitting and Projective Identification

Review Frankland 10 Projective Identification

Object Relations Theory: Bion I

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

Object Relations Theory: Bion II

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

Grotstein, J. (2000). Notes on Bion’s “Memory and Desire.” Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 28, 687–694.

Object Relations Theory: The Paranoid-Schizoid Position

Ogden, T. H. (1990). Chapter 3: The Paranoid-Schizoid Position: Self as Object. In The matrix of the mind: Object Relations and the Psychoanalytic Dialogue(pp. 41–65). London: Routledge.

Scharff/Klein 12 Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms

Review Frankland 11 Anxiety and the Paranoid-Schizoid Position

Object Relations Theory: The Depressive Position

Ogden, T. H. (1990). Chapter 4: The depressive position and the birth of the historical self. In The matrix of the mind: Object Relations and the Psychoanalytic Dialogue (pp. 67–99). London: Routledge.

Ogden, T. H. (1990). Chapter 5: Between the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive position. In The matrix of the mind: Object Relations and the Psychoanalytic Dialogue(pp. 101–129). Lond: Routledge.

Countertransference Revisited

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

Mourning and Loss

Freud, S. (1917). Mourning and melancholia. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. XIV, pp. 243–258). London: The Hogarth Press.

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

OPTIONAL Clewell, T. (2004). Mourning beyond melancholia: Freud’s Psychoanalysis of loss. Journal Of The American Psychoanalytic Association, 52, 43–67.

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

Scharff/Coltart 52 Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Scharff/Casement 53 On Learning from the Patient

Psychodynamic Techniques: Enactments

Friedman, R. J., & Natterson, J. N. (1999). Enactments: An intersubjective perspective. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 68, 220–247.

Psychodynamic Techniques: Neutrality, Gratification, and 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 10 Therapeutic Neutrality

Review Frankland 20 Self-Disclosure

Psychodynamic Techniques: Defenses

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. 

Review Cabaniss 23 Unconscious Conflict and Defense

Review Frankland 14 Addressing Possible Decompensation


Freud, S. (1937). Analysis Terminable and Interminable. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 18, 373–405. 

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

Review Cabaniss 30

Review Frankland 24 Termination and Other Therapy Endings

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.

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.

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.


Extra-Curricular Readings

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.