The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology has announced the launch of the Relationally Focused Psychodynamic Therapy (RFPT) Post-Graduate Certificate, beginning in fall 2019. RFPT is an evidence-based treatment approach with strong roots in depth psychology (particularly contemporary relational psychoanalysis), embodied theology, dialogical philosophy, and neuroscience, and this new certificate is a two-year training program designed to help clinicians deepen their understanding and application of relational psychotherapy.

Dr. Roy Barsness, Professor of Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School, developed Relationally Focused Psychodynamic Therapy from his qualitative research conducted in the realm of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The result of that research culminated in his collaborative book, Core Competencies of Relational Psychoanalysis: A Guide to Practice, Study, and Research.

“Psychology is once again turning its attention to the understanding that actual change occurs by focusing on the unfolding narrative between therapist and patient,” says Dr. Barsness. “The implication of this shift is the need for training in theoretical and practical constructs that attend to motivation, emotions, early attachment/developmental issues, the role of the unconscious, and attention to the research in the neurosciences that notes shifts in affective regulation through genuine encounters with others.”

“Psychology is once again turning its attention to the understanding that actual change occurs by focusing on the unfolding narrative between therapist and patient.”

Decades of research indicate that the provision of therapy is an interpersonal process in which the nature of the therapeutic relationship is a central component for change and healing. For 21 years, The Seattle School has distinguished itself as a program rooted in the belief that we are created, known, wounded, and healed in the context of relationship. Our incarnational theology informs our theory of change, and our psychodynamic methodology develops thoughtful, committed practitioners. The RFPT certificate is designed for practitioners to continue their learning by equipping them with new insights and skills, helping clarify their methodology and theory of change, and offering a network of clinicians for ongoing support, community, and consultation.

This post-graduate certificate represents The Seattle School’s intentional movement toward hybrid learning opportunities that are more accessible than ever, so that participants can continue to learn and grow even as they pursue their day-to-day work. In the RFPT certificate, clinicians will participate in a practice-focused, experiential training program delivered through bi-weekly online clinical consultations and twice-yearly in-person weekend intensive retreats. In the contexts of community and their own practice, participants will pursue an in-depth exploration of how they position themselves in the therapeutic dyad, how they reflect on the conscious and unconscious dynamics that unfold, and how they engage those dynamics with courage, discipline, and insight.

“Learning doesn’t stop once you enter the field,” says Dr. J. Derek McNeil, Acting President and Provost. “I’m pleased to be offering clinicians this opportunity to deepen their own learning and refine their practice in the context of community.”

You can visit the program page to learn more about the Relationally Focused Psychodynamic Therapy Post-Graduate Certificate, including schedule, tuition, program outline, and the application process.