2000-2001 Two year program and single courses


The Couple and Family Program gives participants the option of attending an institute in Washington; a local seminar, study group or supervision in Burlington, Chevy Chase, Manhattan, Long Island, New Orleans, San Diego, Tampa or Panama; or any combination of the above. One year the summer institute features Couple Therapy. Local weekly courses then follow the Couple Therapy theme. The next summer institute features Family Therapy, including young children as well as adolescents, and the local weekly courses follow suit. Monthly courses have a broader focus on object relations individual, couple and family therapy. Taken together over the course of two years, the components fulfill the requirements for a certificate in object relations couple and family therapy.

The Educational Method
We use a format for teaching and learning that derives from object relations principles. Faculty and participants facilitate each other's growth in an open systems learning format where we examine our own contributions with integrity and value the wisdom of the group. From readings and didactic presentations and from our own experience of learning we learn to integrate cognition and affect, theory and technique, intrapsychic and interpersonal dimensions. The design brings students and faculty to the shared task of studying basic concepts in relation to our work as couple and family therapists The format includes lecture, case presentation, video, and group discussion.

The Institute Integrative Small Group
In the week-long Institutes in couple and family therapy, the large group divides into small groups for process, review and integration of the material at the cognitive, emotional and relational levels. After their participation in the large group discussion of the presentations, small group members meet to integrate their intellectual and emotional reactions to the material at the individual and group levels and to apply it to their clinical situations so as to internalize their new knowledge. The small group meets twice a day and retains the same membership and the same leader.


We ask for participants attendance at all meetings of their small groups, because group support and consistency are important in facilitating internalization of new concepts and methods. The learning may be stressful, and so we ask that participants have enough physical and emotional resilience to cope with the level of commitment and intensity of experience. The aim of the small group is to develop the therapist self as a flexible therapeutic instrument with new knowledge and enhanced skill that applies to clinical work with couples and families.


Supervision is not required for satisfactory completion of this program. As an option, supervision can be made available in person for local students and by telephone for students from other locations. Supervison with guided readings may be substituted for seminar attendance by permission of the program director.

Personal Therapy
Knowledge of their own defenses, transferences, and anxieties is fundamental to the object relations therapist capacity to offer a therapeutic relationship. The faculty of the IIORT expects that participants will undertake their own personal therapy. Therapy is not, however, a requirement for participation in the Couple and Family Therapy Program.

Institute on Family Therapy with Adolescents
June 12-17, 2000
Chair: Carl Bagnini, CSW
Co-Chair: Jill Savege Scharff, M.D.

An in-depth study of the theory and technique of object relations family therapy, featuring projective and introjective identification, transference and countertransference, principles of psychological holding, and interpretation. Lectures, videos, case presentations, large and small group discussion. Taught by Carl Bagnini, CSW, Jill Savege Scharff, MD, David E. Scharff, MD, and IIORT faculty. Distinguished guest faculty: Robin Anderson M.D.

Registration fee: $845; $795 postmarked by May 1, 2000.
Continuing Education Credit: 36 hours

Carl Bagnini (center back), with participants
at the June Institute on Couple Therapy 1999


LOCAL COURSES in FAMILY THERAPY, September 2000 - May 2001
Monthly - 9 Fridays 4-hour seminar (36 credit hours)
Weekly - 24 sessions 1 1/2 hours seminar ( 36 credit hours)
Sharon Dennett, MSW
Kent Ravenscroft, M.D., Judith Rovener, M.S.W., Jill Scharff M.D. and David Scharff M.D.
David Scharff MD
Carl Bagnini MSW
Walton Ehrhardt EdD, LPC
Pat Lindquist PhD
Stanley Tsiqounis PhD
dot PANAMA (in Spanish)
Yolanda de Varela MEd
  A curriculum of readings provides a focus for discussion and application to participant cases. Video and process notes presented by instructor and participants and the groups discussion illustrate theoretical and clinical principles. Focus on transference and countertransference.

Note: The same formats of courses will be offerred in 2001 - 2002 but the topic will then be COUPLE THERAPY

Selection of Applicants
Participants are mental health professionals or students who are accepted on the basis of interest in object relations theory and commitment to group learning. We recruit a diverse body of participants at various levels of experience and from all mental health disciplines. Participants in the Satellite Clinical Application Program must be licensed or license-eligible.

Cancellation Policy
Refunds will be made for written cancellations received in advance of the opening day of the institute or course, less a non-refundable portion of the registration fee which will be retained to cover administrative costs. The non-refundable portion of the registration fee for the institute, and for each course, is $50. IIORT reserves the right to cancel conferences or programs in the case of insufficient registration or other unforseeable circumstance. In the event of cancellation, registrants will be notified and all fees will be refunded in full. IIORT accepts no further liability to students, faculty or guest speakers.

Continuing Education Credit
The International Institute of Object Relations Therapy (IIORT) is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.   IIORT maintains responsibility for the program. The IIORT is recognized by the National Board for Certified Counselors (provider #6017). We adhere to NBCC Continuing Education Guidelines. Application will be made on a per program basis to provide continuing education for social workers. IIORT is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to offer continuing education for MBCC and LCSW licensure (approval #PCE 1508). The weekend courses of the two-year program, the June Family Institute and the California satellite in San Diego will be submitted to the California Psychological Association Accrediting Agency for approval of MCEP continuing education credit for California psychologists.

The Conjoint Therapy Certificate is earned upon satisfactory completion of the two-year program (140 hours), that is two June Institutes (68 hours) and two years of monthly or weekly seminars in couple, child and family therapy (72 hours) or a combination of seminars, institutes and supervision totaling 140 hours


Click here for a description of the two-year core program in Object Relations Theory and Practice