Study at the Masterson Institute
The three-year postgraduate Certificate Program aims to promote a thorough understanding of Masterson’s integrated developmental, self and object relations approach and its applications to normal human development, psychopathology, and the basic precepts of psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy, with a special focus on the requisite knowledge and skill required to treat personality disorders (also classified as disorders of the self). Significant findings from neurobiology and attachment theory have been integrated into the theoretical framework of the Masterson Approach.
Introduction, About the Programme, Admission Requirements, Curriculum, More Information
The Masterson Institute evolved from the work of its founder James F. Masterson, M.D. and from the contributions of the Institute faculty, which aimed to promote a developmental, self and object relations approach to the psychotherapy of the personality disorders (disorders of the self), to teach that approach to other mental health professionals, and to foster further research in the field. Over the years, the Institute’s teachings have expanded to include intensive study of all psychodynamic models beginning with the work of Freud, and continuing up to contemporary psychoanalytic models. The coursework also includes developmental models ranging from the work of Mahler to attachment theory and models that stress clinical neurobiology.
Beginning in 1987 a series of conferences and study groups created a demand for more intensive training and resulted in the formation of the Masterson Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted to teaching, clinical study and research. Ultimately, two formal, three-year postgraduate certificate programs were established, one in New York (1986) and one in San Francisco (1988).The three-year postgraduate Certificate Program aims to promote a thorough understanding of Masterson’s integrated developmental, self and object relations approach and its applications to normal human development, psychopathology, and the basic precepts of psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy, with a special focus on the requisite knowledge and skill required to treat personality disorders (also classified as disorders of the self). Significant findings from neurobiology and attachment theory have been integrated into the theoretical framework of the Masterson Approach.
The program consists of three years of formal course work plus clinical supervision. Courses are organized into fall and spring semesters, each lasting 16 weeks. The Institute encourages the full development of personal and professional capacities and, therefore, strongly recommends personal psychotherapy to candidates. The Institute aims to build a network of highly trained therapists skilled in basic psychodynamic principles as well as theoretical and technical precepts specifically designed for effective treatment of patients suffering from borderline, narcissistic and schizoid disorders. Matriculation is open to licensed mental health professionals holding a professional degree from an accredited institution. An application is required, including a Curriculum Vita, professional and personal references and a personal statement. In addition, the faculty of the Institute conducts individual interviews. Suitability for enrollment is determined through assessment of intellectual ability, motivation, and personal and professional maturity. The curriculum of the Institute’s program of study is divided into three major areas:
1. Models of the Mind: A three-year survey of psychodynamic and psychobiological theories from Freud to current psychopharmacological and neurobiological models.
2. The psychopathology and psychodynamics of the personality disorders, with specific attention to the etiology, diagnosis, clinical course, and treatment with the Masterson Approach of borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid Disorders. In this segment of the coursework, The tenets of the Masterson Approach will be compared and contrasted with those of other prominent theorists such as Kernberg, Kohut, Guntrip and others. Case presentations will be utilized to illustrate the theoretical precepts and psychotherapeutic techniques being studied.
3. Continuous Case Conference: The continuous case seminar extends throughout the three-year program. During the course of this seminar, cases in treatment by students will be chosen that present ongoing work with each of the personality disorders. Cases will be supervised in class by a faculty member, and opportunities will exist for class members to offer their comments and contributions regarding the ongoing treatment process. The extended nature of this class enables students to see the work as it develops across time, and to begin to understand the dynamics of each of the disorders as well as offering candidates a forum in which to assess the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions as they are used in actual clinical cases.
In order to promote an active learning experience, all classes are conducted in a seminar format, and participation by all class members is strongly encouraged. Required reading is part of all course work, and a specific list of books and articles will be provided to students at the beginning of each semester. Supervision of clinical work is provided throughout the three years, both in the continuous case seminar, where students and a faculty member provide feedback to presenters, and through once-weekly individual supervision with members of the faculty. For more information, please contact the Institute Director, Dr Judith Pearson by email her at judithpearson[at]verizon[dot]net. Also, you can ask your questions on our forum here (you must be registered to post in the forum. Send an email to our webmaster to register).