Postgraduate Fellowship

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Fellowship

The Postgraduate Fellowship in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy offers advanced training designed to develop and refine theoretical and clinical competence in the conduct of psychoanalytic and psychodynamically oriented psychotherapy and clinical assessment. It is open to licensed and prelicensed graduate mental health professionals.

A large teaching and supervisory faculty participate in the Postgraduate Center’s training program. Most contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives are represented within this diverse group. The field of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy has undergone a significant evolution in recent years. WILA’s postgraduate program presents the enduring core of theory and technique while emphasizing contemporary developments, which have advanced theory and enlarged the range of application of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. These developments include advances in the treatment of borderline and narcissistic personality organization, new work in object relations theory, the widened scope of the patient therapist relationship, intersubjectivity, and recent applications of psychoanalytic theories and technique to brief psychotherapy.

Program activities include the conduct of psychotherapy with a caseload drawn from WILA’s Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic, individual and group supervision, seminars on theory and technique, and clinical case conferences.

Full-time Fellows provide 18-20 hours of psychotherapy, receive 3 hours of individual supervision, 1 hour of group supervision, and participate in an average of eight hours of seminars and case conferences weekly. Full-time Fellows may also participate in a clinic project, the nature of which varies from year to year.

A typical half-time Fellows’ program includes a caseload of 10-12 hours of brief and long-term individual, conjoint, and group therapy. Most patients are adults seen on an intensive, long-term basis. In addition, half-time Fellows participate in an average of six hours of seminars and case conferences, and receive 2 hours of individual and 1 hour of group supervision weekly.

Select WILA interns and post-graduate Fellows have the unique opportunity to be part of our Therapeutic Identity and Professional Development track. WILA is one of, if not the only, program to offer students the space to not only deepen their clinical skills but also to learn in-vivo how to market their own practice and gain step-by-step guidance in building their confidence in their identity as clinicians. We believe this process will help to ensure a smooth transition into licensure and being a private practice clinician. In addition students learn more about how WILA works as an analytic clinic and training institute and support its mission as a non-profit mental health leader in the Los Angeles area.

The Postgraduate Center shares Wright Institute Los Angeles’ commitment to a multidisciplinary, social-clinical approach to human problems. This commitment is reflected in the Center’s Teaching and Supervisory Faculty, which is drawn from each of the mental health disciplines and our openness to innovative conceptions and approaches. Our social-clinical orientation is also reflected in the tempering of traditional clinical knowledge with an appreciation of the vast array of social, political and economic forces, which influence individuals and groups in our society. The Postgraduate Center encourages fellows to share in the intellectual, cultural and community life of Wright Institute Los Angeles, and to participate in the development of its programs.

Fellows who successfully complete the program are awarded a certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Mutual evaluation and accountability are core values of the program. Supervisors and Fellows write evaluations of their work together twice yearly. In the event of concern or complaint, Fellows have access to the grievance procedures described in the Institutes’ Procedures Manual.

Participation in the Postgraduate Program meets the supervised professional experience requirements for licensure of the Board of Psychology (for Postdoctoral Fellows) and the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners (for Postgraduate Social Workers and MFTs) in California. Professional experience obtained at The Postgraduate Center has also been accepted by licensing boards in other states in which Fellows have sought licensure.



The Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is open to licensed and prelicensed professionals in the mental health disciplines, who have completed their academic training and hold the degree necessary for licensure in their profession: Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. for psychologists, M.D. for physicians, MSW for social workers, MS for psychiatric nurses, and MA or MS for marriage and family therapists. Fellows entering the program must have completed all requirements for their graduate degree.

We have two start dates for our training: July 1st and October 1st. Applications are accepted year round. To be considered for the same year’s cohort, you are advised to submit your application before March 1st as we begin interviews at that time. Occasionally we have an opening off cycle so feel free to inquire by emailing

To apply, complete our Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy application. Applications are evaluated soon after receipt. A personal interview is required for final acceptance into the program.


Course of Study

The didactic portion of the program includes a variety of experiences: administrative conferences, clinical conferences, and seminars. Seminars are offered on a quarter system. Academic quarters begin in early October, January, April, and July. Clinical work, supervision and administrative conferences continue throughout the year. Seminars are held on Mondays in the 10 AM to 2:50 PM time frame, and Tuesdays in the 10 AM to 4:50 PM time frame.



Clinical Case Conference: In a small group format, Fellows present an ongoing case to a senior consultant. A different consultant leads the conference each quarter.

Intake conference: The Clinical Director and trainees on the intake service meet weekly to evaluate and assign applicants to the Psychotherapy Clinic.

Charting Conference: This conference explores the patient’s file as a legal and clinical document. Its focus is the proper documentation of clinical work, response to subpoenas and other requests for case records, and ethical/legal issues in the conduct and charting of psychotherapy and assessment.

Administrative Conference. The Institute Director, Fellows, other trainees, and staff focus upon program, administrative, and policy issues in the operation of the training programs and the Clinic. This conference meets regularly throughout the year.


Didactic Seminars

Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters
The following seminars are typically offered during the fall, winter and spring quarters of the two-year training sequence.

1. Advanced Psychoanalytic Concepts: A senior analyst leads this review of foundational theoretical and clinical concepts from the vantage point of the seminar leader’s substantial clinical experience and study of the evolving psychoanalytic literature.

2. Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy: This course explores the current state and core models of brief dynamic psychotherapy. Also examined are recent contributions from self psychology and object relations theory to the conduct of brief psychotherapy.

3. Clinical Use of Dreams: Psychoanalytic theories and techniques of dream interpretation are the major focus of this course. The relevance of dreams to current case material is explored.

4. Conjoint Psychotherapy: Object relations and other psychoanalytic theories are applied to the understanding and conduct of marital and couples therapy. Concepts such as complimentary needs in mate selection, unconscious collision and projective identification create a theoretical bridge from theories of individual personality organization to an appreciation of the dynamics of relationships.

5. Core Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: This course reviews the main parameters of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy – the therapeutic frame, the therapeutic relationship, transference and counter-transference, interpretation and curative factors.

6. Eating Disorders & Addictions: An examination of the psychoanalytic contribution to understanding and treating eating disorders and addictive states. The course reviews theory and treatment approaches.

7. Freud: An introduction to reading Freud and an examination of his core papers. Seminal work on dreams, the unconscious, structural theory, anxiety and technique are discussed.

8. History of Psychoanalytic Concepts: An historical survey of the main currents in psychoanalytic thought and the impact the various schools have had on one another and the overall fields of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

9. Klein and The Kleinians: This seminar explores the development of Klein’s theories. Theoretical and technical contributions of the Kleinian group are also examined.

10. Object Relations Theories: This course studies British and American object relations theories including contributions made by Fairburn, Guntrip, Jacobson, Kernberg, and Winnicott. The impact and ramifications of the object relations perspective on psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice is a central focus.

11. The Primitive Mind and Borderline Personality Organization: An examination of primitive mental development and functioning. The course focuses on borderline personality organization. The current state of theory and technique are studied through an exploration of the works of Bion, Giovacchini, Kernberg, Klein, Masterson, Searles, and others.

12. Transference and Counter Transference: A clinical seminar mainly focused on the understanding and therapeutic use of the therapist’s internal and behavioral reactions to the patient’s transferences.

13. Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders: The application of psychological theories of the self to understanding early development and narcissistic personality disturbance is explored in this course. The work of Kernberg, Kohut, Stolorow, and other self-psychologists is closely examined.

14. Treatment of Traumatized Patients: The effects of trauma on the developing human psyche. Special treatment considerations for patients who have experienced trauma at various points in the life cycle are explored.

Summer Quarter
The summer quarter consists of a number of relatively brief seminars and conferences, which vary from year to year. Typical offerings include:

Advanced Principles in the Treatment of Primitive Mental States
Attachment Theory in Practice
Building a Private Practice in Psychotherapy
How Does Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Cure?
The Impact of a Culturally Diverse Patient Population on the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
LGBT Issues in Psychotherapy
Meet the Institutes – a brief presentation from each of the five major psychoanalytic institutes in Los Angeles
The Psychoanalytic Frame
Psychopharmacology in the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy


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