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Certificate in Advanced Psychodynamics

The purpose of this Module is to advance the students’ knowledge and skills so that trainees can integrate psychodynamic theory and practice more seamlessly into their work with clients. 


The purpose of this module is to advance the student’s knowledge, experience and skills so that students can better integrate psychodynamic theory and practice into their client work. Specifically, this requires building upon their existing knowledge and skills of psychodynamic psychotherapy. The module is directed at furthering each student’s progression towards a personal, critical model of the psychodynamic approach within the psychotherapeutic encounter.

Students are introduced to the theories and approaches of Klein, Winnicott, Bowlby, Kohut, Trevarthen, and Stern, and equipped with a theoretical background and opportunity to develop and practice skills used in post-Freudian psychodynamic psychotherapy.
There is a focus on transference, counter-transference, attachment and intersubjectivity in clinical work, as informed by the Object Relations and Self-Psychology schools.

Course Details

Venue: Dublin City Centre, Limerick & Belfast 

*For booking on to the Belfast course, please contact enquiries@pcicollege.ie or +353 1 464 2268


Duration: 30 Hour Programme

Next Start Date:TBC


Timetable:Two Weekends - Saturday & Sunday - 9:00am - 5:30pm 
Lecturer: Madeleine Flynn


  • An understanding of the theories of the Object Relations and Self Psychology schools, Attachment theory and Inter-subjectivity, in particular the thinking of Klein, Bowlby, Winnicott and Kohut, Trevarthen, Stern.
  • The role of early relationships in psychological life and development.
  • The acquisition of psychodynamic concepts and approaches and an ability to demonstrate their application in a clinical setting familiar to each student.
  • Further development of advanced practical skills in psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • Further development of competence in working with transference and counter-transference material in a clinical setting.
  • Critical thinking: contemporary and advanced psychodynamic approaches and skills in working with complex defenses in the psychotherapeutic encounter.

Assessed Award:




Qualification in Counselling, Psychotherapy or other helping professionals with therapeutic experience and students currently in professional training (Year 2 onwards). Entry is by application form.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Conceptualise how primary relationships influence later life and development and demonstrate how this is understood and worked with by two of the following schools: Object Relations, Attachment, Inter-subjectivity and Self-Psychology.
  • Critically discuss the therapeutic strategies and process informed by the respective schools and use case material to demonstrate the process.
  • Conceptually examine and work with one of your client’s personal history, early relationships, and present day relational patterns.
  • Demonstrate a competent understanding of and approach to working with Object Relations and Self-Psychology schools, Attachment and Inter-Subjectivity theories.
  • Identify missing developmental needs and provide an attuned, informed, therapeutic response in relation to: holding, play, mirroring and repairing the fundamental split between good and bad inner objects.
  • Identify and work with attachment patterns, complex resistance, transference and counter-transference material, using your clinical experiences to illustrate the material.

Learning and Teaching Strategy

The module provides an environmental experience through the use of class exercises and small group exploration that will enable a deeper experience of these theoretical concepts.
This will consist of a series of taught components introducing students to the main theoretical schools. These lectures will also include case material to illustrate the theoretical concepts in a clinical setting, together with class exercises to help students apply these concepts to their clinical work.




The exact format and title of assessments can vary. The information provided below has been included as an illustration of the assessment types and academic level expected of students.

Formative Assignment:

Students are also required to keep a journal during the module to facilitate personal process and awareness.

Summative Assignment:

Students are required to write a 4,000-word assignment.



Reading List

Core Texts

Gomez, L. (1997). An introduction to object relations. London: Free Association Books.

Lemma, Alessandra (1995). Invitation to Psychodynamic Psychology: Whurr Publishers

Recommended Reading
Segal, H. (1988). Introduction to the work of Melanie Klein. London: Karnac.

Holmes, J. (1993). John Bowlby and attachment theory. London: Routledge

Phillips, A. (1988). Winnicott. USA: Fontana.

Winnicott, D.W. (1990). The maturational processes and the facilitating environment. London: Karnac. 


What our Students Say

"It was more than I expected; the teaching was brilliant, very organised, bringing lots of interesting reading and activities".
2012-2013 Student - Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling & Psychotherapy

What our Students Say

"Lecturer was very approachable and able to apply theoretical work to all forms of therapy".
2012-2013 Student - Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling & Psychotherapy
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