Post-Graduate Training Program Alumni Testimonials

I came to TPI in 2014 as a MFT intern with no previous theoretical psychodynamic training outside of my own personal Jungian analysis. Having graduated from a CBT-focused counseling psychology program at University of San Francisco and having worked primarily in community mental health doing case management prior, a part of me was worried my clinical mind wouldn't be as valuable as my fellow colleagues entering the program. While I struggled to find my place at TPI initially, the community not only welcomed and normalized my personal and professional vulnerabilities but they--they being, my supervisors, peers, didactic instructors and clinical directors--helped me make meaning out of my experience(s) so that I could see, develop and own my unique style as a therapist. My experience at TPI has allowed me to embrace, the often uncomfortable process, of learning, being seen, hiding, being found, taking risks, making mistakes and repairing, all of which has gifted me a stronger sense of myself and my clinical work. I am now graduated from the 2-year training program and in a shared private practice with a fellow TPI graduate, getting consultation from my secondary TPI supervisor, leading a monthly study group on "whiteness" at TPI and am well connected to my TPI colleagues on a weekly basis. I mention all the ways I am connected to the community post-graduation because a solid network of people supporting you and vice versa, is a big part of what you get coming to TPI. I think anyone who has the opportunity to attend TPI will take something valuable away both personally and professionally.

Rae Mountz, LMFT (Class of 2016)

My time at TPI was easily the most valuable training experience in my formation as a clinician. The ethos at TPI is warm, supportive, and encouraging, and also rigorous, vigorous, and challenging. In this way it models the ideal aspects of the therapy relationship. Working and training at TPI opened a door into an entire new world (for me) of being able to think and process with colleagues, supervisors, and clients in a deep and meaningful way. The combination of theoretical and experiential learning, and of personal and professional development, were exactly what I needed in order to transition from an apprentice to a licensed professional. Additionally, one becomes part of a vital local community, more a family really, of thoughtful, interested practitioners. For these reasons, I see my time at TPI as an investment that continues to pay valuable dividends in my work and my life. If you want to take the next step in the honing of your craft, and you thrive in intensive group settings, I can’t recommend the post graduate program highly enough.

Jonathan Burstein, LMFT (Class of 2015)

The two years I spent immersed in TPI's post-graduate clinical training program were transformative, professionally and personally. I came to TPI after working as a lawyer for more than a decade in large corporate firms in New York City and San Francisco, where I was trained in many intellectually rigorous but not consistently supportive environments. By contrast, TPI is one of the rare organizations and training grounds that is both. The unparalleled depth and quality of supervision and didactic instruction, along with a warm, nurturing foundation allow risk taking and growth in a safe, contained environment. At TPI, my clinical work and personal ability to think psychodynamically blossomed in complexity and nuance. I learned to welcome and accept the inherent uncertainties of sitting with clients and to have faith that whatever unfolds during the therapeutic relationship will be the impetus for change. Being part of a cohort of talented, interesting therapists and the larger membership at TPI also provided me with a much-needed community. In short, similar to that of a meaningful therapeutic relationship, my experience at TPI has been internalized in ways that often surprise me in private practice, as I find myself instinctively drawing upon a useful quote from a group leader, cohort member, or one of my many inspiring individual supervisory sessions. I highly recommend the training.

Sarah Weinstein, J.D., LMFT (Class of 2014)

When I started the training program at TPI I could not have imagined how life-changing it would be. I can say without hesitation that the 3 years I spent at TPI were instrumental in my development as a clinician, and in my personal growth. Every day I was reminded that I was part of something special: supervision by seasoned, gifted, and generous clinician; the depth and variety of the didactic material, and the quality of the presenters; the richness of the contributions of my fellow staff therapists. The experience was like being on a journey of challenges: learning to question and unlearn my preconceived notions; struggling to tolerate being in the not knowing, the uncertainty of things; and exploring new territories of my psyche. It was difficult at times, demanding and strenuous at others. But TPI knew how to make that happen in a safe and nurturing environment. I learned to embrace the growing pains necessary in a transformative journey. To me going through TPI’s training program was more like an initiation in the craft of becoming a therapist; I was given the tools for the trade, and I became part of a wonderful community. Because of my experience as a Staff Therapist, TPI is the place I call “my professional home.”

Nancy Arce-Wallach, LCSW (Class of 2012)

The TPI training program introduced me to a rich and varied theoretical framework for understanding the human psyche. What I gained most from the training, however, was a refined ability to listen--to really listen from a depth perspective. Under the tutelage of generous and gifted supervisors, group facilitators, and didactic instructors, I was able to sit with my clinical uncertainties and missteps, maintain my faith in the transformative power of the therapeutic process, and gradually attune myself to the beauty and poetry of the unconscious. Letting go enough to permit such a shift requires support from a very special community. TPI is such a community, one resting on cornerstones of inclusiveness, service, professional growth, and respect for the full range of human experience. I have little doubt that my two years at TPI will be with me--in my mind and my heart--for many years to come.

Jim Rosati, LMFT (Class of 2012)

You'd pretty much have to be made of stone not to be affected by TPI. Most people come to TPI because of the long-standing quality of the supervision and because of its reputation in helping its graduates build a solid foundation for their practice. But in a professional world in which the therapist's ability to be self-reflective is one of the central factors for what allows for therapeutic change, TPI provides a welcoming and challenging way of allowing this to develop. As I gradually felt that I was becoming a part of this very unique community, the training became as invaluable personally as it was professionally. And although TPI certainly provides a world of opportunity to learn, grow, change and develop, one comes to realize that it is not for the faint of heart. So although I recommend it, it comes with a word of caution: if you are not ready to become different, then you should really wait until you are.

It is a strange and rare place that I hope will always continue on in its supportive and penetrating way, helping its trainees help others through exploring their strengths and limitations; gifts and blind spots; light and shadows.

Garrick Duckler, MFTI (Class of 2010)

My graduate program gave me a taste of how complex and intricate a process psychodynamic psychotherapy is; after graduating I felt as though I was just ready to begin the real work of learning how to truly engage in depth work with my clients. The training program at TPI provided me not only with the foundational skills I needed to become a psychotherapist, but also with a professional identity. Since beginning TPI I have grown exponentially, not only with regards to my assessment and clinical skills, but also in my capacity to be self-reflective specifically around clinical, supervisory, and interpersonal dynamics - a skill that, though an integral part of a well-rounded clinician is often difficult to learn through agency and other professional mental-health settings. The superior clinical skills I learned and continue to learn from the TPI community coupled with the professional and personal relationships that were formed through my time in the training program make my decision to attend the training program one of the best I have made in my career.

Jenessa Radocchio, MSW (Class of 2009)

The time I spent training at TPI was the most formative of my professional life. The earnestness, kindness and compassion which my supervisors and teachers brought to my education and professional development was not only beyond what I had experienced in other settings, but also beyond what I had even thought possible. I was constantly intellectually stimulated and emotionally challenged, while simultaneously I felt deeply held. Another aspect of the training which was quite powerful, was the experience of being part of such a variety of groups with my colleagues. Spending many hours per week together over the course of months and years was intense and stretched me to learn and grow in unanticipated ways. As a result of my experience at TPI, I have found my professional home, and also forged strong connections with colleagues from a wide variety of backgrounds, and stages of professional development. My experiences at TPI serve as a model for how to be with clients, how to trust the psyche, and how to trust in the process of psychotherapy.

Eileen Cohune-Brown, MFTI (Class of 2009)

My experience in the post graduate training program at The Psychotherapy Institute was a many-faceted rich experience. TPI excels in its ability to create and facilitate the group setting in order to support beginning clinicians in their process of discovering and enabling individual identities as therapists. For me this facet was one of the most profound deintegration and reintegration processes in my life which continues to inform my awareness of my roles in both the therapeutic dyad and in larger groups. My participation in these various groups enabled professional ties to individuals who continue to enrich and strengthen my attachment to TPI as my professional family.

Maria Bratko, LMFT (Class of 2007)

I would like to emphasize that one of its strengths is TPI’s openness to change, particularly with regard to multicultural dialogue. As a member of minority groups—in terms of ethnicity and socioeconomic class—I felt free to talk about my training experiences, both good and bad, to all of my supervisors, administrative staff, and leaders of various groups. TPI allowed me to do therapy in a different language; I felt competent doing therapy in my own language and received appropriate supervision even though supervisors did not speak that language. Talking about multicultural issues through out my training enriched both my professional and personal life. At the Institute level, minority voices were heard and changes were adopted. Supervisors and TPI members in leadership positions addressed multicultural views—and without power struggles between staff therapists and administration.

Miwako Ishii, M.S. (Class of 2006)

The training at TPI was an initiation for me. I became a therapist there. All of the threads of my on-going development as a clinician have their roots in my experience at TPI. I found the program to have both breadth and depth. In the relationships with my many supervisors, my peers, in the exposure to so many different clinicians, in a curriculum well balanced between classical and contemporary theory and practical clinical training, I forged the foundations of my professional identity. In addition, I found myself welcomed and folded in as a permanent member of the rich and vital TPI community.

Scott Carollo, M.A. (Class of 2006)

The years I spent training at TPI were among the richest and most stimulating of my life. The opportunity to be immersed in a world of conversation, collegiality, study and clinical practice was wonderful and TPI very quickly became the holding environment I needed to begin to formulate my identity as a psychotherapist. Among my favorite aspects of the program were the intensive supervision, the opportunity to work with a diverse client population, and the many opportunities to learn from fellow trainees in various small group settings. Two years post graduation, I still very much consider TPI to be my professional home. I feel very fortunate for the sense of community and membership in an organization which values psychotherapy with such purpose and integrity.

Alexis Rubin, LCSW (Class of 2004)