3-year CORE ISTDP Basic Course

  • It is a course officially registered by the international organization IEDTA which sets standards for the training of ISTDP psychotherapists
  • Meets the criteria for an IEDTA certified course
  • Its participants are reported to IEDTA and receive a certificate endorsed by IEDTA
  • Up to 25% of the course classes are taught by recognized international supervisors from all over the world
  • Participants have the opportunity to learn in close, individual contact with supervisors in an intimate group of 7-8 people
  • It is translated simultaneously in both directions
  • Provides supervision between meetings by pairs of certified ISTDP psychotherapists studying in the assistantship course
  • Provides the opportunity to participate in educational ISTDP- PL community meetings

Basic Training Objective:

  • To provide thorough education in ISTDP – Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy – EDT – experiential dynamic therapy
  • Training psychotherapists to achieve excellence in the assessment and use of ISTDP – EDT in a diverse patient population
  • Provide participants with the most current information on ISTDP – EDT theory, clinical applications and research
  • Welcoming participants to an international community of ISTDP psychotherapists that values dialogue and collaboration between different formats of experiential (experience-oriented) therapies
  • Cultivate a collegial, professional, respectful environment that encourages collaboration and learning

Learning format

  • Direct contact between the hosts and participants
  • Presentation of video recordings of work with patients by teachers and supervisors
  • Role- playing and other active learning techniques
  • Supervision of individual work with patients in a supervision group
  • Interactive lectures

Course programme

  1. The spectrum of structural neurosis and the patient’s location on the spectrum
  2. Separating the patient’s healthy ego from the pathological parts of the superego
  3. Working with the patient in the Triangle of People and the Triangle of Conflict
  4. Central dynamic sequence
  5. Establishing and maintaining a conscious and unconscious therapeutic/working alliance
  6. Assessment and working with „front door and basement door” defenses (defenses against contact/emotional closeness with the therapist and against experiencing feelings)
  7. Assessment of the patient’s anxiety regulation (pathways and patterns of anxiety regulation, healthy and unhealthy regulation)
  8. Restructuring the adaptability of the patient’s ego
  9. Assessing the patient’s regulation of emotions
  10. Exploring the patient’s unconsciousness, experiencing impulses and feelings
  11. Portraying and visualizing the patient’s impulse, guilt, grief, and access to past trauma
  12. Working and making connections in the Triangle of People
  13. Completion phase of therapeutic work and sessions after completion

Theoretical part

  • History of ISTDP and overview of current EDT models
  • Case conceptualization and treatment planning
  • The Triangle of Conflict and the Triangle of People
  • How to nurture a therapeutic/working alliance
  • Recognition of defenses and related interventions
  • Anxiety recognition and related interventions
  • Recognition of feelings and related interventions
  • Reworking: working with the patient after initial unconscious breakthroughs
  • End of job and follow-up sessions – when completed
  • ISTDP research

Practical part

  • Review and analysis of videotaped sessions conducted by certified supervisors and IEDTA teachers 
  • Review and supervision of video excerpts from psychotherapy sessions conducted by participants
  • Practical work with a psychotherapeutic protocol – Josette ten Have-de Labije’s Road Map to the Unconscious – while analyzing recordings.
  • Gradual transition from theoretical training and analysis of video excerpts of the supervisor’s work to supervision of participants’ video materials
  • Work on a personal and group level with a small group of participants working together
  • Role-playing and other active learning techniques
  • Each participant has access to a recording of their supervision of work with patients
  • Each supervised patient is analyzed on the supervision form and on this basis a case report is formulated for the course credit
  • Supervision support between meetings
  • Participate in monthly community meetings moderated by the Polish ISTDP-PL association during which learning material is presented and patient work is supervised

Criteria for the 3-year CORE ISTDP Basic Course

  • Candidates must be licensed to work in the mental health field at the time they begin the course or be in the process of such an educational process at a level that allows them to work with patients
  • During the first year, participants present recorded audio-video sessions of their work with patients
  • Over the course of 3 years, each participant supervises 12 recordings of his or her therapeutic work during the course and approximately 3-6 recordings during assistant supervision
  • At least 50 of the didactic sessions are taught by a certified IEDTA teacher, the remainder may be taught by experienced ISTDP psychotherapists – assistants under the supervision of a supervisor
  • At least 75% of group supervision is conducted by an IEDTA certified supervisor

List of certified core courses around the world

List of certified core courses taught by the ISTDP Center:
Course conducted by Dr. Joanna Duchniewicz


The total cost of the course  is 36 000 PLN in total  payable in installments.
CORE ISTDP participants are reimbursed 30% of the cost of the introductory course
account number for payments: Bank Pekao 91124063481111001053587179

Registration form