Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is an integral component of training at UCLA San Fernando Valley. Residents begin formal psychotherapy training early in the intern year and continuously build their skills throughout their four years in the program. Our residents consistently score among the highest in the nation on the Columbia Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Skills Exam.

During PGY1, residents learn a variety of supportive techniques appropriate for the acutely ill patient and apply these skills in the inpatient setting.

Beginning in PGY2, residents have the unique opportunity to run an outpatient clinic, allowing them to learn and practice more advanced psychotherapy techniques appropriate to the outpatient setting. PGY2s meet weekly for psychotherapy-oriented didactics and learn the basics of psychoanalytic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and ego and self psychology. Second year residents also participate in group psychotherapy as part of their training.

PGY3 residents continue to receive direct supervision from faculty on psychotherapy cases and have opportunities to expand into treating patients in one-on-one, couples, and group settings. Formal didactics related to psychotherapy continue through the third year and cover topics such as cognitive processing and prolonged exposure therapy.

For PGY4 residents, the year-long clinic at California State University Northridge is another opportunity to gain exposure to diverse psychotherapy cases. This rotation includes direct access to both psychology and psychiatry staff. Fourth year residents continue to take part in formal didactics, which cover such topics as interpersonal therapy and termination issues.

Interested residents who wish to dedicate more time to psychotherapeutic training have further opportunities through our program’s affiliation with UCLA. Our residents have access to the Psychiatric Clinical Faculty Association, which has an extensive roster of faculty who help teach psychotherapy. Residents who wish to receive individual psychotherapy themselves can do so at low cost through UCLA’s resident psychotherapy program. Los Angeles is also home to multiple psychoanalytic institutes and residents interested in more intensive training often attend lectures and take courses offered by those organizations. There is no shortage of opportunity for residents in our program to enrich their knowledge of psychotherapy.