Certified APT™- Core Training

Year 1: Learn the theory and practice of APT

Module 1: Overview of 3 year Certified APT™-Core Training
Module 2: Working the Triangles: Learn how to observe, assess, and intervene with psychodynamic conflict
Module 3: Activating the Anxiety Gateway: Learn how to observe, assess, and engage with anxiety to effectively facilitate change
Module 4: Facing the Shadow: Learn how to identify and compassionately clarify defenses so to awaken the desire, motivation, and drive to engage in the therapeutic process

Year 2: Learn how to cultivate a working therapeutic alliance

Module 5: Breaking Through to Feeling: Learn how to identify somatic pathways of emotion and work with different types of emotional breakthroughs
Module 6: Intergenerational Trauma: Learn how to identify and work with repressive defenses and within the transference
Module 7: Riding the Wave: Learn how to face the intensity of your client’s emotions and confidently maintain effectiveness even if you feel overwhelmed
Module 8: Clinician Use Thyself: Learn why your own emotional intelligence is essential to the therapeutic process.

Year 3: Learn how to support and sustain your therapeutic stance

Module 9: Beyond the Words: Learn how the non-verbal interplay deepens the therapeutic alliance
Module 10: A Roadmap to Closeness: Learn how to cultivate closeness within the therapeutic relationship
Module 11: When Things Go Off the Rails: Learn how to turn therapeutic ruptures into opportunities for increased connection
Module 12: Complex and Fragile Cases: Learn the importance of timing, creativity, and choosing interventions that are the right fit for your client

Short Description

Certified APT™-Core Training is an experiential, intensive, hands-on, group learning experience for mental health clinicians. Trainees meet 4 weekends a year, for three years, to learn how to utilize the theory and techniques of APT. Trainees will develop a deeper understanding of their own emotional conflicts and how they are activated in their clinical work. They will also create their own deliberate practice plan to guide their training process.

Each training weekend includes presenting video segments of psychotherapy sessions, research, exploring case studies, role-playing exercises, and setting goals for professional development. Trainees receive 50% theoretical and clinical instruction and 50% consultation. Upon completion, participants are eligible to become a Certified APT™-Therapist and receive a Certified APT™-Core Training Certificate of Completion & a Certified IEDTA-Core Training Certificate of Completion.

Overall Learning Objectives

Trainees learn how to assess and treat emotional conflicts as described in Treating Affect Phobia: A Manual (McCullough, et al, 2003). In the process of their training, trainees develop the ability to work with Malan’s Two Triangles (Malan, 1979), and master the fine art of assessment: differentiating between adaptive and maladaptive feelings and creating a working core conflict formulation. Trainees also learn how to help clients with anxiety regulation, restructuring defenses, and affect exposures.

As foundational objectives are mastered, more advanced elements of the model are introduced. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of practice, the ability to accept and use constructive feedback, and the ability to identify and work with internal feelings, as well as, the ability to make a thorough assessment, create treatment plans, and prepare for termination.

Research is an integral part of this program and students are trained to use the Achievement of Therapeutic Objectives Scale (ATOS) and the Achievement of Therapeutic Objectives Scale-Therapist (ATOS-Therapist) to code ten-minute segments of psychotherapy sessions.


Learning Objectives

  • How to assess what feelings your client has access to or not
  • How to understand family/system patterns and their relationship with avoided feelings
  • How to identify each pole of the Triangle of Conflict and Triangle of Person
  • How to assess your own emotional conflicts
  • How to collaborate with your client and create a working core conflict formulation using the Triangle of Conflict and Triangle of Person
  • Learn both the timing and application of therapeutic interventions
  • How to identify the type, intensity and level of anxiety discharge
  • How to know when to increase, explore, or regulate anxiety
  • How to help your clients see their defenses, understand where they originate from, and recognize their cost and benefits
  • Learn how to help your client increase their motivation to let go of their defenses
  • Learn how to cultivate a strong working alliance with your client
  • Lean how to work with complex and fragile cases
  • Learn how to help your client cultivate self-compassion, self-awareness, and commitment to self-care
  • Learn how to help your client experience and integrate their previously avoided feelings (grief, sadness, anger, rage, positive feelings of the self, guilt, and intimacy)
  • Learn how to help your client increase their overall sense of self
  • Learn how to help your client increase their awareness and understanding of others
  • Learn how to help your client be able to ‘give and receive’ within a healthy relationship
  • Learn how to help your client create their own ‘deliberate practice’ plan
  • Learn how to create your own ‘deliberate practice’ plan
  • Learn how to code video segments of psychotherapy by using scales like ATOS and ATOS-Therapist

Learning Methods

  • Video segments of psychotherapy sessions
  • Interactive exercises
  • Keynote presentation
  • IEDTA Membership
  • Certified APT™-Webinars
  • Certified APT™-Master Class
  • Certified APT™-Consultation
  • Certified APT™-Consultation Form
  • Certified APT™-Forms
  • Certified APT™–Research Scales


  • Abbass, A. (2015) Reaching Through Resistance: Advanced Psychotherapy Techniques. Seven Leaves Press.
  • Desmond, T. (2016) Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  • Donovan, J, Osborn, K, & Rice, S. (2016) Paraverbal Communication in Psychotherapy: Beyond the Words. New York, New York: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Gilbert, P. (2010) Compassion Focused Therapy. New York, New York: Routledge.
  • McCullough, L. et al (2003) Treating Affect Phobia. New York, New York: The Guilford Press.
  • McCullough, L. (1997) Changing Character. New York, New York: Basic Books.
  • Perry, B. & Szalavitz, M. (2006) The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Loving and Healing. New York, New York: Basic Books.
  • Rousmanier,T. (2017) Deliberate Practice for Psychotherapists. A Guide to Improving Clinical Effectiveness. New York, New York: Routledge, NY.
  • Siegel, D, J & Solomon, M. (ED) (2013) Healing Moments in Psychotherapy.New York, New York: Norton & Company.
  • Thoma, N & McKay, D. (2014) Working with Emotion in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Clinical Practice. New York, New York: Guilford Press.


Video segments from psychotherapy sessions

Applicant Requirements

Applicants are required to provide a curriculum vitae (résumé) detailing their work as a therapist, and a statement of interest demonstrating their motivation for working with APT. If accepted into the core training, they are required to bring a copy of their license (or proof of registration or accreditation as a therapist, or relevant equivalent, for those practicing countries outside the US) and malpractice insurance, or proof of enrollment in an accredited university, as well as the name and contact information of their site supervisor. All participants will be required to sign an annual contract that includes payment for the year.


$3,325.00 USD

* NOTE: All core trainings are subject to approval by Kristin Osborn. Please make sure you have been approved by Kristin before making payments.



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