Relational Theory in Clinical Practice



Lisa Lyons, Ph.D., Director

Please note: Our class for 2020-2021 has been filled.
We are not accepting additional applications. Please check out our Seminar Series for additional educational opportunities.

Relational Theory in Clinical Practice is a full year program that focuses on the origins and foundational ideas of Relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis as well as on the application of these ideas in clinical work. By the completion of the program we expect that students will have developed an understanding of the fundamentals of the Relational approach, have been introduced to some of the newer directions of Relational thinking, and have had a chance to look at their own clinical work through a new and expanded lens.

The year-long program is divided into pairs of classes. Each pair includes one class focused on an essential aspect of Relational theory, and a second class focused on related clinical applications. The second class of each unit - the class focused on clinical applications - is an opportunity for a member of the class to present a case. Additionally, throughout the year the instructors weave in vignettes from their own clinical work and encourage students to bring up relevant clinical material for exploration and discussion. Each unit is led by a member of the Mitchell Center faculty who is a leading voice in the topic at hand.

Enrollees will be exposed to a range of concepts and clinical styles, and will have the opportunity to explore ideas with internationally recognized thinkers and clinicians, many of whom have from the start been essential contributors to the development of the theory and practice of Relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Students will also hear from newer, emerging voices. Dr. Lyons will meet periodically with the class throughout the year to facilitate discussion and integration of the material.

The year will begin with exploration of the work of some of the early psychoanalysts whose work had profound influence on the development of Relational thinking. We continue with exploration of the early beginnings of the Relational approach, including the foundational work of Stephen Mitchell. We then move on to essential topics in Relational psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, including the model of mind that forms the scaffolding for the Relational approach, dissociation, trauma, enactment, mutuality and the two-person model, the Relational unconscious, the inter-generational transmission of trauma, work in the community, and the essential incorporation into theory and clinical understanding of race, class, gender, and culture.

Classes include both didactic presentations and interactive discussion. As in all Mitchell Center programs, we aim to create a warm and collegial atmosphere, where students feel free to present their ideas and clinical work, pose questions, and engage in lively open discussion with the faculty and with each other.

This program is appropriate for both experienced and newer mental health clinicians, and is ideally suited for those who have at least some familiarity with psychodynamic theory and practice. It is suitable both for clinicians who have completed analytic training as well as for those who are interested in beginning analytic training.

Graduates of Relational Theory in Clinical Practice have the opportunity to join the year-long Advanced Clinical Seminar offered by the Mitchell Center.

Classes meet on Zoom, Wednesday evenings, from 7- 9pm Eastern Standard Time, from October through May. Enrollment is capped at 15. Tuition for the full year is $2340.

Deposits are due by 5p EST (Click Here for World Time Converter) June 25.
Deposits are non-refundable and will be included in the total amount due for the year.

Non-refundable deposit
Are you a NYS LCSW?
Participant name AND preferred email
If you are a NYS LCSW and you want CE credit,
enter your license number here:


Overview of the Program and Key Concepts
Introduction to Relational Psychoanalysis: Beginnings and Early Papers
Lisa Lyons, PhD

Overview of the development of Relational model
Jody Davies, PhD

The Relational Unconscious
Noelle Burton, PhD


Ferenczi and Mutuality
Tony Bass, PhD

Integration of Material
Lisa Lyons, PhD

Zina Steinberg, PhD

December 30: NO CLASS

Jessica Benjamin, PhD

Trauma, Hate, Destruction
Sue Grand, PhD

Integration of material
Lisa Lyons, PhD

Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma
Jill Salberg

Joyce Slochower

Relational/Integrative perspectives on working with
multi-problem and self-injuring individuals
Lisa Lyons

Tony Bass

Working in community settings
Rossanna Echegoyan

Lisa Lyons

The Stephen Mitchell Relational Study Center, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0261.

Total Available CE Hours for NYS LCSW/LMSW's: 52

Note: Although we are currently in the process of applying to be a CE provider for NYS Licensed Psychoanalysts and NYS Licensed Psychologists, we are not yet approved. For all professions and states other than NYS LCSW's, we are able to provide a certificate of completion.

For more information, please email
A complete list of the Mitchell Center Faculty can be found here: Faculty Information