Author: Jeff Yocom, KSCSW Board Member
The Kentucky Society for Clinical Social Work has partnered with the Wayne Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy at Bellarmine University to provide $1,000 scholarships for the Institute to all KSCSW members who join the society or renew their memberships during March Membership Madness. (These scholarships are applicable for the next academic year and contingent upon the registrant meeting Institute admission requirements.) To help KSCSW members understand the full value of these scholarships, I want to share my personal experience as a student in the Wayne Institute during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Simply put, I cannot overstate how much the Wayne Institute has increased my skill and confidence as a therapist. The Institute is designed for licensed, practicing therapists—including counselors, psychologists, and social workers—so it assumes you come in with significant training and clinical experience. The greatest benefit I received from the Institute is that it helped me expand my therapeutic toolkit by providing a practical model for integrating psychodynamic theory into my practice. However, my year in the Institute helped me evolve as a therapist in ways that benefit my clients regardless of the theory or technique I am employing at any given time.
Prior to starting the year-long program, I felt comfortable employing techniques from a variety of therapeutic models, including Motivational Interviewing, CBT, DBT and REBT. I also considered myself empathetic by nature and training, which helped me provide an emotionally safe therapeutic environment for clients. However, the Wayne Institute has given me tools to evaluate and work with clients at a deeper level than I could have previously imagined.
The Wayne Institute curriculum is built around a four-quadrant model for conceptualizing psychodynamic development and dysfunction. This model was developed by the late Jack Danielian, PhD, and Patricia Gianotti, PsyD. (Patricia is the Institute's academic director. You can read more about her and the rest of the great Institute faculty here.) It applies the most recent iterations of psychodynamic theory to map elements of the human psyche across four quadrants:
This four-quadrant model provides the framework for the Wayne Institute curriculum, but it is only one of the tools taught in the program. Through the Institute, I have learned several essential therapeutic techniques that I use daily, including slowing down the client’s experience, listening for entry points, moment-by-moment tracking of affect, and forecasting future discussion topics.
While the four-quadrant model and its psychodynamic underpinnings are at the core of the Wayne Institute curriculum, the program covers a wide array of information important for therapists. Topics covered in significant depth include the science and treatment of trauma, transference and countertransference, ethics for therapists, spirituality and therapy, and the neurophysiology of therapy. While covering all these critical topics, the instructors have always provided up-to-date research and theory while translating that information into practical applications for working therapists.
Covering all this valuable content requires time and attention, and the Institute’s schedule is designed to integrate into the busy schedules of working therapists. The Institute employs a “brief residency” model, in which students and faculty meet in person at three residencies on the Bellarmine University campus in Louisville, with the residencies spread over the year. Each residency is three days long and packed with interactive classroom sessions. Between residencies, students participate in group supervision sessions with faculty via web conferences. Students also attend faculty-led webinars on specific topics every other month. Continuing education credits are provided for residency classes and bi-monthly webinars.
In addition to the time and energy required, all of this excellent instruction and supervision requires a financial investment. The one-year tuition for the Wayne Institute is $6,400. I realize this is a significant cost for a therapist working at a service agency or trying to build a private practice. That’s why I am excited that KSCSW is able to offer a $1,000 scholarship to all our members who start or renew their memberships this month. I sincerely hope that this scholarship will be the difference that allows several KSCSW members to enroll in the Wayne Institute for the 2018-19 academic year.
Personally, I have found my experience as a Wayne Institute student to be worth every dollar and minute I invested. In addition to all the practical tools I have gained, my classroom and supervision work has profoundly affected my in-session presence as a therapist. Though I didn’t realize it, before I started the program I was an impatient therapist. Whether it was due to my personal desire for positive feedback or the pressure for results created by today’s managed-care environment, I cannot say. All I know is that a session without documented progress felt like a failure on my part. However, thanks to the tools and the perspective I acquired in the Wayne Institute, I now feel much more comfortable and relaxed during sessions when the client is not demonstrating obvious progress. The tools and models provided by the program have also significantly improved my ability to conceptualize cases. I now feel able to evaluate and describe cases with a level of detail and nuance that makes my conceptualizations much more useful than the more demographic and symptomatic descriptions I used to produce.
I hope this blog post gives members a better idea of the opportunities provided by the Wayne Institute of Psychotherapy. If you are interested in more information, please visit the Wayne Institute website, check out this webinar for prospective students, or feel free to drop me an email. And don’t forget to either join the KSCSW or renew your existing membership before the end of March so you can receive the $1,000 scholarship to the Wayne Institute for the next academic year.