Living Institute Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy Diploma

Clinical Director Caroline Mardon

Video: Caroline Mardon - Psychotherapy (science.mcmaster.ca)

This three year training program offers theoretical and clinical skills, as well as a significant personal growth element and a service component oriented toward cultural evolution.

The Living Institute Psychotherapy Diploma is a training in the Holistic Experiential Psychotherapy Method (HEP) as applied to psychotherapy.

Program Structure: Year 1 will be focused through a theoretical overview model, drawing on humanistic, existential, transpersonal, psychodynamic, archetypal and somatic depth psychologies, as well as a number of other streams. This will include the philosophical and cultural stream of the Romantic tradition, modernist art and literature, critical theory, culture studies, Continental Philosophy and post modernism. A multicultural perspective is integral to this program. The spiritual aspect of the transpersonal tradition will draw on mythology, Vajrayana Buddhism, the shamanistic model and Western mystical traditions. This includes a focus on Thomas Berry's geocentric theology and ecospirituality.

It also includes a complex understanding of the 'norm of nature' and 'healing power of nature' as expressed in Naturphilosophie, homeopathy and naturopathy. The holistic and evolutionary paradigms, self organizing systems theory and dynamical systems theory will also be taught in this year. We will highlight the value of humanistic, qualitative and phenomenological research. Personal growth work commences with weekly individual sessions.

In year 2 the clinical skills aspects of these traditions will be the focus, along with basic psychotherapy skills, psychological assessment, ethics and professional relations. This will include an expressive and dramatic arts component and the theme of integrating the natural world into a psychotherapy model, as well as disciplines such as tantric yoga, Chi Gong and the spiritual emergence tradition. The personal growth focus will continue. In this year, students will start clinical skills training. Eligible students will be encouraged to begin developing their own individual practice under supervision. There is a plan under way to create a Living Institute student clinic, where clients will be treated by eligible students under supervision.

In year 3 the focus will be on continuing integration of theoretical and clinical skills, and special topics such as trauma work, energy healing, sexuality, death and dying, grief, couples work, creativity, natural health care, nutrition. Students will be expected to create, in conjunction with colleagues, public workshops and presentations. There will be a marketing skills course in this year. During this year there will be an ongoing clinical discussion group where students will be expected to make case presentations for discussion, with faculty and guest presenters supervising. The personal growth focus will continue, as will supervised clinical practice.

Teaching Format: The teaching format will be 3-4 hours per week from September to May and two 6 hour one-days per month. There will be a 4 day intensive retreat in June.

Learning Model and Evaluation: The Living Institute supports a student centred learning model through engaging the interest and motivation of the student. The goal of the program is to facilitate students in achieving a standard of knowledge and clinical skill that will enable them to confidently and competently commence practice on graduation. The curriculum is oriented toward becoming a skilled practitioner who is eligible for licensure in Ontario.

Personal Growth: The personal growth aspects of this training program will start with weekly individual sessions in year 1 and expand to involve group participation in years 2 and 3, including the 4 day summer intensive at the end of each year. The personal growth part of this program is considered fundamental in that the being of the therapist is fundamental to any depth oriented psychotherapy.

Tuition: $5125 per annum if onetime payment. A payment plan is available for those who wish to make several payments. See Enrolment Information page below. For a full listing of all fees see Program Handbook, p27.