About the Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy

Overwhelmed, frightened or numbed by unwanted emotions or experiences, more than 16 million Americans every year seek help for emotional problems. For some individuals, it may be all they can do to go to work, care for their children or just get out of bed in the morning.
Commonly, what is needed is responsive psychotherapy with a mental health professional who is specifically trained in psychodynamic therapy. Unfortunately, today’s challenging health care environment is jeopardizing not only this type of care, but also the vital training that prepares professionals to provide it.
The management of health insurance has virtually ended payments for consistent psychological counseling that lasts longer than several sessions. The trend is toward abbreviated, limited care — or a “quick fix” to emotional problems, providing coverage for only a few visits. In addition, economics favor medication treatment with little regard for whether psychotherapy should be used either at the same time or in place of medication.

"The mission of the Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy is to support and expand education, professional training, and research in dynamic psychotherapy."

The Advisory Board to the MGH Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy


The need for psychodynamic therapy has never been greater. Training future clinicians who will be ready to provide this care is a priority for the Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.

The Endowment is seeking to raise $1,000,000 to provide support for the following critical efforts:

  • Support for the Program in Psychodynamics, a program designed specifically to give mental health professionals in-depth training in psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Support for trainees to attend national meetings and conferences to expand their understanding of psychodynamic therapy
  • Scholarships for trainees to enroll in Advanced Training Programs in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy through the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
  • Funds for trainee participation in research training programs that prepare them for rigorous scientific investigation of this form of treatment.
  • Funds for grant writing and pilot data collection for the Psychotherapy Research Program (PRP).

For information about how you can help the Endowment continue leadership in mental health, contact us or make a secure online donation to the Endowment.


Sometimes referred to as the “talking therapies,” psychodynamic therapy offers individuals a way to overcome and manage specific difficulties in their lives.

Similar to the classic “patient on the couch” psychoanalysis, psychodynamics is based on the premise that mental well-being is influenced by unconscious conflicts, significant childhood experiences and painful feelings that are hidden behind a variety of defense mechanisms, which affect the individual’s development and ability to adapt to new situations and relationships. However, in dynamic therapy, therapists and patients work in partnership face-to-face — exploring together the broad spectrum of the patient’s life; not just his or her innermost thoughts and dreams.

In regularly scheduled sessions, the therapist pays close attention to critical events in the patient’s life, including relationship patterns, sense of self worth and purpose in life. The therapist listens carefully to the patient, clarifying, interpreting and pointing out associations and
patterns that might not be obvious.

Through this process of guided self-discovery, patients gain an understanding of the reasons for their thoughts, feelings and actions, and learn to deal with them in more appropriate and life-
enhancing ways.

Mind-Body Connection

Psychodynamic therapy may improve not only mental well-being, but also physical health. Several studies of patients with serious illnesses such as terminal breast cancer have shown that people who participate in supportive psychodynamic treatments live longer and maintain higher emotional well-being.

Other research indicates that, when emotional health improves, patients have fewer visits to medical doctors’ offices. This is significant since some studies estimate that the majority of all visits to medical treatment providers may be stress-related.

"Another major goal is to educate the public about the power of this kind of treatment. In dynamic psychotherapy, the doctor-patient relationship is central to the work itself. This work often involves helping people deal with common life difficulties, including developmental problems, conflicts and vulnerabilities, and the impact of biologically driven mental illness on one’s life."

The Advisory Board to the MGH Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy