The Duke Psychotherapy Track (DPT), led by Marla Wald, MD, helps residents develop advanced psychotherapeutic skills to use in multiple clinical settings. Residents in the DPT learn both foundational concepts and advanced skills in the following psychotherapies: psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, ACT, group therapy and family/couples therapy.

Residents in the DPT specialize in one particular psychotherapy, as well as the psychodynamics of psychopharmacologic treatment.

Read on to learn more about the specific program components and how to apply

Monthly Core Didactics

The didactic curriculum takes place monthly and consists of pre-readings, presentations and discussions led by faculty in their area of psychotherapy expertise. Additionally, residents view and discuss videos of live psychotherapy sessions with the psychotherapy faculty.

Psychotherapy Journal Club

The quarterly DPT journal club is led by two DPT residents who select, distribute, summarize and lead a discussion of a current article in the psychotherapy literature. The journal club takes place as part of a Dessert & Dialogue Evening at a faculty member's house (COVID permitting) or virtually.

Each resident receives guidance by a DPT faculty member on how to select additional therapy cases (beyond residency requirements), how many cases to select and how much additional supervision to receive, based on the resident’s PGY year and schedule. Interested PGY4s are supported in picking up a twice-weekly psychodynamic psychotherapy case.


The DPT mentor provides guidance regarding the development, implementation, presentation, and possible publication of the resident's DPT Scholarly Project. The mentor also supports the DPT resident's career development around psychotherapy expertise.

Scholarly Project

Each resident in the program must pursue a mentored scholarly project during the PGY3-4 years. The project is broadly defined and could include, but is not limited to, investigation of:

  • Learning and/or teaching psychotherapeutic skills in the era of telemedicine
  • Assessing psychotherapeutic skills before/after training
  • Reviewing efficacies of various psychotherapies
  • Conducting brief psychotherapeutic interventions in acute care settings

“Dessert & Dialogue” Evenings at Faculty Homes 

Each year, two to three faculty members host gatherings at their home, when in-person gatherings are possible, and all residents who are interested in DPT or already a part of the program are invited. These events include informal discussions on psychotherapy and psychoanalytic topics, updates on residents’ scholarly projects and highlights from conferences.

Local & National Conferences (Virtual or In-Person)

Residents in DPT are encouraged to attend local and national conferences and consider presenting posters or workshops.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Course (Optional)

Arrangements may be made with the Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas for residents in the DPT to audit introductory course/s in their Psychodynamic Psychotherapy program.


  • Meet with Dr. Wald regarding interests.
  • Residents considering applying to DPT may attend “Dessert & Dialogue” events at faculty homes (when in-person gatherings are possible).


  • Apply in July of PGY2 year.
  • Participate in all program components.
  • Meet quarterly with DPT mentor regarding scholarly project and career development and begin project development.


  • May apply in July of PGY3 year.
  • Participate in all program components.
  • Decide on therapy specialization.
  • Take on 2-3 additional long-term cases.
  • Initiate scholarly project.
  • Attend one national conference and one or more local conference if possible (virtually or in-person), and consider presenting a poster or workshop.


  • May apply in July of PGY4 year with special approval.
  • Continue participating in all program components.
  • Present scholarly project.
  • Attend one national conference and one or more local conference if possible (virtually or in-person), and consider presenting a poster or workshop.

Residents may apply to the psychotherapy track in July of their PGY2 or PGY3 year.

“While all residents receive excellent training in the basic psychotherapy modalities and have opportunities for additional electives, the Duke Psychotherapy Track is a great addition for residents who have a particular interest in expanding their therapy skills. Through a yearlong lecture series, expert mentor pairings, and opportunities for academic work, one can truly develop a strong foundation and proficiency in a specific therapy modality to carry forward.”
Bryan Lao, MD, Fourth-Year Psychiatry Resident