Psychotherapy Track

Psychotherapy Track

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

A didactic curriculum will be co-developed and taught by Dr. Wald (DPT director), faculty and residents. Sessions are held once a month on Wednesday evenings, on topics such as the development of a scholarly project and the history of psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and behavioral theories and therapies.

Monthly Psychotherapy Journal Club

Each month, a DPT resident takes a turn at selecting, distributing and summarizing an article on a psychotherapy topic and leading a group discussion.

Additional Therapy Cases/Supervision 

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 around career development and the development, implementation, presentation and publication of the resident’s scholarly project. 

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

“Dinner & 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 

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

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Course at the Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas (optional)

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

Program Structure by Year


  • Meet with Dr. Wald regarding interests.
  • Residents considering applying to DPT may attend “Dinner & 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.

How to Apply

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