Certificate Courses

Post-Graduate Certificate Course in Contemporary Psychoanalytic Social Work Practice: 

In this yearlong post-graduate program, clinicians will learn to deepen their social work practice by using core psychoanalytic ideas to think about their clinical work—themselves, their clients, and the settings in which they practice. This unique program centers the practice of social work—its values related to social justice and racial equity, commitment to working in agency- and community-based settings, and person-in-environment perspective—and emphasizes the ways in which psychoanalytic theory and concepts can help social workers reflect more critically and meaningfully on their work.


Upon completing the first year of didactic coursework and case conferences, students will receive a certificate in psychoanalytic social work practice and be eligible to continue in the Advanced Program, which includes supervision. Learn more below and stay tuned for more details about the launch of our certificate course!

More Information About the Certificate Course

This year-long course is designed to center this social work perspective in applying psychoanalytic ideas to clinical practice. It emphasizes the ways in which acknowledging race, gender, ability, class, privilege and positionality is central to our work, and draws upon a deep but often actively marginalized literature in psychoanalysis that focuses on sociopolitical dynamics and its application to both private and public practice settings.


Utilizing didactic learning, case conferences, and clinical consultation, this program will enable participants to use psychoanalytic theories and concepts in a range of clinical situations, such as those with elders, adults, or children, as well as in schools, nonprofits, state entities, or private practices. In the spirit of social work’s emphasis on praxis, such theories will be utilized to illuminate the ways in which thinking deliberately and in depth about racism, inequality, sexism and ableism can help us to begin “where the world is.”

The Sue Fairbanks Academy welcomes all applicants and encourages anyone who 1) is practicing as a clinician or social worker/case manager in a social work or related field and 2) has an MSW or related degree to join us. This program is designed for clinicians, clinical case managers, and those working in a range of settings (e.g., private practice, community mental health, etc.).


We believe that as social workers are increasingly called upon to do more with less, it is crucial that we offer opportunities for social workers to think both meaningfully and critically about our work, and that psychoanalytic ideas can help us in all aspects of our work.

This course uses psychoanalytic and sociopolitical theories to understand and explore how to practice meaningfully as social workers.  Because social workers practice in a wide range of settings and with a variety of people, this course is organized according to areas of practice and problems that social workers often try to address within them.  Each module will include “real world” case examples, theories that can help to scaffold our thinking, and ideas as to how to intervene from a psychodynamic and equitable perspective.


The curriculum is divided into five modules, each with five class meetings, and are taught by one or two instructors. Check out our Quick Reference Chart for an in-depth look at each module.

The certificate program consists of 25 online class meetings in the evenings (50 hours of learning/CEUs) over the course of one academic year, beginning in September 2022 and ending by May 2023.

The cost is $1,750 for the entire course.

Certificate Courses