AACAP Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative

AACAP's Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative, made possible by a generous donation by the Samuel and Lucille B. Ritvo Charitable Fund, will be accepting applications for the 2021-22 Initiative through to May 3, 2021.

AACAP's Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative seeks to strengthen psychodynamic psychotherapy training in child and adolescent psychiatry residency programs through faculty development. Under the supervision of an AACAP Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative mentor, awardees will design a psychodynamic training project applicable to their child and adolescent psychiatry division.


  • Support efforts of child and adolescent psychiatry faculty in training programs striving to enhance competencies in psychodynamic therapy for their trainees;
  • Recognize child and adolescent psychiatrists who teach psychodynamic therapy and theory;
  • Create a community of knowledgeable and effective psychodynamic teachers who will become leaders in psychodynamic child and adolescent psychiatry and will serve as a resource for all AACAP members.

Over the course of the one-year award term, each awardee will collaborate with an assigned mentor to create a project within his/her educational program designed to enhance the psychodynamic training experience at his/her institution. The project offers an opportunity to address a problem or specific need at his/her institution.

On the first day of AACAP's Annual Meeting in each award cycle, awardees will participate in a daylong training session focusing on developing their projects and enhancing their skills and knowledge of psychodynamic psychiatry. Following the session, they will also be invited to a networking meet and greet.

Mentors and mentees will meet by phone or online discussion monthly. There will be two to four additional web-based issue-oriented seminars. In conclusion, awardees will present their work at the next Annual Meeting.

The Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative awardees will be acknowledged in AACAP’s awards programs and during the AACAP Training and Education Committee Lunch.

What Are Suitable Projects?
We encourage applicants to think broadly about developing a project. The first step is to identify a problem or an area in need of improvement. The need could be in any facet of the program’s plan to meet or exceed the ACGME requirements. For example, a program might struggle to find cases for their residents or may need to develop a coterie of supervisors. Other programs may be looking to improve didactics or wanting to use more varied technology. The applicant is not expected to already know how she/he will solve the problem. That will be worked out in the project planning session with the mentor at the Initiative meeting at AACAP's Annual Meeting and over the ensuing year of collaboration.

What Is the Meaning of “Psychodynamic” in the Context of This Initiative?
For this Initiative, we are supporting the broadest definition of psychodynamic as therapies based on the core propositions of psychoanalytic theory. Psychodynamic theory and technique have been evolving rapidly in recent years making it difficult to make a definitive list of characteristics. Whatever your training program is using to meet the ACGME requirements for psychodynamic training can be a starting point for an Initiative project. Certainly, psychodynamics as defined in AACAP's Practice Parameter for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Children published in JAACAP (Volume 51, May 2012) is acceptable. Additionally, there are two issues of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America titled “Psychodynamic Approaches to Psychopathology” (Volume 22, No. 1 and No. 2, published in 2013), available from the JAACAP home page. These volumes provide examples demonstrating the breadth of psychodynamic approaches.

Stipend Distribution
The Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative offers a travel stipend to defray cost of coming to attend the session the first day ahead of AACAP's Annual Meeting.

Length of Program
One year.

Number of Awards
Maximum of six


Candidates must:

  • Have an MD, DO or equivalent degree;
  • Teach in a child psychiatry, triple board or post pediatric portal training program;
  • Be affiliated with an ACGME accredited training program;
  • Be an AACAP member or have a membership application pending at the time of submission;

We hope faculty at all stages of their careers and all positions within a training program (lecturers, supervisors, program directors etc) will apply and participate in this Initiative.


Submission Deadline
The application deadline for 2021 admission is May 3, 2021 (11:59 p.m. PST).

Application Requirements
In order for your application to be processed, you will need to submit the following to training@aacap.org:

  1. Completed application form which includes a proposed project for improving some aspect of the current training program’s teaching of psychodynamic psychotherapy;
  2. Curriculum vitae;
  3. Letter of endorsement from the Residency Program Director/Training Director showing support for the enhancement of psychodynamic psychiatry in their training program; and
  4. Two additional letters of recommendation (optional).

Application Form
Download AACAP’s Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative Application.

Selection Process
Applications are screened for eligibility and completion. Participants are selected by a committee comprised of the two co-chairs of the Initiative, one member of the Psychotherapy Committee and one member of the Training & Education Committee. Key criteria assessed include:

  • Eligibility for the program;
  • Training program support of psychodynamic psychiatry and the applicant’s project; and
  • Importance of proposed project to the training program.

Mentor/Mentee Matching
AACAP recruits mentors and will match them with the mentee/recipient based on the expertise needed for the proposed psychodynamic psychotherapy project.

AACAP’s Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative recruits mentors with teaching experience and well developed psychodynamic knowledge and skills, who are willing to cultivate professional relationships with the awardee(s), while supporting the development and implementation of the proposed training project.

Mentor responsibilities include:

  • Attending the Initiative’s required events - a networking event, day-long training session during AACAP’s Annual Meeting
  • Contacting mentee(s) on a regular basis for the duration of the project activity implementation period, advising and supporting the assigned mentee(s) on the development, execution, and completion of the proposed training project
  • Working with mentee(s) to prepare a brief presentation or report on the training project following AACAP's Annual Meeting
  • Completing an evaluation form regarding participation in the Initiative

Mentor Sign-up Form
If you are interested in serving as a mentor for the program, please download, complete and submit AACAP’s Psychodynamic Faculty Training and Mentorship Initiative Mentor Form, along with a copy of your CV to training@aacap.org.

Need More Information?
Visit the Child Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Toolkit webpage to learn more about child psychotherapy. Contact AACAP’s Training and Education Manager at training@aacap.org or (202) 587-9663. For questions regarding a proposed project, contact Marty Drell by email at mdrell@lsuhsc.edu or at 504-568-6001, or Rachel Ritvo by email at rzritvomd@gmail.com or phone 301-946-9229.