The 2nd Copenhagen Immersion in Davanloo’s Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy with John Rathauser (USA)

“The Road to the Unconscious in Davanloo’s IS-TDP:
Facilitating the Rise of the Transference”

Copenhagen, May 15th, 16th and 17th 2020
Supervision day May 18th

The fundamentals of Davanloo’s ISTDP

During these 3 days, John Rathauser will review what he perceives as the fundamentals of Davanloo’s ISTDP. While IS-TDP is a particularly powerful and often transformative treatment modality, an unfortunate truth is that many who have attempted to learn this system come to a troubling realization that they cannot perform the work with a high degree of faithfulness, and thus either abandon their efforts, or create modified and often diluted variations on this model.
Returning to the roots of the method is a way for practitioners to stay in tune with themselves as well as with the technical requirements of the difficult work of doing ISTDP.

Course outline: The road to the unconscious

This 3-day seminar is designed to enhance awareness of the Central Dynamic Sequence and its initial phases of Pressure (P) and Challenge (C) (including the use of Davanloo’s most powerful form of the Challenge, the “head-on-collision).”  Success or failure in this work is strongly linked with the degree of mastery in implementing these phases of the work correctly. Furthermore, the progression of the interview according to the Central Dynamic Sequence is metapsychologically informed, and this seminar is in large measure designed to familiarize and instruct attendees on how to conceptualize and utilize Davanloo’s metapsychological principles, vital to the successful application of IS-TDP.  For Davanloo, technical intervention was guided by metapsychology, and resulted in a high degree of precision which instructed the clinician during the therapeutic journey.  

Didactic information combined with demonstrations using audio-video case examples will explicate the following issues, involving patients who fall along the psychoneurotic spectrum: 

  • Identification of anxiety in, or out, of the transference.
  • Differentiating specific forms of defense (differentiating “tactical” vs major and characterological resistances).
  • Understanding the functions of Pressure.
  • Keeping the focus on concurrent activation of resistance and transference.
  • Creating a balance between disrespect for the R and sympathy for the individual who has suffered, and thereby setting the stage for an “intrapsychic crisis”.
  • Determining when we take a “vertical” vs. “graded” approach in the application of pressure and challenge.
  • Understanding that the therapist is always maintaining vigilance in searching for, and mobilizing increasing levels of resistance.
  • Technical considerations in the use of Pressure with fragile vs. psychoneurotic patients.
  • Provide the clinician with many examples of specific ways in which the clinician Pressures and Challenges defense.

Throughout the three days, theoretical teaching and discussions will be illustrated by audio-video-presentations, utilizing extended as well as specific sequences of actual therapy sessions.

Supervision day, May 18th

This year, John Rathauser will be offering focused group training and supervision on the day following the seminar. In this one-day training session, attendees will bring video samples of first-time interviews (trial therapy) with clients who fall within the psychoneurotic spectrum.  Emphasis will be on implementation of the Central Dynamic Sequence, identification of anxiety discharge pathways and formulation of a psychodiagnostic strategy.  Particular emphasis will be on how the clinician determines whether anxiety is transference based or linked to present day conflicts, and how we tilt the use of pressure into the transference to mobilize higher degrees of complex feelings.

Each trainee will have a one-hour period of one-on-one training with Dr. Rathauser, during which the group will observe in silence. This will be followed by a 15-minute group discussion that allows for clinical and technical issues to be raised. In an effort to reduce the inevitable anxiety that occurs in this form of training, commentary on the trainee’s clinical work is not permitted. Alternatively, participants can sign up as observers at a lower price.

Video vignettes are to be brought on DVD’s, usb flash drives or external hard drives, which will be run on the trainer’s computer.

Each trainee will have the option to give a brief overview of the case as well as to articulate specific aspects of the work that they would like help in further understanding.

Openings exist for five people who wish to participate in this program. Additional places are available for clinicians who wish to observe. Time will be put aside at the close of the day for audience questions and answers.

Practical information:

Time: 15th-17th (+ supervision day 18th) of May 2020, all days 10.00-17.00.

Place: Emotion Center, Frederikssundsvej 60D, 1st floor – 2400 Copenhagen NV.

Price of the immersion: 4000 DKK including lunch, coffee/tea and snacks.

Price of the supervision day: 2000 for participants, 1500 for observers – both including lunch etc.

Contact Mikkel Reher-Langberg at

Confidentiality: As the presentations will contain personally sensitive material, the course is for health professionals only, under oath of confidentiality.

About John Rathauser

John Hans Rathauser, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of clinical experience. Following completion of his doctorate in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology – Los Angeles, his postdoctoral experiences began with a five-year period of training at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in New York.  In 1994 John Rathauser entered into training with Habib Davanloo, M.D. in Montreal, Canada, spending eight years in Dr. Davanloo’s Core Training Group. From 2002-2016 he continued to attend annual weeklong metapscyhology conferences, which Dr. Davanloo held in Montreal, Canada. John Rathauser’s private practice in Kendall Park, N.J. is largely devoted to the practice of Davanloo’s Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (IS-TDP), as well as providing training to mental health practitioners, which is additionally offered in Los Angeles based core training programs in IS-TDP. He has given numerous presentations on IS-TDP nationally and internationally, and is a supervisor for the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (IEDTA). Contact John at

Tags: MAJ 2020