Classroom Teaching

This program will combine active teaching experience with seminars. For all graduates relatively new to teaching, participation in the program should precede or accompany taking on a didactic teaching position (such as Associate Instructor) at the Center. Participation is optional for those who currently or have previously provided didactic instruction at the Center. The course is geared to those with little classroom teaching experience.


This program is open to senior candidates, psychotherapy students, and graduates of Columbia's psychoanalytic and psychotherapy training programs. Following the pilot phase, the program may be open to graduates of other institutes.

Given the “lab” nature of this class and in order that they will have material to bring to the course, all participants will be required to be actively teaching during their time of participation in the seminar. These positions may include teaching graduate students, medical students, or residents. For those wishing to participate who do not have a teaching position, the seminar faculty will help the participant find an open teaching position (such as teaching Creedmoor psychiatry residents at PI).

Those who have already served as didactic instructors at the Center may participate in this program if they wish, based on availability.

Course of Study

This course will be conducted as an active workshop designed to help the participants construct classes that they are actively going to teach. There will be initial exercises in which participants will learn how to construct teaching goals and teaching activities, and about different types of teaching activities (group work, role play, pair share, reflective writing, etc.). Participants will then begin to work on the actual lessons they will be teaching, both individually and in groups.

Participants will workshop their ideas, integrating feedback from the group over the course of weeks, culminating in an actual teaching experience. This can be in front of the group, with the group as their “lab class” or as an observed class with actual learners, or both. Finally, participants will receive feedback and have an opportunity to integrate that input and improve their work.