Transference Focused Psychotherapy

What is Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP)?

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) is a manualized, evidence-based treatment for personality disorders, in particular borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. To address the clinical needs of this patient population, TFP combines a psychodynamic approach with structure and limit-setting. The goals of the treatment are ambitious - personality change, as reflected in patients’ functioning and satisfaction in their interpersonal and work lives, as well as symptom change.

TFP builds on a psychodynamic object relations model of psychological functioning. The treatment focuses on internalized images of self and other that organize the patient’s interpersonal experience and sense of self. The exaggerated, distorted, and unrealistic internal images of self and other that characterize personality disorders are associated with problems in mood regulation, self-esteem, and interpersonal relationships. The treatment aims to modify these internalized relationship patterns by exploring them as they are activated in the therapeutic relationship and in the patient’s interpersonal life. The ultimate aim is to help the patient develop more stable, realistic, and better-integrated experiences of self and other, leading to improved interpersonal functioning and adaptation to life.

The Course

This is a two-year training. The course begins with a review of the principles and techniques of TFP. It then moves on to case material. Instructors provide the initial case material, including videos of sessions that illustrate management of common clinical situations. After this introductory phase, the course shifts to focus on discussion and supervision of participants’ cases. After completing the two-year course, participants should have acquired the fund of knowledge and clinical skills to be a competent TFP therapist. Participants will receive a certificate from the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.


Eve Caligor, MD
Frank Yeomans, MD, PhD
Barry Stern, PhD
Eric Fertuck, PhD
Eugenia Cherkasskaya, PhD
Joanna Bird, MD
Alexander Sheppe, MD

Core Texts

  • Yeomans F, Clarkin JF, Kernberg OF: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: A Clinical Guide. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2015.
  • Caligor E, Kernberg OF, Clarkin JF, Yeomans FE: Psychodynamic Therapy for Personality Pathology: Treating Self and Interpersonal Functioning.  Washington, D.C., American Psychiatric Press, 2018.


The educational program consists of 34 weekly seminars, running September through June of each academic year.  Courses are co-sponsored by the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center and TFP New York.

For 2024-25, we are offering three different training opportunities (please note that instructors are subject to change). This program’s classes will remain fully remote:

  • First year videoconference seminar held on Mondays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST
    • Drs. Yeomans and Fertuck
  • First year videoconference seminar held on Tuesdays from 2:30-4:00 p.m. EST
    • Drs. Caligor, Cherkasskaya, and Sheppe
  • Second year videoconference seminar held on Mondays from 5:00-6:30 p.m. EST
    • Drs. Caligor, Stern, and Bird


The training will be open to licensed Psychiatrists, PhDs, PsyDs, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW).

Applications for the academic year beginning in September should be submitted no later than May 15.

Our online application for the 2024-25 academic year is now open:

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy Program Application Form

  • The form will require you to upload a digital photo, your CV, your current license, and proof of liability insurance, so please make sure that you have these documents available before you begin.
  • You will also want to make sure that you request letters from two different recommenders, whom you name in the application form, be sent directly to If you are currently in training or completed training within the past five years, we also request a letter from your training director.
  • Please pay your nonrefundable $50 application fee using our secure payment form.

The deadline for submitting application materials is May 15th. We will make final decisions about acceptance by the end of May 2024. 


The tuition for the program for the 2024-25 academic year is $3,980 which is payable in two installments at the beginning of each term. Tuition increases at an incremental rate annually. This program does not qualify for the Columbia University Tuition Exemption Program.

Please review the Psychotherapy Division's Refund and Cancellation Policy.