ISTDP Core training in Hungary

Események betöltése
Hungarian ISTDP Core Training with Glenn Kristoffersson, 2022

The Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Core Training is a three-year online and in-person education program that aims to deepen both the theoretical understanding and the practical application of ISTDP for Hungarian clinicians working in the Hungarian healthcare system. Great emphasis is on individualized experience-based elements where the individual training participant is given the opportunity to develop their psychotherapeutic craftsmanship. The language of the training will be English.

Get together

Glenn Kristoffersson will do a presentation on October 1, 2022, 13:00-15:00, on the topic of clinical thinking from Jon Frederickson’s upcoming book: ”Clinical Thinking in Psychotherapy: How to do it and how to teach it”. This might be a great topic to be introduced to the learning model of the Core training as it differs from traditional teaching and then we will have plenty of time for Q&A and to have some coffee together. The event will be held online, via zoom.

Pre-CORE Training

This introductory course covers three full days – October 20-21-22, 2022, 9:00-17:00 – and will include lectures, film screenings from therapy sessions and role-plays where you will have the opportunity to practice specific skills. The theory behind ISTDP will be interspersed with practical exercises. We will focus on your work alliance with the patient, on identifying and regulating anxiety at different levels and on recognizing and working with different types of resistances in the therapy process – all so that you can work with the patient to achieve their goals. Virtual event.

CORE Training

The training group meets for twelve three-day modules over a period of three years from November 2022, which means one module approximately every three months. In total, the training consists of 36 full days, which in total contain approximately 250 teaching hours. One quarter of the modules will be held in person in Budapest, 75% of them via zoom.

Each three-day module contains theory, video observation, skills training / role-playing and supervision based on the course participant’s own therapy video films. Since many of the training elements are experience-based, the training takes place in small groups of 6-10 people, and great emphasis is placed on creating a safe collaborative climate in the group. Between each three-day module, course participants are expected to continuously watch their own video recordings, read course literature and do role-playing exercises on their own. Participants are also expected to take individual ISTDP tutoring between each module. Since many of the educational elements are experience based, great emphasis is placed on creating a good, compassionate climate of cooperation in the group.

Year One: Treating Low and Moderate Resistant Patients

During the first year, the training focuses on skills that aim to establish effective therapeutic collaboration with different types of patients. Particular emphasis is placed on helping the participant to recognize and respond to different types of patient reactions such as emotions, anxiety reactions and defense. For example, exercises include structuring the patient’s problems
in a structured way, helping the patient to see and turn towards dysfunctional strategies and to increase the motivation to approach mixed feelings.

  • Module One: Establishing a Therapeutic Focus
  • Module Two: Anxiety
  • Module Three: Defenses
  • Module Four: Maintaining an Effective Focus

Year Two: The Spectrum of Fragility

During the second year, the focus is on developing skills for working with patients who have various forms of emotion regulation deficiencies. The participant is introduced to the skills used to
work with self-harming behavior, eating disorder problems, major depression, medically unexplained symptoms, personality problems and psychotic symptoms. In the ISTDP literature, this is called the graded format. For example, exercises include increasing the patient’s self-observing ability, switching between high and low emotional intensity, dealing with self-critical comments from patients, and responding to black and white thinking, denial, and projections.

  • Module Five: The Graded Format
  • Module Six: Restructuring Regressive Defenses
  • Module Seven: Building Self-Observing Capacity
  • Module Eight: Restructuring Defensive Affects

Year Three: Highly Resistant Patients

During the third and final year, the focus is on working with the more challenging techniques within ISTDP for working with patients who are passive, distant and over-controlled in the therapy room. The participant is also given the opportunity to conceptualize and increase their own emotional capacity to be able to use the more confrontational aspects of the treatment in an empathetic and warm way. For example, exercises include how to step up the emotional intensity when needed, how to increase your emotional endurance as a therapist and how to help the patient turn against their own resistance.

  • Module Nine: Superego Pathology
  • Module Ten: Transference Resistance
  • Module Eleven: Unlocking the Unconscious
  • Module Twelve: Consolidation

In addition to the ISTDP-specific skills, the training is permeated by general psychotherapeutic skills, such as strategies to increase the patient’s expectations of treatment results, to improve the therapeutic work alliance and to respond to the patient in an empathetic, warm and genuine way.

Example structure of a Core Training module
Example structure of a Core Training module

Target group and eligibility

This is a workshop open to registered Hungarian healthcare professionals (holding an „Egészségügyi szolgáltatás nyújtására jogosító Működési engedély„) who are working/studying in the Hungarian healthcare system, including:

  • psychologists with a healthcare registration (health psychologists, neuropsychologist, clinical psychologists),
  • psychotherapists,
  • psychiatrists or
  • students of the above fields.

Our apologies, at the same time people who don’t fit the „Hungarian registered mental health professional working/studying in Hungary” criteria above, like

  • got their degrees, are registered or working in other countries,
  • MA psychology students,
  • psychologists without a clinical psychology or health psychology or neuropsychology certificate/studies, etc

won’t be accepted.

Admission and training times

The admission process contains an online interview of 30 minutes. The group meets 4 times a year, one of them will be held in person in Budapest, the 3 other modules will be held via zoom.

Topic Date Time
Introduction to the training and get to know each other October 1., 2022 13:00-15:00
Pre-Core training October 20-21-22, 2022 9:00-17:00
Core training, Module 1 November 24-25-26, 2022 9:00-17:00
Core training, Module 2 February 16-17-18, 2023 9:00-17:00
Core training, Module 3 May 11-12-13, 2023 9:00-17:00

Examination and certification

The education leads to the ISTDP Institute’s certification as an ISTDP therapist. For certification, attendance at all modules is required and that the participant regularly takes ISTDP supervision during the course of the training. There are no grades.

The course is accredited by the ISTDP Institute and do not have any accreditation in Hungary.


  • Group supervision: In each of the twelve modules each participant will get one hour of supervision in the group.
  • Individual supervision: Between each module each participant will get one hour of supervision


  • Abbass, A. (2015) Reaching through the Resistance. Kansas City, Missouri: Seven Leaves Press.
  • Coughlin, Della Selva, P. (1996) Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. London: Karnac Press.
  • Coughlin, P. and Malan, D. (2006) Lives Transformed. London: Karnac Press.
  • Frederickson, J. (2013) Co-Creating Change: Effective Dynamic Therapy Techniques. Kansas City, Mo.: Seven Leaves Press.

Take a look at the Könyvtár/Library section for more information.

Affordable price

The cost will be $200 for the group per day for the Modules and this price also includes 50 minutes of individual supervision between the Modules. This means that if there are 10 people in the core training group, one day will cost 20USD (~7500 HUF) for one member.


Glenn Kristoffersson
Glenn Kristoffersson

Glenn Kristoffersson is a registered psychologist and a teacher and supervisor in ISTDP. He has specialized in the application of the graded format of ISTDP with Allan Abbass and also with John Rathauser for the standard format of ISTDP. Glenn works clinically in an outpatient psychiatry unit where he is treating the effects of complex trauma. In parallel with this he works with therapy, supervision and education in private practice. He arranges both introductory courses in ISTDP and teaches at the three year core training in Stockholm as a member of the Swedish ISTDP Institute.

Thomas Hesslow
Thomas Hesslow

Thomas Hesslow is a certified psychologist and ISTDP therapist in Malmö, Sweden. He is a board member of the Swedish Association for ISTDP and one of the founders of the Swedish ISTDP Institute.

Beside working with therapy, supervision and education in private practice, he also teaches at three different Universities: University of Stockholm, Lund University and also in the Högskolan SAPU which is the Scandinavian Academy for Psychotherapy. Before specializing in ISTDP, he worked also with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).

Registration of interest

Registration is now closed.

Photo: Diverse group photo created by –