The UBC Psychotherapy Program has a significant educational mandate. Its primary educational activity is centred around the delivery of comprehensive psychotherapy training to psychiatry residents. In addition to this, the Program provides a host of educational opportunities for practicing mental health clinicians from a variety of disciplines, as well as introductory courses in psychotherapy to international students through UBC’s Vancouver Summer Program.


The UBC Psychotherapy Program is dedicated to developing highly skilled psychiatrists who are able to practice a variety of psychotherapies with patients who suffer from the full range of psychiatric disorders. The Program emphasizes the provision of a broad-based, empirically oriented learning experience in line with the requirements of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The focus in training is to teach residents important general therapeutic skills, as well as specific skills associated with different psychotherapeutic modalities. Furthermore, specific skills that are required in the treatment of particular disorders are taught. Psychiatry residents who graduate from our Program will have developed a broad range of competencies that will enable them to effectively meet the challenges faced by psychiatrists in everyday clinical practice.

Resident training in psychotherapy is provided through didactic seminars and case supervision. There is extensive psychodynamic case supervision in PGY-2 through PGY-5 (3 hours of protected time per week). Didactic seminars are provided during the psychotherapy academic half-day in PGY 2-4, which is standardized and system-wide. Formal psychotherapy training includes:

  • Primer courses in supportive, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic, & couples psychotherapies, as well as in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)
  • Foundations of Psychotherapy course
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy couse
  • Group supervision of Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy course
  • Group psychotherapy course and training
  • Formulation course
  • Cognitive behavioural psychotherapy course involving supervision of treatment
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) course involving supervision of treatment
  • Family therapy training and supervision
  • Psychotherapy review seminar for Royal College Exam in Psychiatry

The program also offers opportunities for residents to learn other approaches (e.g., mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, couple therapy), as well as opportunities for psychotherapy research electives.

Inquiries regarding resident psychotherapy training should be directed to Dr. Michelle van den Engh, Associate Director.


The UBC Psychotherapy Program is committed to providing stimulating educational activities for all of its members, as well as other clinicians in the community, in the service of advancing the practice of psychotherapy. In order to meet this goal, the Program hosts various continuing education events, intended to serve clinicians from a variety of disciplines and practice settings, that focus on advancing knowledge and clinical expertise related to different patient problems and populations, as well as different training issues. These activities also provide excellent opportunities for clinicians from different communities to interact with one another.

Check out our News and Events section for information about the latest event.


The UBC Department of Psychiatry does not have a graduate studies program specializing in psychotherapy. However, it may be possible for members of the UBC Psychotherapy Program to supervise graduate students who are registered in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program at UBC. Prospective graduate students who wish to discuss such opportunities should contact Dr. David Kealy or Dr. John Ogrodniczuk.


The UBC Psychotherapy Program participates in the Vancouver Summer Program (VSP) in Medicine, a four-week academic program that provides an opportunity for visiting undergraduate students from international universities to experience Canadian health and life sciences education at its best, and learn about Canadian culture firsthand. The psychotherapy course offered during the VSP changes annually.

Learn more about the VSP in Medicine and which courses are being offered.


Starting in 2018, the UBC Psychotherapy Program will host an annual, week-long Summer Institute. Check back later for more details.