Core Training

The 2022 – 2024 Core Training Group is in progress!


We are pleased to announce that the upcoming 2022-2025 Core Training Group will be taught by Diane Byster LMFT, NCC, RYT. You can read more about her on the About Us page.

Core Training in ISTDP in Calgary

The Western Canada Institute for ISTDP is the only training facility in Western Canada offering a three year Core Training program in ISTDP.  We hope our program location not only makes it easier to train “closer to home,” but that our experience as former trainees, current supervisors, and practicing ISTDP clinicians will offer you a level of support during your training that will hopefully make the Western Canada Institute for ISTDP your first choice for Core Training.

The WCII brings some of the most recognized names in ISTDP from the USA and Europe to Calgary: Jon Frederickson (Washington DC), Diane Byster (Palo Alto, CA), Dr. Robert Neborsky (Delmar, CA), Dr. Josette ten Have-de Labije (Berlin, Germany), and Dr. Robin Kay (Los Angeles, CA). Our mission is to develop a vibrant ISTDP-base in Western Canada, providing clinicians exposure to top teachers, practitioners, and authors, in creating a strong and supportive learning base for clinicians and in fostering a dynamic and thriving ISTDP clinical community.

If you are considering taking part in an upcoming Core Training cohort, here are a few things to know as you make your decision:

What is Core Training?

Core Training in ISTDP aims to cultivate in the therapist a working understanding of Davanloo’s meta-psychology and approach to the psychodynamic therapy process.  ISTDP is fundamentally rooted in the notion of attachment trauma and its consequences in generating psychopathology.  Essential objectives in Core Training include the development of specific skills and knowledge in assessing patient anxiety & ego functioning, applying the Triangle of Conflict to the therapy process, and embedding all this in the ISTDP framework.

 A great strength of ISTDP Core Training is that therapist-trainees get to see each other’s work (including that of the supervisor).  And in the context of a supportive and respectful group environment, mutual sharing of professional therapy practice is a humbling, enriching, and transformative process.

Core Group Size:

The Core Training group consists of 6-12 trainees and a Supervisor.  There are usually 1-2 assistants who have previously undergone Core Training in attendance to support the trainer and trainees with set-up, AV, time-keeping, lunch, and coffee breaks.

Training Modules:

Training occurs in four Modules comprised of 3-days per module per year (often overlapping with weekends where possible – e.g, Friday – Sunday, or Saturday – Monday) for three years. Training days typically run from 9am-5pm daily, with a group dinner on one of the evenings.  ​Attendance at all three days is expected as reviewing colleagues’ presentations & supervision is an essential part of the training.

Participant Requirements:

Trainees are required to bring a video recording of a therapy session to each training weekend. On each training weekend, each trainee is given about an hour in which a sample of their work is shown to the group and the supervisor will comment on phenomenology, metapsychology, therapy process, etc. Through 1:1 and group discussion as well role play, ISTDP techniques are reviewed.  The larger group will have the opportunity for their own questions and comments for another fifteen minutes.  The supervisor will present didactic material as well as show videos of their work to the group.  A supportive environment that permits learning to occur at a personal level is maintained.

A Training Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement will be required to be signed before your first training weekend.

Training Location:

This training is in Calgary, Alberta or ONLINE.

Training Dates:

The 2022 – 2024 Core Training is in progress.


Core Training is comprised of:

  • Four three-day trainings per year– normally on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, for three years.

  • Training days typically run from 9am-5pm MST daily, with a group dinner on one of the evenings. There are two coffee breaks and a one-hour lunch break on each day.

  • Trainees are required to bring a video recording of a therapy session for their one hour supervision as a part of their training to each weekend module.

  • Signing of training agreement and confidentiality agreement.

  • Tuition is approximately $1175 CAD per module.  A $200 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot in the training.

 Advanced Reading:

While you await the necessary arrangements, our recommended reading includes:

Congratulations again for thinking of pursuing Core Training in ISTDP.