The Institute for Clinical Social Work

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Letter from the President

As a fully accredited, independent graduate school, we have one overarching mission: to train and develop clinician-scholars in the theory and practice of contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy, at both the master’s and doctoral levels.

Our master’s students are immersed in an academically and experientially rich program that prepares students to have the depth of knowledge and the breadth of skills they need to practice in today’s complex world. Our doctoral program combines rigorous scholarship with in depth clinical training to create an educational experience designed by and for practicing clinicians. Through their studies and training, doctoral students refine, and extend their conceptual, clinical, and research skills prepared to become leaders in the field of clinical social work as master clinicians, educators and scholars.

Why do we focus our studies and clinical training on psychodynamic theories?  This theoretical orientation provides our students with the most comprehensive understanding of human development and behavior.  Contemporary psychodynamic principles apply to a broad range of practice settings—from outreach to the homeless, work in the schools and VA’s, to traditional psychotherapy practiced in the office.  We do not discount or discourage other orientations or methods.  Rather, we believe that a strong theoretical foundation provides our students with a framework for clinical practice that may incorporate other perspectives and techniques.

We offer two academic programs: an onsite Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling and Psychotherapy and a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Social Work, which has both Onsite and Distance Learning versions (our Distance Learning version is not an online program — there is an important difference, explained here.) We promise small classes and an unparalleled amount of one-to-one consultation with our expert faculty of master clinicians. In addition to our degree programs, ICSW offers Professional Enrichment, including Continuing Education Credits, to professionals already working in the field.

I invite you to take a look at our program and see if you think it might be right for you. You are welcome to sit in on a class and meet our faculty and students.  We are always available to answer your questions and to connect you with an alumnus in your area.  You can request further information by calling 312-935-4245 or by filling out the request form on this website. I personally invite you to contact me if you are interested in becoming an ICSW student.

Michelle Taylor, PhD