David Scharff

David E. Scharff, M.D. is Chair of the Board and Former Director of the International Psychotherapy Institute, and Vice-President of the International Association for Couple and Family Psychoanalysis.  He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Supervising Analyst, International Institute for Psychoanalytic Training; Teaching Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute; former president of The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (1988-1989); former Director of the Washington School of Psychiatry (1987-1994); Honorary Fellow of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships; Honorary Member, British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counselors; and is on the editorial boards of several journals. He is Cofounder of the International Institute for Psychotherapy (IPI) in Chevy Cahse, Maryland.

Dr. Scharff received his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Yale (1962); medical degree from Harvard Medical School (1966), his residency training at Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the Beth Israel Hospital and Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C.  He spent a year in further training in adolescent psychotherapy, object relations theory, and organizational consultation and research at the Tavistock Center in London. He is board certified in child and adult psychiatry, certified in psychoanalysis and recognized by the International Psychoanalytic Association as a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalyst. He is a member of the American and International Psychoanalytic Associations, The Society for Sex Therapy and Research, The American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. 

Dr. Scharff's more than 26 books include The Sexual Relationship: An Object Relations Approach to Sex and the Family (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982, reissued by Jason Aronson, 1998) and Refinding the Object: Reclaiming the Self (1992).With Jill Savege Scharff, M.D. he co-authored Object Relations Family Therapy (Jason Aronson, 1987), Object Relations Couple Therapy (1991), The Primer of Object Relations Therapy (1992, revised 2005),   Object Relations Therapy of Physical and Sexual Trauma (1994), Object Relations Individual Therapy (1998) and Tuning the Therapeutic Instrument: The Affective Learning of Psychotherapy (2000). He is the editor with Ellinor Fairbairn Birtles of From Instinct to Self: The Selected Papers of W.R. D. Fairbairn , Volumes 1 and 2 (Jason Aronson, 1994) and editor of  Object Relations Theory and Therapy: An Introduction (Jason Aronson, 1995).  He is co-editor with Michael Stadter of Dimensions of Psychotherapy, Dimensions of Experience, (Routledge 2005;) co-editor: with Jill Scharff of The Legacy of Fairbairn and Sutherland (Routledge 2005); co-editor with Henri Parens et al., The Future of Prejudice,  and recently of New Paradigms for Treating Relationships (Jason Aronson, 2006.) His most recent book, with Jill Scharff, is The Interpersonal Unconscious (Jason Aronson, 2011.) Dr. Scharff’s work has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Korean, German, French, and Italian. He is currently working on books on couple therapy, psychoanalysis in China, the contribution of Fairbairn, and the contribution of Enrique Pichon-Rivière

Dr. Scharff has taught nationally and in 28 countries on object relations theory (and especially the work of Ronald Fairbairn,) chaos theory as a new paradigm in psychoanalysis and family therapy, family, couple and child therapy, and sexual development and therapy. Dr. Scharff has organized numerous conferences, including a 2005 international conference on Prejudice and Conflict, held in Salt Lake City. He is in private practice of child, adult, couple and family psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Chevy Chase, Maryland.