Michael Stadter, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist
Michael Stadter

Michael Stadter

Clinical Psychologist


Michael Stadter is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Bethesda. His practice includes long-term and brief psychotherapy, clinical supervision and organizational consultation. He is a founding faculty member of the International Psychotherapy Institute and on the faculty of the Washington School of Psychiatry and the Center for Existential Studies and Psychotherapy. Formerly at American University, he was Director of the University Counseling Center and Psychologist-in-Residence in the Department of Psychology.

Dr. Stadter is the author of a number of publications including the books, Presence and the Present: Relationship and Time in Contemporary Psychodynamic Therapy (2012), Object Relations Brief Therapy: The Relationship in Short-term Work (1996/2009), Dimensions of Psychotherapy/Dimensions of Experience: Time, Space, Number and State of Mind (2005, co-edited with David Scharff). Additionally, he has been repeatedly recognized by the Washingtonian magazine as one of the top psychotherapists in the Washington, DC area and is invited to teach nationally and internationally.

Education and Experience


  • Graduate, the Advanced Psychotherapy Training Program, Washington School of Psychiatry, Washington, DC
  • PHD In Clinical Psychology (APA-Approved) American University, Washington, DC
  • MA In Clinical Psychology (APA-Approved), American University, Washington, DC
  • BA In Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland; graduated Magna Cum Laude; elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi


  • LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST: Maryland and the District of Columbia
  • REGISTERED PROVIDER: National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology


  • American Psychological Association: Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) and Division 42 (Independent Practice)


  • Private Practice in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC
  • Founding Faculty at the International Psychotherapy Institute
  • Faculty at the Washington School of Psychiatry
  • Executive Committee Member and Faculty at the Center for Existential Studies and Psychotherapy
  • Associate with Business Management Consultation (BMC) Associates


  • Clinical Psychologist-in-Residence at American University
  • Training Program Chair at the Washington School of Psychiatry
  • Staff Psychologist and Director at American University’s Counseling Center
  • Staff Psychologist and Assistant Director at Georgetown University’s Counseling Center


Tuesday through Friday, beginning at 7:30 AM. Usually, it is best for us to have regular meeting times for consistency and continuity of the therapy. Similarly, it is best to meet in person, although I also offer teletherapy.

I do not bill for missed sessions as long as you can give me 72 hours notice. This includes sessions missed for any reason, including vacations, sickness and work emergencies. If our schedules permit us to reschedule within a week, I will do so at no additional charge. If you cannot give me 72 hours notice AND we cannot reschedule within one week, I will charge you for the session that I had held for you. I will also charge for missed sessions when there is no previous notice at all.

I will give or send you a monthly invoice at the beginning of each month for the prior month’s sessions. I appreciate payment each session or, at the latest, by the 15th of the following month.


I am not “in-network” with any private insurance plans. If your plan provides out-of-network reimbursement, I expect you to pay according to the fees and payment policy (above) and not wait for reimbursement from your plan. You will need to submit the claims yourself but I will provide you with the necessary provider information.


No information concerning your treatment will be released to anyone else without your prior written consent. This is in accord with the laws of the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia and with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The exceptions are rather extreme ones including serious danger to self or others, child abuse, or lawful subpoenas. In some instances, we may communicate, at your discretion, by cell phone, email, skype, or fax. I do use a HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom. You should be aware that these technologies may not be secure and your use of them with me constitutes an acknowledgement of the potential threat to confidentiality. If you wish, I can provide you with more information on confidentiality by phone or during an initial session.


If you are currently in treatment with me and quickly need to reach me, leave a message at my office/cell number, 301-758-5021 and indicate your request for a speedy response. I will call you back as soon as I possibly can, usually within a few hours. However, you may require help before I am able to return your call. In that event, you should take additional appropriate steps such as going to an emergency room or calling 911. I am unavailable from time to time and, at those times, will give advance notice and provide coverage by a colleague. The colleague’s contact information will be provided at 301-758-5021 and on my email, michaelstadter@gmail.com.




As our home page indicates, I practice from an integrative approach to psychotherapy tailored to the individual person or couple. The foundation of the treatment rests on the therapeutic relationship. Sometimes a person or couple wants support for going through a rough time, relief from symptoms, practical strategies of managing life and emotions, enhanced personal development and understanding, or all of the above. Depending on which goals are targeted in the therapy, I would draw on principles and interventions from psychodynamic, existential, mindfulness and other approaches.
The base of my approach is psychodynamic therapy. It emphasizes how emotional and relationship patterns can unconsciously repeat in ways that limit functioning and can promote increased suffering and symptoms. This involves coming to terms with the past, living in the present and developing a full, meaningful future.

The existential perspective emphasizes how a person relates to universal aspects of the human condition. Some prominent features are freedom, responsibility, aloneness, guilt, the search for meaning, and living in the face of death. Additional themes include authenticity, being and becoming, despair, anxiety and living in the present moment.

Mindfulness approaches draw on practices of meditation, relaxation training and guided imagery to promote awareness, acceptance, living in the present and emotional control.






I have had the privilege of supervising the clinical work of over 350 clinicians. Whether meeting for a single consultation or in on-going group or individual sessions the focus is on development of a therapeutic alliance, clinical interventions, and the therapist’s effective use of self in the relationship with the person or couple.


Previously in my career I have served as a manager and have developed 3 employee assistance programs (EAP). I continue to offer organizational consultation as part of my practice and as an Associate of Business Management Consultants (BMC Associates).



Relationship and time in contemporary psychodynamic therapy (2012)


The therapeutic relationship in short-term work


(2005) ed. with D. E. Scharff, London: Brunner-Routledge
Michael Stadter, Author


(2020) “The Varying Shapes of Time, Relationship, Development and Knowing: A Book Review Essay,” Psychodynamic Practice, 26 (4), 384-414.

(2020) “Shame: Imbedded in Cultures, Relationships, and the Mind”, Psychiatry, 83: 15-19.

(2020). (with Gao, J.) Shame East and West: Similarities, Differences, Culture, and Self, Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in China, 3: 1-21.

(2019). “Time Capsules” Psychiatry, 82: 12-17.

(2018) “The Existential Sensibility: Self and Psychotherapy in an Uncertain World”. Psychiatry, 81: 207-211.

(2017) “Object Relations Theoretical Framework”. In The Sage Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology Vol. 5. Ed. A. Wenzel. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

(2017) “Object Relations Therapy”. In The Sage Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology Vol. 5. Ed. A. Wenzel. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

(2016) “Time, Focus, Relationship, and Trauma: A Contemporary Object Relations Approach to Brief Therapy. Psychiatry, 79: 433-440.

(2016) “Why Do Some Therapies Succeed and Why Do Some Fail?” Psychiatry, 79: 34-39.

(2015) “Through a Mirror Experientially: Self-Reflection and the Reflection Process”. Psychiatry, 78: 236-238.

(2014) “Fairbairn Elaborated: Guntrip and the Psychoanalytic Romantic Model”. In Fairbairn And The Object Relations Tradition. pp. 309-322. Eds. D. Scharff & G. Clarke. London: Karnac Books.

(2013) “The Influence of Social Media and Communications Technology on Self and Relationships”, In Psychoanalysis Online: Mental Health, Teletherapy And Training , pp. 3-13. Ed. Jill S. Scharff. London: Karnac Books.

(2012) “Trauma: Bending Time and Bending the Self”. In THE MOBIUS STRIP. (Fall, 2012), pp. 33-35, Mobius Executive Leadership.

(2012) “Pleasure and Pain in the Contemporary Practice of Psychodynamic Therapy”. Psychodynamic Practice, 18 (1), pp. 117-125.

(2011) “The Inner World of Shaming and Ashamed: An Object Relations Perspective and Therapeutic Approach”. In Shame In The Therapy Hour, pp. 45-68. Eds., J. P. Tangney and R. L. Dearing, Washington, DC: APA Press.

(2007) “Sustained and Sustaining Continuing Education for Therapists” with P. Jameson and J. Poulton. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 44, (1), pp. 110-114.

(2005) “Time-Near and Time-Far: The Changing Shape of Time in Trauma and Psychotherapy” pp. 25-38. In Dimensions Of Psychotherapy/Dimensions Of Experience, ed. with D. E. Scharff, London: Brunner-Routledge.

(2003) “The Consultants as Part of the Drama in a Family Business”, in Self Hatred In Psychoanalysis: Detoxifying The Persecutory Object, ed. S. Tsigounis and J. S. Scharff, pp. 205-224.

(2000) “Object Relations Brief Therapy”. In Brief Therapy With Individuals and Couples, ed. J. Carlson and L. Sperry. Phoenix: Zeig, Zucker & Theisen. (with D. E. Scharff)

(2000) “Intensity, Brevity and Focus”. In Tuning the Therapeutic Instrument: Affective Learning Of Psychotherapy, eds. J. S. Scharff and D. E. Scharff. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. (with J. S. Scharff)

(1992) Brief Therapy with Personality Disorders, American Healthcare Institute Audio Library Series .

(1987) The Change Seminar. TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL, 41, 46-50. (with V. Bianco)

(1973) In Vivo Facilitation as a Variable in the Effectiveness of Taped Flooding. Behavior Research And Therapy, 11, 239-241.