Jim Theisen

Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Training

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Dr. Theisen is Clinical Professor and Director of Training in the Clinical Psychology PsyD Program at Augsburg University and joined the faculty in August, 2020. He joined the faculty at the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) in a half-time core faculty position in 2005 and came on as a full-time faculty member at MSPP in 2007 where he worked until 2019. In addition to teaching, he served in variety of roles in clinical training at MSPP including Associate Director of Training, Director of Intern Training, Internship Consortium Director, and most recently Director of Training. He has provided direct care services in a variety of positions including state psychiatric hospital, outpatient mental health clinic, and private practice settings. Most recently, before coming on the faculty at Augsburg University, he worked as the Clinical Services Director at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, where he served as a member of the executive team and provided direction, supervision, and oversight of the delivery of clinical services in this state psychiatric facility. Dr. Theisen’s areas of specialization include contemporary/relational psychoanalytic psychotherapy, countertransference theory/therapist’s use of self, clinical supervision and consultation, and student personal and professional development.


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in 1995

MA from Fuller Graduate School of Theology

BS from Saint John’s University

Research Interests:

Content areas:  Psychodynamic theory and its application—particularly contemporary relational approaches; counter transference theory and the role of the person of the therapist in psychotherapy; psychotherapy process and outcome research; integration of psychology and religion; treatment of severe and persistent mental illness; infant development theory and parent-infant psychotherapy.

Research methodology: No special preference

Population(s): Primarily with adults, but open to others

Professional Contributions:

Presentation at the Medical Staff at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center. Anoka, Minnesota, (2020): Groupthink and inclusiveness.

Presentation at the Spirituality and Mental Health Conference at Argosy University–Twin Cities, Eagan, Minnesota., (2015): Addressing spirituality in supervision.


Theisen, J. J. (2013). The therapist’s use of the relational self: Contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives on countertransference. Manuscript awarded honorable mention for the Johann K. Tabin/APA Book Proposal
Prize. Presented at the Annual Spring Meeting of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39), Boston, Massachusetts.