Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders

Clinical Adjunct Faculty
  • Full Professor
    Clinical Psychology

  • The Chicago School Chicago
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

Dr. Sanders has been affiliated with The Chicago School since 2002. He is the co-founder of Interfaith Holidays, a consultation service for interfaith couples, and has served as president of the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology. Dr. Sanders' areas of expertise include schizophrenic and borderline psychopathology, the interfaith dimension in treatment, transference-countertransference interactions, the termination process in psychotherapy, and intersubjective relational approaches to treatment. He did his doctoral work at the University of Minnesota and received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University.

  • B.A. in Biological Sciences, Cornell University
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, IL

Areas Of Expertise

Select Presentations

  • The Interfaith Dimension in Treatment. Co-presented with Susan Sances, Psy.D. Invited Colloquium, Psychoanalytic Therapy Program, Illinois School of Professional Psychology. June, 2002.
  • Intimate Outsiders: Everyday Secrets in Interfaith Relationships. Co-presented with Susan Sances, Psy.D. National Convention, Dovetail Institute, Union League Club, Chicago, IL. August, 2002.
  • Sanders, P. (2010). Goals, goal-lessness, and the leading edge of growth in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Colloquium, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL.
  • Sanders, P. (2013). Working with transference and countertransference.  Lawrence Hall Youth Services, Chicago, IL.

Select Publications

  • Sanders, P. R. & Sances, S. V. (2001). Emotional blocks to sharing our traditions. The Inclusive: Newsletter of the Jewish Outreach Institute, 7(3).
  • Sances, S. V. & Sanders, P. R. (2002).  When interfaith couples need help. Dovetail Journal, Summer, 2002.

Community Involvement

  • Past President, Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology
  • Co-founder, Interfaith Holidays, a consultation service for interfaith couples
  • Clinical faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Mentor, Fellowship Program, Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis 

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA
  • National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
  • Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis


Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.
A: My goal is to make difficult material come alive in the classroom. To that end, I pepper my classes with many clinical and personal examples, and encourage questions and reactions - including those that challenge my views. In lecture classes, I develop ongoing individual dialogues with students through responses to their weekly written reactions to the readings. In all my classes, I place a very high premium on a learning alliance that balances respect, good humor, and a sense of the seriousness and complexity of our subject matter and our clients' struggles.

Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
A: Psychology today is growing in importance and scope, as it addresses advances in biology, and takes on the challenge of leadership in organizational and international settings. As exciting as these advances are, I am somewhat of a traditionalist, in that I remain committed to the processes that further careful listening and the understanding of experience, so as to promote self-awareness, more conscious and fulfilling choices, the regulation of internal upsets, and the capacity for enriching relationships.

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
A: Initially, I chose this field because I wanted to understand and study schizophrenia and related disorders. While in graduate school, I went through a shift from primarily research interests to a much more engaged focus on treatment. I found that the process of intensive psychotherapy appealed to my deepest yearnings to understand others, to help them wrestle with the complexities and ambiguities of life, and appealed to my wish for daily professional experiences that mattered -- that changed me as well as my clients.

Q: What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
A: Learn from your clients. Learn to listen clearly and carefully, to understand the vital undercurrents in a client's message, and only then to draw from the extraordinary healing skills you are about to learn here.