Psychoanalysis - Training and Research

Training and Research

Psychoanalytic training in the United States, in most locations, involves personal analytic treatment for the trainee, conducted confidentially, with no report to the Education Committee of the Analytic Training Institute; approximately 600 hours of class instruction, with a standard curriculum, over a four-year period. Classes are often a few hours per week, or for a full day or two every other weekend during the academic year; this varies with the institute; and supervision once per week, with a senior analyst, on each analytic treatment case the trainee has. The minimum number of cases varies between institutes, often two to four cases. Male and female cases are required. Supervision must go on for at least a few years on one or more cases. Supervision is done in the supervisor's office, where the trainee presents material from the analytic work that week, examines the unconscious conflicts with the supervisor, and learns, discusses, and is advised about technique.

Many psychoanalytic training centers in the United States have been accredited by special committees of the American Psychoanalytic Association or the International Psychoanalytical Association. Because of theoretical differences, other independent institutes arose, usually founded by psychologists, who until 1987 were not permitted access to psychoanalytic training institutes of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Currently there are between 75 and 100 independent institutes in the United States. As well, other institutes are affiliated to other organizations such as the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, and the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. At most psychoanalytic institutes in the United States, qualifications for entry include a terminal degree in a mental health field, such as Ph.D., Psy.D., M.S.W., or M.D. A few institutes restrict applicants to those already holding an M.D. or Ph.D., and most institutes in Southern California confer a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychoanalysis upon graduation, which involves completion of the necessary requirements for the state boards that confer that doctoral degree.The first training institute in America to educate non-medical psychoanalysts was The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis., (1978) in New York City. It was founded by the analyst Theodor Reik.

Some psychoanalytic training has been set up as a post-doctoral fellowship in university settings, such as at Duke University, Yale University, New York University, Adelphi University, and Columbia University. Other psychoanalytic institutes may not be directly associated with universities, but the faculty at those institutes usually hold contemporaneous faculty positions with psychology Ph.D. programs and/or with medical school psychiatry residency programs.

The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) is the world's primary accrediting and regulatory body for psychoanalysis. Their mission is to assure the continued vigour and development of psychoanalysis for the benefit of psychoanalytic patients. It works in partnership with its 70 constituent organizations in 33 countries to support 11,500 members. In the US, there are 77 psychoanalytical organizations, institutes associations in the United States, which are spread across the states of America. The American Psychoanalytic Association (APSaA) has 38 affiliated societies, which have 10 or more active members who practice in a given geographical area. The aims of the APSaA and other psychoanalytical organizations are: provide ongoing educational opportunities for its members, stimulate the development and research of psychoanalysis, provide training and organize conferences. There are eight affiliated study groups in the USA (two of them are in Latin America). A study group is the first level of integration of a psychoanalytical body within the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), followed by a provisional society and finally a member society.

The Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association (APA) was established in the early 1980s by several psychologists. Until the establishment of the Division of Psychoanalysis, psychologists who had trained in independent institutes had no national organization. The Division of Psychoanalysis now has approximately 4,000 members and approximately 30 local chapters in the United States. The Division of Psychoanalysis holds two annual meetings or conferences and offers continuing education in theory, research and clinical technique, as do their affiliated local chapters. The European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF) is the organization which consolidates all European psychoanalytic societies. This organization is affiliated with the IPA. In 2002 there were approximately 3,900 individual members in 22 countries, speaking 18 different languages. There are also 25 psychoanalytic societies.

The American Association of Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW) was established by Crayton Rowe in 1980 as a division of the Federation of Clinical Societies of Social Work and became an independent entity in 1990. Until 2007 is was known as the National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis. The organization was originally founded because although social workers represented the larger number of people who were training to be psychoanalysts, they were underrepresented as supervisors and teachers at the institutes they attended. AAPCSW now has over 1000 members and has over 20 chapters. It holds a bi-annual national conference and numerous annual local conferences.

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