ADULT PSYCHOANALYSIS TRAINING PROGRAM ELEMENTS
BPSI’s Adult Psychoanalytic training program consists of three major parts, which take place concurrently:
BPSI is the largest psychoanalytic institute in the United States. Founded in 1933, its members have been and continue to be among the most prominent contributors to the development of psychoanalysis in this country. BPSI candidates benefit from a comprehensive exposure to historical currents in psychoanalysis as well as contemporary controversies and debates in our field. BPSI’s curriculum immerses candidates in the development of psychoanalytic theory and technique in the context of current ideas, nationally and internationally. Our classwork offers a rich and lively interchange with faculty and fellow candidates designed to advance each candidate’s knowledge of psychoanalytic theory and practice and to develop his or her individual psychoanalytic identity and capacity to engage deeply with patients.
The core curriculum consists of five sequences, which are interwoven throughout the five years of seminars. These sequences include:
- Clinical Practice
In the first year of academic course work we provide candidates with an historical overview of basic psychoanalytic concepts (including Transference and Countertransference, the Unconscious, Repetition Compulsion, Defense, Resistance, Therapeutic Action), starting with an essential grounding in Freud. Over the course of five years we trace the evolution of psychoanalytic theory and practice through Freud, Klein and the Modern Kleinians, Bion, contemporary developments within American Ego Psychology, and the schools of Object Relations, Self Psychology, and Contemporary Relational Psychoanalysis. Our attempt throughout is to encourage inquiry and foster ongoing critical thinking in psychoanalytic theory as well as practice.
In addition, the curriculum addresses a number of key themes across different seminars, including developmental issues, neuroscience and evidence-based research, ethical practice, socio-cultural awareness, sexuality and gender issues, case development, and thinking contextually regarding what we know and what we do. BPSI also believes that writing substantially enriches one’s understanding of the analytic process and provides support for writers at all levels of experience with seminars, workshops, and writing mentors.
Traditionally, classes are held from September through early June on Thursday evenings at BPSI from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm, with an hour free for dinner. During COVID, classes are held remotely on Thursday evenings from 5:00pm – 6:30pm and 7:00pm – 8:30pm, with a half-hour break, over eight-week periods from September to early June.
Our faculty draws from an extensive list of experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic clinical scholars. Many are nationally-recognized leaders in the field and publish frequently in major psychoanalytic journals.
Click here for a list of our faculty.
BPSI enhances our core seminars with electives, open academic lectures, considerable support for clinical writing and mini-seminars. Candidates and faculty work together to continually expand and build upon the curriculum so that it is current and relevant for our Candidates.
Throughout our training programs BPSI provides several mentors, volunteers from faculty who are committed to supporting Candidates throughout their education and into their professional advancement.
BPSI provides Continuing Education Credits for Social Workers, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists some of our seminars.
As part of their analytic training, BPSI Candidates treat at least three patients in psychoanalysis under supervision from a qualified analyst, one for each case. Candidates choose their supervisors from a list of experienced and vetted psychoanalysts.
The relationship between Candidate and Supervisor offers a significant mentoring experience.
Through the lens of a concentrated single-case focus, supervised cases help Candidates learn to integrate theory and technique within the clinical process and develop their analytic skills. Throughout the experience, Supervisors help Candidates develop:
- criteria for evaluating the indications and contraindications for conducting a psychoanalysis with a particular patient,
- an analytic stance that fosters free association,
- an ability to be attuned to the patient’s feelings and to listen to analytic material at different levels,
- an ability to identify and understand transference and countertransference feelings,
- a capacity to use different conceptual models in understanding clinical material, and
- an ability to make interventions that facilitate the development and deepening of the psychoanalytic process.
- Fees are arranged privately between the Candidate and supervisor.
- Supervisors may be selected from the BPSI list of Supervising Analysts.
- For graduation, Candidates must undertake three supervised cases, with at least one of each gender. 150 supervisory hours are required, with 50 hours dedicated to one of the three cases.
- After approval for a third case, Candidates may apply to begin unsupervised cases.
- For Candidates also studying child psychoanalytic training at BPSI, one child training case may count toward their three supervised cases.
Consultation and Referral Service
BPSI’s Consultation Service, offered by our Consultation and Referral Committee, can be an excellent source for referrals. The committee provides information and assistance to individuals who are considering psychoanalysis and/or psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Committee members meet in consultation with adults, adolescents and children and, whenever possible, provide referrals.
When appropriate, committee members work to facilitate analytic referrals to Candidates who are willing to take a reduced fee for training purposes.
BPSI considers Candidates’ personal analysis to be a crucial part of thorough psychoanalytic training. Through a personal analysis, Candidates develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the analytic process while gaining a greater openness to their own feelings and those of others.
The exploration, understanding and insight afforded by the analysis allows each Candidate the experience of free association, transference, resistance and termination. By participating in their own analysis, Candidates develop a fuller appreciation of the nature of their patients’ experience with the analytic relationship and process and come to feel more responsive and freer in their personal and professional lives.
In the context of a close, working relationship with their analyst, Candidates are able to identify and address conflicts and therefore enhance their capacity to be good psychoanalysts. Ultimately, each Candidate’s personal analysis contributes to the development of his or her self-analytic skill and an analytic identity.
The personal analysis is fully confidential and fees are arranged privately between Candidate and analyst.
Candidates are in analysis during at least part of the time concurrently with their supervised cases. For graduation, Candidates need 300 hours of psychoanalysis with a BPSI or approved APsaA/IPA training analyst. A reciprocal arrangement is in place to allow Candidates to complete their Training Psychoanalysis with a Training Psychoanalyst from the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England. Information is also available to assist Candidates seeking to complete their Training Psychoanalysis with a Training Analyst from another APsaA institute.
Training Program Elements
Faculty & Candidates