Psychoanalysis Training

Candidates are typically drawn to ACPS for several reasons. We offer a warm ambiance with a group of talented and creative faculty, clinicians, and scholars, along with limited class size. The smaller class size and the open collegial environment of ACPS translate into a rich experience of personal relationships, which provide added meaning to psychoanalytic training.

Candidates undergo psychoanalytic training which consists of three interrelated components.

1. a personal analysis

2. classes in psychoanalytic theory and technique

3. the psychoanalysis of at least three patients under the close and extended supervision of experienced analysts.

Personal Analysis:

The purpose of Candidates’ own analyses is to help them with:

1. Resolution of personal issues or personality factors which would interfere with their conducting the best possible psychoanalyses,

2. Development of capacities for understanding emotional, social, physical, and intellectual aspects of all human experience. By undergoing the treatment that they themselves are going to practice, the future analyst develops a greater empathy with patients and an intimate understanding of the psychoanalytic process.


The ACPS’ curriculum offers a range of classical and contemporary psychoanalytic theories and techniques. Since the field of psychoanalysis has evolved over more than a century, instructors include the evolution of psychoanalytic theories and practice in their teaching. Theory and comparative technique courses review the work of major contributors to psychoanalysis which include Freud and classical theory, developments within American Ego psychology, Klein and the contemporary Kleinians, and the schools of Self Psychology, and Contemporary Relational Psychoanalysis.

Classes in psychoanalytic theory and technique include:

· history of psychoanalysis

· child and adult development

· psychoanalytic technique

· classical and contemporary Theories ( e.g. Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Bion, Ego Psychology, Self Psychology).

· psychopathology

· gender and sexuality

· object relations

· dreams

· trauma

· clinical case conferences

· continuing case conferences

· visiting analyst seminars


Candidates conduct analyses under the close and extended supervision of experienced analysts. Patients are selected as being appropriate for beginning analysts, keeping in mind that most Candidates have already had experience in treating patients. Analyses are conducted with a minimum of three sessions per week and the Candidate’s work is discussed weekly with a senior supervising analyst. If the Candidate’s work with the patient proceeds  satisfactorily he or she may take another case with a different supervisor. Conducting an analysis is a profound experience for both patient and analyst. Candidates remain in personal analysis to maximize exploration and understanding of problems that arise in the process. A Candidate graduates upon the completion of the program  and a determination by the faculty that the Candidate can independently conduct psychoanalysis.