Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 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 the analytic training.

Candidates undergo training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy which consists of three interrelated components.

The psychoanalytic psychotherapy training includes:

– personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy

– classes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy theory and technique

– supervision by experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapists or analysts of two patients in psychoanalytic psychotherapy


Personal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy:

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

– Resolution of personal issues or personality factors which would interfere with their conducting the best possible psychoanalytic psychotherapy,

– 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 psychoanalytic psychotherapist 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. Classes for candidates of psychoanalytic psychotherapy include some of those covered in the track for psychoanalysis.

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 includes some of the following:

– 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 treat two patients, a minimum of twice per week, under the close and extended supervision of experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapists or psychoanalysts. Patients are selected as being appropriate for a beginning psychoanalytic psychotherapists. Candidates’ work is discussed weekly with their supervisors. If a Candidate’s work with a patient proceeds satisfactorily, he or she may take another case with a different supervisor. Candidates remain in personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy to discuss and analyze any problems thatoccur in conducting their patients’ treatment. A Candidate graduates upon the completion of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy program and when the faculty has determined that the Candidate can independently conduct psychoanalytic psychotherapy.