The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Division

The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Division

San Francisco Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program (PPTP) and
Foundations of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Foundations)

by John Jemerin, M.D., Chair and Beth Steinberg, Ph.D., Outreach Chair


As we begin our third year, we feel that this program is both settling in and taking root at as well as bearing fruit with exciting new developments at SFCP.

The PPTP’s third class of 24 students began their first year of training in September. So far, the PPTP has admitted two sections of 12 students each year, or 24 students. Each year the pool of well-qualified applicants has exceeded the number of students that can be accepted, so the PPTP offers an interim bi-weekly case consultation free of charge while deferred students await entry into the program. This year for the first time, the San Francisco PPTP is also offering a “post-PPTP” third year of classes for students who have completed the program’s two years of classes. We are
extremely excited about this new program, which we call “Integrations.” In addition, the PPTP had its first graduating class last spring and SFCP had its first dedicated Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training graduation ceremony to honor these graduates.

The PPTP / Foundations program is based in San Francisco, but accepts applications from all over the Bay Area, as well as from Sacramento and Davis. The trainees come from a broad range of disciplines, including marriage and family therapy, social work, psychology, and medicine. The PPTP is a two-year program combining a rigorous and innovative didactic curriculum, continuing clinical case conferences throughout the two-year sequence, and the experience of doing psychoanalytic psychotherapy under supervision. The didactic curriculum is organized around the clinical encounter. Rather than teaching theory, technique, and development as separate tracks, our course sequence takes the clinical process as its focus and structures the didactic teaching in relation to lived clinical experience. The PPTP also integrates mentorship beginning with the application process and continuing throughout the program. Our goals are to foster each trainee’s development as a psychoanalytic clinician, to help trainees find the ideal application of psychoanalytic concepts and approaches in their particular practice situation, and to encourage and nurture ongoing and deepening involvement in the SFCP community.

We feel that the PPTP is serving an important need in providing an entry point into the SFCP community for clinicians who are interested in psychoanalytic ideas, but for whom educational opportunities previously available at SFCP may have seemed intimidating. The PPTP is designed to offer broad training in the practice of psychoanalytic therapy that is both accessible and, at the same time, intellectually challenging. We have received strong interest both from clinicians early in their careers who are not yet committed in their professional interests, and from mid-to-late career clinicians
who are interested in refocusing their practices and advancing their professional development.

A unique feature of the PPTP is the option to enroll in the first year didactic seminars and case conferences only, without the supervised psychotherapy component. This one-year, didactic only option, is the new ‘Foundations’ program. Clinicians who elect to take the Foundations program can opt to apply to PPTP (the two-year training program) at any point and begin supervised psychotherapy once accepted. The advantage of this arrangement is that it allows applicants to apply who want to explore psychoanalytic ideas, but who are either not yet ready to commit to a two year training program, or not yet in a position to see patients in open-ended psychotherapy.

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