Psychoanalytic Training: Applying for Psychoanalytic Training
Applying for Psychoanalytic Training
The Admissions Committee strives to make application for admission to psychoanalytic training a user-friendly process. If admissions procedures are unclear at any point, please email or call our Education Program Coordinator Nicole Lee (415-563-5815). If you have more substantive questions about any aspect of the admissions process, please feel free to call one of the Admissions Co-Chairs, Ann Martini, L.C.S.W. (408-370-6195) or Laura Dansky, Ph.D. (415-929-8239). Finally, if you would like help at any point during the process of applying, feel free to contact our Co-Chairs of Outreach, Adam Goldyne, M.D. (415-826-9639) or Beth Steinberg, Ph.D. (415-441-5302), who are impartial to and stand apart from Admissions Committee evaluations.
SFCP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation in administration of its admission policies, educational policies, or any other programs. Similarly, all SFCP candidates are entitled to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities accorded or made available to trainees.
Mental health clinicians
SFCP encourages applications from licensed mental health clinicians, including those holding MD, Ph.D., Psy.D., D.M.H., M.S.W. or M.F.T. degrees.
Psychiatrists must be graduates of approved medical schools, must have completed at least one year of psychiatric residency, and must be licensed in California to be eligible for psychoanalytic training.
Doctoral-level clinicians must have doctoral level degrees in clinical disciplines from approved programs, must have experience practicing psychotherapy, and must be licensed in California to be eligible for psychoanalytic training.
Masters-level clinicians must hold a relevant clinical master’s degree; must have two years of additional postgraduate training, either individually arranged or via formal programs; must have an established career track practicing psychotherapy; and must be licensed in California.
Non-mental-health-clinicians with academic degrees may be admitted for psychoanalytic training, either on a full basis (which includes coursework, personal psychoanalysis, and conducting supervised psychoanalysis) or on a partial basis (which includes coursework and personal psychoanalysis, but not conducting personal psychoanalysis). Such applicants must be able to articulate a plan for a career in which psychoanalysis interacts productively with another field of specialization.
SFCP considers transfer applications from trainees at other accredited member organization of the International Psychoanalytical Association.
To initiate the admissions process, download the Application Form.
The Admissions Committee accepts application submissions throughout the year, reviews applications in the order they are received, and makes admissions offers on a rolling basis. Because of the rolling nature of admissions, and because class sizes are limited to twelve, we encourage applicants interested in Fall 2019 matriculation to submit their application materials as early as possible.
While there is no absolute application deadline, it may not be possible to offer Fall 2019 matriculation to those who apply after February 4, 2019, even if the Fall 2019 entering class has not yet filled. This is because completing the admissions process may take up to three months following submission of an application, and because accepted trainees require time before the beginning of classes to arrange for personal analysis. Those considering submitting application materials after February 4 may contact one of the Admissions Committee Co-Chairs, Laura Dansky, Ph.D. (415-929-8239) or Ann Martini, L.C.S.W. (408-370-6195), to determine whether consideration for Fall 2019 remains possible.
Accepted applicants who cannot be invited to matriculate in Fall 2019, either because they were not amongst the first twelve accepted or because they applied too late for this to be possible, will be invited to:
- occupy a place on a waiting list in case additional spaces open for Fall 2019;
- participate in an Interim Seminar for accepted candidates during the 2019-20 academic year
- accept matriculation in Fall 2020.
If you are admitted for Fall 2019, you will be required to begin psychoanalysis with a Training Analyst approved by SFCP, and to let the Psychoanalytic Education Division know who that analyst is. This information will be treated as confidential and will be available only to the Dean, the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division and the Chair of the Training Analyst Committee. You are free to choose any Training Analyst in the Directory of SFCP Training Analysts.
As of Fall 2018, psychoanalysts who currently are not SFCP Training Analysts, but who have sufficient training and experience, may apply to become Training Analysts via a straightforward and efficient process. If you hope to be in treatment during training with a specific analyst who is in this situation, he or she should begin the Training Analyst application process as soon as possible during your application process by contacting Psychoanalytic Education Division Chair Gary Grossman, Ph.D. (415-928-4662).
After your application has been received, the Admissions Committee will request and review letters of recommendation from individuals you have specified on the Application Form.
Following review of your Application Form and Letters of Recommendation, the Chairs of the Admissions Committee will provide you with a panel of two graduate analysts with whom you will have personal interviews. Each interview will be held at the interviewer’s office and may continue over more than one session, with the exact number of sessions determined in the course of the interview. These interviews will be an opportunity to expand and reflect upon what you have shared in your autobiography.
As part of the admissions process, you should prepare to present clinical material from two open-ended psychoanalytic psychotherapy treatments of your choice, and to engage with your interviewers in discussing this work.
After submitting your application, you will be provided with a panel of two clinical interviewers and will meet twice or more with each to discuss case material. Each interview will be held at the interviewer’s office, and the total number of meetings will be determined in an open-ended way over the course of the presentation. You will discuss both of the two cases you have prepared, one with each interviewer. It is up to you to decide which case to present to each.
The purpose of the clinical interviews is not for you to demonstrate psychoanalytic expertise, but rather for your interviewer to get to know you as a thinker and learner. We ask that you present your work with thought and care and that you join your interviewer in reflecting with curiosity and openness about your patient’s experience; about your experience of treating the patient; and about psychological processes and challenges involved in the clinical work you present.
We prefer that you present material from treatments that are in progress at the time of application, that involve patients of different genders, and that are not in supervision. However, we understand that your practice currently may be too limited to meet these criteria. If so, please choose two cases from your past or present caseload that approximate our preferences as closely as possible.
If either of your interviewers has specific preferences regarding your presentation’s format, he or she will let you know prior to the interview. In general, however, you should be prepared to start with a very brief (i.e., 5-10 minute) description of the way the treatment started, of its duration and frequency, of major highlights of the patient’s early life and life story, and of notable events in the treatment leading up to the session in question.
Also, please bring two copies of notes (one for you and one for your interviewer) describing the back and forth of at least two sessions in transcript format. For example:
Patient: [Looking downcast]. I don’t feel like talking today …
Clinician: [Feeling anxious] What’s holding you back?
Please note that we do not expect or desire a literal, word-for-word, transcript, as if from an audio recording. Rather, we are asking for your best attempt — from notes or memory — to convey the back and forth of a session in transcript format. Over the course of the presentation, you and your interviewer will reflect upon, and discuss, the treatment process with a focus on your clinical work and thinking.
Once interviews are complete, your application will be discussed at a meeting of the Admissions Committee. The Committee meets monthly, usually on the first Thursday, between September and June. The Admissions Co-Chairs and other committee members, along with your four interviewers, will be present to discuss your application. One of the Chairs of the Admissions Committee will inform you of the committee’s decision.
If you are a close relative of an SFCP member, SFCP’s Admissions Committee will not review your application. Rather, we will request that another member organization of the American Psychoanalytic Association evaluate it and make an admission decision. You may be asked to travel to the member organization to complete interviews. SFCP will abide by the member organization’s decision regarding your application.
- Once you have been accepted into SFCP’s psychoanalytic training program, one of the Admissions Chairs will inform you of your acceptance.
- The Admissions Committee will notify administrative staff of your acceptance, and the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division, the Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and the Dean will be notified in turn.
- During the month prior to beginning classes, you will be expected to convey to the Psychoanalytic Education Division your arrangements for personal analysis with a Training Analyst approved by SFCP.
- If you have been admitted, you may choose to defer training for up to three years after acceptance. If you are interested in analytic training after that point, a new application must be submitted.
- If you have requested credit for training at another organization, SFCP’s Progressions and Graduation Committee, Dean, and Curriculum Committee will collaborate to determine whether credit can be assigned for your previous or ongoing supervised psychoanalyses or for coursework you have completed.