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. (408-357-0012) 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 either of 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.
To initiate the admissions process, download the Application Form.
When applying, please keep in mind the following considerations regarding timing:
- Applications for Fall 2020 are being accepted now.
- Up to 12 candidates may begin psychoanalytic training in Fall 2020.
- The Admissions Committee reviews applications in the order they are received, and makes offers of admissions on a rolling basis.
- Because of the rolling nature of admissions, those interested in beginning training in Fall 2020 should consider applying as soon as possible, i.e., in Summer or Fall 2019.
- Unless otherwise noted, the Admissions Committee will continue to accept and consider applications, even after all positions in the Fall 2020 class have been filled. Applications accepted at this point will be:
- placed on the 2020 Waiting list in case those already accepted elect to defer training
- offered admission for Fall 2021
- offered an interim educational experience at SFCP
- If, at the time an application is received, the Fall 2020 class is full and the waiting list is already too long to make Fall 2020 admission possible, SFCP will notify applicants that review of their application may be delayed until Fall 2020 and the applicant considered for matriculation in Fall 2021.
- Given the rolling nature of admissions, at any point you may contact one of the Admissions Committee Co-Chairs, Laura Dansky, Ph.D. (415-929-8239) or Ann Martini, L.C.S.W. (408-357-0012), to determine whether consideration for Fall 2020 remains possible.
Please expand the headings below for important information about various aspects of the application process.
SFCP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation in administration of its admission policies, educational policies, or any other programs.
Mental health clinicians
SFCP encourages applications from licensed mental health clinicians, including those holding D.M.H., L.C.S.W., L.M.F.T., L.P.C.C., M.D., N.P., Ph.D., or Psy.D. degrees.
- Psychiatrists must be graduates of approved medical schools, must have completed psychiatric residency, must have experience practicing psychotherapy, and must be licensed in California
- 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
- Masters-level clinicians and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners must hold a relevant clinical 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.
Individuals engaged in academia may be admitted for psychoanalytic training on a partial basis, in which they participate in seminars, case conferences, and a personal psychoanalysis, but do not conduct psychoanalytic treatments themselves. Such applicants must be able to articulate a plan for a career in which psychoanalysis interacts productively with their academic specialty. If you intend to apply as an academic applicant, please contact the admissions chairs to discuss your situation prior to applying.
SFCP considers transfer applications from trainees at other accredited member organization of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Please contact the Admissions Chairs to discuss your situation if you wish to enter as a transfer candidate.
If you are admitted for Fall 2020, you will be required to begin personal psychoanalysis, four times a week and lying on the couch, prior to the beginning of fall classes. Your analyst for this purpose must be a Training Analyst approved by SFCP, and you must 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.
In addition, 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 wish to continue a current treatment with an analyst who is not yet an SFCP Training Analyst, your analyst should begin the Training Analyst application process as soon as possible, concurrent with your application to psychoanalytic training. You and/or your analyst should contact the Psychoanalytic Education Division Chair Gary Grossman, Ph.D. (415-928-4662) to address any questions confidentially, and to obtain an application for your analyst to become an SFCP Training Analyst.
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. These interviews will be an opportunity to expand and reflect upon what you have shared in your autobiography. Each interview will be held at the interviewer’s office and is likely to involve one session. Occasionally, it may be valuable for a personal interview to extend to more than one session, with the exact number of sessions determined during the interview.
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.
- Scheduling of clinical interviews: After submitting your application, you will be provided with the names of two clinical interviewers, and you will meet with each of them separately to discuss case material. 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. Each interview will be held at the interviewer’s office and is likely to involve two to three sessions. Occasionally, it may be valuable for a clinical interview to extend to more than three sessions, with the exact number of meetings determined in an open-ended way over the course of the presentation.
- Purpose of clinical interviews: 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 prepare your notes and present your work with thought and care, and to 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.
- Choosing Cases: We prefer that you present material from treatments that are in progress at the time of application and that are not in supervision. However, we understand that it may not be possible to meet these criteria. If so, please choose two cases from your past or present caseload that approximate our preferences as closely as possible.
- Format: If your interviewers have specific preferences regarding your presentation’s format, they 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.
- Process Notes: 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 a member of SFCP, SFCP’s Admissions Committee will not review your application. Rather, they will request that another member organization of the American Psychoanalytic Association evaluate it and make an admission decision. Please contact the Admissions Chairs to discuss arrangements for having your application reviewed by another member organization. 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.
- Within one week of the verbal acceptance from an Admissions Committee Chair, you will receive a formal letter of acceptance, via email, from the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division, along with an Acceptance of Admission Form. Please sign and return the Acceptance of Admission Form to the SFCP Education Coordinator by the date indicated on your acceptance letter.
- The Admissions Committee will notify administrative staff of your acceptance. The Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division, the Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and the Dean will be notified in turn.
- Prior to beginning classes, you will be expected to begin a personal psychoanalysis with a Training Analyst approved by SFCP and to have informed the Psychoanalytic Education Division of your analyst’s name, as described above.
- 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 psychoanalysis or for coursework you have completed.