Psychoanalytic Training

Since its formation seventy years ago by American and European analysts, the SFCP has been an able and avant-garde member organization of the American and International Psychoanalytic Associations.  As it has undergone continuing self-study and evolution in each decade, it now arrives in the 21st Century as a model for contemporary psychoanalytic training — offering a full vision of educational development for psychoanalysts-to-be, including a program that rests on the traditional three pillars of psychoanalytic education: seminars in clinical work and theory, supervision of analytic cases, and personal psychoanalysis, to which we add a fourth pillar — the serious cultivation of critical thinking with a focus on evidence and logical coherence.

Catalog of Courses

The didactic component of psychoanalytic training at the Center is informed by principles of theoretical pluralism and critical thinking. One sequence of seminars that runs through the four years of coursework is devoted to the study of psychoanalytic theory. This sequence takes the works of Freud as its starting point and follows an historically organized study of theoretical developments. The works of Klein and contemporary Kleinians, the British Independents, Bion, contemporary Freudians, French psychoanalytic texts, the American Relationalists and contemporary object relations theorists are taught in depth. Concurrent with this sequence, are courses in clinical practice that run throughout the four years. These courses begin with basic concepts having to do with therapeutic action, beginning psychoanalytic treatment, analytic process, and dreams and continue in later years to study primitive states, severe psychopathology, and trauma. Courses in the psychoanalytic understanding of development begin in the first year of coursework and continue through the early academic years. These courses include the study of infant observation, attachment theory, gender and object choice, oedipal and post-oedipal stages of development.

The close examination of ongoing cases in psychoanalytic treatment is undertaken in case conferences which continue throughout all years of the curriculum. The case conference offered in the first year is exclusively for first year candidates. The continuous case conferences offered in subsequent years include a mix of candidates from the second, third, and fourth years. This provides candidates the opportunity to work closely with candidates from different classes. This integration of candidate cohorts continues in three other seminar contexts: 1) the Visiting Professor week, in which a noted psychoanalyst outside the Center is invited to teach candidates and offer programs to graduate members of the Center; 2) Electives, in which candidates choose from courses offered by faculty of the Center which take up topics of special interest; and 3) the annual Intersession: a three week program that takes up a topic of applied psychoanalysis.

The curriculum concludes with a course offered after the four year sequence, in which candidates formulate and develop a paper in a working group of fellow candidates and with the participation of a faculty mentor.

Below is a list of the coursework (in PDF format), organized by year.