Psychoanalytic Training: Coursework
The Adult Psychoanalytic Training Curriculum consists of four years of seminars and case conferences designed to explore a wide range of psychoanalytic approaches to clinical work. In addition, the curriculum is arranged to model a process of psychoanalytic inquiry for lifelong learning. Clinical illustrations and sociocultural perspectives ground every class. Below, you will find detailed information about each year of training.
Introduction to Year 1
The theme of Year 1 courses is ‘Clinical and Conceptual Grounding.’ Individual seminars in Year 1 trace the historical evolution of psychoanalysis across intra-psychic, inter-psychic, and collective models of psychic functioning, and articulate the distinctions in these coexisting perspectives as they inform clinical work. Classes cover a wide range of psychoanalytic traditions, originated by Freud, Ferenczi, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, the American Self Psychologists and Relationalists, as well as prominent French and Latin American psychoanalysts. In addition, a yearlong combined seminar/case conference will introduce principles of beginning a psychoanalytic treatment, including the nuts and bolts of using the couch, increasing frequency, and technical approaches to deepening the work.
The following is a graphic of the Year 1 schedule. The description of a particular course or series may be accessed by clicking its information symbol.
Introduction to Year 2
The theme of Year 2 courses is ‘The Developing Individual in Society.’ Courses will be organized around two animating questions: (1) How do people become who they are? (2) How does cultural experience structure the unconscious and how does the unconscious structure individual and collective cultural experience? Seminars will attempt to illustrate how development is situated within the natural environment and within multiple collectives, including the family and the broader sociocultural surround. Specific attention will be given to understanding the impact of power, privilege, and diversity in the clinical situation and in the classroom group process.
The following is a graphic of the Year 2 Schedule. The description of a particular course or series may be accessed by clicking its information symbol.
Introduction to Year 3
The theme of Year 3 courses is ‘Clinical and Conceptual Deepening.’ Based on the principle of cumulative iterative learning, Year 3 seminars will return to the multiple perspectives introduced in Year 1, focusing on close reading and discussion of primary texts by Freud, Ferenczi, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, the American Self Psychology and Relationalists, as well as prominent French and Latin American psychoanalysts.
In comparison with the Year 1 curriculum, Year 3 will offer candidates the opportunity to engage more directly with each perspective via the primary literature. Ideally, candidates will leave each course feeling the following : (1) a more-developed sense (compared with the first year) of how clinical work might be informed by the perspective in question; (2) a more-developed sense of how clinical work informed by the perspective might resemble, or differ from, clinical work informed by other perspectives addressed in the curriculum; (3) a more-developed understanding of the perspective’s clinically-relevant terms and concepts; (4) a sense of having done some deep reading of central papers in this perspective’s primary literature.
The following is a graphic of the Year 3 Schedule. The description of a particular course or series may be accessed by clicking its information symbol:
Introduction to Year 4
The theme of Year 4 courses is ‘Lived Clinical Experience.’ In Year 4 seminars, candidates and instructors will collaborate to articulate their own psychoanalytic values, clinical sensibilities, and the challenges they have encountered in their clinical work, making use of the contemporary psychoanalytic literature to compare, contrast, and integrate approaches.
The following is a graphic of the Year 4 Schedule. The description of a particular course or series may be accessed by clicking its information symbol.
In this workshop, candidates will review published articles for the purpose of learning effective writing strategies for scholarly psychoanalytic writing. Candidates will also submit their own writing samples for review and critique by the instructor and the group. This year-long course meets once per month on a weekend day, and candidates may choose to take it at any time during their post-seminar year(s). The course will prepare candidates for writing their Graduation Paper. For candidates in the PsyD in Psychoanalysis program, this course will provide an opportunity to develop their preliminary ideas for their dissertation.
SFCP is pleased to offer our graduates from the Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program the opportunity to obtain a PsyD in Psychoanalysis (Doctorate of Psychology in Psychoanalysis) degree. This optional, supplemental program is available to all current candidates and former graduates who wish to engage in deeper study in any area of psychoanalysis, and to pursue additional academic training in psychoanalytic research and scholarship. Requirements for enrolling in the PsyD in Psychoanalysis Program include:
- Current membership in SFCP as a Candidate or Analyst member (per BPPE regulations).
- Payment of a supplemental tuition fee ($450 for 2019-20).
- Completion of the four-year Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program curriculum.
- Completion of the post-seminar Graduation Paper Writing Workshop and submission of an approved Graduation Paper (for PsyD candidates, the Graduation paper can serve as a preliminary exploration of a potential dissertation topic)
- Completion of an additional course on Psychoanalytic Research Methodology and Critical Thinking (9 weeks) which will focus on the question: how do we validate what we think we know? The course will cover fundamental principles involved in interpreting empirical studies of treatment efficacy; various methodologies for studying the efficacy of particular approaches in psychoanalytically-oriented treatments; and comparing, contrasting, and critiquing various epistemologies within the field of clinical psychoanalysis.
- Design and completion of a program of Supervised Independent Study (minimum of 30 hours) under advisement and approval by the Dissertation Committee Chair. This program should focus on the area of specialization and could involve additional elective coursework, meetings, interviews, observational studies, etc., as determined by the dissertation topic.
- Completion of a scholarly dissertation in an area of specialization. This dissertation must be formally approved by a Dissertation Committee (consisting of a Chair and a Reader from the SFCP faculty). It must constitute an original contribution to the psychoanalytic literature. Possible dissertation topics could include an original psychoanalytic research study, an original exposition of a topic related to the practice of clinical psychoanalysis, or an original application of psychoanalytic theory to a related academic discipline.