Psychoanalytic Training Division

 

Whether and when to pursue psychoanalytic training

The sections below contain detailed guidance for deciding whether and when to apply to psychoanalytic training at SFCP. In addition to reviewing this section of the website, it may be helpful to discuss these matters with one of our Outreach Chairs, Adam Goldyne, M.D. (415-826-9639) or Beth Steinberg, Ph.D. (415-441-5302). You are invited to call either or both of them. They will be able to discuss your situation with you; to help you think through questions or concerns, practical or personal; or to put you in touch with current candidates who can speak to specific questions or concerns.

 

Adult Psychoanalytic Training involves four years of Friday (8 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.) coursework and a post-seminar Graduation Paper Writing Workshop (which meets monthly on weekends), via which each graduating trainee writes a scholarly paper. In addition, it can take five or more years to complete the supervised clinical work involved. Thus, before applying for training, please consider carefully whether you plan to remain in the Bay Area for at least five years.

 

Trainees in psychoanalysis are required, prior to beginning first year classes, to be in a personal psychoanalysis with an SFCP Training Analyst.  In order for candidates to gain experience with using the couch and engaging in a deep treatment, the personal psychoanalysis must be conducted at a minimum frequency of four-times-per-week, and make use of the couch.  This personal analysis is confidential, and the SFCP Training Analyst has no reporting function to the psychoanalytic training program, other than to notify that the analysis is underway. Candidates are free to choose their analyst from SFCP’s Directory of Training Analysts. In addition, psychoanalysts who are not currently SFCP Training Analysts, but who have sufficient training and experience, may now become SFCP Training Analysts via a straightforward and efficient process.  If you are currently in treatment with an analyst who is not on the Directory of SFCP Training Analysts, and you wish to continue this treatment during your training, please contact Gary Grossman, Ph.D., Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division, as soon as possible to have a confidential conversation to learn more about this process.

Are You Ready for the Personal Psychoanalysis Requirement?
Essential Questions
  1. If you already are in psychoanalysis with an SFCP Training Analyst, meeting at least four times per week and using the couch, this treatment will meet training requirements.
     
  2. If you are in a psychoanalysis that you wish to continue, but does not meet the criteria described in #1 above, could it be changed to do so? For example, could you attend more frequently? Could you begin using the couch? Could your analyst apply to be approved as a Training Analyst at SFCP prior to the date you start classes via our recently-revised, straightforward application process? To explore the possibility of your psychoanalyst becoming a Training Analyst at SFCP, you and/or your psychoanalyst should feel free to contact Psychoanalytic Education Division Chair Gary Grossman, Ph.D. (415-928-4662) to have a confidential discussion about this process.
     
  3. If your current treatment cannot meet the above criteria, are you prepared to switch to a new Training Analyst to enable training at SFCP? The answer to this question may best be explored between you and your current therapist or psychoanalyst. You also should feel free to contact the Outreach Chairs Adam Goldyne, M.D. (415-826-9639) or Beth Steinberg, Ph.D. (415-441-5302) if you have any questions about this.

 

Candidates attend four years of courses at SFCP in San Francisco. Each year, courses are held on 33 Fridays between September and June, meeting between 8 a.m. and 1:45p.m. During the post-seminar year(s) of training, candidates attend a Graduation Paper Writing Workshop that culminates in a scholarly paper on a topic of their choice. This course typically meets monthly on a weekend day and does not require attendance at Friday coursework.

Are You Ready to Undertake Psychoanalytic Training Coursework?
Essential Questions
  1. Are you planning to remain in the Bay Area for the next five years?
     

  2. To receive credit for a course, you must attend 80% of the sessions in person.  Some courses offer the option to submit makeup work for missed classes up to a certain percentage of sessions, after which the course must be repeated in order for credit to be received. Can you arrange to attend classes at SFCP and meet the attendance requirements  on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. for 33 weeks per year during each of the next four years?
     

  3. There are typically two (maximum three) reading seminars each week.  Reading the assigned materials is essential for your own learning as well as your capacity to contribute to the group discussion.  Can you set aside time each week to read in preparation for classes?

 

Over the course of training, candidates must conduct psychoanalysis with at least three separate patients, including patients of both male and female genders. Each treatment must meet at least four times per week, utilizing the couch.  In addition, one of the three cases must have a low fee, defined as $75 or less, for a minimum of two years. In certain situations, the Progressions and Graduation Committee (PGC) may grant approval for a patient to sit face-to-face or for one case to meet three times per week if this is clinically indicated. 

Each psychoanalysis must be in supervision with one of the Supervising Analysts from SFCP’s Directory of Supervising Analysts.  Psychoanalysts with sufficient training and experience may now become SFCP Supervising Analysts via a straightforward and efficient process. For more information about this process, please contact Psychoanalytic Education Division Chair Gary Grossman, Ph.D. (415-928-4662).

Although in-person supervision is valuable and highly encouraged, remote supervision via video or telephone is common when necessitated by geography, schedule, or other circumstances.

In most cases, the candidate pays the supervisor according to the following fee schedule:

Per-session fee paid
by candidate's patient
Per-session fee paid
to supervisor by candidate
Greater than $150 $150
$50 – $150 Same as fee paid by candidate's patient
<$50 $50

Graduation does not require supervised cases to have terminated, since the duration of psychoanalysis often is longer than the duration of psychoanalytic training.  However, each case must have been supervised for at least two years prior to graduation, and there is an additional requirement for some immersive work, i.e., for more than one case to be in treatment concurrently.

On occasion, SFCP’s Low Fee Referral Service may refer cases to a candidate if the candidate has requested such a referral.  However, most supervised training cases emerge from the candidate’s existing practice: beginning treatment in a less intensive frame, progressing to psychoanalysis when candidate and patient together decide to meet more frequently and, using the couch. Candidates receive ample support in facilitating this process of deepening treatment via first year courses on Deepening Treatment and Beginning Psychoanalysis, via free weekly Mentorship, and via the opportunity, if desired, to begin supervision with a Supervising Analyst at the reduced fee structure shown above.

Are You Ready to Pursue the Supervised Psychoanalysis Requirement?
Essential Questions
  1. By the second half of the first year of psychoanalytic training, will you be working in a setting in which you are able to have a psychoanalytic couch and to meet with a patient four times per week?
     

  2. Within the coming years, can you envision attending supervision for each case you are treating in psychoanalysis?

 

How would your schedule in psychoanalytic training compare to your current schedule? The answer depends on many considerations, amongst which are:

  • Do you live in San Francisco or will you need to commute to classes from the South Bay, North Bay, East Bay, or Sacramento / Davis Areas?
     
  • How many supervisors will you have in a given year of training, and where might they be located?  Are you able to use Zoom?
     
  • How many consultants would you consult on a weekly basis even if you did not pursue psychoanalytic training?
     
  • Will you attend psychoanalysis four or five times per week during training, and how would this compare to the number of hours of treatment you would undertake if you did not seek training?
     
  • How long will it take you to do course readings, and how would this compare to the amount of reading you would do even if not in training?
     
  • Would you be taking other courses even if you were not in training?
     
  • How much time will you save on paperwork and documentation as a result of seeing fewer patients more frequently?
Do you have the time for psychoanalytic training?
Essential Questions
  1. Are you able to reduce other activities in your life in order to devote additional time to psychoanalytic training? (How much of a reduction depends upon your individual circumstances as described above.)
     

  2. In the coming years, can you envision attending supervision for each case you are treating in psychoanalysis?

 

The following tables elaborate the financial costs and potential financial benefits of psychoanalytic training.

Financial Costs of Psychoanalytic Training
Supervision fees Trainees engage in one to three sessions per week of supervision, beginning midway through the first year. Fees are negotiated directly with each supervisor, and usually are between $50 and $150 per session of supervision, depending on what the patient is paying you.  Keep in mind that candidates do not begin conducting supervised psychoanalysis until halfway through the first year at the earliest, and most candidates  do not add second or third supervisors until later training years.
Personal Psychoanalysis Four or five sessions per week with a Training Analyst approved by SFCP, beginning before the start of first-year classes. The schedule of personal analysis typically excludes multiple weeks per year when the Training Analyst is out of the office. Fees are negotiated directly between the Training Analyst and candidate.  At times,Training Analysts are able and willing to treat candidates at reduced fees. This possibility is best explored directly between a candidate and a prospective Training Analyst. The cost of personal analysis varies according to the fee. At times, trainees recoup some proportion of their psychoanalytic fees either by declaring them as business expenses on their tax returns or by treating them as medical expenses and seeking insurance reimbursement. Trainees should have the help of a tax professional  in deciding how to proceed in this regard.
Opportunity Costs Candidates are required to treat one of their three patients in four-to-five-times-per-week psychoanalysis at a fee of $75 per session or less. This, along with time devoted to coursework, supervisions, personal analysis, and longer commutes, may reduce the number of hours spent earning money in other ways.

 

Financial Benefits of Psychoanalytic Training
More referrals for psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis Some candidates find that, as they integrate into a new community of like-minded colleagues, they receive more referrals for psychoanalytic psychotherapy and/or psychoanalysis than they did before seeking training.
More referrals for affiliated treatments Members of the psychoanalytic community often prefer to refer to colleagues able to maintain a psychoanalytic sensibility in the practice of affiliated services such as  therapy, family therapy, psychopharmacology, psychological testing, or medical-legal work.
More patients attending frequent treatment Some candidates find that the psychoanalytic training experience deepens their capacity to recognize new and existing patients in need of psychoanalysis and to effectively engage these patients in treatment three to five times per week. For a candidate in private practice, the natural consequence of such an evolution is that the candidate needs fewer, and less frequent, referrals to maintain a robust practice.
Decreased time documenting and more time with patients Some candidates find that, as they work with fewer patients at greater frequency, less time is required to maintain a clinical record for each patient session. This may free more time to devote to other pursuits of their choosing. 

 

Can you afford psychoanalytic training?
Essential Questions
  1. Do you understand the costs and potential financial benefits of psychoanalytic training as described in the above tables?
     

  2. Do you have sufficient income to be able to afford the additional costs of training?
     

  3. If you do not have sufficient income, can you make up the deficit?

Trainees use a range of strategies for affording the additional costs of psychoanalytic training. These include carefully timing when they take on new supervisors; when they accept a low fee psychoanalytic case; and when they begin each supervision. Other strategies include budgeting differently during training or seeking supplemental sources of income through clinical or other work. Further, each candidate should explore possible tax deductions for expenditures such as personal analysis, supervision, and tuition.