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Psychoanalytic Training


PPC's post-graduate training program is accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Below is a general overview of our program; for more information, please contact PPC.





Professional Qualifications


The Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center and the American Psychoanalytic Association recognize four types of applicants with professional credentials required for admission to training:


1.  Medical or clinical doctorate applicants

 Individuals are eligible to apply if they 1.)  have graduated from an accredited U.S. or foreign medical school or from an equivalent in a foreign country,  2.)  are licensed to practice medicine in Pennsylvania, and 3.) are licensed and have completed at least two years of a psychiatric residency at an accredited program.

Individuals are also eligible if they hold a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Ed.D., or a Psy.D.,  a Doctor of Mental Health, a D.S.W. or Ph.D. in Social Work, or MSW.  


2. Non-medical clinical applicants without doctorates and those with other clinical doctorates

Individuals are eligible if they are recognized clinicians in the mental health community with significant psychotherapy experience.  Individuals qualifying for admission for clinical training the Institute would need to obtain a waiver from the Committee on Preparedness and Progress (COPAP) of the American Psychoanalytic Institute.


3. Research or academic applicants

 Applicants who are research or academic scholars with either a medical or non-medical background may apply for limited training that does not include supervised clinical work.  Research or academic applicants can also request clinical psychoanalytic training.  If so, and if the Admissions and Education Committees find that an applicant has the necessary aptitudes and qualifications, a waiver will be requested from the Committee on Research and Special Training (CORST) of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Such a request for waiver will be submitted after a Candidate has demonstrated proficiency in the programs of the Institute, and aptitude for clinical work.


4. Transfer applicants

Candidates in good standing in any training facility recognized by the American or International Psychoanalytic Associations may apply for transfer to the PPC.  Transfer Center Candidates follow the same procedures as other applicants, and in addition, arrange to have their  credentials forwarded to the PPC.  A summary of educational and training experience should be included.


Personal Qualifications


Applicants may be of any age, gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.  The practice of psychoanalysis requires integrity of character, maturity, and an aptitude for psychological work.  Individuals will need to demonstrate a professional identity as an empathetic caretaker and possess sufficient clinical aptitude for in-depth psychological work.




To obtain an application form for training, please call the PPC Office at 412-661-4224.  The office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and applications are accepted at any time during the year.  Please contact the Chair of the Education Committee if you would like more information about admission for psychoanalytic training.


Application Advisors 


Once applications are received, the Chair of the Admissions Committee contacts applicants to review the admissions evaluation process.  This generally takes from two to three months, and the Chair of the Education Committee will then assign an advisor to help guide applicants through the process.




The admission process includes interviews by at least two members of the Faculty or the Admissions Committee.  Each interviewer submits a written report, which is then discussed by all members of the Admissions Committee.  There is at least one clinical presentation by the applicant of recent clinical work.  This includes a two page summary of a case, and process material from a session.


Admissions Decisions    


The Admissions Committee meets periodically during the year to recommend application decisions to the Education Committee.  Applicants are immediately informed of the Education Committee’s decision by the Chair of the Education Committee.  If an application is not accepted, the Chair of the Education Committee and the corresponding Admissions Advisor explain the basis of the decision.  An appeal process is available to those who request it.  




The Candidate Organization


All Candidates are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center Candidates’ Organization, a group that functions autonomously and has several purposes.  The organization provides a forum for Candidates to discuss common concerns related to the demands of training, and it provides an opportunity for Candidate participation on PPC committees.  It also provides a channel to the Center’s administration to offer feedback about the program and ideas for its improvement. 


The Candidates’ Organization elects a delegate and an alternate to the Affiliate Council of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  They, in turn, keep the members informed on matters affecting Candidates nationally.  Finally, the Organization sponsors social gatherings and other activities supportive of Candidates during the training process.


Psychoanalytic Association Memberships


Candidates who are participating in coursework may become Affiliate Members of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 


The Bertram D. Lewin Library  


The Bertram D. Lewin Library is housed and maintained by the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center.  While the Library contains the primary books and periodicals relevant to Center coursework, various university and medical libraries are located nearby for additional materials. PPC candidates and faculty also have access to an online database of psychoanalytic materials called PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing) Web. 


Candidate Acceptances   


While admission implies an initial judgment by the Faculty that newly-enrolled Candidates will ultimately have a successful career as a psychoanalyst, acceptance is not a guarantee that all Candidates will graduate.  During training, Candidates may not represent themselves as psychoanalysts without the authorization of the Education Committee. 



The education and training program consists of three parts: training analysis, courses of instruction in the psychoanalysis of adults and, if qualified and desired, the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents, and supervised clinical work. 


Once accepted into the program, Candidates are asked to contact the Chair of the Education Committee to discuss the personal analysis, individual courses of study, and the selection of a faculty advisor. 


Candidates may be asked to supplement clinical experience before beginning coursework.  A significant prior analysis with a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, or at least six months with a Training Analyst of the PPC is expected before beginning first year courses.  Eligibility for first year courses is determined by the Education Committee.    


In each phase of the program, coursework is evaluated by the Education Committee as often as may be useful.  In addition, every Candidate has a faculty advisor, who serves as an important resource to discuss academic experiences, general performance and possible impediments to progress.  Also, the Candidate may select a mentor, or advanced Candidate or Faculty Member to support and advise his/her analytic training and suggestions in related matters.


The Training Psychoanalysis


The personal analysis is a therapeutic procedure that enables Candidates to overcome intra-psychic obstacles that might interfere with the development of analytic competence.  The training analysis is an opportunity to experience firsthand the workings of unconscious forces.  Undergoing analysis will also help to develop the capacity for continued self-analysis during coursework, while conducting supervised analyses, and beyond graduation when working independently as a psychoanalyst.


For a significant part of the Candidate’s supervised clinical work, Candidates must be in their training analysis.  This analysis is conducted by a Training Analyst of the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and personally selected by the Candidate.  The training analysis is confidential, and the Training Analyst does not report on the progress of the analysis to the PPC.  However, Candidates provide the name of their Training Analyst to the Chair of the Education Committee.  The Candidate also informs the Education Committee Chair of the number of hours of analysis each year and the eventual termination date.


Theoretical Courses and Seminars


The first three years of coursework consists of required classes focused on the theory and technique of psychoanalysis.  After the fourth year, the curriculum is divided between required and elective segments.  Beyond the fifth year of study and until graduation, Candidates continue participation in the Continuous Case Seminar and take electives of their choosing.  Descriptions of courses begin on page 18.   The Education Committee may recommend coursework that a particular Candidate take a course.


As early as the second year of instruction, Candidates may add courses from the curriculum on Psychoanalysis of Children and Adolescents.  These courses can be chosen as electives with permission of the Child Analysis Committee. 


The curriculum is designed to allow each Candidate room to discover individual talents and interests and expand on them.  Most classes are held on a weekday evening or Saturdays, or at other times at the discretion of instructor and class members.  Tutorials can be scheduled for classes with only one or two students. 


In addition to classes, all Candidates are required to participate in Visiting Analyst seminars, when notable analysts have been invited to conduct weekend workshops and consultations.


Supervised Clinical Work


Supervised case work usually begins during the second half of the first year, contingent on approval of the Education Committee, or a waiver from the American Psychoanalytic Association.  To graduate, Candidates need to analyze a minimum of three patients (analysands), one of which can be a latency child or adolescent.  One of the analysands must be in the termination phase.  Candidates are also required to take one reduced fee case.  Candidates and their supervisors work together to set patient fees. 


Each case must have a different Supervising Analyst, who cannot also be the Candidate’s Training Analyst.  Fifty or more hours of supervision are generally expected for each case, with one case to be supervised into the termination phase.  Although many supervisory hours are entailed, the main considerations are the quality, depth, and breadth of analytic experience the candidate gains with various kinds of patients.


Patients are seen four or five times each week, with supervision usually at a frequency of one hour per week at first.  Since analyzing two or more patients at the same time aids learning, a second supervised case should be started as soon as an analytic process has been established in the first case.  To add a second case, Candidates must receive the support of the first supervisor and the approval of the Education Committee. 


Evaluation of Progression to Graduation


A Candidate's clinical progress is reviewed every year by his or her supervisor(s) and Faculty Advisor.  Every six months, supervisors and Candidates collaborate on written reports, which are shared with Faculty Advisors and members of the Education Committee.


Requirements for Graduation


Upon the recommendation of the supervisor of the Candidate’s second supervised case, and prior to the onset of the third supervised analysis, the Faculty Advisory will arrange for a Third Case Review.  During this review, the Candidate’s two supervisors and the Faculty Advisor meet to discuss the Candidate’s clinical work to date.  The purpose of this review is to review and discuss the findings of the supervisors with that of the Advisor, in order that the Advisor can then provide to the Candidate a summary of the feedback about the clinical work to date and any recommendations for future successful analytic work.


To graduate, Candidates must satisfactorily fulfill course requirements, clinical presentations and supervised clinical work, and demonstrate competence to conduct an analysis without required supervision.


Also required for graduation is a case report on an analysand that meets the standards for certification by the American Psychoanalytic Association, or an essay on a psychoanalytic topic demonstrating the ability to think psychoanalytically.




Analysis of Children and Adolescents


An educational program is available for those wishing to expand their expertise or specialize in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents.  Qualified Candidates in good standing who have completed the first year of study, and graduates of other Institutes of the American or International Psychoanalytic Association are eligible to apply for admission to the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center Child and Adolescent Program. 


Theoretical Courses and Seminars


The Child Analytic Program includes the study of normal development in infants, young children, and adolescents, as well as the assessment and diagnosis of childhood disorders.  Courses in the theory and technique of child analysis, participation in clinical conferences, and study of pertinent literature are also required, as are the prerequisite child and adolescent development courses in the general program. 


Continuous Case Seminars examine analysis of children during various phases of development.  Child analytic courses extend over a minimum three-year period, and Candidates must attend the Faculty-Associate Study Group until graduation.  Participation in both the general and child programs concurrently is encouraged.


Supervised Clinical Work


One, and preferably two, adults established in psychoanalytic treatment are the prerequisites before beginning supervised child analysis.  If possible, supervised analysis of a child should be undertaken during the second year of coursework in the child program.  The analyses of three children, one an adolescent, at a frequency of four or more times a week are required for graduation.  One case must be supervised weekly for the first year, then less often at the discretion of the Candidate’s supervisor.  Second and third cases are supervised as determined between the child analyst and the supervising analyst; one case, however, must be supervised through its termination phase. 


Unsupervised Cases


Demonstrated competence in adult analysis and in two supervised child cases, supports permission to undertake an unsupervised child case by the Education Committee. 


Requirements for Graduation


To graduate as a child analyst, Candidates must have completed all required coursework and sufficient supervised clinical work to demonstrate competence in conducting the psychoanalysis of children without required supervision.  Graduation from the child analytic program can be simultaneous with graduation from the general program, but not precede it.


Candidates in the General Program


Faculty and Candidates may participate in child analysis courses as electives, with the permission of the Chair of the Child Analysis Program or his/her designee.  Prior experience in working with children and/or adolescents is strongly recommended.  A child or an adolescent may be selected as a third or subsequent case in fulfilling general program graduation requirements after review and with permission from both the Child Faculty and the Education Committee. 



First Year


110: Psychoanalytic Theory:  Core Concepts

Preceded by assigned summer readings, this course includes a survey of basic psychoanalytic concepts:  the dynamic unconscious; conflict; repression and defense affects; the genetic viewpoint; interpretation of dreams; psychopathology including symptom formation, character formation and traits, obsessional neurosis and narcissism.  We look at the historic context and intellectual atmosphere in which topographic theory developed, including the deficiencies Freud discovered which led to the development of structural theory.


120: Theory of Technique:  Psychoanalysis and Analyzability

An introduction to the literature of technique and the concept of analyzability.  Readings range from Freud's papers on technique to current writers.  Techniques of consultation, diagnostic evaluation, and choice of therapeutic recommendations are included, so that analyzability can be appraised and, if necessary, other forms of therapy conducted with possible conversion to psychoanalysis.  Clinical material is presented by both Instructor and Candidates. 


130: Psychoanalytic Theory of Human Development

This course is organized to help Candidates acquire a working knowledge of normal child and adult development in terms of psychosexual stages, the development of object relations, and the development of psychic structure.  Emphasis is on appreciation and resolutions of childhood events, trauma and relationships. 


Second Year


210: Psychoanalytic Theory:  Mechanisms of Defense and Problems of Adaptation

The development of structural theory and ego psychology will be examined, as well as the elements of conflict, defense and adaptation.  In an attempt to understand how psychopathology develops, we will study the interaction between constitutional givens, the forces of maturation and environmental influences.  The choice of symptom formation, defense mechanisms, and the role of trauma and anxiety will be studied and illustrated clinically. 


220: Technique of Psychoanalysis

A study of the psychoanalytic situation and process, including the

nature of psychoanalytic change.  This course examines psychic conflict,

resistance and defense, transference neurosis and acting out.  Special attention

is paid to the analyst's tasks, including silence and reconstruction, the use of

dreams and the analysis of slips and behavior particularly in the early stages of.



220C: Theory and Technique: Child Analysis

This course covers the clinical principles and theories of psychoanalysis as they are best used in work with children.  Emphasis is on understanding the analytic process and exploring those technical elements that advance the process and those that interfere with its development.  Also discussed are patient selection, preparation of the patient and his/her family, establishment and maintenance of a therapeutic alliance and issues of parental contact.  Required for Child Program.


230: Human Development II

The core of basic normal development is now related to the development of psychopathology, symptomatology, the neuroses, psychosis, and character disorders as seen in adult patients. 


230C: Observation and Assessment

This course is required in the child analysis program.  Candidates observe normal children on videotapes and through observation at nursery schools, and prepare written reports for discussion.  This requirement may be waived for Candidates with wide experience in the observation of children.  Required for Child Program.


241/ 241C: Continuous Case Seminar

Material from the opening phase of an analytic case is presented by a Candidate, using process notes.  Presenters may choose to use material no longer current, thus avoiding possible conflicts with active supervision, but still benefiting from the review and input of peers and Instructors.  Group discussions include the dynamic transference and other technical issues.  Papers on the theory of psychoanalytic technique are referred to or assigned as appropriate.  Required for Child Program.


Third Year


310: Techniques of Psychoanalysis

A number of fundamental issues are covered in this course:  the beginning of psychoanalysis; resistance; transference; masochistic transference; interpretation; reconstruction; working through; and the analyst's response to transference and countertransference.  Also studied are the technical problems in borderline states and severe regressions, as well as in psychotic transferences.  Theoretical and clinical aspects of handling of the termination phase are examined, including themes and issues to be expected.


320: Clinical Conference

The focus of this course is to compare individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy with psychoanalysis.  The evaluation of patients in the beginning, middle, termination and post-termination phases is considered.  Dealing with acting out, the analysis of transference and the role of countertransference is discussed.  Both Candidates and Faculty present clinical vignettes.


320C: Technique of Child Analysis

Emphasis is on technique in preschool and latency children with correlation to the theories of object relations, maturation, development, and conflict-based structure formation.  Special problems are discussed using student and instructor vignettes; these include divorce, drug use, sexual activity and acting out.  Required for Child Program.


322: Theory and Technique:  Dream Interpretation

The theory and technique of dream interpretation in the context of psychoanalysis is studied.  Recent contributions to dream theory are discussed, with emphasis on the relationship of theory to technique, the role of the dream as a form of communication in code and its relationship to other forms of psychic communications.  Clinical examples are provided by Candidates. 


330: Adolescent Psychology

This is a combined theoretical and clinical course preparing the adult analyst to understand typical developmental issues and conflicts, as well as phase specific problems, ego ideal formation, identifications and defense organization.  The structural change of early, middle and late adolescence in reaction to both developmental tasks and the process of analyses are considered.  The technical treatment problems of this age group are illustrated with clinical examples. 


331C: Assessment and Diagnoses

The Anna Freud Profile provides a focus of interviews with parents, sessions with children and psychological testing.  Also included are reality issues which mitigate against analysis, as well as borderline or organic conditions which make it not the treatment of choice.  Required for Child Program.


341: Continuous Case Seminar

Held jointly with 241 unless the class size warrants separate sessions.


Fourth Year


410: Advanced Theory

Normal and pathological male and female sexuality is covered in this course, including pregnancy, childbirth, orgasm, frigidity, impotence, homosexuality, and the perversions.  Also studied is the internalization of the concept of self, object relations theory, and the works of Melanie Klein and the English school, as well as recent work on intrapsychic, interactional, and intersubjective aspects of psychoanalysis.  Additional emphasis is placed on the contributions of structural theories to the problems of psychic structure formation and narcissism, comparing Kernberg and Kohut and the place of empathy in psychoanalysis.


420: Theory of Technique: A Systematic Approach


420C: Psychopathology of Childhood:  Its Reverberations Through the Life Cycle

Using literature on psychopathology, this course considers problems of nosology, analyzability, and follow-up reports - re-analysis - of children previously analyzed.  Required for Child Program.


441: Continuous Case Seminar

This seminar parallels 241 and 341, but includes all advanced Candidates.  An effort is made to present material from the termination phase of an analysis. 


441C: Continuous Case Seminar

This seminar is combined with 241C and 341C unless the needs of Candidates necessitate separate presentations.  Required for Child Program.


460C: Literature Seminar

Unexplored topics of interest to Candidates and Faculty are assigned and discussed in this seminar.  Required for Child Program.


Fifth Year


541: Continuous Case Seminar

 Held with 441 and 641.


Sixth Year


641: Continuous Case Seminar

Held with 441 and 541.


Seventh Year


Seventh year and beyond programs are designed by individual Candidates in consultation with a    Faculty Advisor.  Individual programs have included seminars, symposia, study groups, tutorials, visiting analyst programs, consultations and meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association.




All Candidates may take electives after completing three years of satisfactory coursework.  Electives may fulfill part of the session requirements for fourth and fifth year Candidates, as well as graduation requirements for advanced Candidates.  These courses vary from year to year according to the interests and needs of Candidates and Faculty.  A selection of recent offerings follows.

  • Analytic Approaches to the Dream    
  • Anorexia/Bulimia 
  • Child Analysis Study Group
  • Exploration of Analytic Technique Used for Helping Analysands with Parenting Problems  
  • The Innocence of Dreams    
  • Human Sexuality and the Perversions 
  • The Subject of Addiction
  • Psychoanalysis and Administration of Learning
  • Perspectives on Psychoanalytic Research
  • Psychoanalysis and Culture 
  • Ethics 
  • Male Sexuality 
  • Technology and Psychoanalysis 
  • Perspectives on Psychoanalytic Learning
  • Lesser Known Works of Freud 
  • Supervisory Process:  Psychoanalytic Aspects
  • Writing Psychoanalytic Papers 
  • The Psychoanalytic History of Hysteria
  • Female Sexuality  
  • The Termination Phase of Analytic Treatment
  • Meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association, tutorials, and special projects by arrangement.

FEES AND CHARGES (subject to change)

Application fee for all applicants: $300.00

Matriculation: $300.00

Annual Registration: $250.00

Late Registration $300.00

Graduation $300.00

Leave of Absence $330.00



General Program: 

Years 1 - 5: $2,630.00

Years 6 and up: $1,430.00


General & Child Program Combined

Years 1 - 5: $2,830.00

Years 6 and up: $1,630.00


Child Program (General Program graduates):$1,430.00


Fees for personal training analysis and for supervision of clinical work are arranged individually with training analysts and paid directly to them.