Psychoanalytic Training Division


In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we prioritize the health and safety of our candidates, staff, and instructors. At present, the SFCP building remains closed, and all classes and supervisions will be conducted virtually through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. We are committed to offering psychoanalytic training as scheduled in the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, and we are actively planning for all contingencies. As more information becomes available from the public health department, we will provide regular updates regarding the impact of the public health guidelines for classes in the psychoanalytic training program.

SFCP Psychoanalytic Training Program:
Year 1 Curriculum

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

'Conceptual and Clinical Fundamentals' Seminars
The aim of this sequence is to introduce candidates to fundamental psychoanalytic concepts, including those that are shared across all schools of thought and those that are unique to particular psychoanalytic perspectives.  Following an Overview course, this sequence will 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.  Each course in the sequence will provide candidates with an introduction to a particular psychoanalytic perspective: how it emerged historically, what is distinctive about its clinical and theoretical implications, and the clinical need that drove its creation and development.   Ideally, candidates will leave each course feeling: (a) a sense of what clinical work might look like when informed by this perspective, and how it might be different from work informed by alternate perspectives they study during the first year, (b) an understanding of this perspective’s clinically-relevant terms and concepts.  To accomplish the goals of these classes in the timeframe available, instructors will plan carefully, actively frame and contextualize key teaching points, and make generous use of secondary texts and excerpts. Clinical illustrations will anchor every class.

Individual Courses:

  1. Overview (9 weeks)
  2. Freud and Freudians (10 weeks)
  3. Klein and Kleinians (7 weeks)
  4. Bion and Bionians  (8 weeks)
  5. Self Psychology and Relational Psychoanalysis (8 weeks)
  6. Independent Psychoanalysis (9 weeks)
  7. French Psychoanalysis (5 weeks) 
  8. Latin American Psychoanalysis (5 weeks)

‘Deepening Treatment and Beginning Psychoanalysis’ Courses
This series of three 9-week courses will follow a combined case conference-seminar format in which the group will alternate between discussing clinical material presented by candidates and discussing readings focused on principles of deepening treatment and beginning psychoanalysis. Such principles may include (1) concrete aspects of the setting, including use of the couch, fees, frequency and the like; (2) aspects of the analyst’s “internal frame”: conviction, emotional-readiness, patience, containment of anxiety, etc;  (3) attention to the sociocultural surrounds of analyst and patient, such as race, class, or cultural expectations. A number of core readings, and discussion topics, are likely to be pre-selected by the instructors. Others are likely to be chosen during the course in response to matters that have emerged in clinical discussion. Clinical illustrations will anchor every class.

Ideally, candidates will leave this series feeling (1) that they have had the regular opportunity, from the beginning of their first year training, to engage with colleagues and faculty in a clinically-meaningful way;  (2) that this focus on clinical material has built engagement within their group; (3) that their capacities for deepening treatment and beginning psychoanalysis have grown through the experience; (4) that their identities as psychoanalysts and as members of SFCP have grown.

‘Ethics in Psychoanalysis’ (6 weeks)
In the ‘Ethics in Psychoanalysis’ course, candidates will explore the following questions:  (1) How does the American psychoanalytic code of professional ethics view ethical conduct as regards matters such as patient confidentiality; disclosure of patient records; the analyst’s illness or death; boundary crossings and violations; and use of modern technology?  (2) In what ways may psychoanalysis itself be regarded as a clinical practice of ethics? (3) In what ways do the ethical standards of analyst, patient, and the dyad reflect the influences of the sociocultural surround? (4) What are the conceptual and practical dimensions of maintaining a professional will?  Clinical illustrations will anchor every class.

Case Formulation and Writing (7 weeks)
Each year of candidacy will conclude with a writing course in which candidates will be prompted to write in a way that makes explicit their psychoanalytic thinking and their lived clinical experience.  Facilitated by the instructor, candidates will read and discuss each other’s writing. Ideally, candidates will leave this course feeling that the process of writing, and of reflecting upon that writing with their group and instructor has (1) contributed to the growth of their capacities for describing, conceptualizing, and emotionally-processing aspects of their clinical experience, including formulation and analytic process; (2) strengthened the engagement of their group; and (3)  helped to metabolize what they have learned and experienced together over the course of the year.