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 3 Curriculum

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.

Individual Courses:

  1. Freud (8 weeks) 
  2. Klein and Kleinian Psychoanalysis (9 weeks)
  3. Freudian: Evolution of Structural Theory (6 weeks)
  4. Independent Psychoanalysis (9 weeks)
  5. Bion and Bionian Psychoanalysis (9 weeks)
  6. Self Psychological and Relational Psychoanalysis (9 weeks)
  7. French Psychoanalysis (6 weeks)
  8. Latin American Psychoanalysis (5 weeks)

Case Conference Sequence (21 weeks)
Candidates in Year 3 will participate in a series of three case conference modules.  Each case conference group integrates candidates from Years 2, 3, and 4 and focuses on the close examination of ongoing cases in psychoanalytic treatment.  At least three of the nine modules during Years 2, 3, and 4 will focus on cases of children or adolescents in psychoanalytic treatments. Candidates will present clinical process from their own cases, and discussions will be led by seasoned clinicians with different psychoanalytic points of view.  Candidates will be encouraged to formulate their own psychoanalytic perspectives on the clinical material under discussion. The impact of sociocultural issues on the treatment will be explored.

Elective (7 weeks)
Candidates in Year 2, Year 3, and Year 4 will have the opportunity to choose one elective from several offerings each year to explore individual interests (prior electives have included psychoanalytic perspectives on Groups,  Misogyny, Film, Culture, etc.)

Child Analysis for Adult Candidates (6 weeks)
This course exposes adult candidates to child analysis, to demonstrate the similarities of process and technique in both child and adult analysis, especially showing how child work can inform work with adults.  Candidates will read primary sources (Anna Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Fraiberg on “ghosts in the nursery“) and show how their theories were developed from their work with children. This will be followed by contemporary examples from each theory.  Illustrative vignettes from play therapy with toddlers and school age children will be presented for discussion.

Writing and Case Formulation (7 weeks)
Each year of candidacy will conclude with a writing course.  In each, 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:   (1) has contributed to the growth of their capacities for describing, conceptualizing, and emotionally-processing aspects of their clinical experience, including formulation and analytic process; (2) has strengthened the engagement of their group; and (3) has helped individual candidates, and candidates as a group, to metabolize what they have learned and experienced together over the course of the year.