Our Organization

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis is a free-standing, non-profit institute dedicated to the education of psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, and others interested in learning more about the practice of psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic therapy, and psychoanalytic theory.

CCP provides a course of study leading to certification in psychoanalysis and a two-year certificate program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for working professionals. We also offer an ongoing fellowship program for clinicians and graduate students.

In addition to the different training programs, CCP provides affordable clinical consultation services for seasoned clinicians, newly emerging professionals, and students. We also sponsor study groups and offer an annual public lecture series.

CCP’s psychoanalytic training program is incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and adheres to Federal and State guidelines regarding nondiscrimination by race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

CCP’s training programs provide a broad and deep psychoanalytic education, reflecting diverse clinical, technical, theoretical, and historical points of view. Courses are taught by outstanding educators, many of whom have published and presented extensively in their areas of interest and were chosen to reflect the multiplicity of current theoretical perspectives and models of thought. The curriculum of the different programs offered by CCP is designed to explore the fundamentals of psychoanalytic thought — from the classical to the newest developments in theory and technique.

Our psychoanalytic training program has two tracks, a clinical track for those intending to practice psychoanalysis, and an academic track for serious academic theorists from non-clinical disciplines who seek an immersive program of psychoanalytic study.  Individuals who qualify for our clinical track but are not yet able to assume responsibility for a personal analysis and/or formal training cases are also welcome to apply for our academic track.  Clinical Candidates in the analytic training program are experienced clinicians prior to beginning their psychoanalytic training, with licensure as psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists or other mental health professionals. Candidates participate fully in all of CCP’s training programs and services. Candidates also serve on the CCP Board and all committees.

Participants in the two-year certificate program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy are usually professionals who provide services to the community, either in private practice or in agency settings.  Accommodation can be made, however, for individuals who wish to participate as academics in our Two-Year Program.

Fellows are clinicians, graduate students, and other individuals who are interested in beginning and furthering their psychoanalytic experience in a one-year or ongoing fellowship program. The fellowship program is a non-formal supportive setting, which includes individual mentoring, small-group monthly discussions, and public lectures.

Our affordable clinical consultation services are offered on a sliding scale basis to provide opportunities for learning to seasoned clinicians, newly emerging professionals, and students.

CCP’s annual public lectures consist of five Friday evening presentations (Fridays@CCP), given by national and international faculty, and one or more Sunday mid-day presentations (Sundays@CCP: The Free Forum) given by members of the CCP community and invited guests.

The History of CCP

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis was incorporated in 1984 as a nonprofit, certificate-awarding psychoanalytic institute, making it one of the first psychologist-established programs outside of New York City and Los Angeles. As an innovative and independent training institution, its creation represented the culmination of a wide range of social, intellectual, and organizational forces.

The Early Pre-history of CCP

In the late 1950’s, a small group of practicing clinical psychologists established a study group for the purpose of deepening their understanding of psychoanalysis. Although at the time formal psychoanalytic training was barred to psychologists, a number of outstanding psychoanalytic educators, including Heinz Kohut and Bruno Bettelheim, agreed to lead these psychologists in independent seminars outside the confines of their respective formal institutions. While some of these seminars were short-lived, Bruno Bettelheim’s case conference became a sort of de-facto institution within the psychology community in Chicago, meeting monthly for twenty years, from 1952-1972. The members of this seminar, including Maurice Burke, Oliver Kerner, the late Irving Leiden, Joanne Powers, and the late Johanna Tabin, were among the founders of CCP.

Division 39 and the Establishment of Psychologist-Psychoanalytic Institutes

The same clinicians who were instrumental in creating a place for local psychologists to receive psychoanalytic training were also active on the national scene, working within the American Psychological Association to develop a more influential voice for psychoanalytic practitioners, researchers, and theorists. When Division 39, the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association, was created in the late 1970’s, Chicago psychologists Oliver Kerner, Kenneth Isaacs and Bertram Cohler, all of whom were later active in the formation of CCP, were asked to serve on its National Steering Committee. One of the first orders of business at the initial Division 39 committee meeting in New York City was to focus on meeting the organizational and educational needs of psychologists outside of New York City, Los Angeles, and Topeka, Kansas (where the Menninger Clinic gave psychoanalytic training to psychologists). Kerner, Isaacs and Cohler, who attended this historic meeting, were inspired to establish a formal center for the development of psychoanalytic education and practice in Chicago. Upon their return, they and other interested Chicago-area psychologists started a local chapter of Division 39, known now as the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (CAPP).

The Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology and its Role in the Founding of CCP

The establishment of CAPP quickly engaged the energies and interests of a large number of clinical psychologists in the Chicago area, and none more actively than the members of the original Bettelheim group, most of whom served as president or board member of CAPP during its early years. These psychologists inaugurated a yearly CAPP symposium, which brought psychoanalytic educators and clinicians such as Roy Schafer, Sidney Blatt, Martin Mayman, Rudolf Ekstein, Bruno Bettelheim, Hedda Bolgar, Sydney Smith, and others to Chicago for all-day presentations and workshops. These events drew large audiences and sparked the interest of the broader mental health community in receiving further psychoanalytic training.

The Establishment of CCP

By 1982, it was apparent that a more comprehensive, structured format was required for the psychoanalytic education of psychologists in Chicago. With the advice and consultation of noted psychoanalysts from other psychologist-institutes, including the Los Angeles Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at Adelphi University, and the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, a committee of CAPP members took the first steps toward establishing a psychoanalytic institute, initially known as the Chicago Center for Psychoanalytic Psychology (CCPP). This committee selected a small group of CAPP members, including Nell Logan, Dale Moyer, Lucy Freund and Lorraine Goldberg, to participate in a series of seminars focused on classical readings in psychoanalysis and, subsequently, on more recent developments in psychoanalysis. These intensive weekend seminars were led by Roy Schafer and Bertram Cohler, among others. In 1984, the center was officially incorporated, a curriculum and administration were set in place, and the idea of a non-profit institute for the psychoanalytic training of psychologists in Chicago became a reality. The original name, CCPP, was changed in 1990 to the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, or CCP, a title that more accurately reflects its mission.