Certificate in Psychoanalysis

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis offers a course of study leading to certification in psychoanalysis. Requirements for certification include the completion of 30 theoretical seminars, 3 years of clinical case seminars, two or three supervised analyses, a personal analysis, and a final integrative graduation project. While similar to other analytic training programs in these requirements, ours is unique in two ways. First, we invite outstanding psychoanalysts from throughout the United States (and occasionally from abroad) to teach in their area of expertise. Second, our curriculum, while presenting a sound grounding in fundamentals, is designed each academic year to include both topical ideas and educators whose work is of interest to our current candidate group.

Elements of the Training Program

Theoretical and Clinical Case Seminars

The CCP curriculum is designed to provide courses and seminars in a systematic manner for completion over a period of five or more years. Because contemporary psychoanalysis, irrespective of variations in its current practice, rests solidly upon the foundation of Freud’s thought, candidates are expected to take a minimum of two courses focused on Freud’s seminal writings. The teaching of contemporary approaches to psychoanalysis, such as object relations, self psychological, Kleinian, developmental and attachment theories, as well as intersubjective, relational and feminist approaches, builds upon this classical foundation.

Courses are usually presented in one of two twelve-hour formats: a weekly or biweekly two-hour meeting, generally in the evening, with local faculty; or an intensive three-day weekend seminar for which instructors especially qualified in their subject matter are invited to Chicago to teach. The weekend courses usually meet for two hours on a Friday evening (7-9pm), six hours on Saturday (9am-1pm, lunch from 1-2:30pm, class continuing 2:30-4:30pm) and four hours on Sunday morning (9am-1pm). In both formats, classes usually involve discussion of assigned readings and related clinical material.

The Certificate Program requires the completion of 30 seminars, including coursework on the Opening Phase of Analysis and the writings of Freud. These courses will not be offered every year, and candidates should plan accordingly. Individual tutorials can be arranged when necessary.

In addition to the 30 seminars, candidates must complete three years of case conference seminars, two or three supervised analytic cases, a final graduation project, and a personal analysis.

Candidates may begin their coursework immediately upon acceptance into the program. They must enroll in a minimum of three courses per year. Performance is evaluated on the basis of attendance only; no grades are given. CCP course offerings are determined by the Curriculum Committee, which consists of graduates, candidates and CCP Board members.

Supervised Cases and Supervision

Candidates locate analytic cases through outside or CCP referral, or through the conversion of existing psychotherapy cases. Candidates must complete a total of 820 clinical hours and may choose to work with either two or three cases. If a candidate chooses to focus on two cases, a minimum of 410 hours is required per case. If a candidate chooses to focus on three cases, a minimum of 273 hours per case is required.

Candidates are required to complete a total of 180 supervisory hours. If the candidate chooses to focus on two cases, the minimum required number of hours for each is 90. If the candidate focuses on three cases, the minimum number of required supervisory hours for each of the first two cases is 70, with 40 hours required for the third case.

Supervisors, who must be analysts, are chosen by the candidate. While the first supervisory experience must be in person, candidates may opt for telephone or SKYPE communication with supervisors from all over the world. It is expected that candidates have supervision with two or three different psychoanalysts.

Before beginning a supervised case, candidates are required to take one seminar on the Opening Phase of Analysis and must have completed at least one year of a personal analysis and one year of didactic work.

Prior to beginning a supervised case, candidates are asked to meet with their Progression Advisors. It is the candidate’s responsibility to contact the Progression Committee/Advisor to arrange for this discussion.  In total, candidates are expected to meet with their Advisors twice yearly, including prior to beginning a second or third case. Candidates will be required to complete six in-depth case reports, either two write-ups for each of three cases or three of two.

Once the required hours have been met, all candidates are required to consult monthly with a supervisor or analyst colleague of their choice regarding their ongoing clinical work with each training case, unless that case is attended to in formal supervision, even when the minimum requirements for patient contact and individual supervision have been completed.

Personal Analysis

Each candidate is expected to have completed a minimum of one year of personal analysis prior to beginning their supervised cases.  It is assumed that candidates will use their personal analyses to inform their course work and clinical practice, and that they will continue their personal analyses as they see fit over the course of their training. Once candidates are accepted into the program, their personal analyses are considered strictly their private concern. Inquiries on the part of CCP regarding the candidate’s personal analysis are based only on the need to know that the candidate has begun the work and will take seriously this personal requirement.

The Evaluation of Progression

Progression, as a process, is developmental in nature, revealing a widening understanding of psychoanalytic concepts and an increasing comfort and proficiency in technique. CCP takes seriously its responsibility to evaluate and monitor a candidate’s process, particularly at three nodal points in their training: first, at the time of admissions, to evaluate an individual’s potential for success in the training program; second, when a candidate begins a supervised analysis, to determine his or her readiness for a first or additional analytic responsibility; and third, when a candidate has met all the requirements for graduation, to assess his or her readiness for certification as a psychoanalyst under the auspices of CCP.

The criteria for evaluating CCP candidates arise directly from CCP’s mission to educate and to facilitate each candidate’s development by broadening his or her analytic sensitivities. The evaluation process is comprehensive and, at times, necessarily subjective, specific, and personal. A candidate’s personal analysis, however, is not evaluated in any way, nor is the candidate’s participation in coursework. Credit is granted on the basis of attendance during each 12-hour course. Under special circumstances, a minimum of 9 hours in attendance may be allowed for credit.

Each candidate’s progression is documented through a series of forms, including case opening, closing, completion of clinical and supervisory hours, and an application for the final graduation project. In addition to these reports, which document the candidate’s progression through the training program, candidates are required to complete two or three case write ups on either three or two patients, respectively, for a total of six reports in all.  If the candidate elects to undertake three supervised cases, a report is due on each case following the first and second years of the work.  If the candidate elects to undertake two supervised cases, reports are due after the first and second year, but also after the third year of the work.  These write-ups will be supplemented with supervisors’ reports to be submitted on the same timetable.

It is the hope of the Progression Committee that the writing of these reports and the subsequent discussion between candidate and supervisor will further the candidate’s personal and professional growth. This annual requirement reflects CCP’s belief in its responsibility to participate in the educational process of every candidate, just as it wishes to provide a serious curriculum of study.

All forms and guidelines for the annual reports are available for download and printing through the Login Area of the CCP website. Directions for submission of the reports are also included.

The Integrative Graduation Project

This concluding project, generally undertaken following the completion of the other requirements, represents the integrative culmination of the candidate’s training. Because it is intended to offer the candidate the opportunity to create an optimal educational experience, there is considerable flexibility as to its format. Thus, the final project may take the more traditional form of a case presentation, an article, essay, or research study; or it may be created in an alternative format.

This project serves as an indication of the candidate’s ability to contribute to the professional world. The final proposal and project must be reviewed by a committee of three psychoanalysts chosen by the candidate from among current and past board members, supervisors, faculty, and graduates of CCP. Upon completion and approval by the committee, candidates are invited to present their projects to the CCP Community.

Requirements for Graduation

Clinical candidates must meet the following requirements for graduation:

  1. Accumulation of 30 credit hours, plus three years of case conference.
  2. Analyses of three patients, with each analysis lasting at least 273 consecutive hours, meeting at least three times per week, or analyses of two patients, with each analysis lasting at least 410 sessions.
  3. Completion of at least 70 hours of supervision for each of the first two of three cases with an additional 40 hours on the third case, or completion of 90 hours on each of two cases.
  4. Completion of an integrative graduation project and its review by a three-member committee of psychoanalysts chosen by the candidate from among current or past board members, graduates, faculty and supervisors.

Academic candidates must meet the following requirements for graduation:

  1. Accumulation of 30 credit hours, plus participation in case conferences as appropriate.
  2. Completion of three supervised projects, with consultation equivalent to that for the clinical track, as determined by candidates, their mentors, and their Progression Committee advisor.
  3. Completion of a final graduation project and its review by a three-member committee of psychoanalytic scholars chosen by the candidate from among current or past board members, graduates, faculty and supervisors.

Requirements for Admission to the Training Program

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis attempts to offer psychoanalytic training to the greatest number and variety of qualified applicants. Thus, its admissions requirements are deliberately both flexible as to prior organizational recognition and experience as well as stringent in regard to clinical competence. Requirements for the clinical track include:

  1. State licensure in a mental health field, e.g., PhD, PsyD, MD, LCSW, LCPC.
  2. Coverage by valid and current malpractice insurance.
  3. Clinical experience beyond licensure in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
  4. Commitment to a personal analysis before beginning training cases.

Requirements for the academic track include:

1. Significant academic commitment to the study of applied psychoanalysis.

2. Investment in incorporating insights gained from clinical experience into their academic work.

3.  A personal psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, and the requisite maturity to be a responsible discussant of sensitive case material.

Once accepted, clinical candidates who have not begun a personal analysis must do so before the beginning of their first supervised case. We encourage interested applicants who do not fully meet all of these requirements to consult with us about future participation in CCP.

Application Procedure

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements set forth above, each applicant for admission must complete an application for admission, which you may download, print, and mail to:

Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis  PO Box 268017  Chicago, IL 60626

Please include the following with your application:

  1. A biographical statement, including a personal history and a statement of your motivations for deciding to become a psychoanalyst or psychoanalytic scholar.
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae.
  3. For the clinical track, a copy of your state license.
  4. For the clinical track, a copy of the cover page of your malpractice insurance and, if relevant, a detailed statement of claims made.
  5. A non-refundable fee of $100. After your application has been received and reviewed, you will be contacted in order to arrange personal interviews with at least three members of the CCP Admissions Committee or Board of Directors.

Admissions decisions are made by the full Board of Directors or its Executive Committee, based on recommendations by the Admissions Committee. Applicants to CCP will be contacted via phone or email by the Director of Administration. After acceptance, candidates should enroll for courses for the current year and submit payment prior to the start of their first course.

Admission ApplicationDownload Application Form

Click the icon to download the application form.

Applicants with Previous Training in Psychoanalysis

Applicants with previous psychoanalytic training from other psychoanalytic institutes should follow the admissions requirements and procedures as stated above, but include, if relevant, the following:

  1. A request to waive specific requirements for training, with a description of the experience to be credited.
  2. Documentation of previous supervised cases.
  3. A transcript for previously completed psychoanalytic course work. This transcript must be prepared by the institution where the training was obtained, signed by the authorized personnel, and stamped with the seal of the school or notarized. Two of the applicant’s three reference letters should address the applicant’s previous academic and clinical work.

Part-time Enrollment

CCP prefers that candidates enroll for courses on a full-time (7 courses per year) basis, in order to provide the greatest continuity and immersion in the program. However, because some candidates are limited as to time and money, candidates may enroll part-time as needed. Part-time candidates must enroll for a minimum of three courses per year.

Tuition and Registration Fees

The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for educational and scientific purposes. Tuition for each year is determined by the projected yearly expenses for instructors, administrative services, and curriculum material divided by the number of students in attendance that year; thus, annual tuition may vary from year to year. Tuition for each course is typically between $700 and $900. In addition to tuition, each candidate is expected to pay an annual registration fee of $100. Book, journal, and materials fees are not included in tuition, although photocopied reading material may be provided to candidates enrolled in some courses.

Tuition must be paid in full before classes begin each quarter. The annual registration fee is due at the time of registration, prior to the beginning of the first academic quarter. Failure to remit payment may result in the loss of course credit and place candidacy in jeopardy.

On rare occasions when an outstanding teacher may become unexpectedly available, previously unscheduled seminars may be added to the curriculum.

Tuition is not refundable. If a student is dropped for cause by the CCP Board, tuition for courses paid for but not yet taken may be refunded at the discretion of the Board. Courses may be added beyond the registration deadline as space permits, with payment due upon registration.

All applicants – full time, part time, and applicants with previous training – must complete the application form.