About APsA

Founded in 1911, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsA) is the oldest national psychoanalytic organization in the nation. APsA is committed to being a professional membership organization for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, academics, researchers, students, and other interested people – all whose work is profoundly informed by psychoanalytic theory and values, and to supporting their education and continuing professional development.

In addition to the national organization, APsA includes 34 approved training institutes and 38 affiliate societies throughout the United States. Since its founding, APsA has been a component of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), the largest worldwide psychoanalytic organization. APsA is an active member of the Psychoanalytic Consortium.

APsA has developed vibrant and innovative programming for the mental health profession and the general public. The Association and its more than 3,500 highly trained members gather at biannual meetings in February and June to exchange ideas, present research papers, and discuss training and membership issues. Many public activities relating to psychoanalytic theory and practice are presented by APsA’s affiliated societies and by institutes which have the highest level of training for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic clinicians.

These programs provide forums for the exchange of new ideas and highlight the contribution of psychoanalytic principles in helping to understand important social problems. To further the dissemination of psychoanalytic ideas, APsA publishes the highly respected peer-reviewed quarterly, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (JAPA).

A major responsibility of APsA is to establish and maintain high educational standards as well as high professional standards. APsA works to ensure that its members meet rigorous training standards and demonstrate a strong interest in applying psychoanalytic thinking in their work.

APsA is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

APsA values the development and complexity of the mind and human relationships. In the broad community it creates, APsA provides a place to collaborate, connect, learn, and find inspiration for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic clinicians, educators, scientists, researchers, scholars, and students, as well as psychoanalytic institutes, societies, and centers. The APsA community gives its members a link to psychoanalysis worldwide and a connection to one another that is essential to our members’ psychoanalytic identity and different from what they obtain locally. APsA provides diverse ways to connect so that everyone can find a place, while protecting the special place of psychoanalytic theory, clinical practice, research, and education.

Through its smaller, focused communities, APsA fulfills members’ needs for affiliation, identification, personal connection, and professional development. The Association’s communities reflect inclusivity and diversity in culture, gender, race, sexual orientation, theoretical orientation, career stage, age, geography, and discipline. Anyone who has an interest in psychoanalysis can find a place to connect with the broader APsA community.

APsA encourages and supports innovation in psychoanalytic thinking and its relevance to the world. The Association’s mission is to advance clinical, scholarly, scientific, and social progress within the framework of the following areas:

  • Professional education and development
  • Research and scholarship
  • Advocacy and public relations
  • Marketing, advancement, and communications
  • Membership, institute, center, and local society operations
  • Governance and management

We believe that as psychoanalysts our shared values include tolerance of difference, seeking emotional truth, empathy and listening, understanding the role of individual and collective trauma, diversity in every sense of the word, and fundamental human equality.

On August 21, 2020, The Holmes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis (CO-REAP) was established with the mission of investigating systemic racism and its underlying determinants embedded within APsA and psychoanalysis, and to offer remedies for all aspects of identified racism. The Commission’s task is to identify and propose actions to remedy apparent and implicit manifestations of structural racism that may reside within APsA, in its member institutes, and in our interactions with the wider psychoanalytic world and with the public in general.