Educational Standards and Principles

Psychoanalysis is a set of theories of structure, function and development of mental life psychopathology, and treatment. The application of these theories forms the basis of both a specialized form of psychotherapeutic treatment, psychoanalysis, and the principles of the psychodynamic psychotherapies.

The American Psychoanalytic Association first established national standards for professional psychoanalytic education and training for its constituent institutes in 1938. The current standards and principles apply to adult, combined adult and child/adolescent, and child/adolescent only psychoanalytic education and training in the Association’s approved institutes.

Psychoanalytic education and training provide knowledge and critical understanding of theoretical and clinical psychoanalysis and proficiency in the practice of clinical psychoanalysis and its application in other forms of psychological intervention. Completion of education and training, and graduation from an approved institute are based upon the acquisition of sufficient knowledge and skill to conduct psychoanalytic treatment independently and competently.