Getting a decision of “Continued” can be a deep disappointment, particularly when one puts a great deal of time and effort into preparing for the examination. While unwelcome, a continued decision may offer an opportunity to reflect on aspects of your psychoanalytic work you had not previously considered. Ideally, it can prompt a period of learning and growth. Many applicants returning after a continued examination have described that the continuation contributed to a deeper level of understanding as a psychoanalyst.
You will receive a detailed letter from the Examination Committee Chair that outlines the area(s) that the Committee felt needed to be addressed. ABPsa can no longer offer direct mentoring in order meet national standards for certifying organizations. However, there are a number of avenues available to you to help you address the issues raised in your Continuation letter.
Many have found that discussing the findings from the committee with trusted supervisors or mentors has allowed for fresh thinking about the clinical work. This can apply to issues regarding your case write up or the interview around the process material.
Some prefer to engage with new senior analysts to allow for new thinking about the clinical work. Often it can be helpful if these individuals are outside of one’s own institute. Some applicants get suggestions for senior analysts to contact outside their institute by asking a supervisor or mentor for potential names, or by inquiring at national psychoanalytic meetings.
There are also writing discussion groups and/or clinical process groups at national psychoanalytic meetings such as the American Psychoanalytic Association meetings or the IPA where clinical material is presented and discussed. Many find these discussion groups to be another useful forum for learning after a continued examination.