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The Competency Initiative: Update from the Chair

11/03/2021 7:38 AM | Anonymous

As we head into another winter of the pandemic, with many of us still doing some of our work remotely, we have been finding ways to accommodate to this “new normal” state of practice. Thanks to your support and a virtual HIPAA compliant platform, the ABPsa has been able to continue to offer the opportunity to sit for board certification in psychoanalysis. We are pleased to report that our applicants have found the virtual process to be both collegial and convenient.

Our Research Continues

The Competencies Initiative, our comprehensive review of the core competencies central to the board certification examination, continues. Using initial informal group feedback and results from an online interactive platform, we developed a small group process to collect information about psychoanalytic competencies from a broad and diverse sample of analysts representing psychoanalytic practice in our country.

The Next Set of Focus Groups

We’re still meeting with these small research groups, or “focus groups”—making certain that we have included the many perspectives that constitute today’s psychoanalytic landscape. To help us understand similarities and differences in ideas about psychoanalytic competence, each group will be devoted to hearing from analysts who belong to a particular category or demographic.

Some groups are composed of analysts from specific theoretical orientations, others are analysts of similar age and experience levels, from candidates/early career analysts to experienced educators. We’ll be talking with group of analysts from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations. We’re meeting with analysts who oppose certification, or didn’t choose to become certified, those actively promoting certification for our field, as well as analysts who’ve served as certification examiners. We are reaching out to analysts with various professional degrees, from different training backgrounds, institutes, and belonging to multiple national analytic organizations.

We’re Hoping to Hear from You!

We plan to use the intimate nature of the small group meetings to understand how those in our field define what is essential for a competent psychoanalyst. With this information we will review and refine our current Core Competencies list. Results from prior phases of the project suggest promising ideas for areas that may need to be fine-tuned, trimmed, or expanded. We hope you’ll be willing to participate and share your thoughts with our researchers, either in these focus groups, or in later phases of the project.

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The American Board of Psychoanalysis is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public interest and promoting the profession of psychoanalysis through certification and maintenance of certification. 

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