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Groundbreaking Research Results

03/12/2024 7:52 AM | Anonymous


Contact: Anastasia (Stacey) C. Keller, MD, FABP, Competencies Committee Chair, American Board of Psychoanalysis, 501 S. Cherry Street, #1100, Denver, CO 80246. Email: Mobile: 303-229-3529

American Board of Psychoanalysis (ABPsa) Releases Results of Groundbreaking Research Study:  What constitutes competent psychoanalytic work?

Inclusive, multi-year study reveals surprising consensus across theoretical orientations, training, age, ethnicity and gender.

Denver, CO, March 12, 2024 – On February 7, 2024, the American Board of Psychoanalysis (ABPsa) announced an updated set of core competencies essential to the practice of psychoanalysis. The updated competency list is the result of a multi-year research initiative that ultimately gathered feedback from over 100 psychoanalysts, including the 65 who participated in one of twelve structured, online research focus group discussions. The intentionally diverse focus groups spanned theoretical orientations, training, age, ethnicity and gender, and explored what psychoanalysts believe constitutes competent psychoanalytic work today. The recordings and transcripts from those research groups were analyzed and categorized and serve as the basis of the research results.

Carmela M. Perez, PhD, FABP, President and CEO of the ABPsa Board of Directors, notes the unanticipated consensus: “The perception among focus group participants themselves was that analysts in other groups would differ as to what is required for competent psychoanalytic work. However, the recordings and transcripts revealed that although different language may have been used, participants in all the groups were really saying the same thing.”

Along with new competency domains, the key changes in the updated competencies list include thematically-related groupings of the competencies; elevating competencies that were previously implied or subsumed under another competency into their own domains; integrating previously separate diversity competencies throughout the competency list; and fulfilling the long-requested addition of a set of competencies specific to child analysis

Both an abridged version of the competency domains with a brief description of each competency and a detailed version for use by examiners and applicants that can also be a valuable resource for teachers and supervisors are available at

Stacey Keller, MD, FABP, Competencies Committee Chair adds: “The essence of the core competencies at the heart of the practice of psychoanalysis endure. That said, the updated competencies, which are intentionally expressed without using technical language specific to any one theoretical model, reflect the advent of remote work and shifts in emphasis within the profession. We look forward to sharing these findings and to analyzing the data from other perspectives to see what else we can learn about the practice of psychoanalysis today.”

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About the American Board of Psychoanalysis (ABPsa):

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2024, the ABPsa is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides national Board Certification in Psychoanalysis to the benefit of the public and the psychoanalytic profession. For more detailed versions of the core competencies and additional information about Board Certification in Psychoanalysis, please visit For inquiries about the competencies research, please contact Stacey Keller, MD, FABP. Email:

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       501 S. Cherry Street, #1100, Denver, CO 80246
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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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