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  • 06/07/2024 3:42 PM | Office ABPsa (Administrator)

    The June 2024 examination was held online with 5 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 4 passed for a 80% pass rate and 1 applicant for Child & Adolescent who passed for a 100% pass rate.

    We would like to congratulate the following individuals for passing the certification examination and becoming a Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

    Adult Certification

    Erika Homann, PhD –  Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute

    Sureyya Iscan, PhD - Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

    Nicole Nelson, PsyD, LMFT, LPCC - The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis

    Adrian Sanchez, PsyD, ABPP – The Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    Laura Whitman, MD – Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY)

  • 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.”

    # # # #

    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:

  • 02/09/2024 5:49 PM | Office ABPsa (Administrator)

    At APSA’s Feb 2024 Annual Research Poster Session, the ABPsa presented the results from our targeted Focus Group Research Project. For context, the poster described the intensive focus group research process, the centerpiece of the final phase of the multi-year research initiative which culminated in an updated core competencies list.

    What was studied?  Using a descriptive, phenomenological qualitative study, we aimed to learn what psychoanalysts believe constitutes competent psychoanalytic work today.

    How was it studied? 12 focus groups whose participants included a variety of career stages, theoretical orientations, type of psychoanalytic training, and areas of special expertise including child analysis and diversity met for two-hour virtual semi-structured interviews. The participants responded to questions such as, “How can you tell when you are hearing the work of a competent analyst?” and “What thing you hear which cause you to think analytic work is seriously flawed?”

    How was the data analyzed? A thematic data analysis was then conducted on the transcripts of these recorded meetings.

    Key Findings from the Research:

    • Significant uniformity in terms of what psychoanalysts view essential as competencies for analytic work despite the different identity of each focus group.  
    • Four main thematic categories: Analyst’s Approach to Analytic Work, Knowledge, Assessment, and Elements of Treatment - What the Analyst Does—which would ultimately be grouped into competencies
    • Categories made up of themes based on the data. Most themes were endorsed by all 12 groups, and included:  
      • Capacity to work with the frame
      • Having a thoughtful approach to the patient (especially in regard to diversity issues such as gender/sexuality/race/culture)
      • The ability to create an intimate complex relationship 
      • The ability to work with countertransference and transference
      • The analyst’s ability to tolerate affect and not knowing
      • An ability for self-reflection 
      • A focus on the unconscious of the patient and the analyst, and their subjective experiences
    • The addition of child competencies
    • The incorporation of diversity aspects within all theme or competency categories

    In summary, there are new competency items and numerous shifts of emphasis, with competencies that were previously implied or subsumed now taking center stage. At the same time, the findings also corroborated the previous list of competencies. The key tenets of psychoanalysis endure!

    Post-the poster: What happened after the Focus Group Data Analysis?  Following a secondary? review of findings by participants, experts and examiners, the themes in each category were further grouped or clarified so Board Certification examiners and examinees, as well as anyone else using the competencies, would be clear as to their meaning. The final list of competencies, including the new child competencies, can be found on the ABPsa website. 

    Where do we go from here?  ABPsa was pleased with the excitement these findings created amongst our colleagues. Questions and ideas were raised that the ABPsa plans to explore in its ongoing research, e.g., what is the impact of remote work on the practice of psychoanalysis, as we further operationalize the competencies, explore external validation studies, and continue to follow changes in the practice of psychoanalysis.  

  • 02/08/2024 4:17 AM | Anonymous

    The ABPsa celebrated its ten year anniversary by releasing the updated psychoanalytic core competencies.  

    The multi-year research initiative, a descriptive, qualitative study, looked at what psychoanalysts believe constitutes competent psychoanalytic work today. Begun in 2017, the targeted focus group-oriented research project culminated in the Spring of 2022, when the data analysis process began and the research results were developed into an examination tool.

    Read more in the special edition newsletter.

    Thank you to the research participants, funders, and data analysts who made the Competencies Initiative possible. 

  • 02/06/2024 8:11 AM | Anonymous

    The February 2024 examination was held in-person with 5 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 4 passed for a 80% pass rate and 1 applicant for Child & Adolescent who passed for a 100% pass rate.

    We would like to congratulate the following individuals for passing the certification examination and becoming a Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

    Adult Certification

    Benjamin Herbstman, MD, MHS – Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute

    Robert Kravis, PsyD – Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

    Deborah Kirschbaum, PhD, PsyD – New Center for Psychoanalysis

    Michelle Paley, MD – Florida Psychoanalytic Center

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    Felecia Powell-Williams, EdD – Center for Psychoanalytic Studies (Houston)

  • 08/01/2023 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    It is with a mix of emotions that we announce the conclusion of a remarkable chapter in the history of the American Board of Psychoanalysis (ABPsa).

    After nine years of visionary leadership, our esteemed colleague and outgoing Chair, President, and CEO, Stacey Keller, stepped down from her position at the conclusion of the Board’s June 2023 meeting.

    Throughout her tenure, Stacey exemplified the highest standards of professionalism, dedication, and innovation. As a founding board member, she played an instrumental role in shaping the ABPsa into the distinguished organization it is today.

    Under Stacey’s transformative leadership, the ABPsa has flourished. Her vision and strategic guidance have paved the way for numerous accomplishments, including the establishment of research-based new and revised core competencies for psychoanalytic practice, the strengthening and enhancing of the certification exam and process, and the creation of a professional credential, Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis (FABP), which reinforces the value of board certification and supports the field of psychoanalysis.

    Beyond her professional achievements, Stacey has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to her psychoanalytic colleagues, and particularly to women in the field. Her mentorship and guidance serve as an example for all of us to follow. As a natural leader, Stacey’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment created a nurturing atmosphere for professional growth and camaraderie.

    On behalf of the entire ABPsa community, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to Stacey for her vision, steadfast leadership, and dedication. We express our deepest gratitude for her invaluable contributions to the ABPsa and the field of psychoanalysis. We honor her as a trailblazer, visionary, and advocate for excellence. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us as we build upon the solid foundation she has established.

    As we embrace this change of leadership, we are confident in the strength of our organization and the collective wisdom and expertise of our Board. Together, we will navigate this new chapter, build upon our accomplishments, and continue to advance the field of psychoanalysis with passion, innovation, and unwavering commitment.

    Stacey has agreed to remain on the Board as a non-Executive board member. She will be one of three founding board members continuing their service to the ABPsa. Refreshing the board and inviting new perspectives is another example of Stacey’s leadership.

    Please join us in expressing our deepest appreciation and warmest wishes to Stacey Keller, MD, as she concludes her remarkable tenure as Founding Chair, President, and CEO of the ABPsa.

    With gratitude and anticipation,

    Carmela Perez, PhD, FABP
    Incoming Chair
    American Board of Psychoanalysis

  • 07/21/2023 7:11 AM | Anonymous

    Our recent consultations with a wide range of our North American psychoanalyst colleagues have continued to provide useful data on practice patterns and challenges faced by analysts today. Some of these have led us to review the gender requirements for cases submitted by applicants in both adult and child/adolescent analysis, considering:

    • new scholarship in the field of gender and diversity,
    • current modes of practice, revised training guidelines from APsA,
    • challenges for applicants in child and adolescent analysis to meet the case requirements for patients of different genders, and
    • changes in case requirements for graduation at local institutes.

    Summarizing what we have heard and learned from analysts across the country of different theoretical backgrounds and from those with expertise in gender and diversity, we believe analysts need to explore the impact of gender and sexuality in every case, no two of which are alike, even if the patients are of a single gender. Thus, it is possible for analysts to demonstrate this competency while presenting patients of the same gender.

    The result of this multi-year effort is reflected in new case eligibility requirement for gender, as follows:

    We strongly recommend that applicants present patients of different genders to provide the best circumstances for evaluation of the Gender and Sexuality Competency.

    This replaces the previous “requirement of patients of different genders” for both adult and child/adolescent applications, as well as the 2022 modification of child/adolescent case requirements regarding gender.

    This updated version will assist applicants in demonstrating their competency and more accurately reflects the practice of psychoanalysis today.

  • 06/05/2023 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    The June 2023 examination was held remote with 3 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 3 passed for a 100% pass rate and 1 applicant for Child & Adolescent who passed for a 100% pass rate.

    We would like to congratulate the following individuals for passing the certification examination and becoming a Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

    Adult Certification

    • Rachel Louden, LCSW - Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis

    • Sangeeta Patel, MD - Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis

    • Christopher Walling, PsyD - New Center for Psychoanalysis

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    • Frances Arnold, PhD – Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute

  • 02/02/2023 3:28 PM | Anonymous

    The January 2023 examination was held remote with 6 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 6 passed for a 100% pass rate and 1 applicant for Child & Adolescent who passed for a 100% pass rate.

    We would like to congratulate the following individuals for passing the certification examination and becoming a Fellow of the American Board of Psychoanalysis.

    Adult Certification

    • Dhipthi Brundage, MD - Psychoanalytic Center of the Carolinas
    • Cora Johnson, MD - Psychoanalytic Association of New York
    • Brian Ngo-Smith, LCSW, BCD-P - Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis
    • Susan Resek, LCSW - Psychoanalytic Association of New York
    • Aneil M. Shirke, PhD, MD – Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research & Psychoanalytic Association of New York
    • Jeffrey Tuttle, MD - Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    • Jacqueline Langley, PhD - Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
  • 01/06/2023 8:04 AM | Anonymous

    Review of the robust content generated during the diverse set of focus groups is underway—thanks to you! Our teams working on the Competencies Initiative have been making exciting progress since February 2022. The Focus Group Teams have conducted 13 two-hour focus groups with analysts across the country, each group coming from different training, theoretical, or demographic backgrounds and expertise. We appreciative the enthusiastic and enriching input from those of you who participated in this phase of the research.  

    The next step is analyzing this extensive volume of data capturing the insights of many of you and your colleagues and organizing it into a core competency list. We’ve been grateful for the generosity of our donors, which has enabled us to have a skilled Research Team to analyze the data so that we may develop a cohesive and useful list of psychoanalytic core competencies.

    In addition to the valuable information contributing to the development of the core competency list, the focus groups have helped to identify other related areas that we are able to address now. For example, to see how the Eligibility case requirements for child analysts have been modified, please see the <link to Website or announcement New Case Requirements>. Our Research Committee is also considering issues of frequency and remote treatment.  

    We look forward to sharing our findings with you.  

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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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