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ABPsa News

  • 04/22/2022 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    Now in Phase 2, the Competencies Initiative is in full swing. Thanks to our generous donors, eight groups have been held, and six more are scheduled for the the next few months.

    As we review our competencies to ensure that they are still relevant and reflect psychoanalysis today, we are using a focus group research model that helps us look at how analysts of ‘different stripes’ look at what makes for competent analytic work. To do this we are holding an extensive series of small group zoom meetings with analysts from various backgrounds where we discuss the competencies so that we can ensure that we have a wide range of perspectives reflective of the broader community of psychoanalysts.

    In each group meeting, we ask analysts from one of the areas, such as one theoretical orientation, a standard set of questions designed to elicit information about what analyst consider to be essential for competent psychoanalytic work. To give you some examples, in our theoretical orientation focus groups, we have a group made up of only Kleinian analysts, one with relational analysts, and another with expertise in Bion. We are talking to groups of child analysts, early career analysts and analysts who’ve worked as certification examiners. Other groups have expertise in particular areas of diversity and inclusion, such as gender/sexuality or race and ethnicity. We have groups from various training backgrounds both inside and outside of APsaA, including NYU Post-Doc and the IIPT institute. Finally, these groups are made up of analysts who are certified and uncertified. So far, the experience has been a rich and stimulating one for both the research teams and the participants. We are looking forward to seeing what emerges from these groups – similarities, differences, and essentials from everyone’s perspective.

  • 02/12/2022 6:15 AM | Anonymous

    The February 2022 examination was held remote with 4 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 3 passed for a 75% pass rate, and 1 applicant for Child & Adolescent Psychoanalysis 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

    • Lucinda Di Domenico, MD - Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute
    • Brian Tobin, MD – Western New England 
    • Erica Weiss, MD – Western New England

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    • Matthew Shaw, MD – Western New England

  • 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.

  • 06/14/2021 8:08 AM | Anonymous

    The June 2021 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 Psychoanalysis 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

    • Linda Emanuel, MD, PhD – Chicago
    • Amanda Hutchison, M.D. – Denver
    • Adam Libow, M.D. - NYPSI

    Child & Adolescence Certification

    • Amanda Hutchison, M.D. – Denver

  • 04/12/2021 2:29 PM | Anonymous

    The Backdrop

    With the help of the psychoanalytic community, the ABPsa is undertaking a comprehensive multi-year review of the core competencies evaluated during the board certification exam. Through this “Competency Initiative,” we want to ensure that the competencies reflect the current practice of psychoanalysis.

    During the initial phase, we engaged with experienced psychoanalytic and competencies researchers and developed the research plan. This phase included an extensive literature review and feedback from psychoanalysts across the country.

    Phase Two: Part 1

    To kick off Phase Two, we invited feedback from over 360 psychoanalysts reflecting diversities across many categories (age, gender, theoretical orientation, etc.), via an interactive online platform.

    Based on the feedback, we identified the different categories of analysts that we wanted to hear from and developed our key questions. These groups were chosen to ensure we hear from:

    • Analysts at different points in their careers
    • Candidates to senior analysts recognized for their expertise in the clinical realm
    • Child analysts
    • Analysts with specific theoretical orientations (e.g., groups of Kleinians, self-psychologists, Bionians, Relationalists, etc.)
    • Experts in diversity issues who will be asked to consider our competencies from a diversity perspective
    • Groups with different perspectives on certification (pro-, con-, and indifferent)
    • Analysts from differing umbrella organizations (e.g., APsaA, IPA, NAPsaC., CIPS, ACPE, and independent institutes)

    Conducted two pilot focus group sessions in February 2020 with expert senior analysts. The initial groups yielded rich discussions and useful information that helped us design the Focus Group format we will be using this year. And then Covid struck. Since then we’ve reviewed the initial data, refined the plan, and prepared for the intensive focus group process.

    Phase Two: Focus Groups

    Approximately 20 focus groups are planned for the next year. Each focus group of 6-8 individuals meets just once for two hours. The participants will be asked the same questions, relating to identifying the essential competencies required to practice psychoanalysis, and whether there are missing, outdated, or unnecessary competencies in our current list.

    This data will be analyzed and drive the development of a revised list of Core Competencies for psychoanalysis. Phase Three will be devoted to completing a seamless, reliable, transparent and clear transition to the use of these competencies in the board certification process.

    We will need your help! We will be reaching out to many of you to join specific focus groups. Let your colleagues know that we may be contacting them as well to ensure we obtain opinions representing the breadth of psychoanalytic practice in 2021.

  • 02/26/2021 3:54 PM | Anonymous

    We have posted two tentative lists of new competencies regarding:  Sex/Gender and Race/Ethnicity which  were generously shared with ABPsa by The Psychoanalytic Association of New York, Affiliated with NYU and The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. While we haven’t yet established the specific competencies, we wanted to underscore that sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, and culture are core aspects of identity that shape the experience of the self and interactions with others. They are also accompanied by various attitudes, including potential conscious and implicit biases.

    For analysts, it means that we need to be aware of these aspects of our own identities and how they affect our view of ourselves and of our patients, especially if there are differences in these identities between patient and analyst. It also means that analysts need to be open to learning from their patients about how these various aspects of identity affect individual development and how they impact patients’ interactions with the interpersonal and social surround.

    Role of Race and Ethnicity

    In our society, we are all members of various races and ethnicities which, by definition, include affiliations with cultures, religions and nationalities. These complex concepts do not lend themselves easily to singular understandings, nor should patients or analysts be reduced to “competencies about the other.” We recognize, however, that it is necessary for analysts to be cognizant and reflective about the many facets of an individual’s identity (race and ethnicity being part, not the whole) which must be understood and accepted for effective clinical work. This begins with the analyst developing competency in understandings of the analyst’s cultural context and identity. It is not that the patient is different- it is that the patient and analyst are different from one another.

    Both analysts and patients are influenced by multiple systems within society and culture. Race and ethnicity function with and within class, gender, religion, language, et al. These influences exist within current and larger historical contexts that are significant aspects of patients’ and analysts’ psychic and social lives. Developing effective clinical knowledge and skills to consider and address the role of race and ethnicity is an on-going process that requires continuous commitment to learning about oneself and one’s patients. It is important to acknowledge that understandings and expressions of race and ethnicity, how they are presented individually and within groups and communities, are dynamic and ever-evolving.

    Competencies Relating to Race and Ethnicity

    1. Aware of contemporary psychoanalytic and psychosocial theories of race and   ethnicity and how experiences of power, privilege and oppression can be analytically considered within the psychoanalytic relationship.
    2. Able to learn from the patient about their self and interpersonal experiences as shaped by racial, cultural and social factors.
    3. Aware of, and able to reflect on, the meanings and impact of one’s own and the patient’s race and ethnicity, as both intra-psychic and social experiences that are also created by the dyad within the analytic space.
    4. Able to provide analysis while acknowledging conscious and unconscious racial and ethno-cultural biases in both analyst and patient, being open to recognizing and engaging them.
    5. Understand transference and countertransference experiences related to both members of the dyad’s racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities and how these affect the analytic process.
    6. Consider the influences of race and ethnicity in identity development through the lifecycle and how these intersect with larger sociocultural contexts.

    Sex, gender, and sexual orientation competencies

    Contemporary culture and psychoanalytic theory are evolving and now include expanded understandings of variant expressions of both gender and sexuality. From this perspective, defining gender by anatomical sex no longer fully defines the complexity and particularity of gender experience and sexuality for many people that it was once presumed to, nor does it automatically define a distinct difference in individual psychologies.

     Competencies Relating to the Role of Sexuality and Gender

    1. Demonstrate clinically applicable understanding of contemporary psychoanalytic and psychosocial theories of gender and sexuality.
    2. Able to reflect on one’s own and the patient’s implicit and explicit attitudes and biases regarding gender, gender roles, gender identity and sexual orientation.
    3. Aware of and able to reflect upon the meanings and impacts of one’s own and of the patient’s gender and sexuality as intra-psychic and social experiences.
    4. Understand one’s own and the patient’s experience of the sex of their body.
    5. Understand transference and countertransference experiences relating to each member of the dyad’s gender and sexual identities and how these affect the analytic process.
    6. Consider developmental aspects of gender and sexuality through the lifecycle. The role of both traditional/binary and contemporary fluid models of gender and sexuality may both be considered.
    7. Demonstrate the capacity to think analytically about changes in gender and sexuality that may occur in the analysis.

  • 02/20/2021 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    The February 2021 examination was held remote with 4 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 2 passed for a 50% pass rate.  There were no applicants for the Child & Adolescent examination.

    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

    • Hilli Dagony-Clark, Psy.D. – NYPSI
    • Anton Babushkin, PhD - Michigan
  • 11/09/2020 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    Since inception, the ABPsa Competency Committee has been committed to including as many perspectives—and analysts—as possible we review of the core psychoanalytic competencies at the heart of the certification examination.

    Online Focus Groups: It doesn’t matter where you live

    So far, over 50 of you have shared your thoughts in these preliminary in-person focus groups at APsaA , and the online focus group platform we are using to expand our reach.

    Our research protocol calls for us to take a look at the information gleaned from these early rounds and refine, as necessary: Are we asking the right questions to the right people? Do we need to recruit more vigorously outside the APsaA universe? Have we included the voices of analysts of color? Of LGBTQ analysts?

    The ABPsa Competency Committee and Research Chair will be busy working with a research consultant and ABPsa’s own part-time researcher to analyze the data-to-date, update the questions, and identify where we’ll do more recruitment.

    We are working our way toward a survey of proposed competencies for the 21st century that will be distributed to as many analysts as we can locate in the USA. It is a process!

    If you believe you belong to a constituency that may be under-represented, please contact Executive Director Denise Wagner so you can be included in the feedback we will be providing about the competencies.

    And thank you again (or in advance) for your participation!

  • 06/22/2020 4:07 PM | Anonymous

    At the June 2020 Board of Directors meeting, the Board voted to update the eligibility for applicants applying for the examination:

    Mental Health Education and Experience:

    Applicants must possess mental health training and related clinical experience and may demonstrate this in two ways: either

    1. the applicant must possess a post-graduate level degree in a mental health discipline, including related clinical experience, resulting in licensure or certification for the independent practice of a core mental care at the highest clinical level for that care; or

    2.  alternatively, demonstrating by reasonably satisfactory documentation their having obtained education, training and clinical experience that shows a solid foundation and practice experience in mental health care (including close supervision in individual cases), for example: psychotherapy experience; the ability to diagnose mental disorders; make differential diagnoses and biopsychosocial and psychodynamic formulations; develop individual treatment plans; and know how to use consultants or make referrals in areas outside his or her scope of practice. 

    For purposes of interpreting and applying this eligibility requirement, a license or certification solely to practice psychoanalysis shall not be deemed a licensure or certification in a core mental care discipline under clause (1). 

    An applicant with such a license or certification must separately and in addition meet the requirements either of clause (1) by possessing licensure or certification for the independent practice of a core mental health care discipline, or of clause (2) by demonstrating the described education, training and clinical experience.

    Psychoanalytic Education and Training:

    Applicants must either:

    • be graduates of Institutes accredited or approved as meeting the standards of AAPE, ACPEinc, IPA, or APsaA; (submit analytic certificate)  or
    • have successfully completed an integrated psychoanalytic training program meeting the following minimum criteria:

         A.   300 hours of in-depth training analysis, frequency of 3-5 times/week;

         B.   350 curriculum hours including course work in:

               i.   Psychoanalytic Treatment Situation and Technique; 
              ii.   Psychoanalytic Theory;
             iii.   Psychopathology;
             iv.   Development; and
             v.    Continuous Case Seminars and Clinical Conferences.

         C.  Two supervised analytic cases, each 3-5 times/week with a minimum of 200
                supervised hours but in any event over sufficient period of time to allow the
                applicant to have recognized, evaluated, and interpreted the dominant
                genetic factors and central conflicts, as well as to have allowed significant
                transference manifestations to have developed, be observed, understood and
                worked through and to have allowed for counter transference manifestations
                to be understood.

    Licensure & Ethics:

    • have an appropriate and current mental health-related license to practice in the jurisdiction in which the applicant is practicing or, if in a jurisdiction that does not require such licensure, to provide additional information
    • comply with ethical standards and professional conduct

    Analytic Experience:

      • submit written reports and be prepared to discuss at the interview cases that meet the following criteria:
      • patients of different genders
      • patients seen at a frequency of three to five times a week
      • at least one case must have a termination experience
      • be able and prepared to discuss a third patient who has been in a three to five times per week analysis
    • at least two of the three cases presented must be conducted substantially in person.
      It may be necessary that treatments be conducted remotely during quarantines, societal shutdowns or other periods when health or safety measures, such as social distancing, make in-person treatment not possible, and that the in-person requirement will be applied accordingly on a modified basis.

    • submit process notes for a minimum of three cases at the examination

    The reports of applicants for Child & Adolescent Certification, should include, in addition to above:

    • one case of a child in the latency phase of development
    • one case of an adolescent
    • a brief child report on a third child/adolescent patient (five pages) 

  • 06/17/2020 6:11 PM | Anonymous

    The June 2020 examination was held remote with 3 applicants in Adult Psychoanalysis of which 2 passed for a 66% pass rate and 1 applicants in Child & Adolescent of which 1 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

    • Navah Kaplan, Ph.D. – NYPSI
    • Andrew Klafter, M.D. - Cincinnati

    Child & Adolescent Certification

    • Van DeGolia, M.D. – Los Angeles

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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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