Psy.D. in Psychoanalysis

LAISPS’ Psychoanalytic Training Program provides in-depth education in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. The program is based on a spirit of scientific inquiry and respect for the humanistic concerns advocated by the original founders of psychoanalysis. Academic coursework covers the broad range of psychoanalytic perspectives, including classical psychoanalysis, ego psychology, object relations, attachment theory, and contemporary theories of self psychology, intersubjectivity, and relational perspectives. The program includes extensive learning and experience in the the application of psychoanalytic theory in clinical practice. Through coursework, supervised analytic cases, and personal analysis, candidates enjoy a rich and deeply meaningful learning experience.

This comprehensive education provides candidates with an essential foundation from which to establish their own psychoanalytic identities. The training program promotes the development of well-rounded psychoanalysts who are proficient in practicing, teaching, and applying psychoanalytic knowledge and skills to the broad spectrum of human knowledge and experience.

LAISPS is open to the theoretical, clinical, and research contributions of all mental health and allied disciplines and seeks to provide education for licensed professionals of varied backgrounds.Educational Objectives

Educational Objectives of the Psychoanalytic Training Program include:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of classical psychoanalysis, ego psychology, Kleinian theory, object relations, attachment theory, self psychology, intersubjectivity, relational theory, and their contemporary developments.
  2. Mastery of psychoanalytic technique and its theoretical underpinnings.
  3. An appreciation of the scientific and humanistic foundations of psychoanalysis.
  4. An ability to apply psychoanalytic theory to non-clinical areas.
  5. A creative internal dialogue with new developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice.
  6. An independent psychoanalytic identity.
  7. Certification and a Psy.D. in Psychoanalysis.

Admissions Policies and Requirements

Mental health professionals who hold a graduate degree in psychology, medicine, social work, nursing, or marriage and family therapy and are licensed or license-eligible may apply for admission. In addition, qualified individuals who are not mental health professionals may apply for Research Psychoanalyst training to enable them to apply psychoanalytic concepts to their chosen fields of expertise. The Institute is primarily concerned with assessing applicants’ suitability for training and subsequent research and practice in psychoanalysis. The main criteria for selection include the intellectual and emotional capacity to undertake a rigorous program, the capacity for sustained commitment to an educational goal, a demonstrable broad and empathic interest in the complexities of human nature, the capacity for introspection, emotional maturity as reflected in personal and professional relationships and activities, an empathic understanding of others who might be different from oneself, flexibility and openness to new ideas, and rich and varied life experiences, including the capacity for lasting relationships.


  1. A completed application with fee.
  2. A completed program of graduate work in a field of study and from an Institution acceptable to the Education Committee. Transcripts of graduate work and undergraduate work and letters of reference must be submitted as early as possible.
  3. A complete autobiography.
  4. Following receipt of the above materials, interviews are arranged with the Admissions Committee. The purpose of these interviews is to evaluate the applicant’s suitability for psychoanalytic training.
  5. Admitted candidates should be prepared to begin their personal analysis six months prior to beginning courses.
  6. Applications will be accepted throughout the year but should be submitted by July 1 for the upcoming Fall term.
  7. Petitions for waiver of any of the requirements must be made to the Education Committee upon application.
  8. For admission to Advanced Candidacy, credit for prior experience will be evaluated for equivalency on an individual basis. Areas of consideration include personal analysis, prior course work, scientific contributions, and supervised clinical experience.
  9. Applicants for Research Psychoanalyst training must have a Ph.D. from an accredited college or university and must obtain practicum experience acceptable to the Institute and to the State of California prior to beginning control cases.

Areas of Preparation

LAISPS adheres to the tripartite model of training, which is comprised of a personal analysis, three supervised analytic cases, and academic course work. Candidates who are also pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis are required to complete additional coursework and a doctoral dissertation.

Personal Analysis

Personal analysis is required of all candidates and is an invaluable component of psychoanalytic training. In addition to providing a vital opportunity for the resolution of personal conflicts and the understanding of personal dynamics and character organization, it is critical for the training and clinical understanding of the practicing psychoanalyst. Candidates select their analysts from the Training Analysts of LAISPS. A minimum of four sessions per week is required. Fees are established privately between analyst and analysand. Candidates are encouraged to begin their analyses prior to admission to the analytic training program.

Supervised Analysis

Supervised psychoanalysis provides an opportunity for candidates to conduct psychoanalytic treatment under the supervision of our Training Analysts. Candidates choose their own supervisors and are encouraged to begin their first analytic case immediately after starting the program. Advancement to the second and third analytic cases requires the written recommendation of the current and previous supervisors (after no less than six months’ work). Written case reports are required at six month and one year intervals.

A minimum of three supervised analytic cases seen for a minimum of four sessions per week is required. It is recommended that one of these cases be completed or considered likely to be terminated successfully during the training program. Candidates are supervised for at least 200 hours, and each of the three cases must be supervised for a minimum of 50 hours. Supervison of two of the three cases must be for a minimum of two years. Weekly supervision is required during the first year, while the frequency of supervision during the second year is jointly determined by Supervisor and Candidate.


LAISPS’ curriculum consists of four years of academic coursework covering the theory and technique of psychoanalysis. The curriculum includes a year-long infant observation course and the study of psychopathology and normal personality development. Readings include Freud’s classical work and subsequent literature that has evolved, including the writings of Melanie Klein and her followers, the independent British Object Relations school and related contributors, ego psychology, attachment theory, and contemporary theories of self psychology, intersubjectivity and relational perspectives. Strong emphasis is placed on the application of psychoanalytic theory to clinical work.

To provide an optimal learning experience, all academic courses are taken in a thoughtfully designed sequence. The Education Committee reserves the option to cancel any course or to make any other changes in the curriculum.

In the fourth year of the training program, the senior class has the opportunity to design elective courses of its choosing.


Certification in Psychoanalysis is awarded upon completion of the tripartite model of psychoanalytic training and the submission of a written case study, research project, or scientific paper which meets the standards of the Education Committee.

After the successful fulfillment of these requirements, candidates are awarded a Certificate of Training in Psychoanalysis and are eligible for Membership in LAISPS, in the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies of the U.S.A. (CIPS) and in the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA).