The Application and Admissions Process
Application for psychoanalytic training is open to clinicians in the mental health fields, including the degrees of MD, PhD, PsyD, DMH, MSW and MFT. Academic applicants who have achieved the highest degree in their field may apply for full or partial training, subject to review (and possible waivers) under the Committee on Research and Special Training.
Seasoned licensed clinicians of all mental health disciplines are encouraged to apply. The process usually takes 2 to 5 months. Our application includes an autobiographical essay. The interviews that follow the written application will be both personal and clinical in nature.
The Admissions Committee strives, in ongoing review, to make this a user-friendly process. Advisors who are impartial to and stand apart from the Admissions evaluations can be available to help you through the application procedures.
You may download the Application for Enrollment and mail it back to us at:
San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
444 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
You may find more detailed information about the admissions procedure with the Training Catalogue (pages 12-15) here or see below.
You may also contact our Training Division Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-563-5815.
Prerequisites for Training:
Physician-Psychiatrists: Must be graduates of approved medical schools, have completed at least one year of psychiatric residency, be licensed in California, and meet standards of personal suitability.
Non-Physicians: There are three categories of non-physician applications, all of which permit full training and one of which (non-physicians research) also permits partial training.
Doctoral Clinicians must have doctoral level degrees in clinical disciplines from approved programs and be licensed in California and meet standards of personal suitability.
Non-Doctoral Clinicians must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a clinical masters degree that is usually awarded in the applicant's field.
- Have two years of additional postgraduate training which can be either formal programs or individually sculpted.
Have an established career track in clinical psychotherapeutic work. The applicant must demonstrate ability and a commitment to psychotherapeutic work.
Research and special training applicants:
Researchers, scientists, scholars, educators, and administrators may be admitted under the Committee on Research and Special Training (CORST) guidelines.
A waiver is required for full training. The applicant must be nominated by a local institute and applications are reviewed on a non-competitive basis and solely on the merits of the applicants themselves, on the research or other program plan that is presented, and on the relevance of full training to that plan. The applicants must meet both of the following requirements:
- Hold the highest academic degree that is usually awarded in the applicant's field of specialization or hold equivalent recognition in non-academic fields.
Plan a career in which research or scholarly endeavors clearly play a central role. Applicants are expected either to be accomplished investigators, or to be outstanding academic teachers, scholars or administrators. Through their research, scholarly work, teaching or administrative work, applicants should be in a position to, and have the capacity to, stimulate the development of the application of psychoanalysis.
This includes a combined program of full or selected seminars and analysis with a training analyst. In special circumstances, prior analysis with a training analyst or other analyst may suffice. A waiver is not required. There are two important issues in partial training. The first is that this center characteristically prefers to train fully. The second is we generally follow the American Psychoanalytic Association CORST guidelines.
- Full Training
- Doctoral Clinicians must have doctoral level degrees in clinical disciplines from approved programs and be licensed in California and meet standards of personal suitability.
(The evaluation process takes 2-5 months.)
Completion of the application form, including a written autobiography and a non-refundable application fee of $300. Applications will be considered throughout the year. However, in order to guarantee consideration for the upcoming Fall class, the application must be received by March 1st.
Receipt of three letters of recommendation.
Interviews arranged by the Co-Chairs of the Admissions Committee:
- Personal assessment interviews with two graduate analysts.
- Clinical case presentations with two graduate analysts.
Applicants for research and special training may be interviewed by academic faculty or by graduate analysts selected by the Co-Chairs of the Admissions Committee in consultation with the Chair of the CORST Committee.
Meeting of the Admissions Committee (usually the first Thursday of the month, September through June), to discuss the application and vote on recommendation for admission. The Co-Chairs of the Admissions Committee, members of the Committee, and graduate analysts who interviewed the applicant are expected to attend.
- The Co-Chair of the Admissions Committee informs the applicant of the Committee’s decision and notifies administrative staff, who inform the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division and the Chair of the Curriculum Committee.
Applications for Training from Close Relatives of members of SFCP — These applicants will not be interviewed and evaluated by members of the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee will request an evaluation of the applicant from a member Institute of the American Psychoanalytic Association. In its admissions decision, the SFCP will be informed and guided by the outside Admissions Committee report. SFCP will be guided by the evaluation of the evaluating Psychoanalytic Education Division/Education Committee.
Reapplications will be accepted. There is no strict policy about the period of time between applications, nor is there any definite policy about the number of times an application may be accept-ed for evaluation.
Transfer applications will be accepted from other accredited Institutes. The applicant must arrange for records to be sent to us.
Transfer applicants will be asked (with rare exception) to resume a didactic analysis with a member of our Training Division.
Evaluation of Transfer Applicants: The Admissions Committee Chair, in consultation with the members of the Committee and, if necessary, with the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division, decides whether to undertake the usual or a modified evaluation procedure.
SFCP admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, loan program, or any other school-administered programs.
Those applicants who are accepted are enrolled in the training program as pre-seminar candidates. Admission to training carries the expectation that a candidate will, within a month or so of acceptance, report arrangements for his/her personal analysis with a training analyst. This information is treated as confidential within the center and will be available only to the Dean, the chair of the Psychoanalytic Education Division and the chair of the Training Analysts Committee.
The SFCP Psychoanalytic Education Division offers assistance in arranging for the analysis, if requested. The objective is to enable a prompt beginning of training through facilitation of the finding of a training analyst who anticipates having analytic time available reasonably soon. Candidates must be in analysis with a training analyst prior to beginning course work. A waiver to this requirement is possible. Please contact the Psychoanalytic Education Division Coordinator for further information.
SFCP Policy on Waivers of the Requirement for Candidates in Training to be in Psychoanalysis with a Training Analyst
All candidates at SFCP must be in analysis with a training analyst prior to beginning course work. The expectation is that the training analysis be 4-5x/week, on the couch. Waivers of the requirement to be in analysis with a training analyst are possible under certain very specific circumstances. Such waivers may be granted for candidates in established analyses of more than one year's duration, four or five times weekly, on the couch. The analyst must have graduated at least 5 years previously from an institute accredited by the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) or the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), and must meet additional requirements of experience, immersion and suitability. These requirements include;
- No ethical violations
- Sufficient immersion in the practice of psychoanalysis (4 cases post-graduation, non-psychotic, 4x/week on the couch)
When appropriate and when an accepted candidate for training requests it, waivers are requested by SFCP and approved by the APsaA Board on Professional Standards at either their spring or winter meetings. Accepted candidates may submit waiver request forms (available from the Psychoanalytic Education Division Coordinator) to SFCP’s Waiver Committee for review at any time, but should note the two deadlines that correspond to the APsaA meetings are: April 15th or November 1st for receipt of the waiver by mid-June or mid-January respectively. SFCP must receive a waiver on behalf of a candidate before he/she matriculates. For additional information, prospective candidates may consult with one of the co-chairs of the Admissions Committee (Christina Halsey, Ph.D. or Elizabeth Mayer, M.D.) or the Chair of the Waiver Committee (Wendy Stern, D.M.H.). Current candidates should consult with the Dean if they have questions.