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Who is a psychoanalyst?

Psychoanalysts are licensed mental health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, mental health counselors, or psychiatrists. These clinicians have had substantial training and experience as therapists before beginning their psychoanalytic training. Psychoanalytic training consists of a rigorous program of several years of coursework, a personal analysis, and experience providing psychoanalysis under the supervision of experienced analysts. Most importantly, a psychoanalyst is a person committed to offering disciplined and careful listening and thoughtful relating in the service of human growth and development, and the quality of life. Many clinicians who have not had the advanced training to offer psychoanalysis nonetheless turn to psychoanalytic ideas as their “GPS” in their practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.