The Spirit, Method and Goals of Comparative Psychoanalysis at MIP
We believe that studying multiple models, psychoanalytic theories, enables us to get beneath each model’s specific language—closer to every model’s basic assumptions about the human condition. And to grasp how thinking broadly about the human mind, the human condition relates to thinking about the form of psychotherapy we call psychoanalytic.
The keystone course at MIP for the four-year program is a one-year course that helps define what a comparative psychoanalytic education looks like at MIP. It begins with a deep immersion in Freud’s assumptions and goals—that becomes a program in which multiple theoretical traditions, object relations, self-psychology, relational etc. compete to define what psychoanalysis is and how it may work. This is not just a smorgasbord, an extended survey.
By studying multiple perspectives and engaging in free dialogue, we attempt to explore the human dimensions that commonly underlie–but are very differently emphasized—in all analytic theories: The universal human challenges of: Loss, Sexuality, Mortality, Love, Hate, Separateness-Connection—what is hidden in ourselves and enigmatic in others; the lifelong challenge of ordering experience, creating meaning and transforming it; experiencing and sustaining a sense of identity, of realness and aliveness.
Theories will often emphasize an Internal Process (of mind and heart) or an Environmental-Relational shaping experience. They will tend to lean one way or the other. Basically, we try to see them as different ways of narrating experience. Often very entwined. Sometimes inseparable.
We teach the major 21st century psychoanalytic perspectives, and look at them clinically, in hopes of continuously defining and re-defining Psychoanalysis as a field and practice. What it has been. What it can become.
In addition, we study the individual’s role In the social and cultural world. We look at the very wide range of views of the inherent tensions between individuals and society as well as the nourishment of the Individual by the facilitating environment and several other attachment-oriented, and psychosocial theories.
We recognize the Dimension of Race in America as a real, moral question of historical bias and inequality. Also, aspects of Sexuality and Gender. We attempt to reflect on some of the underlying assumptions and potential clinical and cultural implications of the theories we study in their larger historical and socio-cultural context. There is no party line on the meanings and dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality in psychoanalysis. There are many views of what we all share as humans. And many views about how and why we change and resist change. All of these perspectives are part of understanding how we can use and practice comparative psychoanalysis in ways that will inherently increase its effectiveness and its integration into a more diverse society.
MIP’s educational Institute is comprised of five training programs:
- Four-year Training Program in Psychoanalysis
- Advanced Candidate Training Program in Psychoanalysis
- Postgraduate Fellowship Program – Metro Boston
- Postgraduate Fellowship Program – West
- Stechler Child and Adolescent Therapy Fellowship
Training Program in Psychoanalysis
MIP’s Training Program in Psychoanalysis is a four-year training program in the theory and technique of comparative psychoanalysis. Accepted candidates are members of an intimate learning cohort who progress together through a professional, and academic journey into deeper understanding of the human mind and psychosocial condition. The program requirements include four years of coursework in comparative psychoanalytic theory and technique, three supervised analytic (“control”) cases (one of which may be a “nontraditional” case), with 200 hours of supervision distributed over the three cases, a personal analysis, and a final project. The training program coursework takes place on Fridays from 11:00 am – 4:30 pm over 24 weeks: 12 classes in the Fall and 12 classes in the Spring.
Advanced Candidate Training Program in Psychoanalysis
The Advanced Candidate Training Program in Psychoanalysis at MIP was established for senior clinicians who have attained, in both formal and informal ways, the equivalent of a significant portion of psychoanalytic training.
Postgraduate Fellowship Program
MIP’s PGFP is a one-year, once weekly fellowship program that offers mental health providers and scholars an opportunity to explore a wide range of models of psychoanalytic psychotherapy treatment process and theory. Grounded in a contemporary, comparative approach to psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the fellowship aims to enrich participants’ understanding of human nature and to promote a deeper, effective clinical practice. The seminar consists of four terms across 19 sessions and meets Monday evenings from 7:00 – 10:00 pm at the Harvard Faculty Club. A second year of more clinically focused postgraduate study may sometimes be available. Please note that courses are currently held virtually via Zoom. We will return to in-person instruction when the coronavirus risk in Massachusetts is sufficiently reduced.
Postgraduate Fellowship Program – West
MIP also offers a postgraduate fellowship program in the Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts. The program is also a one-year, once weekly fellowship program that offers mental health providers and scholars an opportunity to explore a wide range of models of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy treatment process and theory. Grounded in a contemporary, comparative approach to psychoanalytic psychotherapy, the fellowship aims to enrich participants’ understanding of human nature and to promote a deeper, more effective clinical practice.
The Stechler Child and Adolescent Fellowship
The Stechler Child and Adolescent Therapy Fellowship is a one-year, 24-session training program for early to mid-career mental health professionals interested in psychodynamic approaches to child and adolescent psychotherapy. The Fellowship includes major topics in child and adolescent psychotherapy that go beyond the classical model to integrate contemporary psychodynamic models relevant to a range of current clinical dilemmas.
Continuing Education at MIP
MIP is proud to offer a variety of ways that members and non-members can participate in continuing education. Continuing education is offered to all clinicians, academicians, scholars and anyone interested in comparative psychoanalytic thinking. And, as one benefit of a MIP membership, CE credits are given to MIP members for their completion of most courses and programs. CEs may be purchased by non-members who have completed MIP continuing education programs.
Each year, MIP typically offers the following continuing education opportunities:
- Saturday morning programs, four to six programs a year, with visiting speakers, discussants, and moderators
- Psychoanalytic Dimension series, offered by MIP’s Continuing Studies Committee, are classes that offer more immersion into psychoanalytic theory and concepts. They are usually taught by MIP Members over a period of 3 to 6 sessions
- The Academic Outreach Committee and the International Connections Committee bring invited speakers in from the academic community, international community and from around the world
- A MIP Symposium may be organized periodically on a particularly topic of interest with multiple presenters demonstrating the concepts of comparative psychoanalysis. This is a special event, usually a full weekend day.