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Training Program in Psychoanalysis

Below is an overview of the core components of MIP’s full, 4-year Training Program in Psychoanalysis.

If you have any questions about the program that are not answered here, please contact us for further information.

Overview of the Course of Study

The Four-Year Training Program in Psychoanalysis

The Training Program in Psychoanalysis is a 4-year course of study in comparative psychoanalysis, both theory and practice. On graduating, our hope is that candidates will have learned several psychoanalytic paradigms and have some understanding of the philosophical and historical assumptions underlying each. Their clinical work will have deepened by this knowledge, their personal analysis and the shared experience of presenting their work and listening to others.

Each of the 12 semesters consists of two theory/content courses as well as a clinical seminar for the presentation and discussion of the candidate’s analytic work. The program is designed to immerse candidates in the evolving field of study that is contemporary psychoanalysis with a firm basis in the classical literature. The first year begins with a foundational course in Comparative Psychoanalysis: Theory and Practice.  In the first semester candidates study the work of Freud with some reference to critiques by early psychoanalytic feminist theorists, Jung, and Ego Psychology.  The second semester follows the evolution of Post Freudian thought from object relation theorists through self-psychology, relational theory and the work of Bion and Lacan. Following years explore all of these theories and traditions in more depth.

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. Prospective Advanced Candidates must demonstrate a level of theoretical sophistication and accomplishment through their previous clinical experience, personal analyses, and psychoanalytic teaching, writing, and research. The program consists of two years of classes rather than the four years of classes in the Four Year Training Program. All other requirements, clinical supervision on analytic cases, and a personal analysis are the same as the Four Year Training Program. Advanced Candidates are encouraged to develop their own curriculum and to participate in the four-year program courses to enhance and to fill gaps in their knowledge.

Training Program in Psychoanalysis for Academics

In addition to offering the full 4-year Training Program in Psychoanalysis for Clinicians, MIP also offers a comparable program for academics. This program is suitable for academics from multiple disciplines (e.g., philosophy, gender theory, sociology, history, etc.) who are interested in immersing themselves in the theories of psychoanalysis in order to enrich their academic pursuits from this interdisciplinary perspective. Accepted academic candidates join an intimate learning cohort of accepted clinical candidates and progress together through a pedagogical journey into deeper understanding of the human mind and psychosocial condition. The program requirements for Academic Track candidates include four years of theoretical coursework in comparative psychoanalytic theory and technique (academic candidates take 2 theory classes per semester for 4 years, but do not join the clinical candidates for the clinical seminar class), a personal psychoanalysis, 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.

The 4-Year Curriculum

Below is an overview of the current 4-year curriculum for the Training Program in Psychoanalysis:

1st Year2nd Year3rd Year4th Year
Psychoanalytic Technique ITheories of Development ITheories of Development II – AdolescenceDream Course
Comparative Psychoanalytic Theories ITheory IV: Klein, British and American Object Relations TheoristsFreud and Classical TheoryPsychoanalytic Technique III
Clinical Seminar IClinical Seminar IIIClinical Seminar VClinical Seminar VII
Culture and PsychoanalysisPsychoanalytic Technique IIGender and SexualityElective
Comparative Psychoanalytic Theories IITheory III: Contemporary Relational PsychoanalysisSelf Psychology and Contemporary Intersubjective ModelsContemporary Theory and Technique
Clinical Seminar IIClinical Seminar IVClinical Seminar VIClinical Seminar VIII

The Personal Analysis

MIP regards the personal analysis as a vital part of a candidate’s clinical training. Because MIP does not have a training analyst system, candidates may freely select a psychoanalyst  who has graduated from a qualified analytic training program who is in good ethical standing and who meets the approval of the MIP Training Committee. Since the privacy of the treatment is deeply respected, the personal analyst does not report to the Institute. Candidates are required to be in a 4 times per week analysis to begin their supervised analytic cases. Candidates who have finished an analysis prior to entering MIP may request that analysis be accepted as sufficient to meet the requirement.

Supervised Analyses

Three supervised analytic cases are required for graduation. Two of the analytic patients are traditional analytic cases. The third analytic case may be a traditional analysis or a “non-traditional case” with modified parameters (see the description below for Non-traditional Case). A total of 200 hours of supervision is required to graduate. As we do not have a group of designated training and supervising analysts, our students are free to choose their supervisors from a large range of analysts both local and international.

The candidate may begin to conduct analyses under supervision with the approval of the Candidate Advisory Committee (CAC) once a personal analysis has either begun or earlier personal analysis has met the requirement. Supervisors are chosen by the candidate and approved by the Training Committee. In general, MIP encourages the choice of supervisors from different theoretical persuasions in order to have a fully comparative experience.

The Non-traditional Case. As one of their supervised control cases, MIP candidates are encouraged to consider working with someone who will expand their experience and potentially contribute to thinking about who can be treated in psychoanalysis and how less traditional ways of working may be creatively understood and framed. Modifications of the frame, such as the frequency of meetings will be guided entirely by what is clinically feasible with this individual—perhaps more meetings, perhaps fewer. This “non-traditional” case may differ in terms of diagnosis, of conceptions about who is “analyzable,” and what those terms mean. The evolving meaning of these variations can then be shared, discussed and further understood in MIP clinical seminars.

The Final Project

For the Final Project, each candidate is required to choose a topic of theoretical or clinical interest to develop and write an expression of his/her own creative involvement with psychoanalysis. Topics chosen have been highly varied and are always tailored to individual interests. While some projects are written (e.g., paper for publication), others are taught (e.g., teaching a “Psychoanalytic Dimensions” course). The Institute is open to creative and different modes of expression in the final project. The project is developed and presented to the Candidate Advisory Committee as a culmination of candidates’ training. Many projects have been subsequently published.

Candidate Advisory Committee

The Candidate Advisory Committee (CAC) is comprised of all three Supervisors, an appointed Liaison to the MIP Training Committee, and an Advisor if the candidate wishes to include one. The committee meets annually to discuss and promote the candidate’s progress during his or her training experience, to review ongoing cases, and to support the final project. The annual meeting is an opportunity for candidates to talk about their experiences both educationally and clinically and to invite the “team” to partner with them in setting further training-related goals.

Additional Required Programs and Workshops

MIP offers many opportunities for further learning and specialization beyond the core 4-year curriculum. The Training Program in Psychoanalysis offers specialized weekend workshops to candidates throughout their 4 years.  Required courses include: Infant Research, the work of Beatrice Beebe, Development, taught by Norka Malberg, a course on D. W. Winnicott and a course on Ethics. In addition, candidates are required to take three additional MIP Continuing Education Courses. Most of these courses are available during the winter intersession.



The decision to seek formal psychoanalytic training is a very important personal, professional, and developmental step for a mental health clinician. The admissions process itself offers an opportunity to explore with colleagues in the field the educational and professional significance, meaning, and desires that inform this decision for each applicant. Below you will find information on the application process for both the Training Program in Psychoanalysis and the Advanced Candidate Training Program in Psychoanalysis.


MIP accepts applicants from five clinical disciplines: psychology, psychiatry, social work, mental health counseling, and psychiatric nursing. Applicants must be independently licensed in their field and in good ethical standing. In addition, applicants from non-clinical disciplines with an interest in psychoanalysis are encouraged to apply for the academic program. We are interested in the collective contribution that a diverse, interdisciplinary community can make to psychoanalytic education.


The Admissions process involves the following two components:

  • Completed Application and Provision of Supporting Materials (see link below)
  • Three Interviews (to include the discussion of two clinical cases)

Application Deadline

The application deadline for 2023 has passed. Applications to be considered for entry into the annual September class for 2024 will be accepted until May 1, 2024.

Interviews are conducted during the months of April and May, after which the committee convenes for a series of meetings to consider each applicant in detail. Committee decisions are finalized by July 1, and classes begin mid-September.

Application Fees

Application Fee: $130 (due with the completed application)


The application outlines all the materials you must submit.

The Committee

Graduate psychoanalysts of MIP comprise the Admissions Committee. Information obtained during the interviews, as well as private information contained in the personal statement is treated with strict confidentiality within the committee. Information regarding applicants’ personal treatment history is available only to the Institute Administrator and the Committee Co-Chairs. Committee Members recuse themselves from all group discussions involving applicants with whom they have a current or prior treatment relationship. The following individuals currently serve on the Committee:

  • Kate R. Sullivan, Ph.D. (Chair)
  • Raquel Limonic, LMHC
  • Tamar Vishlitzky, LICSW
  • Robert J. Riethmiller, Ph.D.
  • Marta Casas, LMHC
  • Caleb Englander, LICSW

The Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis has a strong and consistent commitment to equal opportunity and does not discriminate in any of its policies on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, nationality, race, religion, and sexual orientation.


If you would like to speak with someone regarding the Candidate or Advanced Candidate Training Programs in Psychoanalysis, or about the admissions process, application, and interviews, please contact us.

Fees and Tuition

  • Application Fee $130, due with the completed application
  • Tuition per academic year: $1600 ($800 per semester)
  • Annual MIP membership dues: $395 for candidates
  • Fees for the personal analysis and supervision of the training cases are arranged by the candidate and the analyst or supervisor

Continuing Education Credits

Please contact us for information about professional credits.