A fundamental requirement for psychoanalytic education and clinical training is an established identity as a professional whose conduct assures a firm and enduring commitment to responsibility and ethical patient care. Psychoanalytic education begins with the selection process and therefore requires much care and thought. Selection is based on an applicant’s suitability, eligibility and readiness. It is the official position of the Branches that an applicant is never excluded on the basis of age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, racial or ethnic background. Psychoanalytic training involves the study of theoretical and clinical principles, and aims towards scholarly achievement, personal growth and the development of psychoanalytic clinical expertise. This training is based on a tripartite model with three complementary learning experiences: a personal analysis, theoretical and clinical seminars, and supervised psychoanalytic work.
1. Personal Training Analysis. A personal analysis during the course of candidacy aims to help the candidate achieve a high degree of character, stability, openness, flexibility and maturity. It is essential that the candidate develops the capacities for self-observation, self-reflection and ultimately ongoing self-analysis which are necessary for the capacity to maintain a psychoanalytic stance. These qualities are necessary if the future analyst is to be sufficiently free of those psychological vulnerabilities and character traits that may interfere with psychoanalytic work. The personal analysis should result in direct appreciation of the power and nature of conscious and unconscious processes, including conflicts, affects, defenses and their interrelationship. It should also result in conviction as to the therapeutic value of the analysis of transference and the value of gaining understanding of the role of childhood experiences, memories and fantasies. Accepted candidates make their own arrangements with an approved training analyst of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society. The personal training analysis will take place a minimum of four times a week throughout a substantial part of the training. The fee is by private arrangement with the Training Analyst. The candidate will be required to have entered into a personal analysis six months prior to the commencement of the seminar program. The candidate’s personal analysis forms the core of the educational experience around which the supervised work is built. The work of the curriculum helps to organize and conceptualize these experiences and by case discussions, broaden the candidate’s exposure to a wider variety of cases.
2. Supervised Psychoanalysis. Candidates will be required to treat two patients under supervision. The first case is to be supervised weekly for two years. It is recommended that the second case also be supervised for two years; however, if after one year the analysis is thought by the Supervisor to be proceeding satisfactorily, application may be made to the local progress committee for consideration that the training requirements for this case has been satisfied. Sometimes a third patient is recommended and it is recommended that one case of both gender is seen.
3. Theoretical Seminars. To foster the development of clinical skills, the curriculum is designed to integrate theoretical course work with direct practice. Theoretical and clinical seminars take place over a period of four years. The first year includes an Infant Observation Seminar. The Candidate observes a family with a newborn baby and participates in weekly seminars with a senior analyst to discuss these observations. In the second, third and fourth year and until qualification candidates attend weekly theoretical and clinical seminars. Candidates also have the opportunity to meet candidates from the other Branches during three weekends a year in each of the three Branches where they present their clinical work to their colleagues and senior analysts in that city.
4. Clinical Seminars. Clinical Seminars are conducted from the conclusion of the first year. Candidates can discuss or present clinical work to their fellow candidates and a senior supervising analyst.
5. Child and Adolescent Training. Psychoanalytic candidates who are treating an adult supervised case may apply to the Branch for training in the psychoanalysis of children and adolescents. The training has its own theoretical and clinical seminars; the core of this training is the treatment of two children (aged 2-5 and 6-12) and one adolescent (aged 13-17) under supervision of a senior child psychoanalyst. The two training streams may be able to be conducted concurrently.
6. Fees. Candidates pay an annual training fee to cover administrative training costs. Fees for personal psychoanalysis and supervision are a matter of arrangement between the candidate and their training psychoanalyst of choice.
7. Qualification. On satisfactory completion of the training program, the Candidate is entitled to apply for Associate Membership of the APAS. Associate Membership automatically confers Membership of the IPA. Associate members may, after a designated period, become full Members of the Society by presenting a clinical paper to a committee of senior clinicians.
8. Applying to train. The Branches welcome all enquires and applications. Prospective applicants who require further information or guidance before applying can contact the Chair of the Admission/Selection sub-committee in their State, who will arrange an informal and confidential meeting. All Prospective applications who fulfill the prerequisites or who wish to discuss their situation are offered a preliminary interview. Following this interview, those who meet the criteria are invited to complete the application form and to give the names of four referees. Applicants then have two or three personal interviews and the Admission/Selection sub-committee evaluates the application. If applicants are unsuccessful, reapplication may be made in not less than a year. Three applications in all can be made.