“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” — Theodore Roosevelt
The Institute is a unique setting for those in the helping professions to come together, interact and learn. Especially for those new to the field of mental health and/or new to psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute community can help you begin to deepen your practice and understanding.
“For most mental health professionals, the graduate training experience does not fully prepare one to be a skilled, knowledgeable and confident therapist. While we continue to learn from our patients throughout our professional lives, we believe that advanced formal training is crucial to our efforts to provide the highest level of clinical competence. (These) programs are designed to enrich psychotherapeutic skills and to provide a background in psychodynamic principles and the theoretical basis of clinical work.” — American Psychoanalytic Association
Explore this page for resources about Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
Resources: Learn more…
Which program is right for you? Explore our Educational programs:
Community and Continuing Education Classes and Events – Find out more HERE
Group Supervision Opportunities – Find out more HERE
Windows into the Therapy Process – For clinicians or mental health students who are curious about what it is that psychodynamic therapists actually do, we offer a “window” into the process and a chance to connect an introduction to theory with actual clinical material. Each class will begin with a brief theoretical description of a core clinical concept, followed by the presentation and discussion of material from a long-term psychotherapy process. We welcome lively discussion, dialogue and debate. Find out more HERE
Clinical Practicum/Internship Opportunities – – An intensive learning experience in the theory and practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy for graduate or post-graduate level students who are enrolled in or have completed clinical programs for masters and doctoral degrees in social work, psychology or counseling. Find out more HERE
Fellowship Opportunities – Applicants must be at least on track for provisional licensure and have completed graduate or post-graduate clinical programs with degrees in social work, psychology, or counseling. Find out more about the Clinical Post-Graduate Fellowship Clinic HERE and Research Fellowship HERE.
Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (APP) Program – 2-year, 30-week per year series of seminars (3 hours per week) and small-group supervision (2 hours per week). The curriculum provides a thorough presentation of the theoretical, developmental, and clinical basis of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Open to students and graduates of accredited degree programs such as psychology, psychiatry, social work, psychiatric or hospice nursing, pastoral or educational counseling. Find out more HERE.
Open Analytic Theory Classes – Each year, the Institute opens several classes in the Analytic Training program to non-Candidates. Qualified individuals seeking to deepen their knowledge of psychoanalytic theory and practice can apply to enroll on a course-by-course basis. Find out more HERE.
Analytic Training Programs – 4-year program, curriculum includes theoretical and clinical coursework; supervised psychoanalysis of three patient; Candidates will have three different supervising analysts offering exposure to a variety of differing viewpoints; Candidates will undertake a personal psychoanalysis with an Institute Training Analyst of the Candidate’s choosing. Those accepted to the Analytic Training programs are current candidates. For a list of current candidates click HERE. Find out more about Candidacy and becoming a psychoanalyst HERE.
Institute Podcasts and YouTube Videos
Empathy with William Kelly, MD
Empathy: In all twenty-three volumes of Freud’s works the term only appears fourteen times. However he regarded it as basic to the process and the practice of psychoanalysis. He referred to empathy as a “mechanism by means of which we are able to take up any attitude at all towards another’s mental life
Self psychology is a relatively new theory within the field of psychoanalysis. The name was chosen because of gradual recognition that the difficulties some people experience have to do with self-esteem regulation and maintenance of a solid sense of self in time and space, often referred to as self cohesion. Previously, these were considered to be narcissistic problems and usually not amenable to psychoanalysis. Like all psychoanalytic theories, self psychology attempts to explain human motivation.
Dr. Mark Solms shares his understanding of human motivation, and his rethinking of historical concepts of the mind using modern neuroscience. The Lecture gives insights regarding the implications for clinical work of the changing views regarding instinctual motivation.
Three important things to know about depression are: it is common, it hurts and it is eminently treatable. Depressive experiences, such as the sadness that follows a disappointment, or the mourning of a lost loved one, are a part of everyone’s life. The more severe and persistent forms of depression, major depression and dysthymia, are remarkably common, afflicting 19 million Americans each year and are manifested by symptoms such as lowered mood, apathy, and disturbances in appetite, sleep, energy and concentration. In its most extreme form, depression is a condition so exquisitely painful that suicide may too easily be seen as a tempting way to escape the torment.
Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Both psychoanalysts and philosophers are committed to examining and giving meaning to human experiences. By keeping a sense of wonder alive we are all engaged in thinking about how we might live and what makes life worth living. The first philosophers who called themselves Skeptics doubted almost everything and developed methods for challenging all claims, which led to a suspension of judgment. Their reason for thus keeping doubt alive was to attain the quietude or tranquility that comes from never being held responsible for claims or having to defend a position of any sort. Out of what seems at first a destructive mode of thinking and interacting, emerges, however, as the 18th century British philosopher David Hume realized, a challenge to keep inquiry alive. To settle for an answer closes down further questioning. Here Skepticism provides a strong tie between philosophy and psychoanalysis: the commitment to keep alive the freedom to explore and wonder and thus to ensure an ongoing process of discovery.
One major discovery from psychoanalytic experience and observation demonstrates the existence of unconscious mental processes which (though not consciously recognized by the individual) exert a significant and modifying impact upon feelings, motivation, and patterns of behavior. Some unconscious mental processes have meanings which are reflections of early “forgotten” experiences and relationships (“the past unconscious”), while others are more appropriately focused on current factors and forces which are temporarily blocked from awareness (“the present unconscious”).
Achieving skill in conducting dynamic psychotherapy is a never-ending developmental process that continues throughout the professional life of each therapist. Theoretical discussion and reading can provide a scaffold, but genuine learning requires direct personal clinical experience with a variety of patients. While some therapists resort to self-teaching and a “trial and error” approach, these methods tend to be limited in effectiveness. Nor is it necessary for each individual to “reinvent the wheel”. Psychotherapy supervision offers a situation that allows the supervisee to use the skills, experience, and understanding of a senior therapist as a guide to enhance the educational process of a developing therapist.
Why You Should Try Therapy Yesterday | Dr. Emily Anhalt | TEDxBoulder –
A quick 10-minute video you should make the time to watch
The stigma associated with going to therapy is slowly dropping, but who is it really useful for? This talk is for anyone who has considered trying therapy (and even more for people who haven’t). Listen to Dr. Emily Anhalt share her personal experience of therapy both as a patient and as a therapist, as well as compelling reasons why you should give it a try.
Articles of interest…
I’m a Psychoanalyst—and Here’s Why I Love It
A first-person testimony on the satisfaction of the psychoanalytic profession. Click on photo at right to read.
Why Does Talk Therapy Take So Long?
The case for open-ended psychotherapy. In our modern world, we want convenience—fast food, fast deliveries, fast therapy—and we’re certain there’s an accelerated, cheaper way to cure human suffering, a McTherapy or Therapy Prime if you will. To be sure, there are shorter-term therapies aimed at alleviating symptoms, but my patients and I are interested in transformation—therapy that changes not just our symptoms but changes us, makes us healthier, wiser, kinder versions of ourselves. Psychotherapy that goes deep can accomplish this but not on an assembly line. Effective therapy takes, well, as long as it takes. Click on photo at right to read.
What I Learned About Psychotherapy from Toni Morrison
A therapist’s lessons about patience, courage, and the limits of understanding. Click on photo at right to read.
The Therapy Relationship in Psychodynamic Therapy versus CBT
Therapy is a relationship, and patients bring their templates and patterns into it. As therapists, we enter the gravitational field of patients’ problematic relationship patterns, experiencing and participating in them. Through recognizing our own unavoidable participation in these patterns, we can help our patients understand and rework them. This is therapy that changes lives. This is the heart of psychodynamic therapy. Click on photo at right to read.
Understanding Lying and Secret-Keeping in Psychotherapy
From its inception, psychotherapy has always been considered a place where hard truths can and should be disclosed. Freud’s “fundamental rule” was that clients should try their damnedest to say whatever was on their minds without holding back. To his eventual credit, he realized that this was near impossible. But since then, in virtually all brands of therapy, clients are encouraged to tell the truth, therapists are trained to deal with inevitable resistances to client truth-telling, and the outcome of the work is often dependent upon the joint efforts of both to make better sense of previously withheld or distorted information. Click on photo at right to read.
The Scientific Standing of Psychoanalysis
My aim is to set out here what we psychoanalysts may consider to be the core scientific claims of our discipline. Such stock-taking is necessary due to widespread misconceptions among the public, and disagreements among ourselves regarding specialist details, which obscure a bigger picture upon which we can all agree. Agreement on our core claims, which enjoy strong empirical support, will enable us better to defend them against the prejudice that psychoanalysis is not ‘evidence-based’. Click on photo at right to read.
The Second Coming of Sigmund Freud
Just as the old psychoanalyst seemed destined for history’s trash heap, neuroscientists are resurrecting his most defining insights. Psychoanalytic concepts like repressed impulses and unconscious drives remain important and relevant in this era of the neurobiological study of the brain. If that seems surprising, so will this: Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, actually began his career as a neurobiologist, dissecting the nerves of crayfish. But in his late 19th-century era, brain science was primitive. Even the basics of how a neuron worked were still mysterious. Freud abandoned objective science, developing a subjective approach to understanding the mind based on what his unhappy patients told him about their inner lives. Psychoanalysis, the discipline he created, began as a technique to help miserable people. It became the 20th century’s single most influential theory about the human mind. Click on photo at right to read.
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