Core Competencies

American Board For Accreditation in Psychoanalysis (ABAP) releases Core Competencies for Psychoanalysis.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Core Competencies for Psychoanalysis. Your comments will be taken into consideration and the final draft will be presented at the API and Board of Trustees meetings on November 17th

The release of forty Core Competencies for Psychoanalysis is the culmination of more than two years of research, reflection, dialogue, and refinement by the ABAP Committee on Accreditation and its Core Competencies Sub-committee. The members of these committees represent eight psychoanalytic institutes and a variety of theoretical orientations. Refinement of the ABAP Core Competencies occurred following a survey assessment carried out in collaboration with the Assembly of Psychoanalytic Institutes (API) – the body comprising the accredited member institutes of ABAP.

The development of Core Competencies by ABAP represents our commitment to excellence in accredited psychoanalytic education. A focus on Core Competencies reflects a shift from a model of accreditation that evaluates how an institution is organized and what it is teaching, toward a model that evaluates whether an institute’s curriculum is designed to produce competent psychoanalysts, how well that curriculum is being taught, and how well the institute’s candidates are integrating that instruction.

Following the public comment period additional modifications will be considered prior to the submission and ratification of the ABAP Core Competencies at the ABAP API and Board of Trustees meetings on November 17, 2017 in New York City.

Thank you for your feedback.

ABAP CORE COMPETENCIES FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS © ABAP 2017

 

General Psychotherapeutic Competencies for Psychoanalysts Foundational Psychoanalytic Competencies Psychoanalytic Assessment and Intervention Competencies Competencies that Integrate the Practice of Psychoanalysis
Operate within legal and ethical guidelines Understand development from one or more psychoanalytic perspectives Assess the suitability of a patient for psychoanalysis Maintain an analytic attitude – a set of guiding psychoanalytic stances and values that focus the analyst’s attention and intention
Engage interpersonally in a professional manner Understand motivation from one or more psychoanalytic perspectives Conduct psychoanalytic assessment Recognize various domains of patient experience in prioritizing interventions8
Be sensitive to and willing to work with diverse identities of individuals and groups1 Understand psychopathology from one or more psychoanalytic perspectives Formulate a psychoanalytic diagnosis Apply psychoanalytic models flexibly in response to the patient’s individual context and conscious and unconscious needs
Recognize the importance of socio-cultural influences on behavior, cognition and emotion Understand core concepts of psychoanalysis according to one or more theoretical orientations5 Establish and maintain a psychoanalytic frame6 Make use of the psychoanalytic relationship as a vehicle for change
Understand lifespan development Understand therapeutic action from one or more psychoanalytic perspectives Work with both a patient’s internal and external realities Capacity to create and defend a comprehensive psychoanalytic case formulation
Understand biological contributors to behavior, cognition, and emotion Facilitate the exploration of unconscious experience7 Make appropriate use of psychoanalytic supervision and consultation9
Be aware of non-psychoanalytic models of psychotherapy Employ a range of psychoanalytic interventions Evaluate and incorporate research on psychoanalysis and ancillary fields10
Conduct global patient assessment2 Be aware of, process, and effectively engage the transference Make use of the personal training analysis to work through personal and emotional issues that may interfere with psychoanalytic treatment
Make diagnostic formulations Be aware of, process, and effectively engage counter-transference
Understand the interaction of affects and psychopathology Identify and respond to enactments within the psychoanalytic relationship
Identify appropriate interventions Recognize and work with the patient’s defenses and resistance
Respect the patient’s socio-environmental and intrapsychic realities Recognize psychoanalytic indicators of therapeutic change
Navigate the emotional content of sessions, including shifts and endings3 Maintain a consistent focus on core analytic aspects of treatment
Understand empirical research4

 

Notes for Competencies:

  1. Such as racial, cultural, and religious identities; sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or political affiliation.
  2. Global assessment includes: personal history, symptoms, mental status, and readiness for treatment, as well as assessment of appearance, demeanor, suicidality, and homicidality.
  3. ‘Navigate’ refers to the awareness of, understanding of, moving about in, and addressing the emotional content of sessions.
  4. For example, research on effectiveness of psychotherapy and the effectiveness of psychotherapy in comparison with other forms of treatment, patient variables or therapist variables in psychotherapy, as well as research in neuro- and cognitive sciences, anthropology, and sociology.
  5. Core concepts include such things as symbolism, interpretation, transference, countertransference, resistance, defense, psychic structure, unconscious process, fantasy, dream work.
  6. The psychoanalytic frame includes such things as the physical setup of the consulting room; the use of couch or chair; the use of the fundamental guideline of free association; the frequency, time, and duration of sessions; establishment of fees, to include method of payment, use of insurance, or third-party payment; handling of changes to the schedule and vacations; guidelines for contact between sessions; the issue of physical contact; and contact with outside parties.
  7. Unconscious experience refers to dreams, fantasies, slips of the tongue, parapraxes, daydreams, unconscious/derivative communication, the analytic third – i.e. any manifestation of the unconscious in analysis.
  8. Domains include such things as surface versus depth, level of patient functioning, conscious versus unconscious processes, somatic states, or transitory states – the movement/variation of intervention across levels within a session.
  9. For example, does the candidate become defensive during supervision, seem to incorporate feedback, retain and assimilate concepts presented during supervision, or recognize limitations and know when to seek consultation?
  10. Includes both qualitative and quantitative research. Ancillary fields include health research, neuro- and cognitive sciences, and studies in sociology, anthropology, religion, philosophy, literature and the other humanities.