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CMPS training program


Course Descriptions:


PT 7 Individual Psychoanalysis An approved training analysis is required of all candidates during their enrollment in the CMPS training program. (See graduation requirements.) Documentation of analytic hours must be provided annually.


PT 8 Group Analysis Sessions of an approved group therapy analysis may be applied toward requirements for graduation. GT 190 Group Experience in Modern Psychoanalysis (30 clock hours credited as PT 8, Group Analysis) Through participation in a two semester experiential group, beginning students explore multiple transferences, the use of the group in recognizing individual repetitions, and the techniques that apply to group leadership and group membership.


GT 190 Advisement Orientation Group

This is a one-year experience to orient students with each other and the learning process at CMPS. The class provides students the opportunity to consider and discuss all aspects of their training. (Recommended for the first two semesters of training.)


I.  THEORIES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: THE MATURATION PROCESS This group of courses offers students an opportunity to learn how repetition unfolds in psychoanalysis. Maturation courses investigate knowledge of normal and pathological development, as well as theories of regression, and relate cases to stages in the developmental process. Neurophysiological sequences are related to the vicissitudes of instinctual life as they affect emotional development.

PT 140 Socio-Cultural Influences on Maturation and Psychopathology (45 clock hours) This course explores the effect of the social world on the individual. It examines how socio-cultural experiences and affiliations shape personality and the effect that family, ethnic group, gender, culture, and race have on identity development and psychopathology are examined. In addition to the class work, there is a weekly lab component in a setting chosen by the student.

PT 141 and PT 142 required for Certificate Candidacy.

PT 141 Human Development: How the Mind Unfolds, Semester 1 (30 clock hours) This course explains the constitutional and environmental factors that contribute to maturation in the first stage of life. It considers patterns of infantile experience from the earliest conflict states, symbiosis, omnipotence, envy, and oral/anal eroticism. Aspects of character structure emanating from the preverbal infantile experience with an exploration of destructive and constructive drives are examined in order to study normal and pathological development.

PT 142 Human Development: How the Mind Unfolds Semester 2 (30 clock hours) The emotional dynamics of the child in the oedipal stage are paramount to development. Children in this age group struggle with beginning transformations of the destructive drive and its influence on character, including oppositional syndromes and other defenses that develop to deal with aggressive impulses. The course examines early somatization struggles as well as the role of fantasy and screen memories in maturation. It looks at specific forms of the Oedipus complex within the family romance.

Two of the following three courses are required for graduation:

PT 143 Latency (30 clock hours) This course focuses on the operation of the drives during latency through adolescence to early adulthood. It includes normal and abnormal patterns, reorganization of the psychic structure during puberty, and use of regression. The maturational process is studied as it unfolds in the development of an individual body and mind.

PT 144 Adolescence (30 clock hours) In adolescence, the struggle toward maturation causes psychic turmoil. The goal is to study maturation as it unfolds in the development of an individual’s body and mind, to explore adolescent drive issues, conflicts, and resolution, and to understand the second reworking of early issues within the framework of greater biological maturity.

As unresolved early childhood conflicts reemerge, resistances to adulthood can lead to various social and psychological problems. The course explores adolescent conflicts, difficulties with object relations, and possible solutions to the conflicts and difficulties.

PT 147 Adulthood (30 clock hours) This course identifies the central developmental tasks and inherent conflicts typical of adulthood. Young adults struggle with pregenital and genital aims, including the repetition of incestuous longings and the fear of intimacy. Middle-aged and older adults face new realities: limitations of possibility, physical and sexual changes, menopause, the departure of children, marital readjustments, and the awareness of death. Also examined are early conflicts that re-emerge in the aging process and transference/countertransference and resistance issues in the treatment of aging patients.

II.  PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY This area of study gives students a broad foundation in classical and contemporary theories of psychoanalysis. Four courses required for Certificate Candidacy.

PT 150 Concepts of Group Psychoanalysis (Elective) (30 clock hours) This course considers the phenomenology of the setting, the handling of resistances, and the role of management of impulses in group interactions as they pertain to the modern psychoanalytic treatment of groups, families, and couples.

151a Basic Psychoanalytic Theory: Part I (30 clock hours) Core psychoanalytic concepts are defined, as are the central issues on which psychoanalysts have found a common base. Changes in structure from preverbal to verbal periods of life are studied; the expression of drives, their role in character development, and the implications of the pleasure principle and the repetition compulsion for behavior are considered.

PT 151b Basic Psychoanalytic Theory: Part II (30 clock hours) This course continues the study of major theoretical concepts in psychoanalysis, focusing on human motivation, the nature of mind, and the important forces in character development. Emphasis is on the interplay of the drives in specific character types and its implications for the psychoanalytic process and the nature of cure.

PT 152 Structural Theory: Madness in Literature. (30 clock hours) Using characters from literature, the student seeks psychoanalytic understanding of severe charactertype structures, including: 1) paranoid-depressives with obsessional or catatonic defenses; 2) confused mental states found in the schizophrenias; and 3) the addictive perverse personalities who repeat conflicts of which they remain unaware.

PT 154 Comparative Psychoanalysis. (30 clock hours) Major trends in psychoanalytic theory including Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, ego psychology, object relations, selfpsychology, and modern psychoanalysis are studied in relation to a general theory of human motivation. The course explores how concepts of drive, object, and self combine to form a current motivational theory. Theoretical similarities and differences as to concepts such as transference, countertransference, and resistance are also explored.

PT 155 Dream, Fantasy and Symbolic Communications. (30 clock hours) Freud’s concept of the wish-fulfilling function of dreams is studied along with some of the current neurobiological research on dreaming. Understanding of primary process and the language of the unconscious (condensation, displacement, reversal, visual imagery, symbolism) are used to illustrate how Freud and contemporary analysts interpret dreams, delusions, fairy tales, symptoms, and creative work.

PT 156 Modern Psychoanalytic Theory of Technique. (30 clock hours) Prerequisite: Certificate Candidacy. Many concepts have been developed regarding the range of the analyst’s behavior in beginning treatment, in recognizing and confronting resistance, and in discovering what leads to cure. Students consider how verbal and nonverbal interventions can be derived from analysis of induced countertransference reactions and used to establish and work through narcissistic and object transferences.

PT 157 Transference and PT 158 Countertransference. (30 clock hours each) These courses encompass an in-depth study of the concepts of transference and countertransference. The history of development and use of the terms will be studied from their beginnings to the present. Both clinical and theoretical literature will be read to elucidate the concepts and to give examples of how they are used. Case material contributed by class members will further illustrate theory and application.

PT 159 Unconscious Fantasy. (30 clock hours) Unconscious fantasy as it operates between drive pressure and reality is studied as it is manifested in literature, myth, scientific research, clinical material, and seemingly rational thought. Readings will include the theoretical controversies that have grown up around this concept, which is basic to psychoanalytic thinking.

PT 160 Narcissism and Aggression. (30 clock hours) The relationship between narcissism and aggression is studied in depth with particular attention to those disorders in which self-hate predominates over self-love. The meaning of the narcissistic defense is clarified and the treatment techniques that have been devised to work with narcissistic disorders are discussed with reference to clinical material.

III. THE HISTORY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS This sequence of courses traces the origins and development of Freud’s psychoanalysis, from its beginnings to his last paper in 1939.

Two courses required for Certificate Candidacy.

PT 161 History of Libido Theory in Freud. (30 clock hours) Freud’s papers on human sexuality and libido theory, from the seduction theory to infantile sexuality, the perversions, transference love, and the concept of Eros as a binding force are studied. Contemporary ideas are discussed in relation to Freud’s understanding of the part played by the libido in sexuality, civilization, and the binding of destructive forces.

PT 162 History of Drive Theory in Freud. (30 clock hours) Freud’s later papers are studied: the dual drive theory and the repetition compulsion; the division of the psyche into ego, id and superego; the sources of anxiety; the effects of innate destructiveness on the prospects for civilization; interminable analysis; and Freud’s final summing-up of the state of analysis in 1939. The continuing influence of these papers on contemporary thought is examined in relation to current treatment methods and the appreciation of the role of destructive aggression.

PT 163 The Emergence of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (Elective) (30 clock hours) This course introduces students to the historical context in which contemporary schools emerged and evolved. It traces the lines of development within each theoretical system and notes how theorists from different schools influenced each other. Students investigate the a priori conceptions that underlie each theoretical system: the basic constitutive building blocks of experience; what is primary and what is derivative; and the implications of each system for explaining motivation, personality development, and the role of the psychoanalyst.

IV. CLINICAL STUDIES After taking PT 184, a course focusing on the diagnosis of psychoses and severe mental disorders in the Fieldwork Level of the program, students select a placement at a psychiatric hospital or similar institution. During the placement, students take three semesters of PT 185, a seminar in which patient dynamics and student concerns about the fieldwork placements may be discussed. PT 186, a final diagnostic course dealing with less severe pathologies, is taken before advancing to the Consultation and Referral Service level. At the Certificate Candidacy Level, clinical studies focus on resistance, transference and countertransference issues.

Casework at the Consultation and Referral Service is conducted under supervision.

Clinical courses required for Certificate Candidacy application: three semesters plus one summer of PT 111; PT 184; three semesters of PT 185; PT 186.

PT 184 Primitive Mental States. (30 clock hours) This course imparts a psychodynamic understanding of symptoms, core conflicts, and characteristic defenses in psychotic, narcissistic, and personality disorders. It is taken before the fieldwork placement. Students who will not have fifty sessions of analysis upon completion of PT 184 should defer it until they are able to meet this requirement.

PT 185 Clinical Experience in Institutional Settings (Three semesters). (30 clock hours each) Prerequisites: One semester of training analysis and PT 184. Taken with fieldwork placement, this course integrates understanding of basic psychoanalytic psychopathology, including the vicissitudes of primitive conflicts and defenses, with student experiences of observing patients in mental hospitals or other placement settings. All aspects of the fieldwork placement experience, from administrative procedures to interacting with patients, are discussed in this seminar.

PT 186 Beyond Psychosis: Conflict and Defense In the Neuroses and Character Disorders. (30 clock hours) This course deals with a range of pathologies likely to be met in patients at the Consultation and Referral Service and in current private practice. It is taken after at least one year at the fieldwork placement.

The following clinical courses require Certificate Candidacy and Consultation and Referral Service status.

PT 2610 Beginning Treatment: Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis. (30 clock hours) This practicum is a forum for discussions of any aspect of early treatment ranging from concerns with establishing a contract and dealing with treatment-destructive resistances to the recognition of characterological repetitions in both patients and therapists that impede progress. This course is open to students who have achieved Certificate Candidacy and Consultation and Referral Service status. Two semesters are required for graduation.

PT 2611 Advanced Case Practicum. (30 clock hours) This advanced case seminar is open to students who have achieved Certificate Candidacy and who have had at least two semesters of PT 490, Consultation and Referral Service. It focuses on the dynamics and treatment of ongoing psychoanalytic cases through the use of joining, reflection, confrontation, and interpretation. Two semesters are required for graduation.

PT 2612 Advanced Case Practicum. (15 clock hours) Prerequisite: Research Candidacy. As in PT 2610 and PT 2611, cases will be presented and discussed, but with a particular focus on the deepest level of unconscious motivation. The course will provide a setting for advanced candidates to discuss and elucidate the psychodynamics of a variety of cases in the middle and later stages of treatment. Level 3 students register for PT 2612 every semester until graduation.

PT 210 Forming and Maintaining Psychoanalytic Groups: Resolution of Group-Destructive Resistances. (30 clock hours) (Elective) This course will focus on appropriate selection of group members, group transference and resistance, and countertransference issues that lead to the development of group cohesion.


The research curriculum guides candidates from an understanding of trends in research within the human sciences to an introduction to psychoanalytic research methods. It helps the student in the selection of areas for study in an individual case and in the writing of the research project.

Completion of PT 171 and PT 172 or PT 271 and PT 272 is required for Certificate Candidacy.

PT 171 Systematic Investigations and Ethics. (30 clock hours) This course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of research methodology. Students examine what is basic to scientific inquiry and study how the human sciences investigate emotion. Ethical issues that arise in the practice of psychoanalysis are discussed.

PT 172 Clinical Investigations and Ethics in Psychoanalysis. (30 clock hours) Prerequisite: PT 171. This course introduces students to a variety of research methodologies that have been used to study psychoanalytic questions. Contemporary methodological concepts are introduced and the problems inherent in psychoanalytic investigations involving clinical material are explored. Students learn how psychoanalytic methods are used to infer hidden meanings behind irrational behaviors, beliefs, perceptions, and emotions. Ethical issues that arise in the practice of psychoanalysis are discussed.

PT 271 Research Practicum and Ethics (30 clock hours) The objectives of this course are to discuss how psychoanalytic research is conducted on a single case, to learn how to write the narrative, including a description of dynamics and an unanswered question about the meaning of the transferences, to study how the therapist listens in order to form an impression of the patient’s emotional experience, to discuss how to select relevant clinical literature, and to examine the ethical issues involved in the practice of psychoanalysis.

PT 272 Findings in Psychoanalytic Research and Ethics (30 clock hours) Course objectives are to study the application of the proposed research methodology to the collection of observable data in the single case study, to infer from the observed data answers to the research question, to study how inferences lead to further questions and elaborations of the methodology, and to examine the ethical issues involved in the practice of psychoanalysis.

PT 524 Psychoanalytic Writing Practicum (30 clock hours) This course provides a small class environment in which Research Candidates can work productively toward completion of the beginning chapter(s) of the final project.

PT 527 Research Supervision (15 clock hours) This course, which replaces PT 525 and PT 526 Directed Research, provides six 50-minute sessions of individual work with a Research Supervisor, scheduled approximately every two weeks throughout the duration of one semester at the mutual convenience of the Research Candidate and Research Supervisor.

Level 3 students register for either PT 524 or PT 527 every semester until graduation. The decision as to which of these options should be selected is based on the recommendation of the Research Committee and the Fellow.

VI.  CLINICAL SUPERVISION Case supervision is required from the fieldwork externship through graduation. One hundred fifty hours of psychoanalytic supervision are required. PT 111 and PT 211 are taken in groups of three. The group setting allows students to observe the supervisory process, and gain experience with cases other than their own.

PT 111 Fieldwork Placement Case Supervision. Required: A minimum of two semesters plus one summer. Registration limited to groups of three. Taken concurrently with PT 185. Discussion of cases from the fieldwork placement. This course is designed to facilitate understanding through listening and identifying dynamics.

PT 211 Supervision of Consultation and Referral Service Cases. Taken concurrently with first year internship at the Consultation and Referral Service. Required: a minimum of two semesters. Registration limited to groups of three. Special emphasis is placed on early resistances in psychoanalytic treatment.

PT 311 Individual Supervision of Consultation and Referral Service Cases. (Privately arranged). Prerequisite: A minimum of one year at the Consultation and Referral Service and of PT 211, and approval of the Fellow. Students present their Consultation and Referral Service cases in individual supervision. A minimum of fifty hours with one supervisor other than the PT 411 supervisor is required.

PT 411 Control Analysis of a Consultation and Referral Service Case. (Privately arranged). Prerequisite: Fellow approval. The candidate presents one case to an approved control analyst, a minimum of one hour for every four hours of patient contact. In-depth study of the single case focuses on resolution of resistances in the treatment and comprehensive understanding of the patient’s dynamics. A minimum of fifty hours with one supervisor other than the PT 311 supervisor is required.

PT 490 Consultation and Referral Service Laboratory. Prerequisite: Certificate Candidacy and Consultation and Referral Service approval. Students meet weekly with their fellows to practice presenting cases, learn treatment service procedures, and receive academic advisement. Fellows monitor student progress through the program and approve registration each semester.


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