BGSP is committed to providing high quality psychoanalytic education, clinical training, and research to a diverse student community. We prepare our graduates to apply their understanding of emotional and mental functioning to endeavors that benefit individuals and society.
BGSP’s mission statement reflects its founders’ interest in increasing the public’s access to both psychoanalytic education and treatment. The founders emphasized the principles of “modern psychoanalysis,” a body of theory and technique designed to facilitate resolution of people’s deep resistances to changing their repetitive, destructive patterns of behavior. Unlike their contemporaries at the time, modern psychoanalysts felt that psychoanalytic interventions could be used to resolve such resistances regardless of the patient’s level of pathology. Modern psychoanalytic theory and technique thus allowed a wider range of patients to be treated psychoanalytically. Likewise, the founders believed that resolution of a student’s resistances to understanding psychoanalytic material is the chief requirement for becoming a psychoanalyst, regardless of prior field of study. That is, any graduate student who is motivated and capable of learning the material may be trained in psychoanalysis. This belief led to the idea, also distinctive from contemporary thought at the time, that psychoanalysis is a distinct body of knowledge best learned independently from other mental health disciplines.
A corollary to the founders’ interest in increasing access to psychoanalysis is that psychoanalytic theories and methods prove beneficial in settings other than the clinical office. That is, psychoanalysis has a defined body of knowledge, theories and methods that inform fields of inquiry beyond its own, a concept known as “applied psychoanalysis.” Applied psychoanalysis” represents the principle that understanding unconscious processes such as symbolic communication, resistance, repetition, transference and countertransference can be used effectively to inform other areas of study both academically and professionally. It is valuable not only in the psychoanalyst’s office, where individual change takes place, but also in other clinical situations, in educational settings, groups, organizations, communities, or anywhere else that destructive patterns of behavior interfere with progress. In addition to its professional applications, the body of knowledge known as psychoanalysis informs many aspects of life and societal issues that arise from human existence and interaction, leading to a natural dialogue with scholars in such fields as sociology, anthropology, the humanities, and neuroscience, to name a few. The sharing of information between differing fields of study and schools of thought serves, through a dialectical process, to enhance the body of knowledge of all participants and ensures that psychoanalysis does not become static. Thus, BGSP seeks to educate students who will use psychoanalysis to understand emotional functioning and promote clinical change, as well as those who use psychoanalytic thought in concert with other disciplines to understand social and cultural phenomena and/or promote social change.