The low-residency, accelerated track towards the Doctor of Psychoanalysis (PsyaD) degree provides the opportunity for already certified psychoanalysts to earn a doctoral degree in psychoanalysis through distance learning, combining video conferencing and weekend intensives in Boston.
In conjunction with their prior psychoanalytic training, students are expected to achieve the learning goals of the full PsyaD program. Through their participation in the accelerated program in particular, students are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Graduates demonstrate understanding and mastery of comparative psychoanalytic theory and ability to apply this understanding to clinical cases
- Graduates demonstrate the ability to integrate theory, empirical research, and clinical observation in executing and presenting a satisfactory and original dissertation research project
- Graduates demonstrate a thorough consideration of at least two contemporary issues in psychoanalysis
Course of Study
Students in the Hybrid Accelerated PsyaD program fulfill the following requirements to graduate:
- Successful transfer of the equivalent of at least 36 credits of psychoanalytic coursework, Students lacking certain coursework upon admission may complete it during the doctoral program
- 37 program credits, including 10 credits of research methods course work, 6 credits of case seminar, 11 credits of additional coursework in psychoanalysis, and 10 credits of directed research supervision as the student works on the dissertation
- 450 hours of training analysis (150 of which may be group analysis) and 200 hours of psychoanalytic supervision (usually this will be transferred from the certificate training program. Students lacking the complete number of hours upon admission may accumulate hours during the doctoral program, unless they are residents of New York State — New York residents complete all hours prior to admission)
- Successful completion of the dissertation and oral defense to the faculty
Please refer to the program catalog for exact graduation requirements
The low-residency, accelerated track provides an opportunity for certified psychoanalysts to earn the Doctor of Psychoanalysis degree by transferring in their psychoanalytic training and completing additional coursework and a dissertation. Students conduct research in psychoanalysis at the doctoral level, examine psychoanalytic theory and clinical intervention from a comparative perspective, and study contemporary issues in psychoanalysis. For instance, students study the interaction of somatic and emotional factors in the psyche, as well as ethics for psychoanalysis. With guidance from the faculty, the student is expected to initiate and conduct a scholarly piece of research that applies psychoanalytic concepts to an area of the student’s interest. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor when they begin the program. Once the research chair is selected, the chair serves as the academic advisor. Coursework includes 10 credits of coursework in research and research methods, 6 credits of an advanced comparative clinical seminar, 11 credits of additional coursework in contemporary issues in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic ethics, and 10 credits of directed research supervision as the student works on the dissertation. Students who have graduated from analytic training but have not met the standard admission requirements may need to engage in additional coursework or clinical work.
Research and Dissertation
Students develop an original dissertation question when ready, usually over the course of the first semester. The student presents a brief prospectus or concept paper to the Research Committee for initial discussion and approval of the research question, rationale, and method. The Research Committee assists the student in selecting readers to advise the student in the development of the dissertation proposal. Over the course of the dissertation research, the student works with a BGSP Chair and two readers, one of whom might be an outside reader. Outside readers are approved by the Research Committee. When the proposal is fully developed, it is approved by the student’s research committee, and the student undertakes the data collection, analysis, and writing of the findings and discussion. Doctoral dissertation projects may be single case studies, multiple case studies, theoretical studies, or studies applying psychoanalytic theory or technique to other kinds of observations and data, e.g., in the educational setting, literary works, group functioning, psychoanalytic training.
Time to Program Completion
Assuming the student has graduated from an ABAP-accredited institute or its equivalent, the accelerated track requires a two-year commitment to two or three courses per semester, for a total of 37 credits.
For the accelerated track of the Doctor of Psychoanalysis program, BGSP welcomes applicants who have earned an eligible post-master’s certificate in psychoanalysis. Qualified applicants will have already earned the equivalent of at least 36 credits of post-master’s psychoanalytic coursework, including psychopathology, psychoanalytic theory, developmental theory, dreams and symbolic processes, clinical intervention, transference, countertransference, and resistance, as well as case seminars. Suitable applicants will also have significant psychoanalytic clinical experience, will have received extensive psychoanalytic clinical supervision, and will have undergone a training analysis. In order to apply, prospective students submit to the Director of Admissions the completed application form, fee, and supporting materials which include:
- Official copies of certificate, undergraduate, and graduate transcripts,
- Two current letters of reference,
- A statement about interest in this program,
- Documentation of completed hours of training analysis and supervision,
- A paper to provide evidence of the critical thinking, writing skills, and psychoanalytic understanding required to conduct doctoral research in psychoanalysis. This paper demonstrates that the candidate is qualified to conduct doctoral research in the field and serves as the Qualifying Exam.
The application is complete once the above materials are submitted. The file is then reviewed by the Admissions team. Those applicants selected for further consideration are scheduled for two interviews, in person, with doctoral faculty members. The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to express their personal interest in further psychoanalytic study, and to learn more about the Graduate School and its programs. The Admissions Committee then reviews all components of the applicant’s file to make an admission decision. Applicants will be evaluated individually to determine their level of acceleration within the doctoral program based on their previously earned post-master’s psychoanalytic coursework. It is likely that applicants who have graduated from institutes that are accredited by the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis (ABAP) or the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education (ACPE), or are affiliated with the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) or the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), will have completed the required post-master’s coursework. This coursework should include: psychoanalytic theories of human development, studies of Freud and later psychoanalytic theorists, clinical theories of transference and countertransference, psychoanalytic psychopathology, courses in dreams and unconscious fantasy, clinical case seminars, and basic research methods in the human sciences. Graduates of institutes who cannot document studies in these areas will be required to take the appropriate coursework at BGSP.
BGSP does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic status in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other School-administered programs.
Students attend two weekend intensive sessions per semester in Boston, for two years. The remaining classes are held via video conferencing over the internet.
- BGSP is a member of NC-SARA and is thereby approved to offer distance education programs in every state except California.
- Students in the low-residency accelerated track towards the Psya.D. degree have already had psychoanalytic institute training and need to rely on that training if they plan to be licensed in psychoanalysis. The accelerated track towards the Psya.D. degree is not intended to fulfill licensure requirements in New York State and BGSP will not recommend accelerated graduates for professional licensure in New York State. For more information on licensure in psychoanalysis in New York State, please visit the Office of the Professions at http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/