Overview & Mission

BGSP’s highly engaged community is deeply committed to furthering humanity’s understanding of the unconscious forces that drive us, helping individuals lead more fulfilling lives, and addressing the societal and cultural challenges we continue to face. The School’s individualized approach to learning helps students uniquely shape their professional lives, producing clinical mental health counselors, scholars, and psychoanalysts who are able and confident in their abilities to remove impediments to the lasting growth of which virtually all people are capable.

BGSP was founded in 1973 in order to expand the reach of psychoanalytic understanding, which the School integrates into all its graduate degrees and community programs. At the time, psychoanalysis was generally seen as an elite psychotherapy, limited to neurotic patients who could afford frequent therapy sessions.

BGSP broke this mold by emphasizing “modern psychoanalysis,” a body of theory and technique designed to resolve deep resistances to changing repetitive, destructive patterns of behavior. Unlike their contemporaries, modern psychoanalysts designed interventions to resolve resistances regardless of a person’s level of pathology, at a pace acceptable to the patient[i]. So, “modern psychoanalysis” allowed more people to benefit from psychoanalytic treatment.

With resolution of resistance as the crucial factor, the School also recognized how powerful psychoanalytic understanding can be in areas outside of the clinical office. For instance, BGSP alumni work psychodynamically as community-based counselors, executive coaches, classroom teachers, program managers, and team leaders in agencies and businesses.

Just as in treatment, BGSP’s founders believed that resolving a student’s resistances to learning about the unconscious is the key to learning to work psychodynamically, regardless of academic background. Any graduate student who is motivated and capable of learning to understand unconscious factors in human motivation and behavior can learn to work with people at a deeper level.

More than 50 years after its founding, BGSP opens its doors to qualified students from all corners of the world to learn powerful approaches for understanding psychodynamics and effecting change in diverse settings, clinical and otherwise.

[i] See Spotnitz, H. (1985). Modern Psychoanalysis of the Schizophrenic Patient: Theory of the Technique. New York, New York: Human Sciences Press; Spotnitz, H. (1976). Psychotherapy of Preoedipal Conditions: Schizophrenia and Severe Character Disorders. New York, New York: J. Aronson; and Spotnitz, H. and Meadow, P.M. (1995). Treatment of the Narcissistic Neuroses. New York, New York: J. Aronson.