In accordance with IPA standards, the psychoanalytic training program has three distinct elements: four years of theoretical and clinical seminars, three supervised clinical cases, and the candidate’s personal analysis. The last occurs at a minimum frequency of four sessions per week in order to provide intensity and depth.
Both supervision and analysis of candidates is conducted by IPA training analysts who are qualified on the basis of their extensive clinical experience, the quality of their clinical analytic work, their contributions to psychoanalytic scholarship and education, and other criteria.
The first year of training entails an intensive and extensive study of Freud’s theoretical and clinical concepts. This is followed in subsequent years both by the study of specific topics and the introduction to other psychoanalytic perspectives. Over the four-year training period, candidates are exposed to approximately 70 “continuous case” seminars offering intensive, detailed, and practical clinical training.
Weekly seminars provide an opportunity to master the basic concepts and principles of psychoanalysis as a science and a therapy. Classes in theory are based on readings focused on the broad spectrum of psychoanalytic theory: Freud, ego psychology, object relations, Klein, self psychology, and Lacan—along with current developments in relational psychoanalysis, neo-Kleinian theory, and contemporary European and American Freudian elaborations. Experienced psychoanalysts also teach clinical seminars, with an emphasis on technique. Concepts such as transference, counter-transference, enactment, empathic listening, and analyzability are presented from different theoretical perspectives. Class discussion is encouraged as a way of heightening candidates’ learning experiences. Class size is limited to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and therapeutic skills.
Beyond academically surveying the literature on specific topics from multiple theoretical perspectives, the TIP offers intensive clinical training in specific areas. For example, in keeping with the Institute’s distinctive emphasis upon working with the unconscious, the topic of how to work with dreams in psychoanalysis is studied through a series of seminars on this subject in each of the four years.
Candidates develop their clinical psychoanalytic skills by psychoanalyzing three patients, at a frequency of four or five sessions per week, with weekly supervision by three different supervisors chosen from the Institute’s roster of training analysts. Seeing appropriately assessed and selected patients at this frequency deepens the therapeutic process in ways that are characteristic of psychoanalysis as distinct from other, less intensive modes of psychotherapy.
The TIP carefully monitors the candidate’s progress throughout the training program in a variety of ways in order to provide necessary feedback, encouragement, and support. The Institute Curriculum Committee continually seeks input from the candidates on all aspects of the program and suggestions for improving it. Each class chooses a representative who joins this Committee in order to facilitate communication and consultation.
It should be noted that during their training, candidates are not permitted to advertise themselves as, or refer to themselves as, a “psychoanalyst” until they have successfully completed the clinical and academic requirements established by both the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
Applicants normally possess either a medical degree or a doctorate in psychology, social work, the humanities, or the social sciences, or a master’s degree in social work. A background of clinical experience in psychotherapy is strongly recommended for all applicants. These criteria ensure that candidates will be studying with classmates who are experienced and sophisticated clinicians and scholars.
Suitable applicants will be interviewed by three separate members of the Institute Admissions Committee. The reports of these interviews will then be considered along with the applicant’s curriculum vitae and letters of reference.
TIP tuition fees will increase to $4500 per year effective for the September 2025 academic year. This amount includes 12% which goes to the CIP, (Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis) IPSO (International Psychoanalytic Students Organization) fees, and payment for your PEPWEB. It is worth becoming involved with IPSO both within the CIP and at the international level. At the international level there are exchanges available to study abroad at another Institute. Participating as well in IPSO at the CIP and NAPsaC levels generates more opportunities to bond with those who will likely become lifelong colleagues and friends.
For further information about the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute, or to obtain application materials, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.