Why was AAPE created?

The idea for an independent educational and consulting body was debated for many years before AAPE was established. One key issue driving the debate was the conflict within APsA between membership goals and educational standards. Externalization of a standard-setting body was considered in various forms. When APsA was reorganized in 2016 based on the 6-point plan, the in-house standards body was sunsetted, and institutes and centers were given the choice of setting their own standards as long as they met APsA standards. Certain institutes/centers chose to create and join AAPE, which was created in 2017 as an independent, non-profit, educational and consulting organization for any institute that voluntarily chose to follow AAPE standards. AAPE requirements for psychoanalytic education emphasized clinical immersion and resulting excellence in candidate education. AAPE standards meet or exceed APsA and IPA standards.


What does it mean to join AAPE?

Joining AAPE means joining hands with experienced colleagues who see educational standards and consultation as a living, breathing enterprise striving towards excellence. Psychoanalytic education is a fiduciary responsibility to those we train, patients we treat, and the greater community we serve. Joining AAPE also means working with such colleagues to modify standards based on new findings or new consensus in a principled, responsible way, without undue influence from politics, whether on the local or national level. 


How does AAPE work with training programs?

  • Several AAPE institutes have been involved in creative solutions to longstanding problems, including certification, progression, and the training and supervising analyst system. AAPE is able to facilitate collaboration and share innovations and best practices for the benefit of your particular institute. AAPE provides immediate ongoing consultation to meet the demands of psychoanalytic education. AAPE provides access to clinician-educators from diverse psychoanalytic training programs who are experienced in supporting high standards in the education of candidates in these challenging modern times. Member institutes/centers participate in the evolution of standards and policies. Sharing of faculty and curriculum resources is encouraged.

  • AAPE endorses optimal immersion that provides a framework for life-long learning of the difficult craft of psychoanalysis. AAPE requires 4-5 times per week frequency for training analysis and supervised analysis out of the conviction that such immersion allows the candidate to optimally experience transference and countertransference in real time. Experience with different genders is also required. AAPE believes that by providing education with optimal immersion, candidates are better informed as to how alterations of this frame may impact treatment when external circumstances may require such changes.

  • AAPE encourages national certification for all graduates, and requires it for training and supervising analyst appointments as a reliable national peer review by colleagues across the nation, external to the home center or institute.

  • AAPE requires that training and supervising analysts be appointed to conduct analyses and supervision of candidates. AAPE regards the appointment of training and supervising analysts (TSA) as a developmental step in the analyst’s professional and personal growth. The appointment procedure is a peer review process approved by AAPE to be transparent. It has evaluative, developmental, and aspirational goals and is conducted by experienced clinicians.

  • Finally, the ability to have regular site visits allows for your institute to have an external consultative process that provides valuable insights and recommendations to improve your institute’s educational system. Strengthening an institute’s recruitment, retention and education of candidates, and development of all faculty is a primary goal of AAPE. Self requested, optional consultations on focused questions or issues are also available to enhance growth and ensure a healthy future.


I’ve heard that AAPE was not part of the 6-part plan. Is this true?

The American Association for Psychoanalytic Education fulfills the goals of the 6 point plan. The summary of the plan, announced by Mark Smaller, past president of APsaA on May 8, 2015 is stated below:
“The essentials of our proposals are: the externalization of the regulatory functions of the Board on Professional Standards (italics added), the creation of a Department of Psychoanalytic Education to facilitate psychoanalytic education through promotion of contact and consultation between APsaA institutes, and development of the Executive Council’s ability to oversee the Association’s functions and govern effectively.” The American Association for Psychoanalytic Education (AAPE) is the implementation of the externalization of the regulatory functions of the Board on Professional Standards. The American Board of Psychoanalysis (ABP) is the implementation of the externalization of the certification functions. Both are consistent with the six-point plan and with all modern professions.


My institute hasn’t joined AAPE but I want to adhere to AAPE standards for becoming a training analyst. Is this possible?

Future training and supervising analysts of non-AAPE institutes will be appointed using local variations of the IPA standards, or may choose standards quite different from IPA standards. Whether a local program wishes to use AAPE standards for TSA appointment will be up to the local program. AAPE is sympathetic with the wishes of those who want to adhere to AAPE standards. At this time, we ask that you contact AAPE to be updated on any new AAPE procedures for TSA appointment for colleagues not in AAPE member-institutes.


Can I be involved in AAPE if my institute hasn’t joined?

Yes. Individuals who support AAPE’s standards and are interested in participating in AAPE’s committees are most welcome. We have several individual members of AAPE committees whose institutes are not AAPE members. We value involvement from any individual analyst who is interested in the thoughtful development and evolution of psychoanalytic education, establishment of standards, site visits, and faculty and curriculum development. For details, contact AAPE.

Back to Top