National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis

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The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) was first organized in 1948 by Theodor Reik and a small group of student analysts. In 1950 it was incorporated as a educational membership association, under the laws of the State of New York. It is comprised of a training institute and a membership organization. NPAP is committed to training individuals from within the tri-disciplines of medicine, psychology and social work as well as other qualified persons who possess a master's degree in the humanities.

Theodor Reik immigrated to the United States in June of 1938 and settled in New York City. Because he possessed a PhD in psychology, rather than a degree in medicine, he was denied full membership in the New York Psychoanalytic Society. When Freud (1926e) wrote The Question of Lay Analysis, in defense of Theodor Reik, he defined the philosophy to which NPAP has been committed since its inception. That is, not merely that a medical degree was not necessary for the practice of psychoanalysis but that restricting training exclusively to those who had such a degree evidenced a misunderstanding of what psychoanalysis was and could become.

Reik was most known for his many publications, and particularly for Listening with the Third Ear (1956). His small group of students, from outside the medical field, has grown to number, as of 2000, more than 350 members and more than 175 enrolled students. During its history, NPAP has significantly influenced psychoanalytic training, particularly in New York City. A majority of the founding members of such organizations as The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), The New York Freudian Society, and the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training, were trained by NPAP. Many organizations outside New York City also trace their origins to NPAP.

By supporting groups and organizations dedicated to keeping psychoanalytic training open to qualified individuals, NPAP has been a leading force in the United States for the training and recognition of non-medical psychoanalysts. Although committed to its Freudian tradition, NPAP also encompasses object relations theorists as well as self-psychology theorists. Its institutional structure is democratic, as evidenced by its allowing student-candidates to choose their own analyst and control analysts from among the entire membership list. Training analysts are not permitted to report back to the institute. The training requirements are: (1) the completion of twenty-six courses, (2) a minimum of a thrice-weekly analysis for four hundred and fifty sessions, (3) one hundred and fifty sessions of control-analysis supervision and (4) case presentation, before a board of five members. Upon graduation all members are approved as training analysts and control analysts.

Since the 1960s NPAP has sponsored a referral service, The Theodor Reik Clinical Center for Psychotherapy, offering low-cost psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy to qualified persons. The Association publishes The Psychoanalytic Review as well as the in-house journal News and Reviews. It has an extensive psychoanalytic library and holds monthly scientific meetings.

NPAP is a member of the World Federation for Mental Health and a founding member of The Council of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and The International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education.

Gerald J. Gargiulo

See also: Lay analysis; New York Freudian Society; Psychoanalytic Review, The ; Reik, Theodor; Second World War: The effect on the development of psychoanalysis; Splits in psychoanalysis.


Freud, Sigmund. (1926e). The question of lay analysis. SE, 20: 177-250.

Reik Theodor. (1948-1956). Listening with the third ear. New York: Grove Press.

(1956). The search within. The inner experiences of a psychoanalyst. New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy.

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National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis

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National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis