The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis is a membership organization and training institute distinguished by its adherence to the principle that psychoanalysis is a discipline that can be practiced by nonmedical professionals. NPAP is open to training applicants from all fields of study and is accepting of many viewpoints within the field of psychoanalysis.
Our founding principles were established by Theodor Reik, who came to the United States in June 1938, seeking refuge from Nazi persecution. Upon arrival Reik was confronted by professional discrimination even though he had been trained by Sigmund Freud and had been a prominent member of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society. He was denied full membership in the American Psychoanalytic Association because he was not a medical doctor. Freud was aware of this basis for discrimination. In 1926 he had written “The Question of Lay Analysis” supporting Reik’s qualifications and insisting that psychoanalysis was an independent profession, not a subdivision of medicine or any other field. In 1927 Freud added a “Postscript” arguing that any effort to restrict or regulate psychoanalysis on the basis of extraneous credentials was “more or less equivalent to an attempt at repression.”
The American psychoanalytic establishment disregarded Freud’s position, but this did not deter Theodor Reik. During the 1940s, a small group of analysts began to gather around Reik to advance their training through informal seminars under his leadership. This group became the nucleus for NPAP. In 1948 a psychoanalytic training institute was established. In 1950 NPAP was incorporated as a membership organization under the laws of the State of New York. In 1977 NPAP was divided into an Association and a Training Institute.
Today the NPAP Training Institute is a member of the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis (ABAP), the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP), the Association for Autonomous Psychoanalytic Institutes (AAPI), and the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE). The NPAP Membership Organization is a member of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). By way of honoring and upholding the vision handed down from Freud and Reik, NPAP is committed to psychoanalysis as an independent profession, to providing sound training for competent practice to all qualified applicants, and to furthering public understanding of psychoanalytic principles.
The NPAP Membership Association is an organization of psychoanalysts dedicated to the advancement of psychoanalysis as a science and a profession. The Association is separate from the Training Institute and has its own distinctive structure, functions, and Board of Directors. Founded by Theodor Reik, it has evolved into a vibrant professional association of analysts representing the diversity of theories that comprise contemporary psychoanalytic inquiry. Our diverse membership is active in research, publication, legislation, public education, and cultural affairs, thus ensuring a psychoanalytic contribution to the community at large.
In order to qualify as a member of the Association, an applicant must be a graduate of the NPAP Training Institute. Under special circumstances, the Board of Directors may invite into membership outstanding psycho-analysts who have trained at other institutes. At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, an applicant who has trained elsewhere may be invited to present a case for evaluation.
Senior Member: An applicant for Senior Membership must have been a member of the NPAP for at least three years and must have attained a level of professional achievement commensurate with the various criteria for Senior status as described in the Association’s by-laws. The application procedure consists of sending a letter to the Chair of the Admissions Committee outlining the criteria under which Senior Membership is being requested.
Additional Membership Categories: Other categories of membership include Honorary Member and Special Member. A Special Member is a nonanalyst who is distinguished in applying psychoanalytic concepts or principles within a different profession or field of study. An Honorary membership may be awarded for eminence in the field of psychoanalysis or distinguished public service in the field of interpersonal relations.
Some NPAP Programs
Each year the Association sponsors a series of Scientific Programs addressing theoretical, clinical, and research issues in psychoanalysis. Nationally and internationally known psychoanalysts, invited by the Program Committee, have presented original papers for NPAP, the psychoanalytic community, and the general public, and some of these papers have been published in our journal, The Psychoanalytic Review. At one of these programs, the Oscar Sternbach Memorial Lecture Award is presented annually to an esteemed member of our profession. The Program Committee also arranges the Analyst in Print series that provides for presentations by NPAP members who have recently published books. A film series, Psyched about Movies, offers a film screening and discussion led by one of our members.
The Continuing Education Committee presents a wide range of ongoing and special programs designed to address clinical and theoretical aspects of our work. We offer Master Teaching Lectures by NPAP members, panels comparing clinical approaches, workshops and study groups on subjects such as gender and sexuality, attachment theory, relational theory, dream work, writing, and the psychodynamics of family relationships.
As part of professional development, the committee sponsors post-graduate coursework in Psychoanalytic Supervision. It is open to all members and is required for Training Institute members who were NPAP graduates after 1993 and who intend to supervise candidates.
The Neuro-Psychoanalytic Program includes lectures on the relationship between neuroscience and psychoanalysis and also maintains an ongoing Clinical Study Group. It is the first psychoanalytic study group in the United States that accepts patients with focal brain lesions (resulting from strokes and other injuries) for psychoanalytic treatment and study. Dr. Mark Solms is the Educational Consultant for the group.
The Continuing Education Committee is dedicated to offering programs that reflect the diverse interests of our members and contemporary devel-opments in the field. Through our programs members can participate in the excitement of continued learning.
Neuropsychoanalytic Clinical Study Center
We are the first clinically based neuropsychoanalytic psychotherapy center in New York City. Our licensed clinicians have extensive training and experience and offer services throughout the greater metropolitan area. Our center was established in 2004. Our treatment approach focuses on the individual’s inner world- emotions, thoughts and memories, both conscious and unconscious. This mode of psychotherapy facilitates the reestablishment of a sense of self and helps the person deal with his or her altered life circumstances. The Center is sponsored by NPAP, one of the oldest and largest psychoanalytic organizations in the United States.
The Colleague Assistance Committee
An NPAP member in distress is free to consult any member of this Committee without charge. In keeping with the highest standards of confidentiality, no one else within NPAP will ever know the nature of this consultation or even that consultation occurred.
Ad Hoc Committees
The Finance/Administrative Committee represents both Boards and meets monthly to discuss and make recommendations to the Boards on financial and administrative matters involving both the Institute and the Association. It is comprised of the Presidents, the Vice Presidents, the Treasurer, the Administrator, and a Member at Large from each Board chosen by the respective President. When necessary, the committee consults with NPAP’s accountant, or other individuals who can offer relevant advice and information that aid in managing the financial and administrative needs of the organization.
Ad Hoc Fundraising Committee
The Fundraising Committee, an ad hoc committee formed by the Association and Institute Boards, was initially created to raise funds for designated projects and programs not funded through NPAP’s annual budget. Through the Fundraising Committee’s 2013-14 initiative, NPAP’s Douglas Maxwell Library expenses were supplemented and the new Theodor Reik Archive was funded in order to archive and showcase in new display cases a portion of NPAP’s extensive collection of memorabilia of NPAP’s founder and Freud’s protégé Theodor Reik. Additional contributions raised through our fundraising initiatives established NPAP’s endowment fund. Our Legacy Giving plan encourages members, candidates and friends to consider NPAP in their estate planning and contribute to NPAP’s long-term presence as a vital contribution to psychoanalysis. These gifts are expressions of our pride in our Association and Institute and faith in its continued success.