Celebrating our 70th Anniversary in 2018, the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis is one of the oldest and largest psychoanalytic membership organizations and training institutes in the country. We make the distinction that psychoanalysis 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 New York Psychoanalytic because he was not a medical doctor. Freud was aware of this bias in the psychoanalytic community. 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), and the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE). 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.