The choice of secular psychoanalysis
With regard to training, the School of Freudian Psychoanalysis has always been and will remain a traditional association for training and research within the international psychoanalytic movement. In this sense, it is a secular psychoanalytic association, essentially neither medical nor psychological, although it has both doctors and psychologists within its ranks, and is not, by choice, one of the psychological or psychotherapy training associations.
The reason for excluding itself from the regulations of Law 56/89 (on the establishment of a Register of Psychologists and the regulation of psychotherapy), was mainly due to the fact that the School considered the psychotherapeutic training required by the State as insufficient, as well as essentially alien and limiting for an adequate psychoanalytic preparation. The School does not claim that there should be no form of rules that comply with regulations that Italian or European legislation prescribe for the liberal professions, but believes that Law 56/89 was not designed, as openly admitted by the legislator*, for psychoanalysis and is therefore inadequate to maintain the expertise, practice and research of analytics in its entirety.
General eligibility criteria
The School accepts individuals from all backgrounds for psychoanalytic training, following an interview or series of interviews aimed at ascertaining the actual cultural and moral level of each applicant, as well as their mental equilibrium.
In the event that all these elements are deemed acceptable, an ad hoc study programme will be defined together with the applicant that will take into account the applicant’s specific cognitive requirements. During these studies, the applicant will be tutored by one or more members of the School. In turn, the applicant will be registered as a member and will only be required to pay the annual membership fee, since study support will be provided free-of-charge. The applicant will also be required to participate in and support all activities undertaken by the School: courses, workshops, seminars, meetings, conferences and study days, as well as cooperate in its publications. Applicants will submit to at least one set of analyses by a School analyst of their own choosing, so that they may gain direct experience of the workings of the unconscious mind. In the event that the Admission Commission should deem the basic cultural and moral levels acceptable, but feels that the mental equilibrium of the applicant would not allow the proper exercise of the role of analyst, the applicant will be required to undergo an actual, complete analysis.
Subsequently, should the applicant demonstrate sufficient cultural and psychological equilibrium to perform the role of analyst appropriately, they will be encouraged and helped to take this path. Later, for a reasonable period, applicants will be required to discuss their clinical cases in clinical seminars with one or more colleagues regularly, in order to acquire the most effective technical and clinical methods. This service is also provided free-of-charge by the School.
Anyone who has already received psychoanalytic training elsewhere, or believes they have done so, and who wishes to be registered as a member of the School shall be assessed by an ad hoc committee to evaluate their compliance with the standards of the School. In any event, in order for the committee to express their findings, there shall be a period of personal analysis, which may continue even after the acceptance of the applicant.
The quality of the School is very high, so the applicant should be very clear about the level of commitment required. The training of a psychoanalyst requires a broad and diverse cultural, as well as personal analytic training, under the guidance and the direction provided historically by the international psychoanalytical movement and the founder of psychoanalysis. According to Sigmund Freud, a degree in medicine is not required, nor is it preferred, in order to practice psychoanalysis. As a new science, sui generis, psychoanalysis requires a specific and new form of training programme. Among the disciplines indicated by Freud are physiology, the history of religion, comparative mythology, literature, philosophy, etc. In addition, nowadays there are linguistics, biology, methodology and epistemology, psychopathology, anthropology, ethnology and others. Currently, the disciplines that a psychoanalyst should study cannot be found in the programmes of the faculties of medicine and psychology. In order to follow a path that is suitable for the scientific and cultural preparation of an analyst, a cross-faculty programme is required; it would be necessary to attend lectures and take examinations in disciplines found in the faculties of medicine, literature and philosophy, biology, sociology, etc.
All this does not exist in the scenario of Italian universities. This is the area in which the School has striven throughout these years, making up for these deficiencies found at university level in other ways.
The training programme for the profession of psychologist, as that of doctor, as well as psychiatrist, differs from that of psychoanalyst.
Furthermore, as a science sui generis, psychoanalysis does not require further training such as a specialisation in psychology or medicine, but is a stand alone discipline.
Since the birth of psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic institutions and associations established in the diverse international psychoanalytical movement, of various theoretical orientations, following the eventful history of psychoanalysis, were and still are responsible for the training of psychoanalysts. Our School’s self-regulation in the training of psychoanalysts was inspired by these traditional criteria.