History & Aim of The New York Psychoanalytic Institute & Society


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Chapter 1


  Throughout their collective history, The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute have maintained a respected position of national and world leadership in the advancement of the science of psychoanalysis. The New York Psychoanalytic Society, founded on February 11, 1911 by Dr. Abraham A. Brill, with the enthusiastic support of Sigmund Freud, is the oldest psychoanalytic organization in the United States. Brill, who, since 1908, had been meeting with a small group of psychiatrists to discuss the revolutionary discoveries of Freud, not only organized and lead the New York Psychoanalytic Society but lectured extensively on Freud's theories at the meetings of the Neurology and Psychiatry Section of the New York Academy of Medicine, as well as at the other scientific forums throughout the city. Brill's Freud translations, together with the prolific writings of other early members of the New York Society, brought psychoanalysis to a steadily widening audience of American readers.

    Shortly after the first world war, a sizeable contingent of psychiatrists from New York, to further their psychoanalytic education, obtained personal analyses with Freud in Vienna. On their return to New York, these analysts, together with Brill, formed a nucleus of teachers and leaders within the New York psychoanalytic community. This nucleus was gradually augmented by other analysts, both American and European, who had been formally trained in the institutes of Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna. In the years following World War I, the more experienced analysts within the group provided the only psychoanalytic instruction then available in the United States through their individual consultations, private seminars, and personal analyses. The success of its first series of lecture courses in 1922 led The New York Psychoanalytic Society to appoint its first Educational Committee, the better to organize and improve the teaching functions of the Society, especially as they applied to physicians wishing to become psychoanalysts. Throughout the twenties, the Educational Committee developed training procedures for psychoanalysis, and by 1925 formalized these as the basic elements of psychoanalytic education: personal psychoanalysis, seminars and case supervision.    As the demand for psychoanalytic knowledge and training steadily increased, the members of The New York Psychoanalytic Society, and their Educational Committee, established The New York Psychoanalytic Institute on September 24, 1931, thereby creating the first psychoanalytic training center in the United States. 

   The emigration in the late nineteen-forties and early fifties of a number of eminent European psychoanalysts displaced by the upheavals of World War II further enriched their American colleagues’ tradition of psychoanalytic excellence. The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute have been the professional home of many psychoanalytic luminaries, including Arlow, Bornstein, Brenner, K. R. Eissler and R. Eissler, Greenacre, Hartmann, Isakower, Jacobson, E. Kris and M. Kris, Lewin, Loewenstein, Mahler, Nunberg, and A. Reich, each a major influence on the advance of contemporary psychoanalysis.    The New York Psychoanalytic Institute has been educationally autonomous and financially self-supporting since its inception, and the Educational Committee—now a part of the Institute—is responsible for the undergraduate psychoanalytic training program which is accredited by the Board on Professional Standards of the American Psychoanalytic Association. The New York Psychoanalytic Society has been a Constituent Society of the American Psychoanalytic Association since the latter’s inception as a Federation in 1932.


   The aim of The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, as stated in each’s constitution, is:    to advance the development of psychoanalysis based on the scientific discoveries of Sigmund Freud, to teach psychoanalysis, and to promote scientific psychoanalytic education  and research. 

   The New York Psychoanalytic (as the Society and the Institute are collectively known), in its commitment to the refinement of psychoanalytic theory and technique through its adherence to the scientific attitude, and by its maintenance of the highest ethical and training standards, perpetually rededicates itself to this constitutional purpose and thereby remains the pedagogic and clinical standard-bearer for our profession. The members of The New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute have built upon the legacy of Sigmund Freud’s contributions, developing classical psychoanalytic theory and practice in the sphere of ego-psychology, in the orientation of conflict and compromise formation, and in the wide application of the concept of unconscious fantasy. So if you need help on writing a research paper about psychoanalysis, just call us. As the new millennium has ushered in a pluralism of psychotherapeutic schools and practices, The New York Psychoanalytic, in its commitment to the progressive refinement and rigorous application of psychoanalysis, maintains an active, constructive, and critical dialogue with these developments.

    The diverse endeavors of the Society and Institute—our commitment to excellence in education embodied in our prestigious training programs in Adult Psychoanalysis, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, and the Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program; our leadership in the advancement of psychoanalytic science, through the cutting-edge investigation of the interface between psychoanalysis and neuroscience of the Neuro-Psychoanalysis Program (the first of its kind in the world); our service to the community exemplified by the Treatment Center (established in 1948, one of the oldest psychoanalytic treatment and referral services in the United States, offering affordable psychoanalytic treatment), the Parent Child Center (offering guidance and education by child development experts to parents and their young children), and the Extension Division (presenting exciting educational curricula to both the wider professional and lay communities), to cite but a few of our programs—are illustrative of the preeminence, influence, and leadership The New York Psychoanalytic continues to provide to The United States and to the world into the Twenty-first Century. 

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Tara J. Riddle

Great, that you decided to make a research about such powerful and famous institute!


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