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History of the Organization

Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute was founded in 1999 by a small group of psychoanalysts interested in establishing a training program for individuals seeking advanced education in psychoanalysis from a British object relations perspective. The initial board of directors for NPSI, when it began as an International Psychoanalytical Association sponsored study group, included Maxine Anderson, Austin Case, Elie Debbane, Theodore Dorpat, Kenneth King, Sid Perzow, Marianne Robinson, and Stephen Rush.

The initial study group was named the Center for Object Relations (COR). As the group formed, two distinct directions for growth emerged. In time, each evolved into a separate organization. The Northwest Family Development Center strove to educate psychotherapists, particularly developing programs to work with young families. It exists today as COR-NWFDC. The training center for future psychoanalysts developed into Northwest Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

As is customary with groups seeking to affiliate with the IPA, the early years of NPSI’s development were overseen by a sponsoring committee of senior training analysts including Brian Robertson (Chair), Theodore Jacobs, and Earnest Lawrence. The committee offered guidance in all aspects of the organization’s growth during twice yearly visits between 1999 and 2004. These efforts were richly rewarded when NPS was granted full component society status by the IPA at its biennial congress in 2007 (Berlin).

During the formative years NPSI sought collaborative contact with other local psychoanalytic societies and participated in forming the Seattle Inter-Institute Committee comprised of all local psychoanalytic training institutes. One of the enduring outcomes of this group effort is an annual clinical symposium for advanced psychoanalytic candidates and recent analytic graduates designed to develop and safeguard a space for creative psychoanalytic discourse that goes beyond the theoretical stamp of the different training institutes.

In 2001, while NPSI was still a study group, it also formed national alliances by joining the Coalition of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (later renamed the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies). The Confederation, founded in 1992, represents the interests of the growing community of independent American psychoanalytic societies of the IPA. These are societies not affiliated with the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), but rather linked directly or “independently” to the International Psychoanalytical Association. Other CIPS societies include the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS), the Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC), and the Direct Members Society (DMS).

As NPSI continues to develop it enjoys a unique position in North America being one of the few IPA-affiliated training institutes specializing in psychoanalytic education from a British object relations perspective. To learn more about the training and curriculum please click here to go to the Institute section.