The Institute


The Institute offers training for individuals wishing to become IPA-certified psychoanalysts and continuing study for psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists.

NPSI follows the British object relations School of psychoanalysis, studying classical and contemporary theoreticians and clinicians including the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud: Melanie Klein, Hanna Segal, Donald Winnicott, Donald Meltzer, Wilfred Bion, Betty Joseph, Ronald Britton, and others. Distinct from psychoanalytic training programs not allied with British object relations, the focus at NPSI is on the infant’s earliest emotional experiences with the primary caretaker (usually the mother) and how this relationship shapes one’s core sense of self and serves as a lens through which all relationships with self and others are experienced throughout life. This careful study of early mental life tends to translate into a way of working psychoanalytically with patients that is particularly attuned to pre-verbal as well as verbal forms of communication.

We encourage mental health professionals who are interested in learning more about the process of becoming a psychoanalyst to explore the following section on psychoanalytic training. Please contact us with any questions you may have about the pedagogical basis of training at this institute.
About Page
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For an overview of the Kleinian approach (an important facet of the British Object Relations School), see Robert M Young’s paper, “Being a Kleinian is Not Straightforward” at:

Psychoanalytic Training

Psychoanalytic training at NPSI is a challenging, remarkable, and often life changing experience for mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and so on) who have previously achieved licensure, have an established practice, and accrued clinical experience.

To read more about psychoanalytic training and the value of becoming an analyst from individuals who have trained at NPSI:

Becoming an Analyst[.pdf Document]

The components of training are threefold. Candidates (psychoanalysts-in-training) take part in a four-year academic curriculum, conduct carefully supervised analyses, and undergo personal psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic training is synergistic by design. Each mode of training enhances the others. While each training group is a learning cohort, candidates progress at individually determined rates. For example, candidates choose when to begin their supervised analyses depending, in part, on whether they have been able to cultivate a practice that includes treatment with patients at an analytic frequency (four to five times weekly). As such, progression and graduation are not automatic, and are instead based on ongoing dialogue with and evaluation by supervisors and faculty. Psychoanalytic training is, thus, individual, dyadic, and group focused.

Psychoanalysis is the only mental health discipline that requires candidates to have a personal analysis as part of training. This standard moves the training from an academic enterprise to an emotionally integrative experience.

The supervision and personal analysis of candidates is done by designated training analysts. To read more about the IPA standards for becoming a training psychoanalyst:

IPA TA Standards [.pdf Document]

To see who are training and supervising analysts at NPSI click here:

Member Roster Page

Licensed mental health professionals interested in understanding more about psychoanalytic training are invited to attend our Open House meetings where the curriculum and application requirements are presented in greater detail. For additional information and to see when the next Open House is scheduled:
View the NPSI Calendar or contact Dana Blue, LICSW, FIPA at dana@dana-blue.com

For detailed information on psychoanalytic training including curriculum, requirements of graduation, and application forms:

NPSI Curriculum [.pdf Document]

NPSI Requirements of Graduation [.pdf Document]

NPSI Application [.pdf Document]

NPSI Academic Calendar – Standardized [.pdf Document]


Candidates can pay tuition here:

Winter Tuition

NPSI Graduates and Their Graduation Paper Titles

Dana Blue – In the Twilight Room: On Extended Silence and the Cultivation of Triangular Space

Sue Neell Carlson – Whose hate is it? Encountering emotional turbulence in the crosscurrents of projective identification and countertransference experience

Jeffrey L Eaton – The Obstructive Object

Judy K Eekhoff – Somatic Counter-transference as Evidence of Adhesive Identification in a Severely Traumatized Woman

Caron Harrang – Negative Therapeutic Reaction: A Reexamination of Freud’s Original Concept in Light of Klein’s ‘positions’ and Bion’s notion of Catastrophic Change

Julie Hendrickson - Negative Transference in the Transformative Cycle of Reparation

David Jachim – Wanted Dead and Alive: The Negative Object

Adrian Jarreau – Intuiting the Unknown: Listening with the Unconscious Mind

Esther Karson – Nowhere to go: When Psychic Equilibrium Prevails

Maxine Nelson – Blade Runner as Metaphor: Encapsulation in Virtual Reality as a Defense Against Psychic Annihilation

Shierry Nicholsen – Reparation: An Exploration of the Concept and its Manifestations in Clinical Material

David Parnes - On Growth, a Gift, and Goodbyes: Initial Thoughts on Termination

David Rasmussen – Expanding the Notion of Validation of Interpretations

Rikki Ricard – Taking Humor Seriously: The Relationship of the Ego to the Destructive Superego

Barbara Sewell – Gathering Resolve: Preparing for the Journey as a Psychoanalyst by Understanding the Development of Countertransference as Theory and Technique

For additional information or to read any of the papers listed please contact individual authors listed in the Membership Roster.

For Candidates and Faculty


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Candidate Handbook

Candidate Handbook (June 2016) [.pdf Document]


Application for Scholarship



Philosophy, Policy, and Process


Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy [.pdf Document]


Guidelines for Writing Reports

Initiating and Maintaining Control Cases [.pdf Document]
Guidelines for Writing an Initial Report [.pdf Document]
Control Case Six Month Report [.pdf Document]
Control Case Final Summary Report [.pdf Document]


Reporting Forms

Cover Page for all Control Case Reports [.pdf Document]
Report of Training Analysis Commencing [.pdf Document]
Report of Training Analysis Ending [.pdf Document]
Control Case Suitability/Candidate Readiness [.pdf Document]
Report of Supervision Commencing [.pdf Document]
Candidate’s Six-Month Report of Supervision Hours [.pdf Document]
Supervisor’s Six-Month Evaluation of Candidate [.pdf Document]
Summary of Control Case (3) Treatment and Supervision Hours [.pdf Document]


Didactic Course Evaluation Forms*

Faculty Evaluation of Candidate [.pdf Document]
Candidate Evaluation of Course [.pdf Document]


Clinical Seminar Evaluation Forms*

Faculty Evaluation Of Candidate [.pdf Document]
Candidate Evaluation of Seminar [.pdf Document]


Infant Observation Evaluation Forms

Faculty Evaluation Of Candidate [.pdf Document]
Candidate Evaluation of Seminar [.pdf Document]


Graduation Policies and Procedure

Graduation Policies and Procedure [.pdf Document]


Academic Calendar

Academic Calendar 2018-19
Academic Calendar 2017-18
Academic Calendar 2016-17

Education Committee Meeting Minutes



*Candidate evaluations (Candidate Evaluation of Seminar and Candidate Evaluation of Course) are to be mailed to Curriculum Committee (Barbara Sewell, Chair) or placed in her mailbox at NPSI in a sealed envelope and marked “confidential.” Faculty evaluations of candidates for the Clinical Seminar or a Didactic Course are to be mailed to Progression Committee (Judy Eekhoff, Chair) or placed in her mailbox at NPSI in a sealed envelope and marked “confidential.”


Philosophy, Policy, and Process

Applies to:

Any NPSI Candidate in good standing (i.e. progressing) in the first two to three years of training.


The members of NPSI want to encourage and support psychotherapists in the community interested in psychoanalysis to apply to psychoanalytic training in order to foster the study and practice of psychoanalysis. Recognizing that the training is expensive, the NPSI Board launched an initiative to offer need-based scholarships to NPSI Candidates in order to help with the cost of tuition. It was decided that 10% of the proceeds from Special Events will go into a Scholarship Fund to be distributed among NPSI candidates.

Scholarship Policy:

1.    Eligible candidates are those who have begun psychoanalytic training at NPSI, are in their first two or three years of classes, have received   no more than one previous scholarship, and are in good standing with NPSI (i.e. progressing appropriately).

2.    Scholarships must be used for the cost of tuition.

3.    The dollar amount of the scholarship will be determined using the following equation:

       a.    Fund allotment for the year ($) / number of scholarship recipients = $ award. The allotted amount should not fund more than one term's tuition per applicant per calendar year.

4.    Candidates can apply for scholarships no more than twice during candidacy, and first time applicants will be given priority.

5.    Scholarships will not require repayment and are not considered loans.

The Scholarship Process is as follows:

1.    Each academic year a notice will be sent to eligible NPSI candidates informing them of the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to help with the cost of tuition in the case of need. An application deadline will be stated in the notice.

2.    Applicants will send completed documents to the NPSI Education Committee. All applications received will be acknowledged upon receipt. The Education Committee will strive to protect each applicant’s confidentiality.

3.    The Education Committee will contact the NPSI Progression Committee to confirm that the Candidate is in good standing in the Institute.

4.    Scholarships will generally be decided within 30 days of the application deadline.

5.     There will be no exchange of money in the awarding of a scholarship. Instead, the candidate will not be charged tuition up to the scholarship amount. The NPSI treasury fund will be paid by the scholarship fund on behalf of the candidate awarded the scholarship.


And, of course, if you would like to donate to the scholarship fund, please send a donation earmarked “NPSI Scholarships” or contact Dana Blue at dana@dana-blue.com.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training

For information on our Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis course, click here.

For information on our Clinical Study Group, click here.

Please join the NPSI email list to stay informed about upcoming events and psychoanalytic psychotherapy training.

Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis

One way that Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute manifests the mission to “offer outstanding psychoanalytic training to mental health professionals” is by offering a Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis certificate course, designed for clinicians who seek to deepen their understanding of the psychoanalytic knowledge base, enhance their knowledge and skills for clinical practice, and cultivate a network of like-minded colleagues. The program marries theory and practice in two (academic) year-long small group seminars, which accrue to a satisfying whole. Each year can be taken separately or sequentially. 

At the completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of attendance and 1.5 continuing education credits for each session attended. Perfect attendance for each academic year will result in 51 Continuing Education hours.

Fundamentals is:


In a nine month program of weekly classes, we study major works by the foundational thinkers in the British object relations line. Year One is primarily Freud; while Year Two continues Freud’s ideas through works of Klein, Winnicott, and Bion; considering links and divergences in the evolution of this line of thought. By the completion of the course, learners will have a sense of how psychoanalytic thinking has evolved, from Freud to the current day.


Each monthly unit will be augmented by a clinical case presentation, demonstrating the application of theory in work with patients. In Fundamentals courses, learners will become increasingly adept at discovering unconscious process in clinical work, and developing strategies for intervention.


Following an innovative design, each monthly unit will be taught by a different instructor, each of whom is an experienced psychoanalytically oriented clinician. The group will stay together, and the faculty will rotate, which promotes the formation of a strong learning group.


Length: Weekly meetings for 9 months

Time: Thursdays, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

Tuition Payment schedule: Enrollment deposit with application: $100

                             Fall term: $225, due October 1
                             Winter term $300, due January 1
                             Spring term $200, due March 1     


Early Bird discount: register by August 15 and save $50, deducted from Spring tuition.

Enrollment Deadline: September 22nd

Location: Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute at 2701 1st Avenue, Suite 120, Seattle

Instructors: NPSI analysts and senior candidates.

Format: Each month, there will be one four-class unit. Each unit will consist of three classes for the discussion and study of assigned readings. The fourth will be reserved for clinical case discussions.
Note: The November and December units will be shorter, due to holidays-three and two meetings, respectively.

To see a sample syllabus for Year One, click here.

To see a sample syllabus for Year Two, click here.

For an application, click here.

For more information or to register, please contact NPSI at admin@npsi.us.com.

Clinical Study Group

Instructor: Don Ross, MD, FIPA

Practicing psychoanalytic therapy may at times involve feeling lonely, even isolated. You can have a well-functioning social network and still feel alone with your most intimate thoughts and feelings evoked by the therapeutic process and setting.

Our work requires that we spend large amounts of time alone with our own thoughts and feelings in the clinical hour. We use this time in self-reflection to contact the current moment of the clinical situation, to feel the present moment as an experience of pleasure or pain or disequilibrium, to classify its characteristics, and finally to formulate this experience to ourselves. Then we may choose to offer our thoughts to our patient as a verbal intervention after testing (in thought) the receptivity of the internal and external environments.

There are states of mind, however, that create more than the average sense of isolation and present greater difficulty in proceeding along these lines. Certainly, the mind that feels uninformed, mistaken, or in over-one's-head may all contribute. Insufficient experience and training or a feeling that one should know what to do in the clinical situation may evoke feelings of doubt and shame or feared ineffectiveness. These feelings can motivate curiosity, reexamination and course correction on the one hand or withdrawal from contact with our own inner experience on the other.

Whatever the cause, isolation is uncomfortable and potentially detrimental to our own mental functioning and sense of wellbeing. However, isolation may also spark various measures aimed at re-establishing a more supportive environment for ourselves and in our work with patients. This clinical study group aims to provide such a setting for seasoned psychotherapists. Through the presentation of clinical material, the group will explore states of mind that facilitate a deepening of the therapeutic process and those that interfere with its healthy evolution. Issues of technique such as setting the frame, establishing and increasing frequency, the timing of verbal interventions, making creative use of misattunements and other inevitable errors will be addressed within the context of clinical material explored by the group. Psychoanalytic papers related to therapeutic process themes that come to light in the group may be recommended by the instructor from time to time. However, the main focus of the study group will be exploring what emerges from the clinical material itself.

The aim of this ongoing study group is to foster an environment of respectful curiosity in which seasoned psychoanalytic psychotherapists can present challenging clinical material and feel helped by the collective imagination of the group. When professional loneliness is addressed in this way, clinical confidence deepens and with it a greater sense of aliveness and openness to the full range of emotional experience inherent in our work.

When: First Tuesday of every month September 2018 - June 2019 (10 sessions), 7:30 to 9:00 pm.

Where: NPSI; 2701 First Avenue, Suite 120; Seattle, WA 98121.

Whom: This Study Group is open to licensed mental health professionals with a minimum of five years post-graduate clinical experience in private practice and/or agency settings. To ensure ample time for each member to present the group will be limited to 10 individuals.

Fee: $40 per month

A non-refundable deposit of $80 is required to secure registration for this ongoing study group. Use the PayPal button to the left or contact NPSI Administrator Hollee Sweet at admin@npsi.us.com with questions and to register.

Questions about the Clinical Study Group: Contact Don Ross at rockvillecentre108@gmail.com or call (206) 552-8553, ext. 222.

About the Instructor:
Don Ross, MD, FIPA is an American Psychoanalytic Association board certified psychoanalyst and a training and supervising psychoanalyst with Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and a fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association. His clinical practice and teaching is informed by traditional psychoanalytic theorists such as the Freud, Fairbairn, Balint, Guntrip, Klein, Bion, Meltzer, Rosenfeld, Britton, and Grotstein as well as the newer fields of consciousness studies and applied neuroscience (Solms, Koch, Friston, Tononi, and Panskeep). Don is interested in exploring the nature of subjectivity, what we mean by "knowing" and the environment in which it arises. Additionally, how the subject or self discovers what is true and the impact the discovery has on object relatedness when reality is ignored or falsified.