What is psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis is the optimal form of treatment for many individuals seeking relief from emotional suffering. Initially developed by Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis has evolved over the last century to reflect the most current, comprehensive and scientific understanding of the human mind. As an intensive treatment process, psychoanalysis depends heavily on the establishment of a safe, confidential relationship with one’s analyst. Within such a collaboration patient and analyst can, through the examination of the patient’s anxieties, wishes, dreams, emotions and fantasies, explore and bring to light the patient’s conscious and unconscious motivations and conflicts that may be impediments to a more satisfying, productive and creative life.

Time is needed for such an important endeavor. Psychoanalysis, thus, typically involves four or more sessions a week and is conducted over several years. Many individuals find that the use of the analytic couch allows them to speak more freely about their personal concerns while others find that sitting in a chair face-to-face is the best way for the healing conversation to unfold. Either way, this sustained process allows for a deep form of emotional learning.

Entering psychoanalysis is a significant commitment and, as such, it can have a transformational effect on one’s life. In fact, recent research indicates that the effect of this intensive work produces the greatest likelihood of change over an individual’s lifetime. To read more about the efficacy of psychoanalytically informed treatment
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Choosing the right psychoanalyst is important. Qualified psychoanalysts have had, generally, four to seven years of rigorous training that includes intensive coursework, a personal analysis, and experience in providing psychoanalyses under the supervision of training analysts. Qualified psychoanalysts are typically certified by training institutes under the auspices of accredited organizations such as the International Psychoanalytical Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association. You can find a qualified analyst near you by checking our Member Roster or by going to www.findananalyst.com.

Qualifications of psychoanalysts: About FIPA

The letters “FIPA” stand for Fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association. The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) is the oldest international psychoanalytical organization and the world’s foremost accrediting and regulatory body for psychoanalysis. The IPA was founded in 1910 by Sigmund Freud and his associates. As has been the case from the beginning, a primary goal of the Association is to protect the public from untrained practitioners by establishing standards for professional training.

The educational requirements for membership in the IPA include completion of a comprehensive IPA-accredited postgraduate training program in psychoanalysis, necessitating four or more years of didactic study, supervision of clinical work, and personal analysis. These standards reflect the view that psychoanalysis is best conducted at a high frequency of sessions, and that the training of the future psychoanalyst should be of sufficient intensity and depth to ensure the highest possible level of professional competence.

Not all practitioners identifying themselves as “psychoanalysts” have been trained according to IPA standards of education. Training programs outside the IPA employ varying educational criteria. Alternatively, if you see the letters “FIPA” or the words “Fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association” after a practitioner’s name, you can be confident that the individual has fulfilled rigorous educational and professional requirements. However, because the FIPA credential is still new, some qualified psychoanalysts do not (yet) employ this title on their business card or website. If you are not sure whether a practitioner is a “FIPA,” you should ask.

Adapted from information provided on the website of the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) of which NPSI is a member.

To find an analyst in the greater-Seattle area, please refer to the NPSI Member Roster.

To find an analyst in North America please refer to FindAnAnalyst.org sponsored by The North American Psychoanalytic Confederation of which NPS is a member. All of the analysts listed in this national database, including our members, are Fellows of the International Psychoanalytic Association (FIPA) indicating that they have met the most rigorous standards of training possible within the profession.

NPSI Referral Service

The NPSI Referral Service connects our Institute's psychoanalysts-in-training who have experience in the British object relations theory and technique to people in the local community. The NPSI Referral Service strives to increase access to psychoanalysis by offering flexible fees. 

Our psychoanalysts-in-training are well-established and highly experienced clinicians who are licensed mental health professionals pursuing advanced, specialized training in psychoanalysis at NPSI. Treatment occurs in therapists' offices throughout the Seattle Metropolitan area and surrounding areas. Our therapists have a wide variety of specialties, training and experience. To see the specialties of our therapists, click here.

For more information about what psychoanalysis is, click here.

For more information about the qualifications/training of a psychoanalyst, click here.


Getting Started and Fees

Persons seeking treatment through the NPSI Referral Service will be evaluated over the telephone by our referral coordinator who will take into consideration the caller's presenting problems, financial circumstances, and any preferences (e.g., clinician's gender, insurance considerations, or practice location). The referral service does not monitor or otherwise participate in the treatment of patients. 

Patient fees are set in consultation with the clinician. A patient's fee is based on his or her financial circumstances and treatment needs. If you are interested in being referred or have further questions about the NPSI Referral Service, please call (206) 930-2886 or email admin@npsi.us.com. You may leave a confidential message with your name and telephone number and will be contacted back within one to two business days.

Psychoanalyst members of NPSI may also have availability for referrals and can be contacted directly. For our member roster, click here.

NPSI Referral Service Roster

Margaret Bergmann-Ness, MA, LICSW 
Lynn H Cunningham, PhD, LICSW 
Anna M Delacroix, MA, LMHC 
Julie Hendrickson, MA, LMHC 
Dina Maugeri, MA, LMHCA, LMP
Becky McGuire, MS, LMHC 
Ambre Olsen, MD
David L Parnes, LICSW 
Jack M. Ringel, MA, LICSW
Mary Sacco, LMHC
Carolyn Steinberg, MD, FRCPC 
Nicole Wiggins, MA, LMHC