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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.