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Cherry, S. Aizaga, K.H. Roose, S.P. (2009). The Columbia Longitudinal Study of Postgraduate Career Development and Psychoanalytic Practice: Four Years of Experience. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(1):196-199.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1):196-199

The Columbia Longitudinal Study of Postgraduate Career Development and Psychoanalytic Practice: Four Years of Experience

Sabrina Cherry, Karen H. Aizaga and Steven P. Roose

Research at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research has documented that most graduate analysts practice very little psychoanalysis after their control cases terminate. Graduates who eventually became certified or training analysts had significantly more immersion in four-times-weekly psychoanalysis than did their noncertified, non-training analyst colleagues. For the graduates from 1987 to 2001 who responded to this survey (67 of 102; 66%), the mean number of four-times-weekly analytic cases treated was 1.4 for the whole sample, 3.4 for training analysts (7 of 67; 10% of the sample), 2.6 for certified non-training analysts (8 of 67; 12%), and 1.0 for noncertified analysts (52 of 67; 78%). In addition, while a majority of candidates in the first five postgraduate years were interested in pursuing a training analyst appointment, there was much less interest among analysts ten to fifteen years out who had not already become training analysts. It appeared that analytic practice and professional goals changed considerably in the initial years after analytic training, making it compelling to study factors contributing to analysts' clinical and career decisions in this crucial time of career development (Cherry et al. 2004).

In June 2003 we began a longitudinal study of graduates to investigate factors within the life and mind of the analyst that determine analytic practice and career path. Graduates are sent yearly questionnaires tracking their practice patterns, analytic cases, involvement in the institute, and postgraduate career evolution. The surveys explore professional identifications, experience initiating analytic cases, interest in becoming a training analyst, financial issues, career goals, overall confidence in analytic skills, and feelings about the field. The same questionnaires are sent every year to document changes in these areas over time. In addiation, an interview is conducted every other year, thus deepening the data collected.


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