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The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis is a membership organization and training institute distinguished by its adherence to the principle that psychoanalysis is a discipline that can be practiced by nonmedical professionals. NPAP is open to training applicants from all fields of study and is accepting of many viewpoints within the field of psychoanalysis.
Our founding principles were established by Theodor Reik, who came to the United States in June 1938, seeking refuge from Nazi persecution. Upon arrival Reik was confronted by professional discrimination even though he had been trained by Sigmund Freud and had been a prominent member of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society. He was denied full membership in the American Psychoanalytic Association because he was not a medical doctor. Freud was aware of this basis for discrimination. In 1926 he had written "The Question of Lay Analysis" supporting Reik's qualifications and insisting that psychoanalysis was an independent profession, not a subdivision of medicine or any other field. In 1927 Freud added a "Postscript" arguing that any effort to restrict or regulate psychoanalysis on the basis of extraneous credentials was "more or less equivalent to an attempt at repression."
The American psychoanalytic establishment disregarded Freud's position, but this did not deter Theodor Reik. During the 1940s, a small group of analysts began to gather around Reik to advance their training through informal seminars under his leadership. This group became the nucleus for NPAP. In 1948 a psychoanalytic training institute was established. In 1950 NPAP was incorporated as a membership organization under the laws of the State of New York. In 1977 NPAP was divided into an Association and a Training Institute.
Mission and Principles
NPAP is a community of psychoanalysts devoted to the training and continued development of psychoanalysts and the advancement of psychoanalysis both as a branch of knowledge and as clinical practice. Our values are:
Theoretical Openness: We endorse psychoanalytic thought grounded in Freud and including contemporary perspectives.
Diversity: We welcome candidates and members from varied backgrounds.
Personal and Professional Growth: We support the lifelong development of psychoanalysts through rigorous and flexible training, continuing education, and research.
Democratic Principles: We encourage all members and candidates to participate in the governance of the association and training institute.
Participation in the Larger Psychoanalytic Community: We contribute to the intellectual psychoanalytic dialogue through our scientific meetings, conferences, and publications, including The Psychoanalytic Review.
Service: We offer low-fee psychoanalysis and psychotherapy to the community at large.