psychoanalysis today

advancing current psychoanalytic thinking

a commitment to evolving psychoanalysis through diverse contemporary theory and democratic discourse

The ability to draw a large number of candidates, eager for training in psychoanalysis, is a hallmark of ICP’s success.  Candidates typically are seasoned licensed therapists, including: psychologists, psychiatrists and other physicians, licensed clinical social workers, marriage, family and child therapists or related disciplines such as law, literature, and religion. Advancing the institute’s values of pluralism, participatory democracy, and academic excellence, candidates on all standing committees have full voting participation. In addition, Candidates have two voting seats on the Board of Directors.

In conjunction with the academic programs, ICP offers conferences to members of the scientific and professional communities and the general public. We strive to make important educational material available to the larger public who provide professional services to a vast array of patients and to create an environment that encourages new ideas and the questioning of these ideas. ICP’s conference atmosphere shows great respect for practicing clinicians in every field, offering strong support for new ideas and appreciation for diversity of opinion. Conference locations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pasadena, and San Diego.

In addition to the public conferences, the Institute offers an in-house forum to which the entire ICP community, including analytic candidates, psychoanalytic students, and extension division participants, is invited free of charge. These smaller meetings offer topics of particular interest to Members and Candidates. Including discussion and open questioning, these meetings are a favorite of the community as they continue research in an informal setting.

An Environment of Free Inquiry

ICP values innovative psychoanalytic ideas and the questioning of these ideas

Participatory Democracy

ICP values and hears all voices – the community shapes the discourse


ICP values diversity and promotes a culture of inclusion, invitation, dignity, and respect.

Academic Freedom

ICP values innovation and openness to the development and dissemination of contemporary psychoanalytic concepts.

The ICP is a success. Our success grows from a combination of two factors: a commitment to evolving psychoanalytic theory, and the reasonableness and progressivism of our members. These two factors combine to provide simple and compelling results – advancing psychoanalysis and providing better therapy for patients.

– David Markel, M.D., ICP Founding Member (August 10, 1934 – August 7, 2020)

our vision

ICP endeavors to monitor the ethical, theoretical, and evidence-based developments in the practice of mental health care delivery both in the United States and internationally for the benefit of our trainees, members, and the larger professional community.

our mission

ICP is a diverse community comprised of members, candidates, corresponding members, and staff who collaborate with local and extended communities to provide innovative forums for psychoanalytic education, and thinking. Progressive academic curriculum, updated to coincide with larger psychological science, accomplishes this.

our goals

  • Provide forums for intellectual discussion

  • Develop a long distance learning program

  • Increase community outreach to enhance diversity

  • Increase our presence and usefulness to the wider healthcare community

  • Increase member participation through in-house events

  • Explore and support avenues for intellectual contributions and research

  • Develop partnerships with universities and other academic organizations

our origins

In 1991, twelve Los Angeles senior training analysts congregated to discuss their respective concerns about the state of contemporary psychoanalysis. In contrast to the climate of the time, they wanted to create a self-regulated institute that was not compelled to look to external figures for permission or approval to operate as it saw fit.

Their objectives were simple, but profound. They wanted the institute to remain freestanding, to function as a participatory democracy that actively involved both its members and its candidates in shaping and evolving the institute. Further, they wanted the institute to be a place where the entire membership would assiduously defend the preservation of all psychoanalytic perspectives. A key goal was to cultivate a system of open dialogue and pluralistic thought.

The twelve founding members created the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis from these initial meetings.

Founding Members

Louis Breger, Ph.D.. Doryann Lebe, M.D., Herb Linden, M.D., John Lindon, M.D., David Markel, M.D., Richard Rosenstein, M.D., Morton Shane, M.D., Estelle Shane, Ph.D. Robert Stolorow, Ph.D., Norman Tabachnick, M.D., Judith Vida, M.D., and Arnold Wilson, M.D.