THE RESEARCH CANDIDATE
THE RESEARCH CANDIDATE
The Research Candidate was originally a category of candidate in training recognized by the APsaA. These were supposed to be rare individuals whose backgrounds made them especially desirable for psychoanalytic training. The criteria for acceptance by the APsaA included that the individual:
- Could not be a mental health professional, nor could he/she have been educated in the field of mental health. Rather, he/she must have been educated in the humanities, broadly speaking, and received a doctorate, or, alternatively, the highest degree offered in the field of study. For example, if the degree were in creative writing or poetry from UCLA, or any of the UC schools, then the individual seeking research training would have to have earned a masters level degree, as no UC school offers a doctorate in either creative writing or poetry. However, if the individual had a creative writing or poetry degree from USC, for example, then the individual would have need to have earned a doctorate in those fields, as there are doctoral level program at USC. In contrast, in most of the humanities at most universities, doctorates are the highest degree offered, so that the doctorate in, say, English Literature or History from a UC school is required for the Research Candidate applicant in those fields.
- The potential candidate must have done some kind of work in the study of psychoanalytic theory, or have had some verifiable interest in psychoanalysis, before seeking admission as a Research Candidate. The potential candidate may have taught psychoanalysis at a school, college, or university. He/she might have published a psychoanalytically informed paper in an academic journal. He/she might be strategically placed to carry psychoanalytic influence into the environment in which he works or teaches. For example, the individual might be the director of a school that has a psychoanalytic or psychological orientation, or teach courses that might carry such a perspective, or he/she might be an editor on a Journal. In any of these cases, such an individual with an advanced psychoanalytic understanding would be in a position to carry psychoanalytic ideas forward and would be considered to be in a strategic position for advancing psychoanalytic ideas.
- The expectation is that once graduated from the psychoanalytic institute, even if the Research Candidate has had, not just theoretical, but also a clinical, training in that Institute, he/she is expected to continue working in his/her original field, with only l/3 of his/her professional time spent in psychoanalytic practices.
- The procedure was for the prospective Research Candidate to apply to a given American-affiliated institute first and found to be desirable by that Institute as a Research Candidate, but before that person could be accepted for training, he/she had to apply to the APsaA for their acceptance. That acceptance would not have been for clinical training, but merely for academic training. Once accepted, the Research Candidate might then apply to the American for permission to do clinical training. There was no required time period between acceptance for academic and then acceptance for clinical training. One might do these applications to the American virtually simultaneously. But a research candidate’s acceptance for training required the approval of the American first.
- Once accepted, some American-affiliated institutes required a degree of therapeutic experience with patients before a Research Candidate might see control cases. Other Institutes did not require such therapeutic experience before a Research Candidate might begin control case work. The latter believed that the best possible training for doing Psychoanalysis was the doing of psychoanalysis under supervision of a training analyst, whereas the former believed in the efficacy of some therapeutic work under supervision before such control cases could be started. This was a decision made by the individual Institute itself.
- Originally there had been no medical board of approval under which Research Candidates might practice. Research candidates who wanted to not only be educated in the theory of psychoanalysis, but also to be trained clinically, could analyze their control cases under the egis of the training institute itself without a license. If, once graduated, the individual wanted to continue to practice, a license obtained from within another discipline was required, so individuals would attend social work or MFT programs while training or after graduation in be licensed to practice. But in 1977, three Research candidates from Los Angeles Institutes who didn’t want to attend other schools in addition to their psychoanalytic training, took the matter into their own hands and sought to have a bill passed in the State of California allowing Research Candidates graduated from a recognized psychoanalytic training program to continue to practice once graduated, and the Research Training law was passed that, under the department of medical assurance, permitted such graduates to practice with the same restrictions that had been recognized by the APsaA.
RESEARCH CANDIDACY AT ICP
When ICP began, several of the Founders were Research Analysts, trained at one of the two extant American affiliated institutes in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, none of us considered the question of Research training until a candidate applied for admission who was not licensed as a mental health professional, but fit under the rules established by the American for Research Candidacy. It seemed obvious to us that this was a tradition we wanted to continue, so this individual was admitted with the understanding that he/she would apply to the Board of Medical Assurance for their acceptance as a Research Candidate. Given that we founders had different experiences in regard to whether clinical experience was needed before such individuals were allowed to begin control cases, it was (as so many things were) left unclear and unstated. Slowly the practice began to favor, and then to require, such preliminary experience, but it wasn’t ever really articulated: it just was.
Then ICP confronted the matter of the distinction between the Research Candidate and the Clinical Research Candidate. Again, it had not been spelled out that there could be such a distinction. Early in our ICP history someone wanted to be trained in psychoanalytic theory, and was accepted as a Research Candidate who joined in the seminars but did not take control cases, because history had taught us that that was a conceivable course in some American-affiliated institutes (but not in others). Then, more recently, a second such individual appeared and began his training as a Research Candidate. Because this particular individual seemed gifted, it was suggested that he might enter the clinical program and begin taking control cases. This was the beginning, in ICP, of the two categories of Research Candidate: the RC (research candidate) and the CRC (clinical research candidate).
REQUIREMENTS FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH TRAINING AT ICP
- An applicant for Research training must meet the criteria for eligibility originally established by the APsaA and now accepted by ICP. This means that the candidate cannot be a mental health professional, nor can he/she have been educated in the field of mental health. Rather, he/she must have been educated in the humanities, broadly speaking, and received a doctorate, or, alternatively, the highest degree offered in the field of study. The potential candidate must have done some kind of work in the study of psychoanalytic theory, or have had some verifiable interest in psychoanalysis, before seeking admission as a Research Candidate. The potential candidate may have taught psychoanalysis at a school, college, or university. He/she might have published a psychoanalytically informed paper in an academic journal. He/she might be strategically placed to carry psychoanalytic influence into the environment in which he works or teaches.
- The potential candidate must meet the criteria for admission established by ICP for all of its potential candidates in training for psychoanalysis.
- If the applicant wishes to train as a Clinical Research Analyst, he/she must apply to be registered at the Board of Medical Assurance. If the applicant is interested only in didactic Research Analyst Training, there is no need for such registration.
- If the applicant wishes to train as a Clinical Research Analyst, he/she must have at least a year of supervised work in a clinical setting. This training can begin after the candidate is accepted and begins matriculation, but it must be completed before the individual can begin a Control Case.
- Once the Clinical Research Candidate has been accepted, has had the required year of supervised work in a clinical setting, and his been registered by the Board of Medical Assurance, his/her performance will be monitored in precisely the same way as any other candidate in training. What follows are ICP’S criteria for candidate evaluation.