36 years providing creative vision at the cutting edge of psychoanalysis.

PINC was created in a cultural environment that challenged orthodoxy, hierarchy, and authoritarianism. It was founded by gifted and spirited therapists who managed to construct the Institute and become its first candidate class at the same time. The survival and vibrancy of psychoanalysis depends on institutes like PINC.


In the 1980′s, opportunities for psychoanalytic training were far more limited than they are now. From the 1930′s to the late 1980′s, only medically trained psychiatrists could become candidates or members of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). Some exceptions were made for non-medical analysts who had emigrated to the U.S. from Europe, where “lay analysts” were accepted, and some exceptions were made for researchers in psychoanalysis.

In addition, (APsaA) had an agreement with the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), dating from 1939, that denied membership in IPA to any U.S. analyst or institute that was not a member of APsaA. Although psychologists and other non-physicians in many areas of the world could practice psychoanalysis and participate in IPA, here in the U.S. psychologists, social workers, and related mental health professionals could not join the national or global community of psychoanalysts.

The Committee for Lay Analysis

Many Bay Area psychologists and social workers who were educated in analytic theory and were doing psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy wanted to be trained as analysts, believing that a medical education was not necessary to practice psychoanalysis. A group called “The Committee for Lay Analysis” prepared a lawsuit based on a California law that prohibited “arbitrary and capricious” admissions standards for professional training. The action was settled by agreement in 1987, and APsaA agreed to admit psychologists and social workers for analytic training under a “waiver review,” that required they met “high levels of competence” and were approved by both an individual institute and then by the APsaA. Jill Horowitz, LCSW, later one of the founding members of PINC, was Co-Chair of the committee.


In 1985, four psychologists filed a broader class action lawsuit in New York against APsaA on the economic grounds of “restraint of trade.” Four years later, the suit was settled in favor of the psychologists, opening APsaA institutes to non-medical applicants. The settlement also stipulated that APsaA member institutes could not bar their members and faculty from teaching at non-APsaA institutes and that independent institutes could apply directly to join IPA.


While the lawsuits were in process, practitioners in the Bay Area were active. In 1986, Maureen Murphy, Ph.D., who later became a founding member of PINC, spearheaded the establishment of a local chapter of Division 39, the Division of Psychoanalysis, of the American Psychological Association. This local chapter, named The Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP), was created as an interdisciplinary organization that would serve as an educational and membership group for psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and anyone interested in analytic theory and practice.


In 1988, NCSPP authorized the organization of a new analytic institute under the by-laws of the American Psychological Association. Maureen Murphy chaired the organizing committee. The new institute was designed to provide psychoanalytic training for licensed mental health professions of all disciplines and was also inclusive theoretically. Its educational model was comparative psychoanalysis in which the major theories in the field would be taught, studied, and evaluated critically.

The rules and standards for admission, progressions, and graduation were explicit and transparent. The institute’s administrative structures were designed to support an atmosphere of openness and free debate. The Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California held its initial Board meeting in 1989, and the first class of 12 candidates began training in the fall of 1990.


PINC has flourished as a center of analytic education, psychoanalytic inquiry, and community outreach. As of 2017, PINC has over 119 graduates, many of whom remain active in the institute as personal analysts, supervising analysts, instructors, faculty, and committee chairs or members. PINC graduates teach and give presentations throughout the Bay Area, and many have published in psychoanalytic journals. NCSPP has also thrived: with approximately 650 members, it is the largest Division 39 Chapter in the U.S.

Formerly a provisional society of the IPA, PINC became a component society in July of 2009. PINC maintains its unique identity and continues to provide creative vision at the cutting edge of psychoanalysis. For example, since its inception, the PINC curriculum has included a Visiting Scholars Program, bringing senior analysts from other states and other countries to teach weekend classes for the candidates. In 1999, PINC instituted a course of study that leads to a Doctorate in Psychoanalysis (Psy.D.). In 2003 we initiated the Regional Center for Psychoanalytic Training as a model for providing analytic training in geographically distant parts of the U.S. The pilot program in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, recently graduated its first psychoanalyst, and there are currently 13 candidates in training.

PINC’s innovative programs also benefit graduate analysts. The Institute offers a two-year Supervision Seminar that focuses on clinical, teaching, and organizational issues in the supervision of candidates. International study is available to graduates, faculty, and candidates who have attended study-abroad colloquia that have met in London, Paris, Vienna, and Buenos Aires.

PINC is currently bringing the emerging field of neuropsychoanalysis to the Bay Area community through a series of symposia and study groups.