Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)
in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
With the CAGS in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (CAGS/PP), clinicians bring greater depth and awareness of unconscious dynamics to their work with clients. Designed for psychotherapists who already have a master's degree or higher, the CAGS/PP intensifies the student’s psychodynamic understanding of how people develop their emotional and mental lives, how people operate from motivations that are outside their own awareness, and how to work with a full range of pathologies.
Through BGSP’s integrative approach to learning, students gain a deeper understanding of people in their full complexity and a specialized understanding of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, with an emphasis on severe mental disorders such as borderline and schizophrenic pathologies.
Graduates of the CAGS/PP are eligible to sit for the Qualifying Exam and apply directly to the Candidacy level of the clinical Doctor of Psychoanalysis (Psya.D.) program.
The 42-credit program takes three semesters (full-time) to complete, or longer if studying part-time.
In this program, students:
- Gain a psychoanalytic perspective on human development and clinical work
- Learn psychoanalytic theories about the development of the human psyche from infancy onward
- Study unconscious processes such as repetition, defenses, transference, resistance, and symbolism
- Develop a psychoanalytic framework for understanding psychopathology across a wide range of diagnoses
- Learn to compare diagnoses across psychoanalytic and psychiatric (DSM) perspectives
- Hone their skills for developing therapeutic relationships with regressed or narcissistic clients
- Learn to understand a client’s contacts and manage levels of stimulation
- Learn how to work with treatment destructive behaviors
- Learn how to foster and work with the narcissistic transference
- Further understanding of symbolic communications
- Observe emotional responses induced in themselves and use self-knowledge in order to understand others
Learning occurs in the classroom, during the fieldwork externship (which may be the student’s current employment), and in the training analysis.
During the program, CAGS students participate in a 400-hour field placement that offers direct contact with severely regressed patients, giving students the opportunity to observe extremes of pathology at the earliest levels of fixation. Depending on a student's professional experience, s/he may request approval of his or her existing practice or employment as a field placement, or the student may request a residential or day treatment placement through the School. In either case, students participate in an ongoing case seminar, as well as individual and group clinical supervision. The field placement provides the opportunity to hone one’s skills in developing therapeutic relationships with clients in regressed states. It fosters the ability to read the client’s contacts, responses to stimulation, and symbolic communications while observing the emotional responses induced in oneself. These skills are important for working with people at all levels of functioning. Students graduate from the Fieldwork Externship after a successful fieldwork clinical presentation.
Each student engages in a training analysis, working individually with an analyst throughout the program. The training analysis is an important part of the educational process. It deepens the student’s understanding of course material through personal experience and helps the student tolerate the feelings aroused by psychoanalytic study. It offers a fuller appreciation of one’s own emotional dynamics, increases the student’s access to all emotional states, and increases self-understanding, which is particularly critical for understanding others.
Students choose an approved training analyst and work out the frequency of sessions with the analyst. Seventy hours of training analysis are required for graduation at a recommended minimal frequency of once a week.
The CAGS research curriculum introduces students to qualitative psychoanalytic research methods and facilitates the student’s completion of the optional Fieldwork Research Paper, which is required for students applying for doctoral study. In the paper, the student analyzes qualitative clinical data from the field placement. Working with both the research instructor and the fieldwork instructor, the student demonstrates his or her ability to apply psychoanalytic theory, to view the clinical process from a research perspective, and to provide an empirical basis for inferences.
Graduation from the CAGS program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy requires successful completion of the 42 credit curriculum, the 400 hour Field Placement Externship with accompanying supervision groups, a presentation of fieldwork cases indicating sufficient understanding of case dynamics, and at least 70 hours of training analysis, in which the student engages throughout the program. Students planning to apply to the doctoral program also complete the Fieldwork Research Paper.
Please refer to the program catalog for exact graduation requirements.
Clinical Practice & Scholarship
• M.A. in Mental Health Counseling (license eligible)