Foundational Year


The Foundational year is a combined educational year for first year psychoanalytic candidates and first year psychoanalytic psychotherapy students. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of training both for candidates who are starting their psychoanalytic training and for students in psychoanalytic psychotherapy training. This program aims to provide full participation of both groups of students in the full benefit of the educational and social community of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute.

This program has the virtue of allowing seamless transition to clinical psychoanalytic training for those who choose it. After this first year, psychotherapy students can continue to a second and possible third year of psychotherapy training, or they can choose at any time to apply to enter into full clinical analytic training (see below for details). Candidates continue in the analytic training program. 



Prospective psychotherapy students and psychoanalytic candidates should apply to their respective programs. See the Brochure of Educational Programs for details.


The Foundational Year begins the Monday after Labor Day each September and continues into late May or early June. All trainees must start their academic year in September – no mid-year matriculation is available.


Classes meet on Monday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm.


The Foundational Year is an online program with additional in-person scheduled components. Virtual attendance is possible through Zoom. All trainees at MPI pay an annual video-conferencing fee to cover the expenses of providing online classes. 


Licensure, Insurance and Ethics Statement

All clinical trainees must be licensed in the state(s) where they see patients and where the patients reside. All clinical trainees must have active malpractice insurance and must sign a MPI’s Individual Ethics Statement.


Each course has a required 80% attendance rate.

Personal Treatment

All analytic clinical candidates are required to be in a personal analysis with an MPI Training Analyst at a recommended frequency of five times per week (minimum of four times per week) at least 6 months before beginning classes, and at least 10 months before beginning an analytic control case. 

Psychotherapy students are strongly encouraged to be in a psychoanalytic treatment (psychoanalysis or psychotherapy) to gain the most value from their training. Speak with your mentor if you have questions about this, since treatment is a vital part of the tripartite model of training that we use at MPI. 

If you think it is at all possible that you would want to join analytic training at a later date, you should consider starting your treatment with an MPI Training Analyst to avoid having to switch to another analyst and possibly delay the start of your analytic training. 

Academic candidates are usually required to be in a personal analysis with an analyst who is certified by the American Board of Psychoanalysis (previously the American Psychoanalytic Association). To discuss individual circumstances, contact the Academic Psychoanalytic Programs Committee Chair.


Each psychotherapy trainee will be assigned a mentor for assistance with clinical and professional matters. Psychotherapy trainees meet with their mentors at least twice a year and as needed. Analytic candidates will have both mentors and advisors and meet with them as outlined in the Candidates’ Manual.

Cases and Consultation

Psychotherapy trainees should have at least one patient in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the beginning of the Foundational year. They also must have weekly meetings with an MPI faculty member consultant. Times and fees for consultations are negotiated individually. 

Clinical analytic candidates can apply to the Candidate Progression Committee (CPC) to start a control case after discussion with their advisor and mentor. In the meantime, weekly meetings with your mentor will help you to review your current cases and think about who would be a good choice for a first control case and how to present the option to your patient. Your advisor can also provide guidance about when to apply for a first case. Once you have a control case, you need to meet weekly with a Supervising Analyst dedicated for just that patient. See the Candidates’ Manual for details (call 248-851-3380 to request).

Transitioning from psychoanalytic psychotherapy training to clinical psychoanalytic training

Each Foundational year opens the possibility for psychotherapy students to pursue clinical analytic training at any time. An interested trainee can start by talking with their mentor or one of the program directors. Academic candidates wishing to transition to clinical should consult their advisors and the Candidates’ Manual.


To enter the analytic training program, psychotherapy students must fulfill the same prerequisites that are expected of all clinical applicants for psychoanalytic training and go through the analytic training admissions procedures. These are separate from admissions procedures that would have taken place before entry into the psychotherapy program.

It is important for the applicant to understand and have met the eligibility and clinical readiness requirements before applying.

All clinical psychoanalytic candidates must have a professional mental health degree and a license to practice in the state(s) in which they and their patients reside. The AAPE admissions criteria lists information regarding graduate degrees eligible to apply for clinical training. Please note that applicants with certain graduate degrees or non-mental health degrees require a waiver from AAPE to begin clinical analytic training. MPI can assist you in applying for the AAPE waiver.

For descriptions of the requirements for admission (eligibility, suitability, and readiness) to Clinical Candidacy refer to MPI’s Brochure of Educational Programs and the Selection for Psychoanalytic Education and Clinical Training in the “Standards” section on the website of the American Association for Psychoanalytic Education at

All trainees transitioning to clinical candidacy are required to be in a personal analysis with an MPI Training Analyst at a recommended frequency of five times per week (minimum of four times per week) at least 6 months before beginning second year classes, and at least 10 months before beginning an analytic control case. To matriculate in September as a second-year analytic candidate, the psychotherapy trainee would need to begin analysis with an MPI TA at the latest in early March of that year. If more time is needed to establish an analytic treatment, psychotherapy trainees can opt to complete the second psychotherapy year, or if the psychotherapy trainee has already completed the second psychotherapy year, the trainee can consider obtaining other training in the interim, such as applying for Early Admissions Candidacy, and then starting as second-year full analytic candidates the following year.


Applications are requested by April 1st of each year for psychoanalytic training.

Suitability is determined by the Admissions Committee on the basis of the written application, letters of recommendation, transcripts of previous educational experience, and interviews by members of the faculty. The Admissions Committee is committed to making the process of applying for full psychoanalytic training as easy as possible. In addition to your mentor, the Chairs and members of the Committee will be available to help at every step.