Why We Need CIPS

All professions form national professional associations to serve their professional interests. Professional associations represent the profession to society at large, promote public awareness of professional services and expertise, produce and market meaningful credentials, and engage in political action to secure favorable conditions for practice. At the same time, professional associations work to advance professional knowledge and expert skills, set standards for training and practice, and guarantee the quality of services provided in its name.

Like many other professions, psychoanalysis is governed by a number of national organizations, rather than by a single organization. While these organizations are all committed to the promotion of “psychoanalysis,” they do not all share a common vision of what psychoanalysis is or how it should be organized. Each has its own unique interests and each works to advance its own goals. While psychoanalytic organizations are often united in relation to their common goals, their unique interests can also lead to divisions and conflicts.

As independent psychoanalytic societies of the IPA, CIPS and its component societies share many professional interests with other national psychoanalytic associations and works in concert with other organizations to advance those interests. At the same time, being independent IPA psychoanalytic societies, we also have our own unique interests and aspirations: CIPS is a fully interdisciplinary community. Our societies welcome candidates and members from the arts and sciences as well as the mental health professions.

CIPS is a fully interdisciplinary community. Our societies welcome candidates and members from the arts and sciences as well as the mental health professions. We value the interdisciplinary character of our professional community and seek to protect it. Division 39 of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work (AAPCSW), and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry (AAPDP), each represent the interests of psychoanalysts within a single disciplines (social work, psychology, and psychiatry, respectively) rather than the interests of psychoanalysis as an interdisciplinary community.

CIPS is committed to promoting public awareness of the IPA in the United States. As independent IPA groups, we benefit from expanding public recognition of the IPA.The IPA, founded by Sigmund Freud and his followers in 1910, is the oldest and largest psychoanalytic association in the world. Membership in the IPA is restricted to psychoanalysts who fulfill the most rigorous and recognized international standards for psychoanalytic training in the world. As a confederation of psychoanalytic societies whose training programs are directly accredited by the IPA, CIPS is dedicated to promoting public awareness of the IPA in the United States. The creation of the “Fellow of the IPA” or “FIPA” credential, proposed and promoted by CIPS, reflects the CIPS commitment to the IPA.

As members of the IPA, we have a special interest in promoting our interests within the IPA. Our excellent position within the IPA today is the result of the vigorous advocacy of CIPS on behalf of our members. Over the years of CIPS existence, CIPS has insured the proportional representation of our members on all IPA committees and governing bodies, as well as on the governing bodies of the North American regional organizations of the IPA.

As independent societies, we need a national association to expand collegial networks, create new opportunities for educational and scientific activities, and promote the national reputations of our societies and members. Our founders understood that, as small groups, we needed join together to overcome our professional isolation and expand our organizational capabilities. Since its inception, CIPS has established a powerful presence within IPA, and taken a leadership role in American psychoanalytic affairs, establishing productive relationships with other professional groups to advance common causes while promoting awareness and respect for our member societies. Over the years since its formation, CIPS has also created invaluable contexts for learning and professional development, for advanced study, and for colleagueship and friendship across societies, transforming our separate societies into a vibrant national community of unparalleled diversity and intellectual wealth.

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