The new Post-graduate Fellowship Program-West, offered by the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, will end its first year this month. Ted Ellenhorn and Colby Smith, professors in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England, helped design and start the program, which is held at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
The Fellowship-West program is intended for a broad range of mental health professionals, as well as scholars from other disciplines, who want to learn about both basic and advanced psychoanalytic clinical technique, to which they may not have been exposed.
With current pressures to medicate and to provide truncated treatments designed for measurable symptom relief, psychoanalytic therapies are not readily accessible to most patient populations, Ellenhorn said. “Psychoanalytic thought is under-represented in psychological, medical, and social-work training today. In undergraduate psychology courses it is often misrepresented or not presented at all,” he said. “Through the fellowship program, we can bring it to working clinicians who have an appreciation for the conceptual depth and breadth this training provides.”
As well as continuing education, Fellowship-West, which comprises four five-week sessions over the academic year, is a great way to build community, Ellenhorn said. The first class was filled with ten students, among them psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and a philosopher. The first year was so successful that the participants requested a second fellowship year. Ellenhorn anticipates that, in future years, an Extension Division open to the public will be developed, with specific topics.
Ellenhorn taught Self Psychology: From Kohut to Contemporary Perspectives for the program’s third term this spring, and he serves on the executive committee of the Fellowship.
The western Massachusetts program is the spin-off of the popular Postgraduate Fellowship program started in the Boston area about a decade ago by the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.
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