Clinical Services

Referral Service

CCP’s Referral Service provides liaison between psychoanalysts or psychotherapists and persons interested in undergoing psychotherapeutic treatment. First and foremost, the Referral Service can refer those who are interested in undergoing psychoanalysis to candidate (student) analysts. Individuals seen by psychoanalytic candidates agree to act as training cases in exchange for a per-session fee reduction of 30-60%. Such analyses are often considered one of the “great bargains” of psychological treatment; in exchange for their time commitment, these patients receive in-depth treatment provided by experienced clinicians under the supervision of senior psychoanalysts for a very low fee.

Alternatively, the CCP Referral Service can recommend psychoanalysts who have already completed their training for negotiated-fee psychoanalysis, in which analyst and analysand (patient) agree together on a fee that is acceptable to both.

In addition, the CCP Referral Service can match psychotherapists with individuals who desire psychotherapy but are not ready or able to commit to more in-depth psychoanalytic work. Because CCP is a free-standing institution with no physical training or clinic location, all psychotherapy and psychoanalysis take place in clinicians’ private offices.

Psychoanalysis vs. Psychotherapy:

What’s the difference?

Psychoanalysis is an in-depth mode of therapy for individuals who suffer from psychological distress, difficulties with creativity or productivity, or disabling emotional symptoms. Often someone in need of psychoanalysis will describe problems forming and maintaining satisfactory intimate relationships with family, friends, or partners. People who seek psychoanalysis could have problems on a continuum from mild to severe, but they have in common the interest in knowing themselves better and more deeply in order to free themselves from the painful conflicts and dilemmas that underlie these difficulties.

Psychoanalysis is considered the most intensive form of psychotherapy, involving three or more 45-minute sessions per week over a period of years. Psychoanalysts often have more extensive training than other psychotherapists; indeed, they are generally experienced clinicians who have decided to undergo further education to give greater depth, effectiveness and meaning to their work.

Psychoanalysis makes use of the couch to allow patients more comfort and freedom of thought and feeling. In a typical psychoanalysis, the patient lies down on the couch and talks as freely and openly as possible about all aspects of her or his life, including experiences, memories, difficulties, thoughts, dreams, fears, feelings and fantasies, both current and long-standing. Some individuals are uncomfortable using the couch and prefer a face-to-face dialogue with their analyst. In either case, the development of a safe and collaborative relationship between patient and analyst is essential, facilitating the gradual unfolding of the patient’s concerns, motivations, strengths and personal difficulties. Together, patient and analyst work to understand why old ways of managing are no longer useful, and to uncover the patient’s potential for a fuller, less conflicted life.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is guided by the same theoretical principles as psychoanalysis but usually requires fewer meeting times per week and is generally, though not always, less intensive and intense. Instead of using the couch, patients typically sit in a chair facing the analyst or therapist. Length of treatment varies from a few weeks to several years, again dependant upon the individual’s specific needs and desires. Licensed clinicians from a variety of mental health backgrounds (MD, PhD, PsyD, LCSW, LCPC) can practice psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Sometimes, after an initial period of psychotherapy, patients decide to undertake psychoanalysis, either with their current clinician or, if their current clinician is not psychoanalytically-trained, with a psychoanalyst.

Choosing between psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy depends upon how extensively one wants to examine oneself and one’s life choices and difficulties. In general, the decision between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is determined as much by financial and temporal parameters as it is by the nature of a person’s distress. While some people believe that those who come to therapy more often over longer periods of time are “sicker” than those who undergo a short course of psychotherapy, and others believe that you have to be “healthier” to be in more intensive treatment, neither of these is the case. Further, both are effective methods for lessening emotional distress and offering symptom relief. Rather, the decision involves an assessment of your life goals, interests, resources, and readiness for commitment to a process which is almost always life-changing and transformative.

To reach the Referral Service of CCP, contact

"Nothing human is alien to me"  --Terrence

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Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 6095, Evanston, IL 60204-6095

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