This credential enables clinical social workers to be recognized for proficiency in Psychoanalysis. It is offered by the American Board of Clinical Social Work (ABCSW), which has set a standard for competency in this specialty and will promote your expertise.

The ABCSW markets this certification through social media and other methods, and supports this credential and practice in psychoanalysis through the online resources of the organization. The fee for applying for this certification is $275.

Description - Psychoanalysis is a specialty in clinical social work that involves clinical social work practice, supervision, consultation, education, or research relevant to the psychotherapeutic application of psychoanalytic theory in order to address conditions or psychiatric disorders that interfere with social, psychosocial, or bio-psychosocial functioning. It is conducted with frequency and intensity and seeks to bring unconscious mental elements and processes into awareness, where they may be explored and understood. Various approaches used in psychoanalysis include, but are not limited to, Drive Theory, Object Relations Theory, Ego Psychology, and Self Psychology. Theories of human motivation, the nature of anxiety, and the causes of psychopathology are considered, as are Jungian, Kleinian, and Lacanian schools of thought. 

Specific Criteria: 

  1. Training, graduate of a psychoanalytic institute training program. 

  1. Attestation of having undergone personal analysis by a training analyst. 

  1. Supervision: 

    1. Supervised in practice for a minimum of 150 clock hours by a training analyst or equivalent. 
    2. Supervised in conducting two adult psychoanalysis cases, at least one was supervised to completion, lasting at least two years in one instance, and at least one year in the other. 

  2. Currency of practice within the past year for a minimum of: 

    1. 300 clock hours of clinical social work practice informed by psychoanalytic theory. 
    2. Formal psychoanalysis with at least two clients. 

  1. Continuing Education within the past three years for 40 clock hours of clinical continuing education, of which 50% can be identified as psychoanalytically oriented. 

  1. Direct Practice, within three years or more for 4,500 hours of post-graduate clinical social work practice informed by psychoanalytic theory. 

  2. You can provide two Colleague Evaluations of your current Psychoanalysis Practice. 

This credential may be attained online at this website by those who are a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (BCD) and who are also graduates of a psychoanalytic institute. 

Unsuccessful applicants who wish to re-apply should promptly inform the ABCSW in writing of the intention to re-apply and submit the re-application fee of $125. You will provide two new Evaluators who will be sent a new set of Evaluation Packages. The ABCSW will retain the rest of your application information. As before, your Evaluators would be of your own choosing.


This certification must be renewed annually based on the following criteria:

  • Maintain the BCD certification.
  • Have at least 150 hours of psychoanalytic practice.
  • Have at least 20 hours of clinical continuing education relating to psychoanalytic practice.
  • Pay renewal fees for BCD ($135 at present) and specialty credential ($100 at present).