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LAISPS is the first fully interdisciplinary psychoanalytic institute to have been established in California, comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists. The Institute was founded in 1970 by nationally recognized psychologists, clinical social workers, and educators. LAISPS became a full component of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) in 1995, and has consistently maintained the highest educational standards.

LAISPS consists of the Institute, which provides psychoanalytic education in a systematic and comprehensive manner, and the Society, which offers a forum for intellectual participation for members, educational programs for mental health professionals, and innovate community outreach programs to address social problems in the community at large.


LAISPS adheres to a philosophy of psychoanalytic independence, maintaining that in-depth understanding of a broad range of psychoanalytic perspectives provides the optimal foundation for mental health professionals to develop their own theoretical framework and clinical approach. The psychoanalytic training and continuing education programs at LAISPS address the full spectrum of psychodynamic perspectives, including classical psychoanalytic and object relations theories as well as attachment theory, self psychology, intersubjectivity, and relational theories.

Our Founders

Our Founders

Charles Ansell, Hedda Bolgar, Barbara Carr, Clifton J. Caruth, Elaine Caruth, Milton J. Horowitz, Hans Illing, Miriam Landau, Ernest S. Lawrence, Lars Lofgren, Mortimer Meyer, Ethel Ann Michael, Norman Oberman, Martin Reiser, Jean Roshall, Jean B. Sanville, Joel Shor, William Wheeler, Joan Willens, and Itamar Yahalom

Our Presidents

1970 – 1972        Ernest S. Lawrence, Ph.D.

1972 – 1973        Charles Ansell, Ed.D.

1973 – 1974        Hedda Bolgar, Ph.D.

1974 – 1975        Norman C. Oberman, Ph.D.

1975 – 1976        Elaine G. Caruth, Ph.D.

1976 – 1977        Ethel Ann Michael, Ph.D. 

1977 – 1978        Martin Reiser, Ed.D.

1978 – 1979        Milton J. Horowitz, Ph.D.

1979 – 1980        Itamar Yahalom, Ph.D.

1980 – 1981        Lars Lofgren, M.D.

1981 – 1983         Jean B. Sanville, Ph.D.

1983 – 1985        Elaine G. Caruth, Ph.D.

1985 – 1987        Clifton J. Caruth, Ph.D.

1987 – 1989        Carolyn B. Shadduck, Ph.D. 

1989 – 1990        Hedda Bolgar, Ph.D.

1990 – 1991        Milton J. Horowitz, Ph.D.

Our Presidents

Pamela Dirham, Ph.D.

Pamela Dirham, Ph.D.

Current President

1991 – 1992        Harriet Kemble Wrye, Ph.D.

1992 – 1993        Jean B. Sanville, Ph.D.

1993 – 1995        Peter Wolson, Ph.D.

1995 – 1997        James E. Bews, Ph.D.

1997 – 1999        Terrence McBride, Psy.D.

1999 – 2001        Ernest S. Lawrence, Ph.D.

2001 – 2003        Carole W. Morgan, Ph.D.

2003 – 2005        Beth I. Kalish, Ph.D.

2005 – 2007        Beth I. Kalish, Ph.D.

2007 – 2009        Thomas P. Helscher, Ph.D.

2009 – 2011        Thomas P. Helscher, Ph.D.

2011 – 2014        Lynn Goren, Ph.D.

2014 – 2017        Lori C. O’Brien, Ph.D.

2017 – 2020        Lanning Melville, Ph.D.

LAISPS Time Line

Our Timeline

By Terrence McBride, Psy.D., FIPA


The Michael J. Diamond Candidate Essay Award is instituted for candidates who write an original paper on psychoanalysis.

The LAISPS Student Society is established for graduate students and interns to explore psychoanalytic thinking in monthly meetings and to receive mentoring from LAISPS members, including 3 consultation sessions a year.

The LAISPS Affiliate Society is launched to offer licensed clinicians with an interest in psychoanalysis the opportunity to be part of the LAISPS community.  Members attend 5 yearly meetings that include presentations by LAISPS members on contemporary psychoanalytic topics, access to the LAISPS library and complimentary consultations with participating LAISPS members.




Professionals Affiliated with LAISPS (PALS) is inaugurated as a community outreach program to offer interested professionals the opportunity to learn about psychoanalysis from a theoretical and clinical perspective.  PALS members meet monthly with a LAISPS facilitator.  Through their membership they also participate in LAISPS special events and activities.



LAISPS is granted approval by the State of California Department of Education to offer a Doctorate of Psychology in Psychoanalysis (Psy.D.), in conjunction with granting the Certificate of Psychoanalysis upon completion of all of the specified training requirements.

LAISPS celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment with a gala celebration and fund raiser toward the establishment of what is now known as the Ernest S. Lawrence Trauma Center, which provides free psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy to the underserved, “at risk” population by volunteer LAISPS members, candidates and affiliates.






The Jean B. Sanville Writing Award is instituted to be awarded to LAISPS members for scholarship in the writing of an original unpublished paper on psychoanalysis.






LAISPS is accepted into full membership to the IPA at the San Francisco Congress. Many LAISPS members attend the Congress and cheer vociferously when membership is announced by IPA President Horacio Etchegoyen.


LAISPS is granted approval by the State of California Medical Board, division of Allied Health Professions to conduct a Research Psychoanalyst Training Program.

The Coalition of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (IPS) is established, along with the three other non-medical societies in the U.S. that had won IPA membership,  The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), The New York Freudian Society (now known as the Contemporary Freudian Society), and the Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC).  The name is later changed to the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS).  Its purpose is to represent the interests of its component society members to the psychoanalytic community locally, nationally and internationally.





The IPA grants provisional membership status to LAISPS at the IPA Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The LAISPS Referral Service is inaugurated, offering affordable psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy with licensed clinicians who are candidates in psychoanalytic training or members who are certified psychoanalysts.







As a result of the settlement of the lawsuit, LAISPS files its application for membership in the IPA.





The GAPPP lawsuit is filed by four psychologists representing Division 39 (including Ernest Lawrence) against the APsaA and the IPA for restraint of trade.  The resulting settlement allows psychoanalytic societies in the United States outside the APsaA to become independent component societies of the IPA and requires the APsaA to accept non-medical trainees.




The Institute is reorganized into two major functional units, the Institute which concerns itself with the basic program of the education, training and certifying of analysts, and to the implementation of the doctoral program; and the Society which represents the community of all members and the furtherance of all society functions, separate from the Institute’s focus of training analysts.  The name is changed to The Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS).




The Institute inaugurates a program of study leading to the Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychoanalysis which is then granted full approval by the State of California Council for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education in 1990.  This leads to the furtherance of the program to offer distance learning education opportunities to candidates in other member institutes of CIPS to obtain a Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis.





The Institute inaugurates its Extension program, separate from the Certificate instructional program.  It is aimed at reaching out to the Los Angeles area mental health community, and leads to other programs such as the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Certificate Program (1998), the Eating Disorders Program (2009), the Trauma Studies Program (2012), and the Infant, Early Child and Parent Psychotherapy Program (2013).





The Candidate Association is formed to give the candidates a voice in the Institute.  Soon thereafter, the candidate representative becomes a full voting member of the Board of Directors.  This would be the beginning of candidate involvement in all aspects of the Institute and Society that we have today.






In a major step toward autonomy, the Institute becomes the first free-standing, interdisciplinary psychoanalytic training Institute in Los Angeles, known as the Los Angeles Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAIPS), leading to a Certificate in Psychoanalysis.






The Institute is formed within the Society to offer a systematic and comprehensive psychoanalytic training program to non-medical mental and behavioral health professionals.



After more than a decade of offering informal programs on psychoanalysis, Charles Ansell, Hedda Bolgar, Ernest Lawrence, Norman Oberman and Martin Reiser meet to plan a training institute to offer basic training in psychoanalysis.  Their efforts culminate in the establishment of the Los Angeles Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, a constituent division of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association.  They are subsequently joined by other psychologists and social workers who all together become known as the founders of LAISPS.




During the 1950’s there was widespread interest in psychoanalytic education throughout the Los Angeles area, but formal psychoanalytic training was not available for non-medical mental health professionals in the U.S.  As a result, a group of psychologists interested in the study of psychoanalysis begin to arrange a variety of informal study groups, lecture series and weekend workshops for the purpose of establishing an ongoing forum in psychoanalysis for psychologists and other professionals in the mental health/behavioral science fields.

*The early history is drawn from articles by Milton J. (Mike) Horowitz, Ph.D. from LAISPS newsletters, News and Notes, 1985, and The Free Associate, 1992.

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