Our History and Mission

The American Institute for Psychoanalysis was founded by Karen Horney in 1941. Horney, a preeminent analyst and psychoanalytic writer, devoted her life to teaching and practicing psychoanalysis. She was a founding member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society in 1911, the Berlin Poliklinik and the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, the first psychoanalytic educational institute in the world in 1920.  She was invited by Franz Alexander to be part of the founding of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1932. Horney came to New York City in 1934 and joined New York Psychoanalytic Institute.  In 1941 she and other psychoanalysts who left New York Psychoanalytic established the AIP with the goal of advancing psychoanalysis in keeping with the courageous spirit its founder, Sigmund Freud.

The founding Mission Statement of the AIP emphasized that the Institute will aim to avoid conceptual rigidities, and respond to ideas, whatever their source, in a spirit of scientific and academic democracy. The AIP has been a place for the open exchange of ideas, beginning with Freudian thought and now embracing a broad range of psychoanalytic perspectives. We believe that in psychoanalysis there are still boundless areas to be explored.

Honoring this mission, the AIP became one of the first psychoanalytic institutes to change its charter to admit psychologists, social workers and psychiatric nurses into its student body, and to open up training at all levels of experience. In 1998 AIP became a fully participatory organization and adopted new By-Laws, which gave membership and voting privileges to all, whether students or candidates, junior faculty or senior analysts. The AIP has also expanded its charter as we were approved by New York State to have a licensure qualifying program in psychoanalysis thus offering people with advanced degrees in other fields outside of mental health the opportunity to pursue training in psychoanalysis.

In January 2016 AIP was accepted into the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association. AIP has consistently maintained the highest educational standards.