Written Work

The Psychoanalytic Case Writing & Formulation curriculum helps candidates build the skills they need to formulate their cases psychoanalytically, understand psychoanalytic process, and capture their psychoanalytic work in writing. These skills are essential for one’s own development as an analyst, communication with other analysts, and publication. This curriculum has two key components:

Writing for Supervision

Candidates write up their analytic cases for review by and discussion with their supervisors. These write-ups take three forms. At the start of the case and no later than the third month, the candidate completes an initial summary focused on case formulation. Before the fall of each academic year, the candidate writes an annual case summary that describes the analysis from the beginning. Finally, a termination summary is written when a patient terminates the analysis.

Key Guidelines

A detailed description of the necessary elements and organization of each of these three types of summary can be viewed here.

How and When to Submit Your Work

Initial Summaries must be submitted through Sigi to the supervisor for discussion no later than the end of the third month of analysis. Once discussed with the supervisor and revised, final drafts should be submitted through Sigi

Candidates write an Annual Summary each year for every ongoing analytic patient. These summaries should be written during the summer break (to take advantage of the extra time available) and submitted to supervisors via Sigi no later than the first day of classes in September. Supervisors and candidates should read the work together and discuss it in depth. Often, this will lead the candidate to revise the write-up. The final draft must then be submitted to the supervisor via Sigi no later than October 15th.

Termination Summaries are due to the supervisor within two months following the patient's last analytic session. Once discussed with the supervisor and revised, final drafts should be submitted via Sigi.

Because Initial Summaries are written when appropriate at any time of the year while Annual Summaries are always submitted on or before the first day of classes, sometimes an Initial Summary will have been completed quite close to the due date of an Annual Summary. In those cases, the Initial Summary takes the place of the Annual Summary.

As a general rule, for analyses that are begun between September 1st and March 31st, the candidate should submit an Initial Summary within the first three months of the analysis and an Annual Summary the following September. For analyses begun between April 1st and August 31st, the Initial Summary takes the place of the following September's Annual Summary.

If a patient terminates between January 1st and August 31st, the Termination Summary should include everything an Annual Summary should include as well as the termination details. If the patient terminates between September 1st and December 31st (and the Annual Summary has already been submitted) the termination summary is briefer and serves as an addendum to the last yearly summary.


The supervisor's evaluation of the trainee's written work is an important part of the semiannual supervisory assessment, the principal component of the trainee's academic record. The completion of all written work is a requirement for graduation from the Center.

Writing Classes

Taught in yearly segments in each of the five years of the curriculum, the writing courses are taught in a workshop format. Each year, every candidate gets the opportunity to present written work to their classmates and instructors. Individual attention to each other’s writing efforts is enhanced by a supportive and open atmosphere. Each curricular year builds in a layering fashion to expand upon what was taught the prior year, including specific attention to microprocess, macroprocess, transference and countertransference arcs, and therapeutic action. This track culminates in the Fall of the fifth year with a final case write-up.

In first and second year writing, candidates will participate in in-class exercises. In years three to four, candidates will submit their longest-running case’s annual summary to discuss in the writing class. Guidelines for each year of writing will be discussed in the individual writing classes. 

For fifth-year writing, candidates will write a Final Paper describing their work with their longest case and will work with a writing mentor in preparation for writing that paper.