All members of the IPA are psychoanalysts. However, legislation regarding who may call himself or herself a “psychoanalyst” varies from country to country and sometimes between regions within a country; so that in some places: anyone, even an untrained person, may use the title. It is therefore important to know the practitioner’s credentials before beginning treatment.
Graduate psychoanalysts trained under the auspices of the IPA have had very rigorous and extensive clinical education. Candidates accepted for training at an accredited psychoanalytic institute must meet high ethical, psychological, and professional standards. These candidates are either physicians who have completed a residency programme in psychiatry, psychologists or social workers who have completed a doctoral program in their fields or hold a clinical masters degree in a mental health field where such a degree is generally recognized as the highest clinical degree; all must have had extensive clinical experience.