In 2001, Dr. Elise Snyder, an American analyst, was invited to give papers on psychoanalysis at conferences in Beijing. She learned of a group interested in psychoanalysis in Chengdu, a Sichuan city of more than ten million people. There she lectured, supervised and gave consultations. This was the first experience of a member of CAPA in China.
The following year, Dr. Snyder again visited Chengdu and established relationships with groups in Xi’an and in Beijing. Members of the Chengdu group asked for American analyses. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Ubaldo Leli, an analyst affiliated with Columbia, visited China. He began to analyze a mental health professional in Chengdu, via Skype. This was the beginning of CAPA. Among young mental health professionals, interest in psychoanalysis is extraordinarily high. They read widely in psychoanalytic literature, but their clinical knowledge lags, limited by access to Western clinicians who speak Mandarin. Dr. Snyder visited China for 3 weeks each year thereafter. There were increasingly urgent requests for supervision and treatment. Snyder called on colleagues to provide these, but by 2006 it had become clear that Chinese mental health professionals wanted an organized, systematic, complete training program. In 2008 the Basic Two-Year Training Program began. After their graduation, the Basic Training graduates requested more training. In 2011, the Two-Year Advanced Training Program opened. The best Basic graduates were invited. Various Fifth Year electives have also been offered: a course in Supervision, a course in Infant Observation, and many others. At present, some graduates of the Advanced Program are receiving full, distance, psychoanalytic training at APsaA institutes.
Groups of students in Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Shanghai, and Shenzhen have begun to offer peer supervision, introductory courses in psychodynamic psychotherapy, and conferences. Some Advanced Training graduates are assistant teachers in online courses. These are steps on the way for our graduates eventually to take over psychotherapy training functions. See Programs