The Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center depends on a once a year request for donations to support education programs, arts, and services.

Patients describe the psychoanalytic experience as a relationship in which one can reveal his or her deepest secrets to someone who wants to understand and listen…. The relationship becomes nothing other than a transformation process…. It is describe as a rebirth, a deepening of the experience of life itself. --Market Research Report 2002 The Zacharias Group, conducted for the American Psychoanalytic Association

Training psychotherapists to more effectively treat patients has been the mission of the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center (PPC) for more than 50 years. The Center provides psychoanalytic training programs and educational opportunities to mental health professionals, psychiatric residents, and community members.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapies (psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy) are used to help treat, cure, and prevent mental illnesses as well as to encourage personal growth. Patients often come to a psychoanalytic psychotherapist because of symptoms of anxiety, depression and/or marital and work problems. Psychodynamic psychotherapy usually takes two-to-five years, and it helps patients resolve or reduce their original problem(s). Pscyhoanalysis usually takes four to six years, and is trying to help patients in a more extensive manner.

Psychoanalytic psychotherapies help people develop coping abilities, self confidence, and a strong sense of self as well as helping them improve their interpersonal relationships. This personal growth helps the patient pursue meaningful life goals.

All of these factors are crucial in trying to prevent future mental illness. Patients describe the psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy experience as having “changed my life,” and they frequently express the wish that “I had done this earlier.”

Over the years psychoanalysts in Pittsburgh have treated patients from all socio-economic levels. They have supervised mental health workers in psychoanalytic approaches, values, and concepts that are essential to helping patients. Psychoanalysts have worked with other educational institutions, including Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and Allegheny General Hospital, in their psychotherapy training programs. They have helped psychotherapists at mental health centers learn psychoanalytic principles that help them treat patients more effectively. Finally, as consultants, they have used psychoanalytic concepts to help a number of Pittsburgh organizations, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Carnegie Mellon University, Western Penitentiary, Allegheny County Jail, the Allegheny County Courts Behavior Clinic, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and several area preschools.

An important key to maintaining this valuable community resource for the future is financial investment in the Center so that it can continue to carry out successful programs and activities. The Center has long been supported by tuition, member dues, and donations. The all-volunteer faculty donate over 2000 hours a year of their professional time, but also make significant monetary contribution to ensure that the training remains available to the tri-state area. Donations are critical to supporting the Center’s work including, for example, the “Clinic Without Walls.” The “Clinic” is a stand-alone non-profit program that receives support from PPC for its goal of providing reduced-fee psychodynamic psychotherapy to community members who could not otherwise afford treatment.

Financial support for the Center’s programs will ensure that the valuable work continues. And it will enable the Center to use funds ordinarily used for programs as seed money for an endowment to ensure the Center’s long-term sustainability.

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