California College of the Arts offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine arts, design, architecture, writing, and curatorial studies on campuses in Oakland and San Francisco. CCA students are eligible for ten sessions of psychodynamically oriented therapy and in some cases have the option of continuing throughout the academic year. Referrals are provided to students, faculty and staff, and the director and assistant director of the counseling service also act as consultants to the campus community.

The counseling service is staffed by the director, assistant director, and five trainees, including advanced practicum students, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral interns. Trainees accepted to the program have prior experience with psychoanalytic approaches and an interest in art. The majority of trainees are Wright Institute students, though we have also accepted applicants from CSPP (Alliant), CIIS, UCB, PGSP, and other schools.

The training program has historically been psychoanalytically oriented, due in part to the effort of former directors Dr. Bill Glover (current president of SFPI) and Dr. Lisa Koshkarian. As a former NCSPP Education Committee chair, fort da committee member, and SFPI Friends board member, I also have a deep appreciation for psychoanalysis and worked with Assistant Director Dr. Deborah Weisinger to develop the current program from an object-relations and contemporary psychoanalytic orientation. We are fortunate to include psychoanalytic community members as guest instructors and to provide talks from artists on creativity.

CCA is an amazing place to work. Art students are exceptionally introspective and curious about unconscious life. Creativity exists everywhere — in the classroom, consulting room and galleries all over campus. Artists and psychoanalytically oriented clinicians seem to share an interest in the complexities of human experience and endeavor to find meaningful ways to contact and communicate what it means to be alive.

Tara Rech, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling Services
California College of the Arts