The William Alanson White Institute, founded in 1943, is an institution for training psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. It is located in New York City, United States, on the Upper West Side, in the Clara Thompson building. The Institute's mission reflects its belief that people, through the enhancement of their own capacities, may more efficiently cope with the fantastic problems of being simply human. The William Alanson White Institute (WAWI) has explored new territory in psychoanalytic theory and praxis, breaking away in protest in the middle of the last century from the mainstream of American psychoanalytic thought, which was thought constrictive by the psychoanalysts who founded the institute.
The founders of WAWI are Erich Fromm and Clara Thompson, joined by Harry Stack Sullivan, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, David Rioch and Janet Rioch. The William Alanson White Institute emphasizes psychoanalytic activism in relation to issues of importance in culture and society, and addresses problems of living which are considered to be beyond the scope of classical psychoanalysis. In 2001, the American Psychoanalytic Association presented its first Psychoanalytic Community Clinic of the Year Award to the Clinical Service of the William Alanson White Institute for providing very high quality psychotherapy at a modest price to people suffering from depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, and other psychological problems.
WAWI offers training programs, continuing education and clinical services, including hosting conferences, lecture series, and symposia. It publishes the journal Contemporary Psychoanalysis, edited by Mark J. Blechner. The journal reports advances in the application of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis to depression, personality disorders, conflicts about sex and gender, and other psychological problems.