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Ogden, T.H. (2006). On Teaching Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(4):1069-1085.

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(4):1069-1085

Educational and Professional Issues

On Teaching Psychoanalysis Language Translation

Thomas H. Ogden

Teaching psychoanalysis is no less an art than is the practice of psychoanalysis. As is true of the analytic experience, teaching psychoanalysis involves an effort to create clearances in which fresh forms of thinking and dreaming may emerge, with regard to both psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice. Drawing on his experience of leading two ongoing psychoanalytic seminars, each in its 25th year, the author offers observations concerning (1) teaching analytic texts by reading them aloud, line by line, in the seminar setting, with a focus on how the writer is thinking/writing and on how the reader is altered by the experience of reading; (2) treating clinical case presentations as experiences in collective dreaming in which the seminar members make use of their own waking dreaming to assist the presenter in dreaming aspects of his experience with the patient that the analytic pair has not previously been able to dream; (3) reading poetry and fiction as a way of enhancing the capacity of the seminar members to be aware of and alive to the effects created by the patient's and the analyst's use of language; and (4) learning to overcome what one thought one knew about conducting analytic work, i.e. learning to forget what one has learned.

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