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Crewdson, F. (1986). A Psychoanalytic Teaching Exercise. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 14(3):385-393.

(1986). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 14(3):385-393

A Psychoanalytic Teaching Exercise

Frank Crewdson, M.D.

This paper will offer a detailed account of a clinical didactic exercise used by the author over a five-year-period to introduce first-year psychoanalytic students to the psychoanalytic process and the technical concept of resistance. In preparation, the class has read Ralph Greenson on the clinical appearance of resistance (Greenson, 1967) and the early technical papers of Freud. A single psychoanalytic session from the author's practice was selected because it demonstrated resistance in a highly visible way, so that even beginning students would be able to recognize its appearance and dynamic significance. The material is a nearly complete session derived from notes taken during the session.

During a brief orientation at the outset of the ninety-minute class, the students are told that the case material is divided into short numbered segments of only a few lines each which will be read to them with frequent pauses for discussion. As they follow the reading, the students number their papers and take notes. For each numbered segment all the students write, if the excerpt is a theme, a resistance, a transference reaction or an intervention; the latter has been explained before and can include the standard technical interventions such as clarification or interpretation. In addition, written comments addressed to the developing dynamics are encouraged. After the reading of two to four segments, the instructor asks the students in strict rotation what has been written for a particular numbered segment. After the designated student for that segment gives her/his response, a short discussion is encouraged before moving to the next student in rotation for a response to the next numbered segment. The students quickly learn on which upcoming segment she/he will be commenting.

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