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Pastorova, A. Jacobs, M.S. (2000). Becoming a Psychoanalyst in Russia Today. Am. Imago, 57(1):69-70.

(2000). American Imago, 57(1):69-70

Becoming a Psychoanalyst in Russia Today

Alla Pastorova and Marilyn S. Jacobs

I first learned about psychoanalysis when I was a psychology student at St. Petersburg State University. Along with other major psychological orientations, it was a requirement to study psychoanalysis. I found that I was attracted to the psychoanalytic approach because it was one without manipulations. I was very excited to discover psychoanalysis.

After I completed my university education in 1996, I began training in child psychoanalysis. This instruction was provided by my participation in seminars of the Society of Child Psychoanalysis in St. Petersburg. I have found the psychoanalytic approach to be very useful in understanding babies and their families. This group met on a regular basis to discuss psychoanalytic readings and participate in group supervision. On a regular basis, our group has obtained supervision from visiting psychotherapists. These individuals have included instructors from the Anna Freud Center in London who visited St. Petersburg. During 1999, I began participation in a group seminar of IPA affiliated psychoanalysts who visit St. Petersburg once a month.

Also during 1999, I began supervision over the Internet with an American psychoanalyst. During these weekly exchanges, I exchanged transcripts of my clinical work with my American supervisor. It was a unique opportunity to discuss my cases and it was very useful for me.

In Russia, training opportunities for psychologists interested in psychoanalysis are very, very limited. Therefore, my colleagues and myself are always interested in opportunities to visit international conferences related to psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Some of the psychologists who I know have engaged in “shuttle analysis” in Latvia or Finland where there are IPA affiliated psychoanalysts who offer training. I recently have had two interviews with IPA supervisors about the possibility of engaging in shuttle analysis.

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