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WidlöCher, D.D. (1983). The Supervisee and the Supervisor: Interpretations and Interventions. Ann. Psychoanal., 11:91-98.

(1983). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 11:91-98

The Supervisee and the Supervisor: Interpretations and Interventions

Daniel D. WidlöCher, M.D.

The differences between what the supervisee says and how the supervisor speaks are, as a rule, obvious. The new analyst is expected to make interpretations to his patient and to help him experience the unconscious determinisms of his mental activity. In other respects, it is recognized that the supervisor does not make direct interpretations, that he does not have an immediately therapeutic role, and that the educational aims he follows are quite different from the therapeutic aims of a psychoanalysis.

But, from an empirical point of view, these issues raise several problems, difficulties which are related to the fact that the supervisor does not know exactly what the supervisee really says to the patient, and he is never absolutely sure of what he should say.

Let us first consider what the supervisee says. We can ask ourselves why is it so necessary to know what he really says? It is certainly not necessary to have a more exact knowledge of what happened during the sessions, since such exact knowledge would have more drawbacks than advantages. It would give us the delusion that we could master the psychoanalytical situation with the patient by means of the interposed candidate and thereby double for him.

Such a situation should be as harmful for the therapeutic action itself as it would be for the candidate's analytic development. His only choices would then be to yield to our own understanding of the psychoanalytical process, or to defend his own.


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