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Ward, A. Gibson, W. Miqueu-Baz, C. (2010). Between Paranoia and Creativity: Candidates' Experience of Psychoanalytic Training. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 58(5):891-925.

(2010). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 58(5):891-925

Between Paranoia and Creativity: Candidates' Experience of Psychoanalytic Training

Anne Ward, Walter Gibson and Christine Miqueu-Baz

There is widespread concern regarding various aspects of psychoanalytic education. A recent paper by Patrick Casement, drawn widely from his long experience as a supervisor both in the U.K. and abroad, implied that the British Psychoanalytical Society is not exempt from these concerns. To investigate this, a semistructured, anonymous questionnaire was devised and sent to all candidates and all recently qualified analysts at the society. Overall there was a 58% response rate, with 77% of candidates and 39% of recently qualified analysts responding. Concerns were expressed about aspects of the training, but on the whole these were balanced by appreciation. Although strong criticism was expressed by a minority, it seems that when something goes wrong for a candidate, this experience is felt keenly by the peer group as well. The results are discussed in the context of the current training and ethos of the British Society, as well as in relation to a more widespread move toward “competency-based” education. The maturational tasks facing both candidates and trainers are also addressed.

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