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Schneider, J. Sadow, L. Wilkerson, C. (2002). Learning Psychoanalysis: A Classification Based on Students’ Learning Trajectories. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 4(2):213-230.

(2002). Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4(2):213-230

Learning Psychoanalysis: A Classification Based on Students’ Learning Trajectories

Jorge Schneider, M.D. , Leo Sadow and Clifton Wilkerson

This study was undertaken in an effort to sharpen selection procedures and improve faculty response to the learning needs of students. Eschewing a traditional anticipatory approach in determining suitability for training, the authors undertook a retrospective study to investigate the learning trajectories of candidates. A learning trajectory is defined as the particular way individuals learn, or fail to learn, as they advance through an Institute's training program. The database of this study grew out of the authors’ experience with students in classrooms, in supervision, and from discussions about them in Progression, Selection, and The Evaluation of Learning committees. Realizing the reductionism of categorizing a highly complex and diverse group of individuals, the authors, nonetheless, found that candidates tended to group into five rather distinct categories. This paper discusses in detail the characteristics of these five categories and suggests ways in which this grouping may help in both selection and in planning more effective training for candidates. The authors are fully aware that this study has impressionistic qualities and warrants more rigorous research methods, but hope that it will arouse interest in other psychoanalytic centers and stimulate studies to corroborate, refine, or reject the conclusions reached by this group.

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