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Garûn, J. (2007). Who should become a Psychoanalyst?. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 15:328-331.

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(2007). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 15:328-331

Who should become a Psychoanalyst?

Josette Garûn Author Information

I was somewhat puzzled as to how to understand the title of today's panel. Who should, who can, or who ought to? The title concerns the question of transmission, of a mode of transmission based and centred on the analytic process. This is a question we need to return to at every stage in the life of a psychoanalyst: selection of candidates, training progress review, admission to the society, election as training analyst.

“Who should become a psychoanalyst?” At first, I heard this question as a wish to identify who is entitled to apply as a candidate. On the other hand, the “should” may also raise the problem of our wishes with respect to whom we would like to have as a colleague: “He or she should apply to be a candidate.” That statement from an analyst, can, if it concerns one of her analysands, lure her into a narcissistic trap and a massive resistance to analysis.

At first I thought the question asked, “Who can apply for psychoanalytic training and become a psychoanalyst?” In answering, we have to place our trust in the analytic process, since, naturally, it is out of the question to think of selecting candidates who would be totally analyzed, cured, and trained. At best we can select candidates truly in analysis and capable of pursuing their self-analysis. This is a process that implies a constant working-through of the sublimation involved in the wish to analyze. But here it is important to remember that sublimation may sometimes

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