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Wolstein, B. (1984). A Proposal to Enlarge the Individual Model of Psychoanalytic Supervision. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:131-144.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:131-144

A Proposal to Enlarge the Individual Model of Psychoanalytic Supervision

Benjamin Wolstein, Ph.D.

IN THIS ESSAY, I SHALL describe a proposal to reconsider and enlarge the individual model of psychoanalytic supervision into the small case seminar model. My aim is not simply to replace the model of current practice, but to modify it so as to reflect the changes already made in psychoanalytic therapy since the 1940s, when the one-to-one model of supervision was first instituted. The psychoanalytic supervision of transference and countertransference, which was not thought feasible then but is sought as a routine matter now, gives rise to a direct extension of the candidate's personal psychoanalysis, and also, of course, to the supervisor's as well. But since one-to-one supervision is not, in fact, a personal psychoanalytic experience for either participant, I believe it yields a form of psychoanalytic teaching and learning that tends to constrict, to interfere with, even to distort the transmission of psychoanalytic knowledge.

A number of problematic aspects of individual psychoanalytic supervision makes it rather difficult, occasionally impossible, for a supervisor and candidate to carry out their responsibilities toward one another.

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