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WAWI Council-of-Fellows (1984). Response to Dr. Wolstein. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:146-147.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:146-147

Response to Dr. Wolstein

WAWI Council-of-Fellows

COUNCIL MEMBERS DIFFER IN THEIR understanding of Dr. Wolstein's meaning, particularly with regard to his concept of the supervisory process. Many Fellows understand Dr. Wolstein to be arguing for supervision as an extension of the personal psychoanalysis. They read him as stating that the teaching-learning potential of the one-to-one model of supervision (modeled after the analysis) is actually aborted by the supervisee's claim to privacy when confronted by personal material which the supervisee and the supervisor believe is subject matter for the candidate's analysis, solely or primarily. And further, that the original intent of the one-to-one model, i.e., the experiential enlightenment of the supervisee with respect to transfernce and countertransference issues, can not be realized, supposedly because of the shield of confidentiality. However, the problems of working with a recalcitrant supervisee would be vitiated by group supervision during which peers can pick up the ball and run with it. The Fellows' responses are largely in disagreement with these premises. They believed as follows:

Supervision is not an extension of psychoanalysis. If one does not assume that it is, then one can proceed in supervision even if one does not take up issues that are identified as "analytic."

What Dr. Wolstein argues for in supervision is too ambitious and too perfect. Supervision cannot deal with all aspects of the doctor-patient relationship. There are many factors which define the supervisor-supervisee relationship and influence what gets verbalized. Few things get resolved; yet a good learning process can take place if supervisor and supervisee can reach each other in some essentials in discovering the patient. One should not be so interested in curing, nor should one be so intent on analyzing everything.

One doesn't learn to do psychoanalysis only in supervision but through all of one's experiences whether these are interpersonal, intellectual and cultural (books, theater, etc.).

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