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Downing, D.L. Dershowitz, A. Higgins, B. (2012). Inclusion of Psychoanalytic Thought in Doctoral Programs of Psychology: Results of a Survey of APA- and CPA-Accredited Programs. DIVISION/Rev., 5:38-41.

(2012). DIVISION/Review, 5:38-41

Inclusion of Psychoanalytic Thought in Doctoral Programs of Psychology: Results of a Survey of APA- and CPA-Accredited Programs

David L. Downing, PsyD, ABPP, Aimee Dershowitz, M.A. and Bryn Higgins, PsyD

Paper Based on a Presentation for the 31st Annual Spring Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Division of Psychoanalysis (39), New York, New York April 13-17, 2011

In attempting to transmit an ethos of treatment as embedded within and across the many paradigms contained within the movement known as “psychoanalysis,” the primary author has encountered considerable difficulty in his roles as a practicing psychoanalyst who is also an administrator and professor in a doctoral program in clinical psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association. Being inclusive of the paradigmatic diversity that marks the psychoanalytic movement; as well as how to effectively communicate often dense, turgid material, generally embedded in complex jargon, to professionals-in-training, presents daunting enough challenges. Graduate students in contemporary professional school programs-usually “generalist” and diverse with respect to theory to begin with-are individuals for whom psychoanalysis may represent an alien, and often unwanted, excursion into a little-known theoretical and clinical practice base. Additionally, it is well-known that many graduate psychology programs are not merely disinclined toward psychoanalysis, but have, especially in the United States, been positively hostile toward it; jettisoning it from the curriculum and the discourse of the program and, hence, the profession completely. Adding the problems attendant with a contemporary cultural milieu of the country that privileges a distinctly reductive biobehavioral model that negates the complexities of an experiencing subject-let alone an intrapsychic focus that includes the possibility of the dynamic unconscious, and the challenges facing psychoanalysis in simply remaining relevant, are obvious.

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