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Glover, W.C. (2010). Who Authorizes the Analyst?. Fort Da, 16(1):9-19.

(2010). Fort Da, 16(1):9-19

Who Authorizes the Analyst?

William C. Glover, Ph.D.

The analyst's only authorization comes from himself.

—J. Lacan, EFP, 1969

Lacan's famous aphorism rings true, but how, exactly, does the analyst own the psychoanalytic method and authorize himself? Further, how does the analyst renew this authorization? After graduation each analyst must find his or her own way to develop and maintain a mature psychoanalytic identity through a combination of continued practice, study, writing, analysis, and consultation, etc. While many are successful, others are not. Organized post-graduate educational efforts can be useful but generally follow a didactic model and don't necessarily facilitate independent thinking or self-authorization. Perhaps analytic development post-training is necessarily Darwinian: self-authorization cannot be provided but must be found by each analyst. However, I believe there is a false dichotomy between authorization by the group and self-authorization. Psychoanalysis can indeed offer group experiences that facilitate the analyst's self-authorization. Over the past decade the Working Party on Comparative Clinical Methods (WPCCM) of the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF) has developed a promising model that has generated a great deal of interest.

In the summer of 2007 I had the opportunity to present a case at a WPCCM workshop held just before the 45th IPA Congress in Berlin. I'd heard from colleagues that the EPF meetings were terrific, thanks to federation-sponsored workshops (Canestri, et. al., 2006). The CCM workshops were recommended because of the working party's innovative way of discussing clinical work. When analysts from different schools meet to discuss clinical work, they generally get bogged down in competitive struggles among differing views. The CCM approach was developed to facilitate a different level of discourse, with a focus on studying the presenter's way of working rather than exchanging opinions on what the presenter should have done.

Since completing my psychoanalytic training, I have experienced the vacuum analysts encounter when the supportive structure of training fades.

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