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Waelder, R. (1962). Symposium: Selection Criteria for the Training of Psycho-Analytic Students. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:283-286.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:283-286

Symposium: Selection Criteria for the Training of Psycho-Analytic Students

Robert Waelder

III. The Selection of Candidates

The selection of candidates is perhaps the most important question in psycho-analytic education; at least, it is the one that is least subject to future correction. A training analysis that did not yield as much as it should, may be, and often is, supplemented by a later, post-graduate, analysis. The curriculum can be altered in the light of experience, and many a certified analyst will still avail himself of the opportunity of improved offerings. New supervision may be sought, often from analysts from another Institute. The selection of candidates is the only thing in psycho-analytic education that is not subject to later improvement once the candidate has been graduated, and if the ratio of graduates who are not sufficiently qualified rises above a certain level of tolerance, effective limits are set to the further development of psycho-analysis and even to the intact preservation of past achievements. Things are not made easier by the fact that there are no objective criteria of selection, and that decisions have to be made on the basis of impressions, evaluated in the light of an experience which is necessarily small even with the most experienced psycho-analytic instructors.

There is a large measure of agreement with regard to the qualities that are desirable in a future analyst. But this consensus is not as helpful as might at first be thought, because the list of requirements is so large that there is not much chance of finding any actual applicants who answer to all the specifications.

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