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Grinberg, L. (1970). The Problems of Supervision in Psychoanalytic Education. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:371-382.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:371-382

The Problems of Supervision in Psychoanalytic Education

León Grinberg

The decision of the Organizing Committee of the Third Pre-Congress Conference on Training to issue three pre-circulated papers on supervision, two of which would cover the theoretical and the technical aspects, relieves me of the need to treat these aspects in detail and allows me to focus my attention more particularly on the third one, which deals with specific supervisory problems.

Before entering into a thorough discussion of this subject I am tempted to quote Freud's well-known remark upon the three 'impossible' professions: analysing, educating and governing (1937). As supervision implies a process of education, and the training analyst usually holds a post within the institute, it follows that he is, ipso facto, engaged in the three demanding and 'painful' tasks. Concerning the first of these, the task of analysing, Freud asked himself: 'But where and how is the poor wretch to acquire the ideal qualifications which he will need in his profession?' (1937). I would like to apply Freud's words to educating and pose still another question: How can the training analyst cope with the heavy burden imposed by the practice of these 'impossible' activities while trying at the same time to do his work well? Naturally, the first answer is to be found in the analyst's own analysis that, as Freud pointed out, still stands as the most reliable guarantee. The deeper and the more successful this analysis is, the more confident and resourceful will the analyst feel in his work.

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