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Lebovici, S. (1970). Technical Remarks on the Supervision of Psychoanalytic Treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:385-392.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:385-392

Technical Remarks on the Supervision of Psychoanalytic Treatment

S. Lebovici

This paper deals mainly with the technical problems of supervision, but in presenting some general remarks I may not be able to avoid encroaching upon the topics assigned to other contributors to the pre-congress conference.

Supervision is one of the cornerstones of teaching in the traditional sense of the word. The methods it employs have acquired rights of their own, which go well beyond psychoanalysis and which are also valid in the training of psychiatrists, social workers and various specialists in the behavioural sciences. It is therefore very important to be precise regarding its aims and methods, especially now, when in so many countries teaching methods are being questioned by students and teachers, and when it is being advocated that supervision be extended to students who begin taking responsibility in their chosen professions.

When referring to supervision in France, we use the term 'control', which implies the function of the tutor or instructor carried out by an older analyst in relation to a younger one, whereas the word 'supervision' indicates (etymologically speaking) a confrontation between someone who is beginning to see and another who, because of age and experience, 'sees better' and elaborates better because he sees beyond the immediate and the ordinary. Confrontation then, more than teaching, is implied in the term supervision.

Thus I propose that we define, and if possible study, some of the technical problems which are encountered when a young analyst, who in principle is undergoing personal analysis and is starting to treat cases in analysis, reports regularly to an older and more experienced analyst the contents of his sessions with a patient.

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