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Ogden, T.H. (2005). On psychoanalytic supervision. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(5):1265-1280.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(5):1265-1280

On psychoanalytic supervision Language Translation

Thomas H. Ogden

The author provides both a theoretical context for, and clinical illustrations of, the way in which he thinks and works as a psychoanalytic supervisor. The analytic supervisory experience is conceived of as a form of ‘guided dreaming’. In the supervisory relationship, the supervisor helps the analyst to dream (to do conscious and unconscious psychological work with) aspects of the analytic relationship that the analyst is unable to dream or is only partially able to dream. It is the task of the supervisory pair to ‘dream up’ the patient, that is, to create a ‘fiction’ that is true to the supervisee's emotional experience with the analysand. To carry out this work, the supervisor must provide a frame that ensures the supervisee's freedom to think and dream and be alive to what is occurring in the analytic and the supervisory relationship, as well as in the interplay between the two. In one of the clinical illustrations presented, the author illustrates his conception of the importance of the feeling on the part of supervisor and supervisee that (at least occasionally) they have ‘time to waste’. Such a state of mind may provide an opportunity for a type of freely associative thinking that enhances the range and depth of what can be learned from the supervisory experience. In another clinical example, the author describes his own experience in supervision with Harold Searles, which contributed to his conception of the supervisory process.

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