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Perlman, S.D. (1996). The Implications of Transference and Parallel Process for the Frame of Supervision: A Historical Perspective. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 24(3):485-497.

(1996). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 24(3):485-497

The Implications of Transference and Parallel Process for the Frame of Supervision: A Historical Perspective

Stuart D. Perlman, PH.D.*

A gap between theory and practice arises periodically in the literature and discourse in psychoanalysis. This problem sometimes results in the lack of a clear descriptive basis for important aspects of clinical practice. With this in mind, I have addressed what I believe is a very significant issue in psychoanalytic supervision, which has rarely been discussed in the literature.

I would like to make the following points in this article: (a) in theory, the supervision of one's clinical cases should be kept separate from one's personal analysis or therapy. In practice, however, one's personal analyst may conduct the majority of the supervision; (b) the therapist's modeling and transference to the personal analyst is a very pervasive process, which can be even more powerful than the parallel process described in the current literature on the supervisor's influence. The therapist's modeling and transference to the personal analyst are processes that must be integrated into the supervisor's awareness while he or she is supervising; otherwise, difficulties are likely to arise.

Parallel process is defined in the literature as an unconscious dynamic process occurring in one dyad, causing a similar process at two or more other levels. One level is usually seen as causing the other.

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