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Frawley-O'Dea, M.G. (1998). Revisiting the “Teach/Treat” Boundary in Psychoanalytic Supervision: When the Supervisee is Or is Not in Concurrent Treatment. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 26(4):513-527.

(1998). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 26(4):513-527

Revisiting the “Teach/Treat” Boundary in Psychoanalytic Supervision: When the Supervisee is Or is Not in Concurrent Treatment

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, Ph.D.

As psychoanalytic training moved out of Freud's parlor and treatment room and became institutionalized over the last century, a tripartite model of training evolved. Specifically, didactic lectures, the candidate's personal analysis, and supervision with a more experienced analyst form the three cornerstones of psychoanalytic training. Historically, it has been recognized that the developing analyst's personal analysis and supervision represent the most vital components of the training journey. It is primarily within these often intensely felt and, one hopes, transformational relationships that the new analyst learns the craft of psychoanalysis while developing increasing confidence in her or his ability to practice it.

Although the mutual influence of the analytic and supervisory relationships occasionally is mentioned in the literature (Baudry, 1993; Grinberg, 1970; Lesser, 1983; Searles, 1962), few writers, notably Harris and Ragen, (1993), Lester and Robertson (1995), and Marshall (1993), move beyond mere schematic descriptions of possible, and mostly negative phenomena deriving from an individual's simultaneous involvement in both relationships. Perhaps because of this almost singular focus on potentially problematic aspects of the intersecting influence of analysis and supervision, there frequently is a palpable ambiance of anxiety conveyed by writers even mentioning this issue. Usually, this detectable discomfort concerns the possible toxic impingement of the supervisory relationship on the candidate's analysis, especially if the supervisor addresses in any depth the supervisee's countertransference reactions.

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