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Berkman, K. Press, M. (1993). Process Notes: Two Candidates Consider Their Training. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 2(3):367-377.

(1993). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 2(3):367-377

Process Notes: Two Candidates Consider Their Training

Kathy Berkman, M.D. and Michele Press, M.D.

On the first day of classes at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, five of us nervously gathered in a small, overly lit room with pale yellow walls, containing several chairs and what seemed to be a standard-issue analytic couch. A portrait of Freud hung on the wall and a bust of him was situated on top of a nearby table. To us, the uninitiated, this room had the appearance of a consulting room in caricature: spare, nonrevealing, and “Freudian.” Outside, in the hall, was a large poster of Freud along with more portraits of him at various stages of life. Not surprisingly, when the chairman of the Education Committee invited us to introduce ourselves, all anyone volunteered was whether or not a personal analysis had commenced and if so, how many years had been logged in. What would have been far more interesting, if we could have borne the self-exposure, would have been to describe what had interested us in analysis at the time, and how we had come to consider applying for training. What we might have found out, had we been bolder, is that each of us had notions about training not unlike those of an oedipal child: idealizing, guiltily curious, aggressive, and romantic.

Now, in our fourth and final year of classes, each of us with several cases in supervision and more than a few years of personal analysis behind us, we find ourselves interested in what role the various aspects of our training played in our evolution as analysts. Tripartite in nature, the psychoanalytic program at our institute consists of a training analysis, the analysis of several supervised cases, and a course of classroom study.

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