This paper brings up the problem of training psychiatrists—and social workers and psychologists—as psychotherapists without formal preliminary training such as the psychoanalytic educational institutions require at the present time. Coleman believes that training in a clinic, utilizing the clinic-team approach, is entirely feasible as a method of learning psychotherapy. This pragmatic approach, he contends, has certain advantages in increasing flexibility, establishing
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attitudes of respect and recognition in relationships with psychologists and social workers, and in dissipating 'residuals of infantile omnipotence' which may have survived a personal analysis.
Coleman suggests that the indoctrination of the student be developed with stress on the meaning and problems of the patient-physician relationship. A once-a-week schedule is found satisfactory for the great majority of patients, with temporary increases in interviews as needed.
The question which will necessarily arise is whether a therapist without a personal analysis and without adequate preliminary indoctrination in psychodynamics will be able to recognize, identify for the patient, and work through with him the complexities of behavior and transference phenomena. Coleman insists on the importance of adequate supervision but indicates the limitations of this training when he declares that 'an important goal in training is to help the student recognize the kind of problems he can handle comfortably and the limitations he must accept in relation to type of patient and therapeutic goal… The therapist himself must learn to identify the areas in which he can be most effective, and to stay within his own limits.'
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Kanzer, M. (1949). Patient-Physician Relationship in Psychotherapy. Psychoanal. Q., 18:124-125