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Gitelson, M. (1960). Psychoanalytic Education in the United States: By Bertram D. Lewin and Helen Ross. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1960. 478 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:559-567.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:559-567

Psychoanalytic Education in the United States: By Bertram D. Lewin and Helen Ross. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1960. 478 pp.

Review by:
Maxwell Gitelson

It seems appropriate to begin a discussion of this book with a statement which the authors themselves make about their conception of it:

… This is not, in the surveyors' opinion, an opinionated book. Our wish was to present facts rather than preconceptions, to speculate rarely, to philosophize overtly and separately. 'How to do it' when 'it' is to educate psychoanalytically, is up to our professional educators. The surveyors have tried to abide by the Armorer's Oath that Shaw recites in Major Barbara, to supply arms to all parties and to all causes.

For psychoanalysts this is a happy opportunity. It is not often, in our work, that we are permitted to see facts untrammeled by rationalizations and, in our literature, to be presented with data so clearly distinct from inference and reconstruction. Considering that so many of the divergent views which have concerned us have reached their crises in the United States in issues of training, and recalling how all of this has eventuated in a numerology of training regulations, in lieu of a general psychoanalytic theory of psychoanalytic education, it is good to have before us, at last, a definitive statement of the actual state of affairs in our institutes and training centers. It may be that from the clinical situation in the field we will be able to retrace our steps toward a congruent theoretical outlook. For what is most impressive about the reported findings is that the unique problems of psychoanalytic training and education which they bring into focus also highlight the problems of analytic process and analytic goal, leaving little room for the simplifications of theory and practice which have been so tempting.

In this review I shall not attempt to deal with facts and figures as such. Their presentation in the book is already a masterpiece of condensation. Further efforts in this direction would be gratuitous. Rather will it be my purpose to discuss some of the generalizations and speculations which the authors have permitted themselves, and to try to draw some warranted conclusions.


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