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The Information icon  (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Sachs, D.M. (1983). Becoming a Psychoanalyst. A Study of Psychoanalytic Supervision: Edited by Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1981. 351 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:432-440.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:432-440

Becoming a Psychoanalyst. A Study of Psychoanalytic Supervision: Edited by Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1981. 351 pp.

Review by:
David M. Sachs

In the early nineteen-sixties, psychoanalytic educators were concerned that the methods and goals of supervisors might have been more diverse than those of training analysts and of faculty members teaching didactic courses. If their concerns were justified, it indicated that an imbalance existed in the tripartite model of psychoanalytic education that would make it difficult to maintain educational standards. The Committee on Psychoanalytic Education (COPE) of the American Psychoanalytic Association decided to investigate matters by appointing a Study Group on Supervision, in 1965, to examine the educational, philosophical, and psychological assumptions that comprise the foundation of supervision. To fulfill all these ambitions would require more than one project, but the Study Group accepted the challenge. This volume is a fascinating documentation of the way in which they discharged their assignment.

The Study Group began by reviewing letters from supervisors describing how effectively they believed candidates "mastered the clinical practice of psychoanalysis" (p. 2). But this approach showed them more about how supervisors evaluate what candidates learn than about how supervision works as an educational process. Since it was the latter issue that the Study Group wished to examine in detail, they designed a research project to elicit the desired data. One member of the group, Herbert Schlesinger, prepared process notes on his first fourteen supervisory sessions with a candidate-analyst. Neither the candidate-analyst nor his patient were informed that the study was being done, since the Study Group hoped to have data uninfluenced by reactions to involvement in a study. Two unexpected consequences resulted from this. First, there is evidence throughout the book that, despite the lack of feedback from the Study Group, being in a study influenced the supervisor anyway, and the effects were transmitted to the candidate-analyst.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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