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Milrod, B. (2000). On Becoming a Psychoanalyst. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 11-15.

Milrod, B. (2000). On Becoming a Psychoanalyst. Changing Ideas In A Changing World: The Revolution in Psychoanalysis. Essays in Honour of Arnold Cooper, 11-15

On Becoming a Psychoanalyst Book Information Previous Up Next

Barbara Milrod, M.D.

Arnold Cooper was my residency training director at the Payne Whitney Clinic and the psychiatric world was different when I was a resident. It was possible for a training director, if he chose, to place tremendous emphasis in terms of time and resource allocation to careful clinical education of psychiatric trainees. Arnie expected his residents to perform clinically at their very best at all times. His psychoanalytic background was at the core of what he communicated as an educator. Working with Arnie, it was difficult to imagine becoming a solid clinician without having the benefit of a psychoanalytic education.

Nonetheless, long before I first met Arnold Cooper, it was inevitable that I would become a psychoanalyst. Both of my parents are psychoanalysts; my father is on the faculty of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and is a psychoanalytic scholar in superego pathology and depression. My mother is a child analyst. Everything in my home seemed to revolve around psychoanalysis. My parents were excited about psychoanalytic concepts and they viewed so much of the world, from art to people, through an analytic lens. For me, the aura of the field was emotionally charged. The story that I eventually told one of my interviewers when I applied to analytic school was emblematic: my father's office was located in our home, and as a young child I used to sneak out to his waiting room to try to overhear what was happening in his office. I often heard ladies crying. I was dying to know what he was doing in there.

In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino has Marco Polo say to Kablai Khan: “Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.

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