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Sarnat, J.E. (2019). What's New in Parallel Process? The Evolution of Supervision's Signature Phenomenon. Am. J. Psychoanal., 79(3):304-328.
   

(2019). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79(3):304-328

What's New in Parallel Process? The Evolution of Supervision's Signature Phenomenon

Joan E. Sarnat, Ph.D., ABPP

The concept of parallel process has played a central role in psychoanalytic supervision for the last 60 years, generating continuing interest in the power of the unconscious to create unexpected intersections between the analytic and supervisory relationships. I track the evolution of the concept, starting with its invention by an interpersonalist psychoanalyst, adoption by two ego psychologists, enrichment by object relations theory, and, finally, redefinition as a multidirectional dynamic by relational psychoanalysts. I then further elaborate the relational view of parallel process, illustrating its complex, multidirectional nature with an extended vignette. I discuss the relationship of enactment to parallel process and illustrate the usefulness of supervisory consultation when enactments that parallel into the supervisory relationship lead to impasse. Finally, I point to educational and neuropsychological research that suggests that working with parallel process is good pedagogy.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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