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Dewald, P.A. (1981). Aspects of the Supervisory Process. Ann. Psychoanal., 9:75-89.

(1981). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 9:75-89

II Psychoanalytic Education

Aspects of the Supervisory Process

Paul A. Dewald, M.D.

It is my thesis that psychoanalytic supervision can best be conceptualized as a process of interaction in which each participant is acutely sensitive to the input and responses of the other. There is an unfolding sequence of experience in any single case of candidate-supervisor pairing, and also a progressive development within the candidate involved with multiple cases and multiple supervisors.

Although there are a number of similarities between the supervisory and the psychoanalytic process, there are also significant differences which must be respected if supervision is to be effective.

The Goals of Supervision

If the goals of supervision are well understood, experiences to maximize the possibility of achieving them can more readily be designed, and checkpoints to help us evaluate whether and when we have reached them will be available.

From a more narrow perspective, the goals of the supervisory process are to impart to the candidate a minimum core of psychoanalytic technique as it is applied to the particular patient under study. We seek to help the candidate integrate awareness of psychoanalytic theory with the data base of the particular clinical situation; and we also hope to help the candidate develop a capacity to shift back and forth from microscopic to macroscopic perspectives in regard to clinical material.

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