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Sripada, B. (1999). A Comparison of a Failed Supervision and a Successful Supervision of the Same Psychoanalytic Case. Ann. Psychoanal., 26:219-241.

(1999). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 26:219-241

A Comparison of a Failed Supervision and a Successful Supervision of the Same Psychoanalytic Case

Bhaskar Sripada, M.D.

Review of Literature

Fleming and Benedek (1983) suggest a “resistance against the systematic investigation of supervisory teaching,” and attribute this resistance to a concern that a methodical structuring of the supervisory process may interfere with the development of the freefloating attention in the candidate's evolving work ego. They note precise formulations of supervision are, by definition, elusive because they involve the mutually dependent and overlapping processes of learning and teaching. Fleming and Benedek note that such factors can influence the candidate and the supervisor, and “blur the boundaries relevant to the therapeutic and pedagogic roles.” They also note that the supervisor may be confused by his or her own overlapping and double functions, that is, both as the teacher of the candidateanalyst and also the supervising therapist of the patient. Psychoanalytic supervision may be conceptualized in terms of models of supervision which explain the dynamics of analysis and supervision. Due to the ethical necessity to inform the patient of the candidate analyst's training status, any patient is aware that he or she is a supervised clinic patient of the psychoanalytic institute. Moreover, the supervisor is more than an external consultant for the supervisee; the supervisor has the responsibility of overseeing and directing the candidate's analytic efforts in analyzing the patient. The supervisor is also, therefore, inevitably a supervising analyst to the patient and may have the ultimate legal responsibility for the management of the case.

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