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Kohut, H. (1962). The Psychoanalytic Curriculum. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 10:153-163.

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10:153-163

The Psychoanalytic Curriculum

Heinz Kohut, M.D.

I am appreciative of the honor of having been asked to prepare an account of the Conferences on Curriculum in which I participated. To report to you the facts—and the spirit—of these discussions is, however, not an easy task.

The members of our conferences came from four institutes: from New York, Boston, The State University of New York, and Chicago; and we met twice, each time for a two-day week end. We had no initial agenda, except that each group, as if to introduce itself, had prepared an informal report of its own curriculum. Thus, the Chicago group consisting of Drs. Maxwell Gitelson, Louis Shapiro, and myself, presented the Chicago curriculum; the New York Institute group (Drs. Lillian Malcove, Martin Stein, and Nicholas Young) presented theirs; this was followed by the Boston curriculum described by Drs. Eleanor Pavenstedt, Eveoleen Rexford, and Arthur Valenstein; and finally came the Long Island group (Drs. Mark Kanzer, Sylvan Keiser, and Sidney Tarachow) who discussed the curriculum of The State University of New York.

We discussed and elucidated a number of specific problems; what we prized most, however, was the broadening effect of the interchange among individuals from different locations as an antidote to the dangers of unrecognized provincialism. Our ability to communicate fruitfully with each other was furthered by a number of favorable circumstances. First and foremost, there was great homogeneity among the participants in their basic outlook on the essentials of psychoanalysis. Second, the four institutes in which we had acquired our pedagogical experience are similar in one important respect: they are comparatively large, as regards both their faculty and student body. Third, we benefited greatly from the participation of Dr. Bertram D. Lewin and Miss Helen Ross whose broad knowledge of psychoanalytic education in the United States added welcome dimensions to almost every topic that we touched upon. And finally, we were fortunate indeed to have in our chairman, Dr. Maxwell Gitelson, an excellent discussion leader, whose skillful summaries and tactful guidance kept us from losing our bearings.

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