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Arlow, J.A. (1963). The Supervisory Situation. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:576-594.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:576-594

The Supervisory Situation

Jacob A. Arlow, M.D.

THE ROLE OF supervision in the training of psychoanalysts does not require any extensive introduction. A great deal has already been written on the subject and the entire matter is being examined, studied, and evaluated by the individual institutes and by the Committee on Psychoanalytic Education of the American Psychoanalytic Association. There are many unsolved problems regarding the technique of supervision, the function of supervision, the theory of supervision, progression in supervision, etc. Lewin and Ross (11) have recently collected data and evaluations from 192 training analysts in response to a questionnaire. They raised scores of questions and many questions are still to be raised.

Supervision as an educational technique is a very complicated matter. It involves all aspects of the pedagogical interaction. In some respects supervision differs not at all from the ordinary tutorial method of teaching. In other respects it resembles a clinical conference and at times it takes on the form, however briefly, of a didactic lecture. This communication recognizes the importance of all these facets of supervision. This communication, however, is directed toward one specific aspect of the supervisory experience. It is concerned with the problem of the theory of supervision and it is oriented toward the question: "What goes on in the sessions?" One might be more precise and say that this paper is oriented toward discussing the essentially unique features of the supervisory experience.

By the essentially unique experience of supervisory experience I refer to the interaction between supervisor and therapist.

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