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Bosworth, H. Aizaga, K.H. Cabaniss, D.L. (2009). The Training Analyst: Anayst, Teacher, Mentor. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(1):188-191.

(2009). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1):188-191

The Training Analyst: Anayst, Teacher, Mentor

Hillery Bosworth, Karen H. Aizaga and Deborah L. Cabaniss

The training analysis has been considered a critical component of psychoanalytic education since the advent of formalized psychoanalytic training. However, its aims, in particular its educational aims, have been unclear and controversial. Although the literature has historically stressed that the training analysis should be identical to a nontraining “therapeutic analysis,” we hypothesized that differences do exist between the two, particularly with respect to educational aims. The purpose of this study was to begin to clarify these aims by studying what is actually done in the field. Using anonymous questionnaires, we asked candidates at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research to identify aims they felt were being achieved in the training analysis and to identify certain types of interventions that their training analysts made. We anticipate conducting a sparallel study of the views of their training analysts.

Historical Background

Freud initially conceptualized the training analysis as having many frankly educational aims, including evaluation of suitability to become an analyst, introduction to the unconscious, and demonstration of psychoanalytic technique. Many later psychoanalytic educators, however, believed the training analysis should be identical to any other analysis, serving only to free the future analyst of neurotic conflict. Today, although the American Psychoanalytic Association endorses some educational aims for the training analysis, essential questions remain poorly understood.

Understanding the aim of the training analysis has many ramifications. If the analysis has educational aims, then training analysts should be aware of what these are and what role the analyst plays in helping the candidate achieve them. A recognition of educational aims would impact the technique of the training analyst when analyzing candidates.

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