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Zepf, S. Gerlach, A. (2013). Commentary on Kernberg's “Suicide Prevention for Psychoanalytic Institutes and Societies”. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 61(4):771-786.

(2013). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 61(4):771-786


Commentary on Kernberg's “Suicide Prevention for Psychoanalytic Institutes and Societies”

Siegfried Zepf and Alf Gerlach

Driven by concern that psychoanalytic institutes and societies will drift into self-inflicted ruin, Otto Kernberg (2012) has offered in this journal (JAPA 60/4, pp. 707-719) some proposals that, if put into practice, he believes would help prevent that suicide. His proposals include recommendations for changes in the organization of psychoanalytic institutes and suggestions for transforming their external contacts and presentation. We will first discuss Kernberg's proposals for reorganizing psychoanalytic institutes.

Recommendations for Reorganizing Psychoanalytic Institutes

Kernberg pleads for reforms concerning the way training analysts, supervisors, and lecturers in psychoanalytic institutes are appointed. To better enable a judgment whether these reforms are well-advised, we will first briefly describe the current procedure.

There is no uniform procedure for becoming a lecturer at a psychoanalytic institute; practically any member of an institute can teach if he or she wants to. No proof whatever of scientific credibility or knowledge is required of prospective lecturers.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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