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Frank, J. (1951). The Trial Period in Training Analysis. Bul. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 7(2):148-152.

(1951). Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7(2):148-152

The Trial Period in Training Analysis

Jan Frank, M.D.

The selection of candidates for training in psychoanalysis is a major problem concerning all Training Institutes. Methods for determining suitability vary to some extent from Institute to Institute. Some use intensive interviews and psychological examinations; others consider a trial period in analysis a suitable means for determining the selection of the candidate. Whatever the method, problems continually arise. Frequently after the candidate is selected, the suitability for continuance in training presents a constant problem. It has been felt by some that perhaps the customary trial period in analysis could also be of help to facilitate the evaluation of suitability of a candidate. Actually it frequently rests with the training analyst to determine such suitability. Let us therefore examine the problem of the trial period in training analysis a bit more closely.

Although it is a truism to state that the motivation of physicians in procuring psychoanalytic training has changed considerably since the war years, the impact of the changed reality pressure to obtain training in relation to the six months or so trial training period, has not been sufficiently inquired into. To be more specific, I personally feel that the reality factor as to what psychoanalytic training means for the career of a psychiatrist is such that it jeopardizes the value of selecting candidates by the trial training method. The premium to be accepted is such “a reality resistance” that it blurs the free flow of associations and thus is conducive to dislocating the transference situation, in fact, the whole analytic situation. One of the most valuable methods of selecting candidates thus becomes questionable. Are we justified therefore in continuing with this technique of selection or should candidates, after interviews by the members of respective training committees and psychological tests be accepted as bona fide, as it were, candidates.

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