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Chrzanowski, G. (1975). In-Group Dangers. Contemp. Psychoanal., 11:246-249.

(1975). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 11:246-249

In-Group Dangers

Gerard Chrzanowski, M.D.

THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF PSYCHOTHERAPY centers around a host of phenomena related to educational, institutional, ideational and therapeutic principles. Basically, teaching means to impart knowledge and information in an objective fashion. From this point of view, however, it is clear that psychotherapy cannot be taught as if it were mathematics, physics or biology. The reason for this discrepancy lies in the fact that psychotherapy requires a personal, individual dimension which is not applicable in other disciplines. The risk in teaching and learning psychotherapy as if it were a purely technical procedure is the closing off or restricting significant observations and emotional responsiveness because of complex security operations. It means that in contrast to the mathematician, physicist and biologist, personal life experiences play a major part in the analyst's perceptual field as well as in the way in which he reacts to it. In other words, detailed self-knowledge is a prerequisite for the psychotherapist. The main question is how can a sensitive way of self-monitoring best be achieved. We have to examine the inherent difficulties in the accomplishment of this goal as long as we affirm the notion that psychotherapy can be taught.

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