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Buechler, S. (2009). A Field of Dreams—The Ideal Psychoanalytic Institute and Training: Introduction to Special Issue on the Ideal Psychoanalytic Institute. Contemp. Psychoanal., 45(3):287-291.

(2009). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 45(3):287-291

A Field of Dreams—The Ideal Psychoanalytic Institute and Training: Introduction to Special Issue on the Ideal Psychoanalytic Institute

Sandra Buechler, Ph.D.

Our forebears were hearty iconoclasts, opposed to conformity, committed to heterogeneity, building an open community of peers, eager to experiment with every aspect of training and practice. Clara Thompson famously said that an institute is not a home. But wouldn't it be fine if we could go home again?

—Marylou Lionells

Analysts are practical dreamers who persevere through endless stretches of futility. An analyst is a clinician whose passion to explore suffering is as great as the need to alleviate it. An analyst is a human being whose longing to understand is equaled by the courage to face the inevitable limits of understanding.

How can we nurture analytic talent? Some of our contributors to this special issue sketched their “dream” institutes, while others have tried to capture the essence of the preparation of an analyst, whether or not they think it ideally takes place within a traditional institute setting. The following questions speak to some of the issues they consider:

1.   Can we describe the “ideal” analytic institute and the essence of the training it would provide? If so, what are its defining characteristics and goals?

2.   Which values and goals inherent in analytic treatment also pertain to analytic training?

3.   What do we want to avoid promoting in analytic training? How might we go about this?

4.   What

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