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Heimann, P. (1968). The Evaluation of Applicants for Psychoanalytic Training—The Goals of Psychoanalytic Education and the Criteria for the Evaluation of Applicants. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:527-539.

(1968). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 49:527-539

The Evaluation of Applicants for Psychoanalytic Training—The Goals of Psychoanalytic Education and the Criteria for the Evaluation of Applicants

Paula Heimann


When I was pondering about Dr Kohut's invitation to prepare this paper, my task appeared to me in three images: if the paper was to facilitate and stimulate discussion, it should have the characters of a basis and a framework and a backcloth. As a basis, the paper would provide a solid communication with the work already done on these problems and so secure coherence with the past; as a framework, it would protect discussion from spilling over the necessary boundaries—a risk with which we are all familiar since we have been trained to free association. The image of the backcloth is taken from the theatre, the "boards that represent the world", and what it expresses is the opposite of the former concept of boundary. The backcloth on the stage suggests the continuation of the events depicted in the foreground, a continuation that extends far beyond our actual range of vision and ends in the infinite. In other words, I saw the functions of this paper as starting off with information about the already existing views and definitions of the goals of psychoanalytic education and the correlated criteria for evaluation—hence the bibliography which Kohut added to his letters before the Pre-Congress. Such information should be factually correct, well-ordered, systematic, and integrative. We have a model of such information in Greenacre's admirable Digest (1961). Unfortunately, to follow this model is beyond my abilities, and I shall make no attempt to present a critical digest of the relevant literature since 1961.

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