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Casement, P. (2005). The Emperor's clothes: Some serious problems in psychoanalytic training. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(4):1143-1160.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(4):1143-1160

The Emperor's clothes: Some serious problems in psychoanalytic training

Patrick Casement

The author discusses some of the key problems in psychoanalytic training, in particular those problems that stem from the ower differential between training analysts and students in training. One effect of this differential can be that some students feel a pressure to comply with their teachers and supervisors, even their training analyst, in ways that can be seriously detrimental to their development. Further, when something goes wrong in a student's training, how is this to be viewed by those in charge of the training? Also, how are complaints dealt with? Is sufficient weight given to external reality? Too often training analysts, and training committees, get into pathologising a student in a process that should be recognised as ‘wild analysis in committee’, rather than considering more carefully the external realities that may be affecting a student's progress in the training. This ‘analysis’ in committee should never be allowed. There is an urgency for immediate changes to be made in psychoanalytic training so that the problems discussed, with more care being taken, should be prevented from happening. Too often, however, an institutional resistance to change dominates discussions in committee, and in society meetings, with the result that little or no change takes place even after years of debate.

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