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Habermas, T. (2016). On: Jorge Schneider and Colleagues ‘Psychoanalytic Training Experience and Postgraduate Professional Development’. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(2):503.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(2):503

Letters to the Editor

On: Jorge Schneider and Colleagues ‘Psychoanalytic Training Experience and Postgraduate Professional Development’ Related Papers

Tilmann Habermas

Dear Editors,

The authors have undertaken the laudable effort of adding information based on a survey of all living graduates of one training institute to the discussion about how we might revitalize and render more attractive psychoanalytic training. However, I wish to caution that their generally complacent summary which is that their study did not support Otto Kernberg's criticism of psychoanalytic training as authoritarian and infantilizing, forestalling creativity, independent research and writing activities, as well as isolating members from the cultural and especially academic public, is not supported by their data. Firstly, who responded to the questionnaire? There was a dropout rate of 40%. It seems plausible to assume that those who are identified with the local institute are more motivated to reply, biasing answers in a positive direction. It is not clear whether all graduates had been successfully traced or confirmed as deceased. To exclude former candidates who had not graduated biases results, as might excluding present candidates. Secondly, who asked? It is not clear what the position of the authors is in the institute, and whom respondents believed to be responding. Apparently the survey was endorsed by the faculty of the institute, so it was perceived as coming from the leaders of the institute. Again, this creates a potential bias. If the signed consent was returned with the questionnaire, there was no anonymity. Thirdly, what was asked? The questions are for the most part positively formulated and remain within the given institutional frame (e.

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