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Scharff, J.S. Scharff, D.E. (2017). Group Affective Learning in Training for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(6):1619-1639.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(6):1619-1639

Educational and Professional Issues

Group Affective Learning in Training for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

Jill Savege Scharff and David E. Scharff

(Accepted for publication 7 December 2016)

This paper describes The Group Affective Model, a method for teaching psychoanalytic concepts and their clinical application, using multi-channel teaching, process and review in group settings, and learning from experience in an open systems learning community for psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. This innovation arose in response to criticism of existing methods in psychoanalytic education that have subordinated the primary educational task to that of the training analysis. Noticing this split between education and training analysis, between cognition and affect, and between concepts of individual and group unconscious processes, we developed the Group Affective Model for teaching and learning psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in an open psychological space in which students and faculty experience individual and group processes of digestion, assimilation, and review, which demonstrate the concepts in action and make them available for internalization selectively.

We discuss our philosophy and our educational stance. We describe our institution and our participants. We give examples of teaching situations that we have studied to provide some insight about assimilation and internalization of the concepts and clinical approaches being taught. We discuss the transferability of the Group Affective Model to other teaching settings and psychoanalytic training institutions and propose it as the fourth pillar of psychoanalytic training, next to analytic treatment, clinical supervision, and didactic seminars.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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