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Cherry, S. (2018). Becoming a Training and Supervising Analyst: Interviews from the Columbia Postgraduate Analytic Practice Study. IJP Open, 5:17.

(2018). IJP Open, 5:17

Becoming a Training and Supervising Analyst: Interviews from the Columbia Postgraduate Analytic Practice Study

Sabrina Cherry

While much has been written about the Training and Supervising Analyst System (TSA), its role in analysts’ professional development has not been empirically studied. The Columbia Psychoanalytic Practice Study (CPAPS) is a longitudinal study of the careers of Columbia Center graduates. Interviews with 29/37 (78%) analysts graduating from 2003–2009 were analyzed using grounded theory. Our initial questions included: Did the current cohort of graduates view certification and the TSA qualification process as a relevant and important professional step? To what extent were current practice realities impacting the viability of the TSA career path? We found that while many analysts express interest in pursuing TSA appointment (22/29, 76%), a vast majority (26/29, 90%) experience challenges in case-finding, finances, and the work involved at a life stage with competing priorities. Fewer graduates become TSAs than express initial interest, suggesting that graduates find alternate pathways for professional development. Institutes should mentor senior candidates to consider what career path suits them and consider the challenges faced by recent graduates in shaping criteria for TSA appointment. Encouraging analysts who aspire to equally vital postgraduate roles as teachers, supervisors, researchers, clinicians and scholars would be a natural outgrowth of such conversations, enlivening our field, encouraging new knowledge and broadening our professional community.

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