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Crowther, C. Wiener, J. Tserashchuk, A. Tsivinsky, V. Volodina, E. Alexandrova, N.L. (2011). Fifteen Minute Stories about Training. J. Anal. Psychol., 56(5):627-652.

(2011). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(5):627-652

Fifteen Minute Stories about Training

Catherine Crowther, Jan Wiener, Alena Tserashchuk, Vladimir Tsivinsky, Elena Volodina and Natalia L. Alexandrova

This panel presentation at the journal's conference in St Petersburg responded to the conference theme of ‘Ancestors in Personal, Professional and Social History’ by relating it to the experience of training and being trained on the IAAP ‘router’ programme in Russia. The two organizers of the programme (JW and CC) have worked in Russia for over 12 years, bringing analysts from Britain to Moscow and St Petersburg on a ‘shuttle’ basis as supervisors and personal analysts. A few months after handing over the router programme in December 2010 to the Russian colleagues they had trained, they invited four analysts, three Russian and one Belarusian, to tell a short personal story about their training, linking it to the theme of ‘the Ancestors’. The resulting four stories are very different but complement each other, using imagery to illustrate issues concerning both value and ambivalence. JW and CC jointly wrote their story about the programme in response to the four stories, reflecting on some of their themes and from them, giving consideration to the flexibility and limits of such a model of cross-cultural training. Themes in the stories included the possibility of mutual adaptation to another culture without losing tradition and identity; moving on from doctrinaire Soviet attitudes in education to embrace ‘not knowing’; both organizers and routers learning from mistakes and from joint experience without guilt or shame; the need to protect reflective space amidst the constraints of time and geography. All Russian and UK contributors could finally acknowledge their shared luck to find themselves in the right place at the right time to respond to the collective revival of psychoanalytic practice in Russia.

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