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Tansey, M.J. (1992). Psychoanalytic Expertise. Psychoanal. Dial., 2(3):305-316.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2(3):305-316

Psychoanalytic Expertise

Michael J. Tansey, Ph.D.

There is substantial and often heated debate concerning the true nature of psychoanalytic expertise. The position is taken that no such characterization will ever attain anything approaching universal consensus. Conclusions that are drawn concerning the nature of psychoanalytic expertise are unalterably influenced by underlying fundamental assumptions concerning emotional development, psychopathology (when that term is even used), and what is needed for useful change to come about. This paper explores the nature of psychoanalytic expertise as it is conceptualized and understood within the three models articulated by Mitchell (1988) that have dominated psychoanalytic theorizing: the drive-conflict model, the developmental-arrest model, and the relational-conflict model. Special attention is paid to considerations of asymmetry and mutuality in the analytic relationship.

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