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(2003). Symposium on Psychoanalytic Training and Education: Editors' Introduction. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(3):289-291.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(3):289-291

Symposium on Psychoanalytic Training and Education: Editors' Introduction

We are pleased to offer this issue devoted to concerns in training and education in psychoanalysis. This is the first of several issues devoted to stepping back and assessing the status of psychoanalysis in the early part of this new century, psychoanalysis' second, in the light of the relational turn that has characterized our recent history.

As you, our readers, well know, there has been an outpouring of writing on the implications for clinical work of the relational turn in psychoanalysis. Those of you who teach and supervise know, too, that there are fundamental implications for the processes of training and education as well. The increased attention given to the subjective experience of analysts, for example, poses challenges for the training process. New questions arise as to how to help candidates learn to use their personal experience in their clinical interactions with patients.

There was a time when a generic psychoanalytic technique could be taught to candidates because an analyst's very personal responses in the context of a unique and specific interaction with a particular patient were not considered central to the process. Now we believe that a personal emotional engagement between patient and analyst is at the very heart of the therapeutic process. But if each such engagement is sui generis, how can we help candidates approach their clinical experiences with a prepared mind, but without a specific road map?

A related challenge for training had to do with the shift in the way we think about the analyst's expertise and authority. Social constructivist epistemology entails a collaborative search for understanding between patient and analyst, the analyst's capacity for objective understanding of the patient becoming complicated by the analyst's inevitable subjective involvement with the patient.

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