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Lachmann, F.M. (2003). Supervision: The Devil Is in the Details. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(3):341-353.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(3):341-353

Supervision: The Devil Is in the Details

Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D.

Close attention to the process of a treatment is proposed as an ideal vehicle for examining the analyst-patient interaction and teaching analytic listening, understanding, and intervening. A balance needs to be maintained between too dogged attention to details, which can lead the supervisee to feel outclassed, criticized, shamed, and constricted, on one hand, and abandoned and deprived of support because of insufficient input, on the other. In discussing the two treatments presented, I approach supervision with a focus on the dialectic between repetition and transformation in the therapist-patient interaction, the distinction between leading-edge and trailing-edge interpretations, and the coconstruction of model scenes and imagery to broaden the analytic context. In supervising, I would amplify these topics by recommending relevant readings: some papers by Peter Fonagy, Dan Stern and the Process of Change Study Group of Boston, and some of my own work.

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