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Crastnopol, M. (2003). Reply to Panel Follow-up Questions. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(3):431-432.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(3):431-432

Reply to Panel Follow-up Questions Related Papers

Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D.

The Two Questions Emerging from My Colleagues' Commentaries tap issues that seem to me to be the cutting edge for psychoanalytic education in the 21st century. Implicit in my own commentary was a resounding “yes” and an exploration of these suggestions. I described my experience with, and offered recommendations with regard to factoring in, the candidate's character and the critical, comparative evaluation of competing theories.

I can add only that what is required of us educators to implement these ideas is an open-mindedness to difference and, at the same time, a discriminating sensibility for what leads to the most effective analytic work. We need to recognize when our narcissistic needs cause us to adhere to tenets or techniques that are more time honored than time tested. We need to embrace and uphold standards without shaming ourselves, our trainees, or our patients.

As to further organizational recommendations, I think that we should consider making standard for those who wish to educate candidates a postcertificate program in clinical supervision, in the didactic instruction of psychoanalytic concepts, or in both. Supervision programs are of course already in operation here and there, but they are not necessarily mandatory for faculty status at a given institute. Perhaps they should be. And we have failed to consider the specialized nature of teaching analytic material and theories as worthy of separate training.

An important goal of such postcertificate programs would be to deal constructively with the issue of shame I mentioned earlier. We are carefully taught how to titrate our patients' affects of anxiety, fear, anger, and humiliation, but little systematic attention is given to our approach to the same affects as they arise in our supervisees. The excessive arousal and inadequate handling of those negative feelings in candidates is probably the most disruptive influence on their learning and maturational processes.

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