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Cresci, M.B. (2003). Reply to Panel Follow-up Questions. Psychoanal. Dial., 13(3):433-435.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 13(3):433-435

Reply to Panel Follow-up Questions Related Papers

Mary Beth M. Cresci, Ph.D.

Question #1

THERE ARE FURTHER IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR CANDIDATES IN THE EMPHASIS of many of our theoretical models on the impact of the analyst's countertransference. Just as candidates' analysts are no longer considered to be blank screens for the candidates' transference, the candidates are no longer expected to be blank screens in the analytic treatments they conduct. The emphasis in supervision and the personal analysis is no longer to eliminate the countertransference difficulties of the candidates so that they can conduct the analyses of their patients without being affected by the analysand's transference. The candidates' impact on their analysands/patients can be seen as an essential, unavoidable part of the process that needs to be acknowledged and understood. This new paradigm requires that training more directly consider the candidates' countertransference to their analysands (or, as Lachmann, 2001, would suggest, the candidates' transference to their analysands).

Clearly, it is a very delicate matter fraught with narcissistic issues to begin to help candidates assess themselves and understand their impact on their analysands. While we might hope that their personal analyses would help the candidates with this objective, there are limitations to the extent that we can expect the candidates to bring this material to analysis. The personal analysis is not, after all, expected to focus primarily on the candidates' work lives. For the most part, our courses provide limited opportunities to address this topic since many of them have considerable didactic material to present and discuss. Process courses, especially those that deal with transference and countertransference issues, may touch on this subject.

The best opportunity to look carefully at the candidates' impact on their analysands is within the supervisory relationship. In that intimate experience, a good supervisor can get a sense of a candidate's personality as it is displayed in a variety of analytic dyads.

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