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Watkins, C.E., Jr. (2013). The Contemporary Practice of Effective Psychoanalytic Supervision. Psychoanal. Psychol., 30(2):300-328.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 30(2):300-328

The Contemporary Practice of Effective Psychoanalytic Supervision

C. Edward Watkins, Jr., Ph.D.

What are the primary features or themes that have come to increasingly define the effective practice of psychoanalytic supervision? In this article, I give attention to that question — identifying and reflecting upon a set of 10 “emerged” or “emerging” guideposts that seem to capture key facets or factors of the supervision scene now. Some of the areas that are reviewed include: (a) having fire, passion, and spirit for doing psychoanalytic supervision; (b) the learning alliance, real relationship, and supervision agreement; (c) analytic and supervisory reflectivity; (d) acute apprehension of the supervisory field (i.e., understanding and productively utilizing analytic and supervision transference, countertransference, and parallel process phenomena); (e) supervision intervention; and (f) individual and developmental diversity. Each of those areas is examined for its supervisory significance, and effort is made to develop a contemporary portrait of some of the essentials of effective psychoanalytic supervision practice. That resulting portrait is then placed within the context of the current competency movement, and the need to more clearly articulate a competency-based approach for psychoanalytic supervision is considered. Now over a century old, psychoanalytic supervision has proven to be a vibrant, vital, and vitalizing component of psychoanalytic education—a cornerstone in the “making” of psychoanalytic practitioners. In what follows, I hope to communicate and celebrate some of why that is so and reflect on how we might contribute to the further enrichment of that generative tradition.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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