The Future of Psychoanalysis: The Debate About the Training Analyst System

This book is concerned with the question of what psychoanalytic training should look like today. Should we go on with the system that has developed over time? Or should we abandon it, and if so, for which reasons?

It provides a detailed and compelling account of the ongoing, sometimes heated, international debate about psychoanalytic training. After nearly a century since the onset of formal psychoanalytic training in the 1920s in Berlin, experiences with the prevalent Eitingon model are presented and looked at from different perspectives. Experienced psychoanalysts from all the regions of the psychoanalytic world and from different schools of psychoanalytic thought and clinical conceptualizations share their ideas, critique, and on occasion, their diagnoses.

Perhaps no other topic of present-day scientific discussion in the field is as prone to evoke more controversial and passionate reactions than the subject of training. This is certainly a result of the fact that the training-analyst system that has been the unique feature of psychoanalytic training for so long, is being more and more fundamentally questioned and seen as a possibly deleterious impediment for the development of a psychoanalytic science that would be able to meet the exigencies of the modern world and of the patients we have to treat today.

The objective of this book is to delineate the pros and cons of this discussion. If the debate is both a passionate and very difficult one, the reasons for this might be seen in the fact that we do not discuss and question scientific positions alone, but an intricate social system that has developed over time. Psychoanalysts have all grown up within this system, and this implies deep emotional identifications and transferences, both oedipal and preoedipal, which are not easy to challenge, change or even give up. However, as one of our modern poets has observed, “he not busy being born is busy dying”. In this sense, this is a book about psychoanalytic obstetrics.

With contributions by Emanuel Berman, Harold P. Blum, Elias M. da Rocha Barros, Kenneth Eisold, Cláudio Laks Eizirik, Gigliola Fornari Spoto, Cesar Garza Guerrero, Otto F. Kernberg, Douglas Kirsner, Robert Michels, Luiz Meyer, Robert L. Pyles, Robert S. Wallerstein, Sara Zac de Filc, and Peter Zagermann.
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