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2 Comments on “Psychoanalytic Power: Its Unique Character and Self-Destructive Effect by Howard Shevrin”
Shevrin poses the problem as: ” While the training analysis treated, the course work and
supervision educated” but does not offer a clear solution to this serous conflict of interest that cries to high heaven.
In the worst case scenario, when the training analyst would regularly report on the candidate’s “pathology” the procedure was not unlike the Jesuit system where disclosures in the confessional were made known to the religious power-brokers.
Even though such reporting is no longer considered ethical, we cannot know what might still be going on sub rosa. However that may be, the training analyst’s loyalty is split between the needs of the candidate and the needs of the institution. That’s why some graduates were heard to say: this analysis was for training, now I am starting my own private analysis for myself. Only in the latter could the person be assured (relatively, at least), of confidentiality and a safe-guarding of his or her interests.
Like celibacy in the Catholic Church, making treatment as part of psychoanalytic education became mandatory at a certain historical turning point in the history of the psychoanalytic movement (note the term movement, a political and not a scientific one): the institutionalization of the Eitingon scheme of training.
To speak of a candidate’s institutional transference is an evasion: we cannot label it as transference BEFORE we give due condiseration to the ethical flaw in doing treament and training together, instead of keeping them separate, as I argued in my 2007, which Shevrin did not cite.
I would like to add my strong disagreement with what Shevrin asserts about Sabina Spielrein and C. G. Jung, that
1. Conflation: Training analysis was introduced in Berlin in 1922, the Jung-Spielrein alleged “acting out” was discussed in 1909 and a year, 1910 later Freud first published the term countertransference.
2. Present vs. past: We don’t need to beat up on Spielrein and Jung, we have enough examples of how candidates either concealed their “pathology or lied about it to their training analysts, graduated, and THEN acted out with patients, recent examples well known to this readership.
3. Fact-checking: Whatever we wish to think about whether Spielrein and Jung consummated blissful penetration (abi gezunt), they were no longer doctor and patient in 1909, they were ex-patient and ex-doctor, as testifed by Spielrein in her letter to Freud and Jung in a letter to Spielrein’s mother. We owe Spielrein the respect of believing the truth about the stages in the evolution of her relatioship with Freud: from patient (1904-1905), to friend (1905-1908), to poet (1909), or tender love, as I showed in my 1999 paper in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.
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