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Saturday, 28 January 2017

I do not need proof to the validity and value of psychoanalysis; I have been for decades and still is an psychoanalyst (clinical). My concern is the laxity and flippant manner contemporary psychoanalysts are dealing with serious matters like training and research. It is a result of our self centeredness and isolation in our psychoanalytic community, which is no longer of any importance to anyone but us. The poor quality of  contemporary psychoanalysis is alarming but most of us are not paying attention to being shadows in the old great hall of psychoanalysis. 
I will try as much as possible for me to push for opening up the psychoanalytic community to relearn psychoanalysis from those who know it better than us. We have become like the good old indian widows who had to die when their husbands die. Psychoanalysis as we have rendered it in the last four or five decades is dying-as thought, theory, new knowledge even as a psychotherapy.  We will die with it if we do not stop being the conceited professionals we have become. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Research in Psychoanalysis:  

Eighty or ninety years ago, we were a highly respected lot of professionals: we were discovering new and fascinating things about the human subject. We created a unique vocabulary and but used it carelessly. Fifty years later we were expected to account for our discoveries by people who were not part of our closed community. Karl Popper questioned our way of thinking because we started to use our vocabulary as if it is the discovery itself. Eysenck demanded proofs to what we presumed to be facts. Instead of looking into those criticisms we tightened the noose around ourselves and ignored criticism. Gradually but surely, we felt inferior to other professionals. Then came the thought that research is the means to proving our worth. It was a regrettable thought because all what we had in mind is to imitate research done in psychology and psychiatry, not realising that psychoanalysis is not a psychology or a psychiatry.    
Research is meant to exact answers to floating questions that could sometimes take the form of a hypotheses. To start, we have to eliminate the two notions that there are quantitative researches and qualitative researches and that quantitative research is better. You say: “Practically, all research is initially qualitative-by definition-otherwise from where do hypotheses emanate? In good (my emphasis) research, one usually moves from qualitative to quantitative”. To take a short cut: if all research start qualitatively and end quantitatively thus this criterion is indiscriminative. The criterion that is discriminative, and pertains to psychoanalysis too, is the nomothetic sciences and the idiographic sciences. Because the physical world’s exitance is independent of the researcher (except in quantum physics) we can research it- via experimental work- and come to exact answers to its questions, because the experiments are replicable and stand the variation of the research circumstance. In human sciences, it is impossible to reach answers through experimentation, because the subject in any experiment is a constituent of the circumstances of the experiment. Just to underline this point: all nomothetic researches start with a hypothesis (a question that needs an answer of the type of yes or no, correct or wrong, equivocal or definite). The reason is that we can experiment with the physical world, i.e., to eliminate in a systematic way the possible contaminations of the phenomenon we are researching. Quantitative measure in that field of research is not an after though but is the basis the scientist is going to base his conclusions on. The quantitative results are decided by the way the hypothesis needs to be addressed.
 In contrast, I will propose hypothetical experiment in human sciences about dreams. I take the last twenty dreams of my patients’ and interpret them, showing that the strings of association about each part of the dream intersect with other strings at particular points and in the same particular way. I use that to prove that they all link a day residue with an infantile wish. This research would mean nothing because I have to show that my colleague Dr. D.  has reached the same conclusion reviewing the same data, which is not a reasonable expectation. Moreover, my colleague Dr. D.  should do the same thing with twenty dreams of his patients and I should corroborate his interpretations. This is what research in psychoanalysis should be if we want to use the experimental model of research.  I not only doubt that that this is what was in Dr. Seitler’s mind when he talks about research in psychoanalysis.
However, since experimental psychologists invented the system of rating scales some research was done using them in social psychology, educational studies, etc. [Rating scales have to be subjected to very scientific scrutiny to be used as research tools. Be ware of what you wish for]. There are differences between research and methodical, systematic exploration or assessment of human phenomena. The maximum we should aspire for in the psychoanalytic field is to come up with phenomena of psychoanalytic relevance to explore and examine them in a methodical and systematic ways. This is not an easy thing to do. We might be tempted chose what we think is psychoanalytically important, create our own rating scales. decide the method of quantifying what observe, make comparisons and com to conclusions. This would not be research because the psychoanalytic issues that could be studied that way comprise unconscious elements that- by definition-are undefinable to be observed. If we want to examine -in a methodical way- the changes in the positive and negative features the transference in treatment of two different disease entities or the beginning and the end of an analysis, we would be observing the Cs., and Pcs. manifestations of transference.

Thus, research or methodical exploration in psychoanalysis be with issues and not ideas and concepts. An example, if we notice (I did) that patients who do not have a sense humour are less acceptable of partial interpretations, which sometimes are necessary. A research in the evolution of humour in human subjects (by an intuition Freud studied jokes very early in his career to show how humour is based on partial recognition of metaphors and metonymy) could be useful in showing how an infant smiles to his mother’s baby talk, a little later giggles to a peek-a- boo game, then to “knock-knock” in adolescences, then humor in adulthood, and the ability to understand and use metaphors in social communication and understand later in life. It would also help the analysts to gradually shoe the patient that his symptom is a metaphor of childhood experiences. Those kinds of research are only possible in university setting because they require more than a clinical psychoanalyst.  

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Part Six: Epilogue
For a long time, it baffled me as a training analyst, that we were- in Canada- unsatisfied with our training system, but we only tinkered with some of its details, which did not satisfy us either. This was also the situation in most of the training institutions in the different parts of the world, as our colleagues acknowledged in personal communication and in the biannual pre-congress meetings of the IPA. My bafflement dissipated gradually when I discovered -in myself too- that we are attached to a system of training that we inherited, because it fitted well the closed community of psychoanalysts, which we cherished blindly. Opening up our closed community would have required changing our system of qualifying psychoanalysts and giving up the desire to keep it closed. Changing the system of training would have resulted in opening up our analytic community to others (none clinical psychoanalysts). Dr. Kernberg, who was and still is critical of our training system says: “I believe that the educational stagnation…of psychoanalytic education derives largely from the present-day training analysis system as a major source of inhibition of the educational process (Division Review, Autumn 2016,13). He mentions as one of the factors in the resistance to change isolating the institutes from the scientific and academic fields, thus all the elements that contribute to training remain within the closed circle of psychoanalysts who assume all these responsibilities. He is more open to some changes in the present situation but does not see more than ameliorating what has been the cornerstone of the Institute System. However, Kernberg offers a view of an model institute of the future; an institute that does not exist yet.
He recommends four main things to ameliorate training as conducted now- a-days:
1.    Establishing objective assessment methods of competency regarding the candidates’ theoretical knowledge, acquisition of technical expertise and developing a psychoanalytic attitude (creating a speciality Board for that purpose). He stipulates theoretical knowledge as an amalgam of some of the familiar concepts- though fundamental- in the literature, like motivation, structure, development, the spectrum of defense mechanisms, etc.  (ibid,14). This amalgamation of concepts does not indicate a strong theoretical base. I had candidates who knew all those concepts, in addition to the improvised concepts of the new schools without understanding them or differentiating between knowing concepts and developing a theoretical stance.  He considered technical expertise the intuitive understanding of the material, formulating notions about understanding such analytic material and giving them appropriate interpretations. I also had candidates who were gifted in that regard but inappropriate in the timing or the verbal expression of their understanding (supervision has little input in teaching those subtleties). The aspect of the psychoanalytic attitude is not clarified in Kernberg’s paper, but in my opinion the most determining factor in that respect is the analyst’s character. In training, we discover the future psychoanalysts but we do make of the candidate the psychoanalyst of the future.

2.    The supervisory functions in the new system would be separate from certifying the candidates. The supervisory function would be responsible for evaluating the training faculty based on measures of productivity and creativity and other features of skill and distinction. With tongue-in-cheek, Kernberg sees some advantage in connecting with the university departments of psychology, psychiatry and the university centres of psychoanalysis, in that regard. He realises that the institutes-unsupported by the academics of psychoanalysis and the human sciences- would not survive long.

3.    The key point in his proposal is RESEARCH. He considers research as a vital part of any future training modality; even proposes creating a department of research in every training institute. Kernberg is not careful in using this term. Researcher is an act of deciding what is right, proven, categorically different from other things, quantitively measurable, and most importantly misunderstood because of being undifferentiated from other aspects of the phenomena that are implicitly mixed with the subject of the research. It also depends on the experimental model to examine the hypotheses. What Kernberg calls research is just attempts at using quantifying measuring scales to allow methodical description of purely subjective conceptions. The two examples he gives (suggested by Tuckett and Korner) show the distinction I mentioned here. Research is not the solution to problems but the topic to be researched is the problem; it has to be solved by defining it within a research hypothesis first, before it is researched

4.    Adding to the curricula the literature of other psychoanalysts beside Freud and the legendary characters in our traditions (which is actually done but maybe less that what Kernberg would like). He also suggests teaching issues like the recent the neuropsychological findings, principle of experimental psychology, developmental psychology, etc.  As a psychologist who studied those subjects academically, and practiced some and wrote about most of them in addition be being a training faculty in an active institute (in my time) I have to think seriously: how could we include all those things in the curricula of an institute that requires three hours a week for seminars, four hours a week (at least) of personal analysis, three more hours of supervision in addition to at least fifteen hours of psychoanalytic work with supervised patients,  and earn a living at the same time. Dr. Kernberg’s proposal is about an ideal system of training that cannot be sustained in the present institute system of training. This if we want psychoanalysis to become a profession in its own right.

Fifty years ago, all what was known about the human subject was easy to condense in the institutes’ curricula. What is presently done in our training institutes is less than what is required in an undergraduate degree in the subject of psychoanalysis (B.A. in psychoanalysis). A regular clinical psychotherapist, who wants to do psychoanalytical psychotherapy needs two or three more years of core psychoanalysis at the level of a curriculum of a M.A. (in psychoanalysis). To qualify for psychoanalysis the candidate needs either a higher Diploma in clinical psychoanalysis or a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis. This is the way to approach education in psychoanalysis; examining the field, the minimum requirement for each level of practice, matching the requirement to the demand of competence. Somethings similar have to be done for none clinical psychoanalysis [which is imperative if we want clinical psychoanalysis to survive and flourish]. But that should be mainly done by the academicians of the related human sciences.
My basic idea about training is to phase out the training institutes sponsored by the local, national and international psychoanalytic societies and move training to the academic domain. I would not have written a better post or paper to support my views than Dr. Kernberg’s paper. It is uncanny that he is proposing innovations in the education of psychoanalysis, which would be easy and natural to execute in universities without reservations, and meet more than what stipulated as measures for success.
The obstacle in accepting this point of view is the chronic pride of the clinical psychoanalysts (it is also called narcissism). They want to be the authority of certifying themselves, forgetting that they are initially certified by their original profession to practice; being it psychoanalysis or something else. Psychoanalytic certification of the title “psychoanalyst” is only important to the certified psychoanalysts, but not to anyone else. However, a university degree in psychoanalysis is something else.

I will be posting a new long post on missing a central point in the nature of psychoanalysis, which created the chronic (false!) pride of the clinical psychoanalyst, and was always the undeclared reason for the chronic conflicts in the psychoanalytic organizations.   

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


Few weeks ago, reverting to the issue of Psychoanalysis and Academia in response to JAPA's Volume 64 (3) which had an open discussion on the subject, I started a long post (six parts) on my blog. I was able to publish only four parts before something went wrong and the blog was blocked. After an UNBELIEVABLE trip in the area of blog creation I managed to get this one. It is ahmedfayekphd.blogspot.ca

When I was ready to publish the six parts (following this preamble) the topic was revisited by C. Jacobs,, O. Kernberg,and D. Nobus in Division[39]Review. I intend to write an epilogue to my post.

I will write few notes on occasion and publish them in my blog. However, I will announce that on the pipeline so the interested would know. Yesterday my last book :Explaining the Classical
Theory of Psychoanalysis was published.
Once More
Psychoanalysis and the Academy:
One
This Post is a response to a recent discussion on the issue of psychoanalysis and the academy in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Volume 64. #3, June 2016). It should have been properly written as a paper on the raised issues in the volume, but I did not find the energy and the endurance to engage in a well vetted paper. However, I will try my best to avoid the temptations to be slack in raising issues and expounding them. I will make sure that scrutinizing this paper will prove that it came from documented literature and be put to shame.
                                                     ____________________
1.The theory of content and the theory of process:
I approached this subject before in regards to the dropping interest in psychoanalysis and moving analysis to academia could save it from ominous demise. I centered my arguments then on two issues: the insistence of the analytic organization on considering psychoanalysis a profession, when it has only the features of a ‘guild’ or a trade, and is officially and legally an appendage to three main professions: psychology, psychiatry and social work. Thus, it is unable still to gain the respectable status of a certifiable profession (by a third party), The second issue is insisting on preserving the traditional system of qualifying psychoanalysts through apprenticeship instead of education, and putting the emphasis on “professional standards” of the trainers and the trainees instead of on the qualifying methods of educating and training the applicants for certification. In more relevant words to the contemporary psychoanalysts’ minds: not to look for standards of professional competence in the trainers and the trainees but in the system of training itself. It is paradoxical-to say the least- to expect the society to accept and certify graduates of our training centers when those centers have no indication or the proof that their taring qualifies its graduates. It is like the church which qualifies its clergy, abut not like faculty of law preparing its graduate to sit for ‘bar’, the real test of competency. 
In this post-which is going to be long and divided into sections- I want to be less tentative in saying what I know would raise the backs of the training analysts, most of the analyst who have certified themselves, and the candidate who would not accept certification from anyone else but their mentors, who “somehow” convinced them that psychoanalysis is not for the public but for the fortunate few who are accepted in the institutes. I am saying that because the issue is not whether psychoanalysis is something unique-which I will support later on but differently, but because the emphasis those mentor, whom I was one before I retired, put on eth acceptance to training and not what training is.
The history of training shows two characteristics: Training came as an afterthought. It started as a means to put some order in the burgeoning interest in joining the pioneering psychoanalysts of the twenties and thirties of the last century. Abraham and Eitingon started the enterprise to discovered that it is a very involved one. At the beginning the issue was to give the candidates some didactic training by undergoing a period of psychoanalysis. Shortly after, it became clear that psychoanalysis is developing into a trade (not a profession yet) and needs to adopt a more extensive system of transmitting knowledge and experience from one generation to the next. This almost surprising awareness pushed the international Training Committee to recommend increasing the period of training and created a tripartite model of training. Gradually but rather quickly the system of the Training Institutes became a fact of life in the life of the newer generations of analysts.    
In natural way the selection of the trainees and the criteria of ‘the good’ analyst became an issue, and the psychological health of the analyst was considered a main part of training. This issue evolved quietly to give didactic analysis the new function of therapy, and in no obvious way it became the central point in training. The main point of therapeutic analysis as the main part in the tripartite system changed the whole idea of training. In the first-place candidates were selected by analysts (training analysts) who will take the responsibility of choosing the right future analysts. Secondly, the training analysts had to be chosen too, thus another game of nepotism and favoritism had to develop. The closed circle of the psychoanalytic guild created an inner circle of master guilder psychoanalysts. Psychoanalysis changed into a ‘culture’ of those who know and those who know, but less. A. Freud addressed that issue as early as 1939 and expressed concerns about its effect on training, as Eitingon kept reminding of its silent yet negative quality in almost every annual report on training since the beginning (1928). Balint, Benedek, Bernfeld, Heiman, Langer,Van der Leeuw also made some profound observations on the same issue of taring changing into some sort of a system of creating a cult instead of just creating a guild. This innocent development caught the attention of some senior analysts like Limentani and Calif. Limentani even said: “Institutional training is probably antithetical to psychoanalysis” (1974).
Before we get any further it is important to underline somethings in the critical literature of the old literature (before the sixties).  The training system of the psychoanalysis was a necessity and still is, but it was never-ever- satisfactory since its birth in 1924-25. Training was needed because psychoanalysis by then has thrived and the number of analysts and their dispersion in many places made the IPA demand having a handle on the membership. If we add to that the development of the theory by the increased membership and their contributions to the literature, the notion of standardizing training was a natural product of those changes. In addition, there was already a body of knowledge that required streamlining to be part of the theoretical foundation of the new generation of psychoanalysts. Yet, in the late twenties and the thirties psychoanalysis was still unaccepted by the physicians to attach it to psychiatry, and its acceptance by psychology was not enough to change it from a guild to a profession. What is unnoticed or not dealt with in that literature is the awareness of the founders (S. Freud, Eitingon, Bendik, A Freud, Sachs and others) of significant flaws and defects in the “system” of training but their helplessness in dealing them, and declaring their dissatisfaction by just mentioning them. What they were unsatisfied with is what the next generations became aware of and even contributed to entrench the flaws in the system and amplify them., despite the continued awareness of their detrimental result   aware of the difficulties and the mistakes, which the next generation of dissatisfied analyst were able to define and verbalize: the conduction of training in an unhealthy environment according to psychoanalytic standards and conception. The best articulation of the dismay about training is expressed by Safouan (2000): “The institutionalization of psychoanalysis was like a ‘repetition’ or ‘rehearsal’ which enacted without the ‘actant’s being aware, the myth pronounced by Freud in Totem and Taboo, of a ‘fraternal’ deal dictated by a murder…” . The criticism of training was conscious and for conscious reason, therefore there is no escape from asking what was the unconscious inhibition to correct it?  The conscious answer is: what else? In the issue of JAPA I mentioned above Kernberg and Mitchels suggest modifications and improvements in the training system that would be best done within an academic milieu.
I will come to those suggestions later but for now we have to seriously consider this next point:
Soon after the end of WWII, the settlement of the migrating analysts in their new countries there was a boom in the field of the theory and also practice; consequently, in training. We should pay attention to the change in the theory because it was the origin of the plurality of schools of psychoanalysis that has impacted training in major ways. The first and most serious development in that area was in England, resulting in accepting- for the first serious way- the possibility of having two systems of training based on differences in the theoretical backgrounds. The “Controversies” of 1947 were relegated to personal conflicts between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein. They were more significant that such limited understanding. Take for instance the term Identification and consider its meaning in Freudian and Kleinian psychology. Anna Freud coined the concept of identification with the aggressor. For her identification was an outcome of a defensive process, a psychical condition resulting from fear, an element of the intrapsychical structure of the ego. Klein’s projective identification is initiation of a constructive intrapsychical process that establishes a particular relationship with the other. In one theory Identification is the outcome of psychical processes, and in other it is the process the process itself. Although the British Society established a two training branches as a political solution to the conflict it was in fact a very fundamental decision: training follows the theory and not the other way around. I am almost certain that this issue was not seriously considered in any discussion about training at any stage. The reason is as peculiar as the peculiarity of missing it.
Any theory, nomothetic or idiographic, leads to a point where it has to be revised (I discussed this matter in a book that will be published in January). Therefore, psychoanalysis must have been a theory due to a revision (I will not do that in this post). However, we should consider the various splits that happened as early as 1910 of Adler and Jung, the acrimonies of Ferenczi and Rank were poor and premature revisions of the theory. But in the fifties in England, France, and the US the splits were for clearer attempts at revising the theory albeit still under the umbrella of the IPA.  
Before Freud the human subject was ‘the human being’ who ununderstandably generates his personal life and participates in creating social life. Nothing was understandable of how those things happen. I would say with confidence that Freud’s remarkable contribution to humanity started with discovering the intrapsychical. He discovered that what makes the human being what he is, is unconscious psychological processes, i.e. the presence of intrapsychical life, which what turns the human being into a human subject and not just a superior primate. This is another way of saying that the discovery of what is human in the human being is an unconscious psychological life, which by being unconscious could be called metaphorically inner. At the beginning Freud thought that human sexuality is the cause and source of what was named then ‘hysteria’. As we all know, Freud did not seize discovering, reconfiguring, and rearticulating his findings. One thing was clear: he was eager   and hopeful to find a formulation of the intrapsychical life to be like the final statement of his efforts. When he came to the formula of ego -psychology he thought for a while that is it; it was a neat way of visualizing the intrapsychical. Luckily it was Freud and not some other person and he still had few years to live to find out that ego psychology is reifying psychical life and emptying of life. He went back to his most intuitive concept of the psychical system (the topographic model) and reintroduced it to the deceptive ego-psychology.
Freud was concentrating on discovering more elements, components, divisions, constituents of the intrapsychical life of the subject. He believed, and many analysts still believe that the psychoanalytic theory is theory of contents: trauma, deprivation, defenses, abnormalities, issues, etc. Yet what he did but missed is discovering how the intrapsychic creates the psychological nature of the subject and establishes the kind of interpersonal relations with others. In other words: after uncovering the intrapsychical he was intuitive enough to discover the unconscious intrapsychical in the interpersonal quasi conscious life of the human subject. The splendid trip through the intrapsychical led him to understand the natural byproduct of interpersonal. Freud had two theories of psycho analysis (see my book on Freud’s Theory of Psychoanalysis): one about content and one about process. The split between the Freudians and the Kleinian in the late forties, the Paris society and the French Association in the fifties, and within Ego Psychology and between Ego Psychology and Self Psychology was replicating the same thing: Is psychoanalysis a theory of psychical contents or of the psychical process irrespective of the content?
I venture and spell out my deep belief that the issue of training in psychoanalysis and moving it to academia is related to that split in our theory. If psychoanalysis is a theory of psychical content then the Institute System is the place to train under the traditional tripartite protocol, and moving it to academia, as Kernberg and Michels are suggesting, would not be beneficial and would not be acceptable in Academia. If we realize that the outdated theory (theories) of content has to be gradually phase out we could then relinquish the Guild system of training and go for the academic system of education.

Before I leave this section of my post I should underline that my point of view is based on a a different understanding of the Freudian revolution. Thus, it is expected that my views would not be agreeable to those who limit his enterprise as on limited the creation of a psychotherapy theory that might have some peripheral applications.
Once More
Psychoanalysis and the Academy:

Two:

This Post is a response to a recent discussion of the subject of psychoanalysis and the academy in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Volume 64. #3, June 2016). It should have properly written it as a paper on the raised issues in the volume, but I did not find the energy and the endurance to engage in a well vetted paper. However, I will try my best to avoid the temptation of being slack in raising issues and expounding them. I will make sure that scrutinizing this paper will prove that it came from documented literature and not be put to shame.
                                                     ____________________
2. Language and the theory of psychoanalysis:
Freud’s discovery of the intrapsychic was a major event in the history of epistemology; and maybe because he did not note all its significant repercussions. He discovered that the human subject could be understood, thus ‘everything human’ was then subject to study.  Humanities were born. Although he went on to discover more of the intrapsychic and its content he was revealing something unique about psychoanalytic thinking: the human subject as well as human phenomena comprise two different entities; a manifest entity and a latent entity which are linked to each other in a different way than the links between the components in each entity separately. I will get to that later but for now Freud showed that conscious components- as well as unconscious components- link to each other in a functional way (cause\effect), while the link between the conscious and the unconscious components link with each other structurally.
Freud’s search for the content of the intrapsychical led him to originate the theory of psychoanalysis. Clinical analysts concentrated on the content of the intrapsychic because it was promising a theory of causation which is what a therapist aspires to have. The theory was functional expression of what was discovered. The pressure of an incompatible urge causes its repression thus creates symptoms.  Repression weakens the go so it resorts to new identifications that could make it regain some of the lost narcissism; and so forth. A theory of functions and content gives psychoanalysts a sense of being scientific because they makes them explain things. But what about the tool of configuring the theory and expressing it? What about the language of psychoanalysis? 
There is basic differences between the languages of the nomothetic sciences (physical) and the idiographic sciences (humanities). Nomothetic sciences have languages that fix a meaning to a word, a symbol, or a sign. Those languages are universal and a chemist in Greece understands the formula he receives from Norway about a chemical reaction. In the humanities scientists use the local or the most dominant language in the field. However, there are definite chances that in translating the vocabulary of one language to the other some of the connotations or the denotations get distorted or lost. In describing a human attribute of some sort in one society might be misconceived in another. Scientists in certain areas of the humanities, being aware of that flaw in their vocabulary try and succeed in anticipating the confusion and make the effort to remedy it.
Psychoanalysis is in a big disadvantage in that regard. Freud’s discovery was of very common human attributes yet he had to use the daily language to give those attributes new specific meanings. Both his understanding of what he discovered kept changing as language itself changes as a natural process. Added to that is translating a vocabulary that is neither accurate enough nor has a stable signification makes the theory of psychoanalysis quite wanting. The worst part of this difficulty is the psychoanalysts’ unshaken belief that they know what they mean by what they they say and that others understand what they say. This stubborn conviction is manifested in the continuous birth of new schools of psychoanalysis. The birth of new schools of psychoanalysis raises a flag: the language of a society undergoes changes that reflect social change. Does the change in the meaning of psychoanalytic vocabulary reflects a change in psychoanalysis?

Before I answer this question, I have to emphasize that despite all those issues in the theoretical validity of the psychoanalytic theory, we still have a psychoanalysis. All the theories of psychoanalysis- since the beginning of the deviations- were theories of content and of functional nature. If we scrutinize well Freud’s own revisions of his theory they were revealing a structural aspect in the prevailing content version of his theory. Because all the conflicting theories of psychoanalysis are content theories and of functional nature, not one could claim that it is better or the only best. 
The functional theories are about ‘psychoanalytic things’ defenses, conflicts, fantasies, transference, etc. At a higher and more sophisticated level they are about what, why, and when do things psychological happen when they happen. They use a known, and almost concrete concept, to explain another known and almost concrete concept, in a new way. This is what plagues the contemporary literature which is recycling older ideas. Studying two conscious ideas or two unconscious ones generate functional conclusion. This kind of theoretical knowledge or exercise could be communicated from generation to generation in institutes like the ones we have now: learning what Bion said about the primary process, and what Greenacre said about construction and reconstruction. There could also be some training in in those institutes in applying this knowledge in an ongoing supervision. 

Because the attributes of the human subject, in the basic Freudian conception, is the outcome of a conscious\preconscious system and an unconscious system in a dynamic interaction, a true psychoanalytic theory should not and cannot be a functional theory. The link between the Cs\Pcs systems and the Ucs. system is not causal, direct, logical, laying  there to be found or to be deduced from the human givens. If givens are psychological then they have to be psychoanalyzed. If they are social they have to be socially analyzed.  This is a very contentious issue in the psychoanalytic circle, especially lately. Do we have a psychoanalytic theory of social phenomena? Do we have a theory of the psychology of societies?
My answer is no: we do not have such things. It is absolutely wrong to individualize a social phenomenon and treat it as a person we have some vocabulary to describe psychologically. Nevertheless; we have a psychoanalytic method of thinking and working, which applies to all things human. Just a reminder of the most banal in the Freudian discovery: everything human has a manifest given and a latent content and the link between them is subject to the workings of the primary process.  So, a patient’s lateness to his sessions would be analyzed in the same way the crushing of a glass by the groom in a Jewish wedding. In both events, what we seek is the place of the human act in the psychical meaning of the whole event i.e., lateness in this patient’s analysis, and the crushing of the glass in the Jewish weddings.


This aspect would get us into the fundamental differences between content functional theories and process structural theories. Getting there in the proper way would shed light on the difference between training in the present institute system and the academic system of educating future analysts.


Once More
Psychoanalysis and the Academy:
Three:

This Post is a response to a recent discussion of the subject of psychoanalysis and the academy in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Volume 64. #3, June 2016). It should have properly written it as a paper on the raised issues in the volume, but I did not find the energy and the endurance to engage in a well vetted paper. However, I will try my best to avoid the temptation of being slack in raising issues and expounding them. I will make sure that scrutinizing this paper will prove that it came from documented literature and not be put to shame.

                                                      -------------------------

Psychoanalysis and structuralism:

My aim in this section of the post is to argue that academia is the right place for psychoanalysis- as a theory of psychical structures- to evolve and develop further. I made a prelude to this idea by making a distinction between functional theories and structural theories.  Therefore, I need to make a short introduction to structuralism in general, because structuralism has become the main framework of the humanities, to the extent that it is almost unmentioned anymore as the framework of the humanities or a separate issue in the field. It goes without saying that now sociology, anthropology, history, literary critiques, etc., are structural endeavors and their methodology is structuralist. This introduction might seem to most clinical psychoanalysts superfluous because they are not totally convinced that psychoanalysis is an ideographic science and not part of the nomothetic sciences. This point, which seems irrelevant to a degree, is the main problem with Kernberg and Michels’ argument in their project to save psychoanalysis by housing it in universities.
In 1725 Giambattista Vico (Italian Jurist) brought to attention that regardless of the degree of civility or education humans have a natural proclivity to organize their societies and their perception of reality, and structure them spontaneously (unconsciously !!) creating, thus, organizations and categories. In all societies, primitive or developed, the tool to create and maintain its structures is intrinsically linguistic. His observation was neglected for over a century but eventually some thinkers, Hegel and Marx in particular expounded Vico’s observations and acknowledged the existence of a duality in every structural quality in human society: an apparent content and a latent process that governs an unconscious course of changes. The apparent content seems to be ‘things’ like kinship relations, and creates the vocabulary that gives it stability, stagnation, and invariability (mother, cousin, brother, etc.). The latent, on the other hand is unnoticeable processes that structure those relationships according to principles like incest, for instance, thus creates the organization of the family. Moreover, the latent is a process that effect change in the organization that was created before, and structures it according to those changes. Both Hegel and Marx identified that spontaneous processes as dialectical, like the role of the mode of production in creating new social classes. The significance of this development in the perception of human society is recognizing that humans live a reality of their own making, although unconsciously. It is useful if not indispensable to give some explanation to the terms used. Saussure says that what is important about humans is not oral speech but the faculty of creating languages. Sapir emphasizes that the real world is, to a large extent, the product of the social language that structured it. That means, analysis of that kind will quickly reach the level of those unconscious categories that create our worlds. But all the efforts made before to have a good idea of that latent unconscious process failed because it was noticeable no one managed to identify it or identify its immediate impact on the apparent and the manifest. The functionalist who were aware of the limitation of their theories, but the pioneer structuralists were unable to get to two cardinal things in structuralism: the link between the denotations of apparent ‘things’ and their implicit connotations. They were aware of metaphoric expressions and metonymic representation but did not know their working in creating the world of the human subject.
This is where Freud and psychoanalysis got into the fray. Freud started revealing the workings of those two processes thus was able to begin the voyage from the manifest to the latent. The most impressive and eventually fascinated the intellectual world was showing the workings of metaphor and meronomy in action. He started by interpreting dreams and showed those things in action. In the Irma dream, he honed in on the structure of the chaotic scene of re-examining Irma, which was the ignorance of all the doctors except him. This was a first structuring idea in the dream. Then relating it to the day’s residues demonstrated the workings of a primary manner of saying things and the expression of his exoneration.  Yet he sensed that all what is manifest is right and functionally linked, but the roundabout way of saying what it said must be an old childhood wish, without which a dream was not possible to form. The Interpretation of Dreams, was the first true structuralist work on a human phenomenon. It was followed by Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the Three Contributions to the Theory of Sexuality. Freud kept on demonstrating his discovery and showed how it various human phenomena including social, mythical, historical and even literary phenomena. The most remarkable thing that dazzled the world was his ability to read the unconscious in what is conscious, thus crossing the barrier between the unconscious and consciousness by letting the primary process provide him with intuitions. Thinkers of all walks of life were shocked and fascinated by Freud’s intuitions. A good evidence to that is how intuitions look less impressive now that we think psychoanalytically in our daily life.
A last detail about structuralism that we learned from Freud is the difference between functional thinking (deduction) and intuition (induction). In simple terms ‘deduction’ is concluding a cause-effect relationship between of the details of an event and making a statement about that deduction (moving from the parts to a total). Induction is inducing from the total of details the event a structural principle (dreams are wish fulfillment). Intuitions were always the starting point in the main human discoveries. Once they were established to be intuitions and not merely a bright whim, they open the gates for the discoveries that become nomothetic sciences. Darwin’s’ intuition that changes in the forms of organs are product of evolution and not of mere chance created more than just the biological sciences of our time. Likewise, turning an unconscious structuring principle in a human phenomenon starts as some intuition and proceeds to become a science. Since psychoanalysis is the dealing with unconscious material then intuition and inductive thinking plays a major part in our daily work. As the case in structuralism: discovering the structural principle of a phenomenon leads to seeing and uncovering more of the individual details-conscious and unconscious- in the phenomenon, and keeps us putting order in the details. We reach a stage where we need a new intuition to reconstruct what we constructed. Is this not a reminder of what we do in therapeutic psychoanalysis.
This condense introduction brings us to few central questions about psychoanalysis:
1.      Is psychoanalysis a trade that one can be trained in, learning how to master the skill of making functional sense of its parts, a profession that needs to learned and know how its parts need structuring effort?
2.      As a trade the system of training institutes is sufficient, but as a profession that system is not adequate to form the psychoanalysis. Does the academic system the proper place for the formation of psychoanalysts? How it will differ from the training system of the institutes?
3.      If the structural nature of the psychoanalytic theories depends on the intuitive ability of the analysts is it reasonable to think that we could train people to be intuitive?
4.      Is psychoanalysis a trade to learn or a profession to study?


Answering those question would be done properly when we review Kernberg and Michel’s proposition for improving training and delegate that to academia. 
Once More
Psychoanalysis and the Academy:

Four

This Post is a response to a recent discussion of the subject of psychoanalysis and the academy in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Volume 64. #3, June 2016). It should have properly written it as a paper on the raised issues in the volume, but I did not find the energy and the endurance to engage in a well vetted paper. However, I will try my best to avoid the temptation of being slack in raising issues and expounding them. I will make sure that scrutinizing this paper will prove that it came from documented literature and not be put to shame.

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The Proper Place of Psychoanalysis is Academia:

A.    A proposal for improving training.

Kernberg and Michels’s published a proposal of changes to the present institute system of training so that it could be moved to academia to benefit from the strength of its establishment. A second reading of Kernberg and Michels’s (K&M) proposal reminded me of a discussion (argument!!) I had-some thirty years ago- with a former mentor who was Lacanian. Lacan’s seminar that year concentrated on the concept “desire”.  I said to him that Lacan does not make a distinction between desire (Desir) and wish (Souhait), which are different in implications. He replied that there isn’t any difference. I mentioned that dreams are wish fulfillment and not desire gratification. He gave up in exasperation and asked me to say what is the difference. Knowing that Lacanians respond by making statement that breed other statements I said that wishes are appeals and aspirations, and desires are demands and expectations. That was the end of the discussion and several other things.
I mentioned this event to point out that K&M proposal is a weaved fabric of wishes that deceptively look like a well thought of practical plan to change training in psychoanalysis and prepare it to become part of an academic endeavour. It was not easy to come to such conclusion. Most living analysts are indebted to Kernberg for a substantial body of knowledge and I think he and Michels just did not notice that their proposal is wishful thinking. To give an example of that failing I quote them: “we believe it is possible to develop reliable, transparent criteria for assessing standards that would justify the certification of psychoanalysts as a competent member of the profession. . . We believe that it is possible to define minimally expected knowledge (assessed by instrument) and that a broad spectrum of technical capacities can be achieved and evaluated as has been demonstrated for other medical specialities using clinical examinations that test knowledge and technical ability” (JAPA, 64,483-4). This statement of K&M is confusing wish and none existing reality. The reality is psychoanalysis is not like medicine, never was and will never be, or even be like clinical psychology if that matters. In medicine, you can look at blood work and know the size of his spleen to come up with the desired conclusion, without even seeing that patient. In clinical psychology, you could look at an MMPI profile and a Rorschach protocol in isolation of the patient and give a good diagnostic opinion. In psychoanalysis, there is no substitute for seeing the patient and be seen by the patient to do your job. Psychoanalysis is not like or will ever be like the regular medical specialities. I am blindly sure that K&M knew that but their wish for a solution they do not know where to look for blinded them from this banal idea.
Their proposal is a nice woven fabric of wishes of that sort.  As an analyst and a training analysts, and also a psychologist who knows enough about “assessment instruments” and the difficulty of constructing and validating them I would say to K&M please forget about this type of assessing standards of professional competence, and be ware of what you wish for. I will end this section of the post with a more comprehensive statement about wishes and the innate inhibition we have when we face the reality of the need to change our training system.
Now to K&M’s proposal.
·         The absence of professional standards of competence. They look for those standards in the trainers and trainees, not in the substanceof training, which is obviously of poor quality in general (will come to that a little later). 
·         A closed and a private educational system which mystifies the process of training. They considered that that was advantageous in the early stages of training but not anymore.
·         The closed system of training necessitated -at the beginning- forming an intellectual elite (the training analysts’ system), which with time became a major factor in the deterioration of the standards of professional competency. It also affected the relationship between the institutes and the branch societies, and created a general atmosphere of discontentment in the psychoanalytic community.
They skirted around those problem, which they considered a threat to the future of psychoanalysis. Yet, they made another clear statement about the more acute and pressing danger by saying: “The barrier between psychoanalysis and the university, perhaps necessary in earlier years, may well have become the greatest threat to its survival” (ibid,487). What is that barrier? This barrier is identified in the proposed solution: integrate psychoanalysis in the academic enterprise, but they did not why and how that is going to save psychoanalsysis. They said that isolating “training analysts” from outside interference or imposition is a problem that has to be overcome. They implicitly believe, and rightly so, that those three problems would find their solution by moving training to academia. However, they did not mention or notice that training as it is performed now andevenafter the suggested improvrments would not integrate well in an academic system. It is not possible to improve the present system of institute training and aske a university to adopt it as a specialty institute in one of its faculties.
To avoid this striking fact K&M identify two other problems in integrating training in an academic entity. The two problems are: the lack of research that support the credibility of psychoanalytic thought, and the need to improve the present system of training. Despite their faith in the feasibility of moving training to the university they foresee a conflict between institutes that are academically initiated, and imported institutes, like ours, that preserve the tradition of its origin. Universities would considered our institutes unfit to train psychoanalystswould not be ready to change our traditional ways of training.
The second problem is research in psychoanalysis. This is just one of those dreamy wishes and distraction. When psychoanalysis was in the zenith of its glory it was not standing high on research bases. Psychoanalysis suffered from loss of credibility when its training system was producing poorly trained and unqualified analysts. In other words: the credibility crisis in psychoanalysis, which is very real, is caused by the quality of the psychoanalysts and the psychoanalysis they practice. Moreover, it is notpossible to do reaserche in psychoanalysis. There are two kinds of research: explore to verfy, and experiment to prove.
The reason behind the deterioration of the standers of professional competency is in the training system and could be summarized in five points:
1.In the early years of the analytic movement there was a lot of new discoveries and there was eagerness discover; things that do not exist now as a natural result of a maturing theory.
2. The system of institute training was adequate because it was founded on transmitting the available knowledge-whether theoretical or clinical- to a new generation, which was assumed to have no other means to get that knowledge except through personal contact with senior analysts.
3. In spite of the new discoveries the theory was changing in the same direction, when now there are schools of psychoanalysis with major differences in their basic stands from the theory.
4. The population of patients and the prevailing psychopathological classifications were stable. There was limitation to the changes expected in curricula from one class to another.
5. (This is a major and neglected aspect in training) The birth of psychoanalysis was the initiator of the birth of the human sciences. Psychoanalysis became a discovery that does not belong only to the clinician but belonged to all those who are involved in the studies of the human subject. The pride of the early psychoanalyst in their pioneering explorations of the human phenomenon changed to conceit in contemporary psychoanalyst, when they insisted on maintaining the identity of the legitimate owners of psychoanalysis.
Those five points do not show some flaws or mistakes that need correction; they expose fundamental characteristic in the present system of training that result in poor quality training. They also make focus on the tripartite structure of the ongoing system of training: Seminars, supervision, and personal analysis. K&M suggested some impotent improvements to the seminars and to supervision, in addition to clarify some aspects of assessing the progress of training and graduation. Their suggestions could improve what is presently don in those areas of training but they do not offer any changes to the system of training. The reason I mention that is the fact that if we aim at integrating training in the academic system some very radical changes has to be implemented first.
B.     The unacceptable solution:
Because K&M were talking mainly about psychoanalysis in the states they did not say much about it in other parts of the world. In other parts of the world there is a steady trend to bring psychoanalysis to the universities, though from the few examples I know of there is hesitancy to go all the way and move training itself to the academic institution. I believe there is connection between the wish for improving a decaying system of training, so that it could be maintained and kept, and the hesitancy to move to a better and more sustaining method putting psychoanalysis on the right track of progress. I will dare myself and say my views now and spend the rest of this section of the post and the next in explaining my point of view. It is a point of view that triggers immediate refutation, though it should prompt serious consideration. I think

The present training system (the institute system) should be phased out and replaced by the academic system of educating and training professionals. Psychoanalysis is losing its grounds because it is a discovery that opened our eyes to a much and much more discoveries. Those discoveries are too immense to include in our seminars, and too important to ignore.
This shift to an academic system of education and training would also imply that psychoanalysis is a profession that has several specialities, one of which is psychotherapy. Thus, psychoanalysis would get its status as an academic branch of knowledge and the clinicians would be trained to practice a profession and not merely the ‘art’ of treating people.
The seminars and supervision component of the tripartite institutes system are much better served in academia with its rich and varied faculties, instead of the limited teaching and supervising resources of the institutes.  But what about the third component of personal analysis? This issue deserves a special section in the post.
I have two reasons to advocate phasing out the present system of training: there is no hope that improving it will stop the continuing decline of present-day psychoanalysis. The idea of training psychoanalysts in itself belongs to a very different psychoanalysis; psychoanalysis of movement, when psychoanalysis now is a theory behind most of the ideographic sciences. Therefore, its traditional training should be phase out to get replaced by other suitable training systems that match the new conception of psychoanalysis.
The second reason, and as K&M state: “the educational system [in psychoanalysis] is old-fashioned, it should be modernized…we invasion not a psychoanalysis that will be more scientific than it is today, but rather one that will include and welcome superior science and will therefore be influenced by it.” (ibid,539). Where else could that be done except in a university setting! How could it be done!
Yet there are obstacles in that solution. Psychoanalysts do not accept training be part of an education (as in all other professions. Worse, they have no plan to phase out their system of training and integrate clinical psychoanalysis in a more comprehensive scientific initiative. Psychoanalysts are attached (mindlessly) to their institution than to psychoanalysis itself.
Three are more obvious reasons to plan and prepare to move the functions of psychoanalytic institute to a department of psychoanalysis in the university, than any obvious reason to keep tinkering with a dying system. The result is the chance (maybe the only chance) to keep clinical psychoanalysis alive. Just at the numbers is evident enough.

In the next section of the post (section 5) I will deal with the sacred cow of psychoanalysis.
Once More
Psychoanalysis and the Academy:

Five

This Post is a response to a recent discussion of the subject of psychoanalysis and the academy in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (Volume 64. #3, June 2016). It should have properly written it as a paper on the raised issues in the volume, but I did not find the energy and the endurance to engage in a well vetted paper. However, I will try my best to avoid the temptation of being slack in raising issues and expounding them. I will make sure that scrutinizing this paper will prove that it came from documented literature and not be put to shame.
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The need for serious thinking about training:

This section of the post is about a mature psychoanalysis that should not be captive of an old system of training, because of a blind faith in the wisdom of the past. The history of strife in the psychoanalytic movement is a witness to the fragility of the old and also the chronic craving for change. Kernberg and Michels (K&M) proposal for improving training in psychoanalysis (JAPA,64, 477-494, 535-540), embodies that ambivalence: insistence on hanging on to its early system of education and training, yet offering what they consider an overhaul of that system with the hope of moving it to universities as a solution to endemic flaws in it. The analytic circles still avoid considering the declining interest in psychoanalysis and in analysis could be caused by the poor quality of psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts, that could be a result of the poor quality of training.

No analyst has a strait answer to two questions: 1) What is the connection or link between the original classical theory that the old Freudians adopted, and present psychoanalytic thought that we all claim it to be extension of the classical theory? 2). Is there any logic in holding on to the traditional system of institute training in light of the contemporary confusing theoretical diversities? Those two questions- if answered honestly- will require from us either to change the educating and training system, or give up the traditional theory of classical psychoanalysis as commonly defined. As a training analyst of the old generation, who witnessed the two peaks of psychoanalysis in the late fifties and the late seventies, and who dreamt and fulfilled his dream of being trained in the traditional way, I know how painful to face this situation we are now facing. We have to chose which we should sacrifice: the old theory or the old system of training. We can keep both and lose psychoanalysis itself. The choice is really not difficult to make if we do not look for cause-effect answers, and just look at an obvious issue: what should we keep or discard or revise in the classical theory, so it will not conflict with what this same theory led us to know more and better over the years? If we really honour psychoanalysis, we should accept that it is a developing theory and not a dogma. This will allow us to know, articulate, and maintain its fundamental and foundational propositions. Thus, obtain a better perspective of a proper training system that suits it. The answer to the two above mentioned questions is to let psychoanalysis tell us what to do with the theory and its system of training.

The most fundamental in the theory of psychoanalysis is the discovery of the intrapsychical. This was what amazed the world when it happened. All thinkers could not cross the threshold of the cognitive and the known, which reveal itself in our interpersonal relationships. Therefore, they did not know how to explain the human subject. It was Freud and psychoanalysis that brought out of the cognitive and the known their basic foundation, which was intrapsychical dynamics. The equally amazing proposition (which attracted more attention from the public and less from the psychoanalysts) was that everything human is written by two systems of expression: primary and more elementary and primitive and secondary that is more elaborate and sophisticated. If there is something very unique about Freud it was reading the primary text within the secondary text. With those two foundational propositions of psychoanalysis we can think of what to keep of Freud’s and the pioneer’s literature to make them basics in theoretical education. Just as an interjection, Freud had two kinds of texts: informative and instructive. The informative are no longer of real educational value and the instructive (The Interpretation of dreams, The Three Essays on Sexuality, the 1915 revisions of the main concepts, Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, etc.) are to be taught scholarly to get the gist of discovering the two fundamental propositions, and because they are no longer novelties.

With this in mind we can see that the issue of training is very important to revise.

The chronic problems of the early initiation of training are still here, but the issue of the training analysts is now the center of open and almost unanimous agreement on it is damaging effect on training. Reviewing the recent literature on the subject underpins one suggested solution: move training to the universities, as if the privileged and elite group of training analyst will disappear by that simple manoeuver. The obvious and basic danger in that suggestion is the advocates’ insistence on just improving the institute model then moving it to the universities. K&M ‘improved’ institute is to be instituted in the departments of psychiatry as autonomous divisions of those departments , which would get us back to the period of the pre-accepting none medical professional in training and membership.

Trite Thinking:

Wallerstein said that after the war: “we had two educational models, the independent institute as a privately-run night school, and the university-based institutes housed within the department of psychiatry”. This division distinguished implicitly between psychoanalytic training and psychoanalytic education.  K&M refer training to the department of psychiatry (ibid, 489) and encourage creating the scientifically trained psychoanalytic professionals. Thus, we should then end up with two classes of analytically involved people: the real ones who are trained with a mandatory basic Medical (psychiatric) knowledge, and the scientifically educated psychoanalytical professionals (psychologist, statisticians, social workers, etc.) who would be support to the real analysts by doing their research for them. This is the underlying theme in K&M’s proposal to improve psychoanalysis and the administrative solution to the problem of the expanding interest of the none medical analysts in psychoanalytic education. Training separate from education is a prescription for the official demise of psychanalysis as a community. Psychoanalysis, would go beck to the ridiculous notion of the medical psychoanalysts, because how much medicine does the medical psychoanalysts apply when he practices psychoanalysis? Another more blatantly narrow sightedness in K&M’s proposal is why would the scientifically trained psychoanalytic professionals want to do the research for someone who does not even know how to pause a proper research hypothesis?

I would like to reiterate here: psychoanalysis does not have a body of knowledge that could be defined and taught in seminars, nor it is a theory of anything specific like psychopathology where there are basic and differential issues to learn to practice. Psychoanalysis is the assimilated and integrated way of using the two foundational propositions of the theory -mentioned above- in listening and interpreting to patients what they say, or understanding social change or a work of art in the same way. Therefore, its place as an institute in a department of psychiatry would be misleading to the ones who seek to become psychoanalysts. Those institutes give the false message that psychoanalysis is a branch of psychiatry or medicine, and is only available to physician to train. Similarly, it would be misleading if institutes established in other university professional departments under the same guise proclaim exclusivity. Education in psychoanalysis is to learn the psychoanalytic way of thinking, but practicing it as a profession requires training. This trite idea that the institute system of training is where candidates learn psychoanalysis has to be dispelled and the training system has to follow and match the status of psychoanalysis, not the other way around.

If we think structurally and not functionally- the present system of institute training is creating the function of the training analysts’ class and not the other way around. Not paying attention to the reversed relationship between cause and effect in that regard results in several other trite and misleading convictions, like the claimed need for research to give back psychoanalysis is respectability, or a vital need for its survival. The limited knowledge about the nature of research amongst medical analysts and psychoanalysts in general –including K&M- has created the conviction that there are researchable issues in psychoanalysis. There are two systems of research: exploratory and investigative. The first is exemplified by epidemiological research, where the aim is to define relational aspects of a phenomenon like obesity and blood pressure as correlate. In this kind of research the maximum contribution of psychoanalysis is limited to offering suggestion of no direct analytic purpose: the relationship between the degree of depression (assessed psychometrically) and the use of the two main primary mechanisms of condensation and displacement in verbalising the pathological complaints. This type of research could barely be called psychoanalytical research. Analyst would not be active participants in that kind of research. Investigative research has to be designed on the experimental model of a control group which is the topic of the investigation and experimental groups which would verify or deny the hypotheses. Psychoanalysts are not experienced or versed enough in the techniques of sampling and the proper statistical handling of this kind of research. It is impossible to apply that model in psychoanalysis because there are no ways to control all factors in the experimental groups to allow comparisons between them and a control group. The complex nature of phenomena that have unconscious components is the reason of such impossibility. Psychoanalysis can generate research that it will not conduct, and could only benefit from the results of the researches of the other disciplines. Instead of arguing those trite convictions about where training and education of psychoanalysis should be, or the importance of research in psychoanalysis, I will get directly to the fact that we reached the point where we should dismiss the system of institute completely [it might survive a little longer among psychiatrist for reasons of their own].

The inadequacy of the institute system of training:
The original system of training, which mandated didactic analysis and early supervised practice was initiated originally to create treatment centers for the poor and the activation of the interest in researching the expected abundance of finding the trainees were expected to produce (Wallerstein, 2007). The seminar portion of the tripartite system was necessary to transmit the ever-growing body of theoretical knowledge and changes at the time. It also created a closed system that succeeded in giving psychoanalysis the chance to grow without much external interference or influence. The tripartite model of didactic analysis, supervision, and seminars persisted in a peculiar way: instead of noticing that its three elements needed revisions, from time to time, and possibly adding new elements of training and educations, it went in the direction of giving those elements different weights and functions as time passed and the demands for training increased. The trend was to amplify and overstate the significance of each element and arbitrarily decide the extent of contribution to tripartite activities of the program (in particular, the minimum time and sessions in the practical side of training). Although the system as it started and evolved had its flaws, the gradual changing of the functions of each of its three elements uncovered a major defect in the system. The institute system of training as a whole changed its function.  Training was a means to an need and changed to become and in its own right.

Didactic analysis was gradually underscored to become an essential part of theoretical preparation of the aspiring analyst. Extending the required time to spend in it indirectly changed its didactic function, and its therapeutic function took over the didactic one. In subtle ways, it acquired a different function; treating the candidate to relief him from personal difficulties that might interfere with his capabilities to do good analysis. This change was not only arbitrary; it went against it presumed benefits. Personal analysis that was extended arbitrarily to few years with high intensity, as a precondition for training that leads to graduation, forfeited its therapeutic value. Analysis fails if forced on someone for any reason. Personal analysis did not only create the Training Analyst, it also created the Idealizing Candidate (by choice or by force).

Supervision, which was in Freud’s time the main source of training and learning the technique of psychoanalysis, took a back seat to personal analysis in the institute system. This had a serious yet subtle bad impact on training. There were many discussions in the training committee I was member of about what the supervisor does if he notices something in the candidate that could be interfering with his learning the technique. This matter occupied several training centers in North America around that time (Mid Eighties). I took the position of mention it to the trainee relying on him to take back to his personal analysis. Some members of the committee opted to restrict themselves to supervision as a separate function of training. I was also promoting the idea of group supervision to the mature trainees, as a means to create subtle insights in the process analysing (did not take off).

The third element is the seminars. This seemingly banal part of training could-in fact- be the key reason to abandon the tripartite system of training completely. The seminars are meant to be where the theory is taught and learned. It is also where the benefits of personal analysis and supervision will integrate in a theoretical foundation. At the present time, I doubt that there is one cohesive curriculum for the seminars for all the training institutes, because we cannot (and should not) specify what is important or chose to teach. In the Canadian Institute (in my time) the first two years were dedicated to Freud and very little to its extensions in the British second group. The rest of the program was to visit the main figures in the French, the American and the budding object relations school in Britain. Kohut was just coming out of the woods. Now, it will be easy to cover the early years of psychoanalysis- Freud and others- in less than two years; if we present them in scholarly manner, since their works do not deal with the current problems that we face. The seminar’s component of the tripartite system need major attention because there is no way to get a consensus on what to keep from the original theory and in what way it could be integrated in whatever is considered significant in the contemporary psychoanalytic theory.  The advances in psychoanalysis have to be assessed nationally and not internationally, because there is no ‘real’ unique advancement that could be internationally accepted.

The academic solution:

If the tripartite model of the training institute is no longer serving its purpose and has become defective or deficient where do we go from there? What we need is a system that would start training early with basics that open the field of psychoanalysis as a branch of knowledge. In that stage the student would know the wider scope of that knowledge to make informed decisions in the next step to what area of psychoanalysis they would like to further their education. In the higher step the student would be able to decide if he wants to make psychoanalysis his future profession. Based on that decision the student would enter the field of training to acquire a recognised certification in his field.  A system of education that move from undergraduate to a post-graduate with recognised training could only be done in academia. Psychoanalysis as a profession should follow the same rout of other professions.