How did I Get Here? Evolving Analytic Identity

Fourth Year Adult Psychoanalytic Training (APT)
2019-20, 2nd Trimester — Fridays, 3:30-5:00pm
Alexa Albert, MD
Maureen Pendras, MSW


Introduction

“Allow yourself to think in terms of all your parts, the ones with which you are very familiar, the ones with which you are not familiar, the ones which you have not developed and the ones you may not know exist. Think of each of your parts as a resource, regardless of whether it is the same or different from everyone else’s or whether you consider it good or bad. Whatever you have represents new possibilities for yourself ….”
—Virginia Satir (1978)

“Health is the ability to stand in the spaces between realities without losing any of them—the capacity to feel like one self while being many.”
—Philip Bromberg (1993)

Not everyone chooses psychoanalysis. Were the endeavor free, many still wouldn’t choose it, let alone apply the tremendous commitment and investment it calls for. It means something for each of us that we are here, and that we have chosen to be here.

In this course we aim to consider the interrelationship between our individual experiences and our evolving psychoanalytic identity. Our course will be oriented towards personal stories and reflection upon your own experiences. We are not looking for “right” answers, but rather an exploration of how our analytic identity has been fashioned and made up of human and often imperfect experiences.

Our readings are personal in nature and mostly written in an informal or interview style. We hope to invite lively conversation and engagement with the concept that your analytic identity has been shaped by your experiences of psychoanalysis, teaching, consultation, the Institute, the greater community, and our socio-political culture. In turn, your evolving identity as a psychoanalyst will impact how you engage with psychoanalysis, teaching, consultation, the Institute, the greater community, and our socio-political culture for years to come.

February 7, 2020 — Interrelationship between our psychoanalytic identity and experiences of psychoanalysis

This week we want to consider one’s experience of psychoanalysis as a foundational pillar of analytic identity. Our own journey through personal psychoanalysis will impact the degree to which we trust this analytic endeavor.

Bornstein, M. (2011). A Psychoanalyst’s Story: A Simple Discovery After Years of Searching. Psychoanal. Inq., 31(6):554-565.

February 21, 2020 — Interrelationship between our psychoanalytic identity and experiences of teaching

This week we want to consider one’s experience of teaching. Nearing the end of your didactics, you have gained an abundance of experience being taught as clinical associates. What makes for a good teaching experience? How has your experience of being taught impacted your desire to teach? How do you imagine yourself as a teacher?

Readings from Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom (Skorczewski, D. and Parfitt, M., editors)

  • Introduction and Chapter 1: “The Chatterring of Timothy Strossmeyer, or Discipline and the Oppressed” by Christine Jespersen (pp. ix-6)
  • Chapter 14: “How Not to Lead a Class Discussion” by Dawn Skorczewski (pp. 97-103)
  • Afterword: “Difficulty for Whom?: Teachers’ Discourse About Difficult Students” by Hugh English (pp. 119-123)

Skorczewski, D. & Parfitt, M. (ed.) (2003) Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom, Intro & Ch1, pp ix-6

Skorczewski, D. & Parfitt, M. (ed.) (2003) Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom, Intro & Ch1, pp97-103

Skorczewski, D. & Parfitt, M. (ed.) (2003) Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom, Intro & Ch1, pp119-123

February 28, 2020 — Interrelationship between our psychoanalytic identity and experiences of consultation

This week we want to consider one’s experience of consultation (formerly called supervision). What makes for a helpful and good consultation experience? What isn’t helpful? How has your experience of consultation impacted your desire to consult? How do you imagine yourself as a consultant?

(We will also use 10-15 minutes of class for our spoken midcourse evaluation.)

Choder-Goldman, J. (2015). The Supervisory Relationship: Bedrock of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Perspect., 12(2):121-126.

Choder-Goldman, J. (2015). Honoring the Classical Tradition in Supervision: Interview with Martin S. Bergmann, PhD. Psychoanal. Perspect., 12(2):127-135.

Choder-Goldman, J. (2015). Trauma and the “Confusion of Tongues” in Supervision: Interview with Arnold Rachman, PhD. Psychoanal. Perspect., 12(2):136-142.

Choder-Goldman, J. (2015). The Supervisee as Analytic Coparticipant: Interview with Margaret Black, LCSW. Psychoanal. Perspect., 12(2):143-155.

Aibel, M. Browning, D. Katz, A. Malach, S. Nusbaum, B. Rosenblatt, T. Choder-Goldman, J. (2015). On Being a Supervisee: A Roundtable Discussion. Psychoanal. Perspect., 12(2):156-171.

March 6, 2020 — Interrelationship between our psychoanalytic identity and experiences of the Institute and greater community

This week we want to consider one’s experience being a part of a psychoanalytic Institute as well as the greater community. How has your identity been impacted as you have navigated the complexity of relationships within SPSI given the myriad of multiple and potentially conflictual roles? How has your analytic identity been impacted by your experiences in the greater community? How has your identity as an analyst impacted your engagement with your community?

Levine, H.B. Yanof, J.A. (2004). Boundaries and Postanalytic Contacts in Institutes. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 52(3):873-901.

Marans, S. Smaller, M. Twemlow, S. Oppenheim, L. (2014). Round Table: Being a Socially Active Psychoanalyst in the 21st Century. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 13(4):283-297.

Optional Reading

Gourguechon, P.L. (2011). The Citizen Psychoanalyst: Psychoanalysis, Social Commentary, and Social Advocacy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 59(3):445-470.

March 15, 2020 — Interrelationship between our psychoanalytic identity and experiences of our socio-political culture

This week we want to consider one’s experience of our socio-political culture and how it impacts our identities as analysts. How do your socio-political identifications inform and impact your work as an analyst? How do you think about your patients’ socio-political identifications in your work with them?

DiAngelo, Robin, YouTube Video: Deconstructing White Privilege: What does it mean to be White in a Society that Proclaims Race “Meaningless,” yet is Profoundly Separated by Race. “Vital Conversations.” 22 mins.

Corpt, E.A. (2013). Peasant in the Analyst’s Chair: Reflections, Personal and Otherwise, on Class and the Forming of an Analytic Identity. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 8(1):52-69.

Orange, D.M. (2013). Unsuspected Shame: Responding to Corpt’s “Peasant in the Analyst’s Chair: Reflections, Personal and Otherwise, on Class and the Forming of an Analytic Identity”. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 8(1):70-76.