Relational Perspectives Book Series
Freud famously described psychoanalysis, along with education and government, as an "impossible" profession. Nonetheless, over the past century psychoanalysis has gone on to establish training institutes, professional societies, accreditation procedures, and models of education, thus bringing into uneasy alliance all three impossible pursuits. In Impossible Training: A Relational View of Psychoanalytic Education, Emanuel Berman turns his attention to the current status and future prospects of this daunting project.
Berman is ideally suited to tackle the impossibility of psychoanalytic education. A graduate of two psychoanalytic institutes, one in Israel and one in America, he has devoted much of his professional life to psychoanalytic education and the organizational issues embedded in it. In Impossible Training, Berman describes the complex emotional and organizational dynamics of psychoanalytic training. Placing these issues within the context of major controversies in psychoanalytic history, he shows how generations of students have either idealized a "proper analytic identity," which evolves into a persecutory ideal, or rebelled against these standards. Are such persecuting and infantilizing trends inherent in analytic training, he asks, or can psychoanalytic education transcend them through changes in its structure and rules?
For Berman, the relational and intersubjective trends in contemporary psychoanalysis call for changes in analytic supervision, not least of which is heightened attentiveness to the many relationships that gain expression in the supervisory process. Envisioned in this relational manner, supervision can become a more personal experience, less guarded, and more conducive to the development of a fertile transitional space between supervisor and supervisee. Anchoring his consideration of the present in the controversies of the past, Berman concludes by considering the mission of psychoanalytic educators today: to provide trainees with the resources to cope creatively with the as yet unknown challenges of tomorrow. --- from the publisher
"There can be little doubt that psychoanalytic education is in a state of crisis. Creative solutions are urgently needed, and Emanuel Berman's new volume has answers the call. With painstaking scholarship and a contemporary perspective that is historically informed, Berman delivers a penetrating analysis of the daunting challenges in psychoanalytic training and a set of suggestions that demand our attention. I strongly recommend this book to psychoanalytic educators and candidates alike." Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis and Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
"Emanuel Berman's Impossible Training is a wise book. While he stresses the basic mutuality and joint vulnerability of the participants in both analysis and supervision, he also acknowledges the unavoidable asymmetry and inequality in these relationships. He advocates no universal methods but provides vivid clinical material to suggest multiple possible approaches to training and analytic work. His stance is humanistic. The writing is fresh and alive. All psychoanalytic educators and students will enjoy reading this book and will learn from it." Judy L. Kantrowitz, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute
"A tour de force! This illuminating, clearly reasoned, and insightful exposition should be essential reading for all concerned with the central conflicts and dilemmas in psychoanalytic training today. With richly detailed illustrations of training tensions from his institute in Israel as well as from his clinical work, Dr. Berman provides a vital background to, and a novel understanding of, the inherent difficulties and imaginative possibilities in our quest to reform our own institutions. Though subtitled a "relational view," Impossible Training has an import that far transcends any specific theoretical position. Berman's is an eloquent, humane, and ultimately hopeful plea against elitism and 'abuse of professional power' and for the 'generative' potential in grappling with our training challenges." Evelyne Albrecht Schwaber, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East
About the Author:
Emanuel Berman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Haifa, a Training Analyst at the Israel Psychoanalytic Institute, and a Visiting Professor at the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University. He is editor of Essential Papers in Literature and Psychoanalysis (1993) and of Hebrew translations of Freud, Ferenczi, And Winnicott. Dr. Berman is the International Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues:A Journal of Relational Perspectives and a frequent contributor to the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and other journals.