Distance Analysis and Training

The Board faces further complex policy decisions related to the conduct of analysis through technology and the conduct of analytic training through technology.  Some colleagues feel it is essential to have an embodied experience of the other in order to have a deep experience of the psychoanalytic method. Others, equally experienced and committed to our field, feel that distance analysis via videoconference is different but can also be transformative and that it serves the needs of eager potential analysts in otherwise inaccessible areas. A third group feels a hybrid model would allow the practical need for a primarily technological experience to be augmented by in person experiential components. Reconciling these different views is a challenge we must meet. After listening carefully to all perspectives, it is my belief that the differences of opinion are sincere and often seem irreconcilable.  But, must we impose a unitary standard on our colleagues? Can we find a way to include divergent perspectives within the larger umbrella of psychoanalysis? This is our current and serious challenge.

An extensive report from the Task Force on Distance Analysis was considered by the old Board and will be further considered by the incoming Board. The most urgent questions have to do with training, particularly for candidates whose training was disrupted by the pandemic.  There is the question of what is best for the profession going forward. Will our experience with technology during the pandemic lead us to consider options that could further the availability of psychoanalytic treatment and training world-wide through models that are different from those we have used so far?

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