Teaching and transformation: a psychoanalytic perspective on psychotherapeutic training

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While there has been much recent interest in the impact of organizational structures underpinning psychotherapeutic training (e.g. Davies 2008; Kernberg 2006), there has been curiously little interest in impact of interpersonal dynamics on the process of teaching psychotherapy. In this paper, I draw on my experience as a university lecturer and tutor on a postgraduate counselling and psychotherapy training programme to explore some of the unconscious dynamics underpinning the psychotherapy trainee’s development towards a mature professional identity. The implicit expectations that trainee psychotherapists hold at the start of their training are initially discussed; I then turn to psychoanalytic writers such as Bollas, Winnicott and Jessica Benjamin in an attempt to articulate and explore how trainees may progress from relating to constructive use of their tutors in their quest for personal transformation and professional recognition.

© The author. Journal compilation © 2009 BAP and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an author produced version of a paper published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy, 25: 363–380, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
JournalBritish Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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