email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
A Basic Theory of NeuropsychoanalysisA Cursing Brain?A Dream of Undying FameA Map of the MindAfter LacanAgainst AdaptationAgainst FreudAn Anatomy of AddictionAnalytic FreudAndré Green at the Squiggle FoundationAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnna FreudAnna Freud: A BiographyApproaching PsychoanalysisAttachment and PsychoanalysisBadiouBecoming a SubjectBefore ForgivingBerlin PsychoanalyticBetween Emotion and CognitionBeyond GenderBeyond SexualityBeyond the Pleasure PrincipleBiology of FreedomBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBuilding on BionCare of the PsycheCarl JungCassandra's DaughterCherishmentConfusion of TonguesContemporary Psychoanalysis and the Legacy of the Third ReichCrucial Choices, Crucial ChangesCulture and Conflict in Child and Adolescent Mental HealthDarwin's WormsDesert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Dispatches from the Freud WarsDoes the Woman Exist?Doing Psychoanalysis in TehranDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDreaming by the BookEnergy Psychology InteractiveEqualsErrant SelvesEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationFairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical SettingFed with Tears -- Poisoned with MilkFeminism and Its DiscontentsForms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Reasearch and Adult TreatmentFour Lessons of PsychoanalysisFratricide in the Holy LandFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud at 150Freud's AnswerFreud's WizardFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFrom Classical to Contemporary PsychoanalysisFundamentals of Psychoanalytic TechniqueGenes on the CouchGoing SaneHans BellmerHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHate and Love in Psychoanalytical InstitutionsHatred and ForgivenessHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHeinz KohutHeinz KohutHidden MindsHistory of ShitHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisImagination and Its PathologiesImagine There's No WomanIn Freud's TracksIn SessionIn the Floyd ArchivesIntimaciesIntimate RevoltIrrationalityIs Oedipus Online?Jacques LacanJacques Lacan and the Freudian Practice of PsychoanalysisJung and the Making of Modern PsychologyJung Stripped BareKilling FreudLacanLacanLacanLacan and Contemporary FilmLacan at the SceneLacan For BeginnersLacan in AmericaLacan TodayLacan's Seminar on AnxietyLawLearning from Our MistakesLove's ExecutionerMad Men and MedusasMale Female EmailMelanie KleinMemoirs of My Nervous IllnessMental SlaveryMind to MindMixing MindsMoral StealthMourning and ModernityMovies and the MindMurder in ByzantiumNew Studies of Old VillainsNocturnesNoir AnxietyOn Being Normal and Other DisordersOn BeliefOn IncestOn Not Being Able to SleepOn the Freud WatchOn the Way HomeOpen MindedOpera's Second DeathOvercoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and BehaviorsPhenomology & Lacan on Schizophrenia, After the Decade of the BrainPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPractical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and PatientsPsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysisPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and NeurosciencePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychoanalysis as Biological SciencePsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis at the MarginsPsychoanalysis in a New LightPsychoanalysis in FocusPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy As PraxisPutnam CampQuestions for FreudRe-Inventing the SymptomReading Seminar XXReinventing the SoulRelational Theory and the Practice of PsychotherapyRelationalityRepressed SpacesRevolt, She SaidSecrets of the SoulSerious ShoppingSex on the CouchSexuationSigmund FreudSoul Murder RevisitedSpectral EvidenceSpirit, Mind, and BrainStrangers to OurselvesSubjective Experience and the Logic of the OtherSubjectivity and OthernessSubstance Abuse As SymptomSurrealist Painters and PoetsTaboo SubjectsTalk is Not EnoughThe Arabic FreudThe Art of the SubjectThe Brain and the Inner WorldThe Brain, the Mind and the SelfThe Cambridge Companion to LacanThe Challenge for Psychoanalysis and PsychotherapyThe Clinical LacanThe Colonization Of Psychic SpaceThe Condition of MadnessThe Couch and the TreeThe Cruelty of DepressionThe Dissociative Mind in PsychoanalysisThe Dreams of InterpretationThe Examined LifeThe Fall Of An IconThe Freud EncyclopediaThe Freud FilesThe Freud WarsThe Fright of Real TearsThe Future of PsychoanalysisThe Gift of TherapyThe Heart & Soul of ChangeThe Knotted SubjectThe Last Good FreudianThe Late Sigmund FreudThe Letters of Sigmund Freud and Otto RankThe Mind According to ShakespeareThe Mystery of PersonalityThe Mythological UnconsciousThe Neuropsychology of the UnconsciousThe New PsychoanalysisThe Power of FeelingsThe Psychoanalytic MovementThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Psychodynamics of Gender and Gender RoleThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Real World Guide to Psychotherapy PracticeThe Revolt of the PrimitiveThe Seminar of Moustafa SafouanThe Sense and Non-Sense of RevoltThe Shortest ShadowThe Social History of the UnconsciousThe Surface EffectThe Symmetry of GodThe Tragedy of the SelfThe Trainings of the PsychoanalystThe UnsayableThe World of PerversionTherapeutic ActionTherapy's DelusionsThis Incredible Need to BelieveThoughts Without A ThinkerTo Redeem One Person Is to Redeem the WorldTrauma and Human ExistenceTraumatizing TheoryUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of PsychoanalysisUnderstanding PsychoanalysisUnfree AssociationsWalking HeadsWay Beyond FreudWhat Does a Woman Want?What Freud Really MeantWhen the Body SpeaksWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Whose Freud?Why Psychoanalysis?Wilhelm ReichWinnicottWinnicott On the ChildWisdom Won from IllnessWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWorld, Affectivity, TraumaZizek
"Psychoanalytic training became a symptom from which a lot of people never recovered." This comment by Adam Phillips spoke to the compliance that was increasingly required, even demanded, by the followers of Sigmund Freud that took charge of organizing a 'formal training' in psychoanalysis. This compliance, thought to instill 'conviction,' worked very well to stifle creativity or originality. As Phillips further points out, the field of psychoanalysis – and its training programs - began then, and has now, splintered into numerous paths, all of which follow different – some very different - from what was envisioned by these early adherents to the movement. These comments may capture what may be a thread woven within Annie Tardits' book: The Trainings of the Psychoanalyst. (This thread is undoubtedly also reflected in her use of "trainings," rather than the singular).
Tardits draws a meticulously detailed history of the thoughts, ideas, and fantasies of what the early psychoanalytic thinkers desired as constituting training in psychoanalysis. She offers a detailed picture of the conversations and the controversy among the followers - the people that were left by Freud to grapple with the questions about training. Freud continued work on his 'problem child' – psychoanalysis. Lou Andreas-Salome played an important role early on, and in her correspondence with Freud, wanted others to consider what 'informed desire' about training might entail. Andreas-Salome wanted to "...show what an analytic training could be before it became institutionalized." She reminded others that Freud's theory was not a rigidly fixed theory, but one that changed as his experience in practicing psychoanalysis grew, with Freud demonstrating what might be seen as a researcher's model. Freud's position allowed more emphasis on 'not knowing,' contrasting this with the 'mastery of knowledge.'
The open question about training remained an elusive one – what is to be included in a training for analysts 'to be'? Tardits points to Freud's persistent difficulty in suggesting what a 'definitive training' would include, and his consequent worry that the wranglings of his followers, and their obsession with formulating rules would, "...block the way to intellectual freedom," and to "the impartial desire to know." The war temporarily interrupted the conversations in psychoanalysis, with all the difficulties and dilemmas being further spread out, but regaining momentum in several different camps.
The core of the training, according to Freud, was to be one's personal analysis. He also introduced the notion that a training would rest on the candidates grasping "...what can be taught about the theory of the unconscious," the acquisition of interpretative ability, and the 'fight against resistance.' The understanding of what to do with the transference was crucial. Further, Freud's 'fantasical' idea was voiced, an idea not taken terribly seriously by many of his followers. His idea was that if a college was designed for psychoanalysis, the teaching would include depth psychology, an introduction to biology, clinical work, the science of sexuality, and the historical knowledge about civilization, mythology, religion, and literature. (Tardits, p.42)
Annie Tardits then introduces Lacan in her exploration of analytic training – explicating his views as they developed historically in the ongoing discussions. It is noteworthy that a reader of this text will need a fairly good grasp of Lacan's perspective on psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory, i.e., Lacan's reading of Freud and the former's work being grounded in intellectual and philosophical roots not altogether familiar to all audiences. Tardits positions Lacan well with respect to his very substantive views on the training of the analyst, as well as his historical place in the difficult negotiations. However, Lacan's perspective may be difficult to understand for those that have received rather orthodox or a 'typical' analytic education – an education or training outside of the Lacanian school. Nevertheless, Tardits is able to position Lacan well in relation to the purpose of her text, and many readers will enjoy the questions that emerge as a result.
In my reading of this text – and struggling to understand Lacan's views with respect to psychoanalysis - I was drawn back to the philosophical works of Susanne Langer. For her purposes, Langer articulated the notion of generative ideas, and she spoke of the terms in which theories – and the questions raised – are conceived and give rise to new or specific questions. To quote Langer: "The limits of thought are not so much set from outside, by the fullness or poverty of experiences that meet the mind, as from within, by the power of conception, the wealth of formulative notions with which the mind meets experiences. Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there. A new idea is a light that illuminates presences which simply had no form for us before the light fell on them. We turn the light here, there, and everywhere, and the limits of thought recede before it."
Lacan's perspective on the question of 'training' for psychoanalytic work, and his theoretical and clinical contributions to our understanding of psychoanalysis, are generative in their raising of significant and important questions – many of which provide the light that we need to continue illuminating our path to further psychoanalytic thought – through research and clinical endeavors. According to Tardits, Lacan wanted to avoid the 'disintellectualization' that may result from 'pre-digested knowledge,' that is, within what many consider to be the foundations of psychoanalysis. The Trainings of the Psychoanalyst will certainly be of interest to all those that have questioned the foundational bases for psychoanalytic training, and the limits posed by its current structure.
Langer, S.K. (1957) Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art. 3rd Ed. Havard University Press, Cambridge and London.
© 2011 Rudy Oldeschulte
Rudy Oldeschulte trained in psychoanalysis with Anna Freud and her colleagues in London, and in law at DePaul University. He now teaches psychology, cultural diversity, ethics, and law. email@example.com