Should I Become A Training Analyst?
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on February 11, 2015
1993-2001, the years that I did psychoanalytic training. Eight challenging years involving heavy reading of the psychoanalytic literature, four control cases, meaning patients that came multiple times a week, associated with weekly consultation with a senior psychoanalyst. I had four years of formal classes, followed by elective seminars with multiple case discussions and theoretical discussions. All of this was finalized by four papers (one on each patient), along with an oral examination proving that I had mastery of the material. After this long journey, September 9, 2001, I spoke at my graduation, thinking that this was the end of my long journey of being a student. I expressed deep gratitude to my teachers and mentors who had shepherded me through years of deep emotional growth and widening my worldly perspective. Since 2001 I have paid forward by voluntarily teaching at different psychoanalytic institutes and at UCLA. I have carried the baton, emphasizing the value of psychoanalytic thinking to help those who suffer. Now, fourteen years later, I am faced with another opportunity for growth. The New Center for Psychoanalysis is offering an expedited pathway towards becoming a training analyst, which means that if I join a study group, develop a committee to review my work, I can qualify to take an oral examination with my three person committee, along with a fourth person who will come from out of town to evaluate me. If I pass, I will then be on the list of training and supervising analysts, which means that I can help therapists become analysts, by treating them as patients, and/or supervising their case material. This leap represents a dilemma for me. On the one hand, I very much want to pay forward the efforts that I received through my analytic training. On the other hand, I am not sure that becoming a training and supervising analyst is necessary for that goal. On balance though, joining a study group is a good idea. I want to stay stimulated and engaged in my work. That is my first step, and I think I will take it.