WHO IS QUALIFIED TO PRACTISE PSYCHOANALYSIS?

 

Only someone who is properly trained and qualified is suitable to practise psychoanalysis. From the beginning, there has been considerable debate within psychoanalytic organisations for psychoanalysis world-wide, about what constitutes a suitable training. Some argue that qualification should be open only to those who have followed a training limited to certain areas of psychoanalytic theory and based on strict delineations of the so-called "technical rules" of psychoanalysis; such as the number of times-per-week trainees are seen by their training-analyst, the use of a couch and the length of a session. Other psychoanalytic organisations embrace a much wider range of psychoanalytic theories and have different understandings of the meaning and use of the "technical rules".

Despite differing in some significant ways, all psychoanalytic training-programmes appear to consider the following components as necessary, in order to qualify as a practitioner of psychoanalysis:

• The study of a range of psychoanalytic theories during a course which tends to last at least four years.

• A range of clinical practice during training (sometimes referred to as work with "training-patients") under professional supervision by an experienced and qualified practitioner.

• Undergoing a personal analysis, usually before, during and, sometimes, after training.

• Procedures through which trainees who complete their training can proceed to some form of graduation and registration, leading to a recognised status within the training-organisation.

• Adherence to a Code of Ethics.

• Some form of independent scrutiny of the training-programme at regular intervals.

The College is, in principle, prepared to recognise any training for practitioners of psychoanalysis which incorporates these basic components and which provides a coherent and public statement to that effect.

The College is not, at the present time, prepared to arbitrate on questions relating to the technical rules of psychoanalysis; concerning frequency or length of sessions and the use of the couch. The College does, however, recognise that there is a need for a wide-ranging discussion among training-organisations in the United Kingdom on what constitutes a proper training of a psychoanalyst, the relationship of psychoanalysis to psychotherapy and how psychoanalytic trainings might be recognised by The College in future. The College proposes to invite existing training-organisations and practitioners to participate in a wide-ranging enquiry and discussion of these and other related issues.

All members of The College are bound by the Code of Professional Conduct of The College.

 

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