Rome-Chicago: Comparing Training Philosophies and Programs of AIPA and CSJA Societies: A Cooperation among IAAP Group Members?

Introduction

Mary Dougherty
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts

Anna Panepucci
Genova, Italy
Associazione Italiana per lo Studio della Psicologia Analitica

Our discussion represents the attempt to dialogue between trainers of different nationalities, i.e., those belonging to AIPA in Rome and to CSJA in Chicago, with the aim of comparing the cultural policies and training programs of their respective Schools.

In particular, Anna Panepucci will briefly report on the cultural policy on which the training program of the AIPA School (founded in Rome in 1961) is based. She will move from a critical analysis on some of specific risks that our School, and maybe other training Schools as well, are likely to face in times characterized by a historical/cultural framework favoring a technical-naturalistic paradigm of knowledge.

In Italy, specifically, a ministerial regulation since 1989 governs the profession of “psychotherapist” and entrusts legally recognized Schools – like ours – with the relative professional training, through a program agreed upon with the MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research).

A shift giving emphasis to “therapy” – and therefore to the techniques – when confronting the psyche involves the risk of change in what is considered the ideal of analysis.

The Institutes could try to develop in students:

  • an exogenous acquisition of skills, tools and technical competence which would be equivalent to a kind of “worldly” learning, acquired from the outside, as opposed to an endogenous learning from an intimate and individual experience. This kind of training might generate an analytical model as an exercise and an application of the “already” known therapeutic techniques, together with a role model of analyst as a care professional, more inclined to checking than investigating the psychic dynamics occurring in the relationship with the patient;
  • or, differently, an aptitude for research intended as a study of “already” known analytical principles – an essentially intellectual aptitude: this would result in a gradual transformation of analytical psychology into ordinary academic psychology; -
  • broadly speaking, Institutes can be used to – or lend themselves to – illusorily “saturating” the students' needs, in particular those of a narcissistic nature, thus leading to a passive and a-critical acceptance of both the teacher and the theory itself. Jung's theoretical system, more specifically, can be perceived as an already “full” and “exhaustive” one, in a way that does not favour further development or evolution on a theoretical level.
  • Therefore, a training that does not take into account the above risks would proceed in an antithetical way with regard to the process of individualization and development started by the analysis. This, in fact, focuses on the process of relation and experience considered as a prerequisite of both psychoanalytical intervention and research on the psyche.

AIPA cultural project consists of:

  • reintroducing and valorizing a psychoanalytical anthropology. This anthropology is to be intended as an inadequate and insufficient “specialized” condition of the human being in comparison with his/her environment. But from this condition it derives his/her non-defining cognitive open-mindedness and his/her “train its own training” – a training which is not at all predetermined by instincts.
  • accepting the real nature of the statements of the psyche and about the psyche which – according to Jung's relativist epistemology – arise from the contact of a cognitive, emotional precondition of the individual with the perceived psychic event. Those statements do not prescind from the relativity, historical contingency and accidental relationships in which they originate.

Therefore, in order to be isomorphic to the inadequate and insufficient “specialized” condition of the human being and, at the same time, to her auto-poietic one, our training method would aim at achieving a meta-technical and meta-professional education – in the age of technology, as everyone defines it.

AIPA education

From the above method, it follows that special attention should be given to the initial stage of candidate’s selection, with the twofold aim of identifying students able to be creative on a clinical and theoretical level, but also able to convey – in their very first facing with the organized analysis – those values and analytical ideals, that in our opinion their future work should be based on. Unlike the School of Chicago, the ministry’s policy forces us to accept applications exclusively made by graduates in Psychology and Medicine.

At the same time, we aim at emphasize experiential learning. Therefore, in order to be admitted to training courses we require: a minimum of 300 hours of personal analysis (compared with a minimum of 100 hours required by the School of Chicago); a second analysis during the first two years, lasting at least two years; a minimum of 200 hours of individual supervision and a minimum of 240 hours of group supervision, within the following four years. A traineeship in some clinic independent of the School for at least the first four years (500 hours approximately) is also required.

Starting this year, we are proposing to the trainees attending their fifth and sixth year, a research program as a stimulation to be active and – possibly – creative in confronting Jungian theory.

Differences and similarities of the two training programs will be highlighted and evaluated during the dialogue between colleagues coming from the two different Schools. Eventually, a discussion will take place on data taken from a questionnaire which has been submitted to the members of AIPA and CSJA, as a further element of comparison between the training programs of the two Schools.

Training as a Continuous Process of Letting Go

Stefano Carta
Rome, Italy
Associazione Italiana per lo Studio della Psicologia Analitica

It has often been said, and rightly so, that Jung has been an advocate of individual freedom against the temptation to build a solid and monolithic theoretical and organizational system around analytical psychology. Let me immediately say that this position, which I think is the only one that honestly promotes growth and change, must not be mistaken for a flat relativism for which at the end everything goes. What Jung meant was based on the central themes that he addressed in Psychological Types (1921), and in several other writings scattered through his works (for instance: 1945), in which he, before anyone else in our field, introduced the issue of each person’s basic personal equation, which makes it impossible to ever arrive at the definitive and ultimate truth. Let’s think of the answer that Jesus gave to Pilate (John 18:38), when he asked him what, he being the Son of God, was the Truth. The answer was no answer altogether. Not even silence. Just the question. Period. Next chapter.

Now, the openness to a plurality of approaches, if it is not an everybody-wins approach, poses formidable questions and great psychological problems. It may go without saying that the splitting and projecting of what I am not is the first condition for the birth of persecutory environments.

Jung’s position, as in his Psychological Types, condemns us to bear our own freedom and differences, and refuses the role of the totemic father, who possesses not just the women of the clan, but idealized knowledge as well. Under a totemic father, his knowledge passes through the generations in an clear and coherent way, and so it may be if a father figure is projected on an analytical institution, or a trainer or supervisor. Such a totemic quality cannot but create either rigid compliance, or revolutionary splits, such as those described, for instance, by Bateson (1972) in his discussion of schismogenesis (the replication of the same structure) and schism (the identification, and expulsion, into the polar opposite).

Ideas and positions passed in this fashion soon become ideologies – they may well be scientific, clinical or philosophical ideologies – and substitute, explaining it away, the tremendous complexity of reality, which for us is expressed by the fact that our ultimate task as analysts is to promote individuation, i.e., complexity.

Now, I think that Jung’s message represents an attempt on his part to get rid of radical father-projections. Jung as a non-totemic father asks and kindles more questions than easy answers; injects doubts, and stresses the central necessity of antinomic thinking. At least this has been my painstaking impression after twenty-five years of reading and re-reading his works.

The absence of a dogmatic and systematic opus by the founding father deeply resounds and affects the Jungian community. The essential openness of analytical psychology makes it possible that within the same institution there are colleagues who base their work and their views on approaches that often not just differ, but actually even oppose one another, and this fact often happens without much trouble within the analytical community. Within the same community we may find phenomenologists, archetypicalists, developmentalists, neo-Freudians, post-Kleinians, attachment-theorists, structuralists, and so on. For some, the idea of the archetype is unmentionable, for others it is fundamental. Some quote the centrality of drives as in Freud’s Three Essays (1905), while some speak about attachment as the central motivation. Some support the idea of the analytical process as based upon frustration of a blind and infinitely wishing unconscious, while some refer to the self-healing purposefulness of the self. And I could go on forever.

Is this a positive fact? Does this show that we are just open-minded and flexible? Or does it conceal some risks that then reverberate in the process through which those same ways of working and views are passed from one generation of analysts to the new one? Let me immediately tell you that, in general I think that, yes, it is a positive fact, but with some conditions. I will very briefly mentions which conditions soon.

For Giuseppe Maffei (2001), Jungians inhabit different rooms of a single house of which they do not take care. First of all let me tell you that I think that his idea is mostly right. I think that one of the main tasks that we must face regarding our training process is that of forcing ourselves to make explicit our points of view, by actually underlining precisely the critical differences that may exists. I am convinced that the real engine of scientific growth is based upon healthy conflict, and that such a conflict must be treasured, promoted, organized and contained. This is often not the case. Oftentimes the analytical societies are organized around various degrees of secrecy, which in a context as complex as ours represents a formidable problem. The risk is that each line of thought organizes itself upon its own scientific bases and pours them into the analytical training. Once the new analyst enters in the analytical community, he will tend to keep the results of his training, i.e., his analytical experience as a trainee with the theoretical background that have based such work, within an aura of secrecy. The presence of many secrets, or areas about which one normally does not explore in full extent in our organizations is based, I think, on the fact that each one of us has a representation of his analytical experience as an analysand/trainee as a very private space which does not come into direct contact with the community. The same privacy involves the analytical setting with our patients, which we often tend to protect from the interference of critical discussions or dialectic confrontations with our colleagues.

Here the point rests on one basic question: how much can we withstand to let go of the narcissistic investment that all of us put on our theory and experience? How much can we not only withstand but even promote the questioning of such a narcissistic part of our selves? We must understand that, as Jung wrote, it is absolutely essential that we have a weltanshaaung, in which we believe. If we do not believe in what we do, feel, or think, we would be dissociated technicians. At the same time, if we cannot withstand the putting under pressure of our standpoints we remain under the spell of an irrational and self-defensive narcissistic self-serving construction. Here we are caught in an antinomy, at whose extremes we find the polarities of identification and de-identification. Without deeply identifying in a view of the world we cannot truly creatively and heuristically feel to know something. Yet, without being able to give up such a stand point, we risk to become rigid prisoners of our belief systems.

The original situation in which this de-identification should take place is the transferential relationship between analyst and analysand. If the analysand cannot de-identify and abandon the analyst, he will partially or totally develop a Persona, but not become whatever he was meant to be. Now, ironically enough, if this process of resolving the transferential projections is wished for and possible with a “normal” patient, this becomes more wished for but much less possible with an analysand who is motivated by the desire to become an analyst himself. Here lies the paradox of our profession as an impossible one. The question is therefore: how can we intervene to diminish the implications of such a structurally difficult-to-resolve analytical relationship, in which the analysand will soon become just like his analyst – another analyst?

One answer I have already mentioned: the promotion of healthy conflict; the promotion of the emergence of those differences that we tend to protect in that area of secrecy and reservation I have spoken of before. Naturally this is not just difficult: it is a true opus contra naturam. Why should we be bothered? Why should we suffer through the necessary exchange of ideas within a container, which, although solid, is yet no less potentially painful to withstand? I think we have to, because precisely this is the very heart of an analytical as a training process – the confrontation with what I am not, yet I am meant to consider and partially become: with the unconscious.

Training should help us understand the nature and meaning of our own visions or theories which, often implicit and used defensively as non-metabolised introjects, guide our actions. Training should be a continuous process, which should be based upon what the trainee feels deeply as belonging to his self. At the same time, training should magnify what belongs to the other, may that be the analyst, the trainer, the object, as individuation may ultimately be expressed also as dynamics between identity and alterity.

Paradoxically enough, training is a condition of forgetting and de- identifying. The real training takes places right after we have learned and when we must accept to let go. To let go of the transference with the training analyst, with the narcissistically invested theory, with the very belonging to an idealized community of analysts, the belonging to of which, after a very long ordeal, finally makes the new colleague just like his former trainer.

I think that the presence of a second analysis, as within AIPA’s training program, supports the contra naturam spirit of the analytical training process, as it forces the trainee to cope with the necessity of transforming an archaic introjected father-trainer-theory into a possible identification which may lead to the final letting go. Nevertheless, this is not quite enough.

In order to gain from the many souls that the Jungian world allows to exist, without just juxtaposing them into an eclectic container that is not based on openness but on defensive measures against our narcissistic wounds, we must actively promote the idea that the training process is a never-ending process, a constant work in progress. My opinion is that any role that seems to warrant an identity (now I am an analyst, now I am a trainer) actually passes on a Persona, so that in the very moment of such a recognition, the whole fundamental keystone of the training process collapses: the disposition to put under pressure and let go of the narcissistic investment of my own standpoint.

I am quite convinced that the notorious tendency of closed societies, groups or organizations to develop persecutory ideas springs from the avoidance of open and constant confrontation, which is ultimately structurally based upon a process of working through the resolution of the transferential relationship between the trainee and his training analyst.

It goes without saying that in order to promote and contain such a difficult process it is indispensable that all the members agree upon the basic rules of mutual exchange and recognize the implicit potential sacrifice that may result from putting pressure upon our own views and accepting comparisons with different views. In order for this to happen, for example, one of the most typical sentences (here in the double meaning of grammatical and juridical sense of the word “sentence”) heard said by analysts all through the past: “this is not psychoanalysis”, must be, if not banned, very carefully used, as it sounds to my ears as a refusal of any common ground for confrontation. At the same time, any form of dialectic exchange cannot begin nor be sustained if all parts do not accept to honestly listen and carefully think over the positions of the others.

Another precondition for such a process of exchange to take place is the careful avoidance of an abusive use of the term “setting” outside the proper analytical setting between analyst and patient(s). If the scientific analytical community is seen as an analytical setting, somebody will always try not to listen, but to interpret the other, or refer his positions to reasons that have little to do with what is actually under discussion. I think that the use of an analytical setting where the unconscious is taken into consideration as the figure in the foreground, versus the motivations and arguments that are being reported via consciousness, is licit only when both parties agree to do so. Otherwise it becomes a power-game that leads nowhere. And power is the Shadow of Eros; the dangerous by-product of our profession that acquires substance and is acted out in a non-conscious manner when the Persona must be defended at all costs against the continuous process of confrontation with the unconscious, with the non-me, with the archaic parental introjects.

From theses considerations springs a last basic condition for the promotion and containment of a process of continuous growth within our communities, i.e., to avoid all-winning statements or theories, such as those that may explain the other’s different position on an analytical issue as a “resistance”.

My opinion is that under such premises it could be possible to gain a great deal from the intrinsic richness of our plural points of view.

AIPA has been carefully discussing and coping with these and other themes in a systematic fashion for some time, and has devoted a three- day seminar to the theme of analytical training. In recent years I think that AIPA has devoted many efforts to increase within its training program the number of theoretical, psychological and technical issues and approaches. At the same time it has promoted the multiplication of working groups within our organization, in which we openly discuss different approaches and points of view.

Finally, I would like to mention the creation of a line of books that we are devoting to the publication of texts that can cross-inseminate analytical psychology with contemporary research on all the fields that may have something to do with our work. As a matter of fact, only the open exchange within our community and between itself and the outside world, can we hope to keep analytical psychology alive, while enriching the world around us with the fundamental message passed to us by Jung. A continuous process of training cannot be but inclusive and not exclusive. Therefore I am an advocate of the promotion of a genuine interest in the world, in our society’s main issues and struggles, in the historical flow of events that surround us as individuals and as a scientific community. I think that it is necessary that the core of the Jungian message pass within the academic community in the university (and here much there is to do). Such a genuine extroverted curiosity in the issues that are shaping our lives and – why not? – also so much of our psychopathology, can guarantee the fact, in which I firmly believe, that analytical psychology is good not just for ourselves but also for our world.

And it is the balance between introversion and extroversion, between the intimate care for the inner processes and the curiosity for outer, scientific, social, historical issues, which is the last condition that I believe is necessary to keep alive and constantly rejuvenate analytical psychology within and without ourselves.

References

  • Bateson, G., 1971. Steps to an ecology of mind, Chandler Publishing Company, 1976.
  • Jung, C.G., 1921. Psychological types, Bollingen Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1971.
  • Jung, C.G., 1945. Psychotherapie und Weltanshauung, Bollingen Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1971.
  • Maffei, G., 2001. Nelle stanze di casa Jung, in: Le metafore fanno avanzare la conoscenza? Vivarium, Milano.