If we think of the capacity to become more aware of one’s implicit clinical thinking and how this informs our practice as a key part of developing as a psychoanalytic practitioner, what might the implications be for the formal teaching of psychoanalytic practice? Traditionally, psychoanalytic trainings have emphasized the importance of unlearning. This means the student, especially at the beginning of their training, needs to give up on all previously acquired knowledge or methods of doing therapy which involve leading the patient towards any pre-determined ends. Only then will the trainee be in a position to acquire and maintain an analytic attitude, the capacity to listen in an unfocused way to the patient’s unconscious communications and to the unfolding of the transference (see Introduction, “The prevailing view of analytic practice”, pp.2–3).
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