Traditionally in psychoanalytic teaching, supervision has been seen as a way of passing on the psychoanalytic tradition and helping the supervisee apply this correctly in their work. However, all too often this can lead to what Juan Pablo Jimenez, writing about clinical discussion groups, calls “a dialogue of the deaf”: In presentations of material, the persons who present it are not usually concerned about explaining the reasons for which they intervened in the way they did and the discussant is not interested in elucidating the presenters’ reasons. Consequently what is produced is a dialogue of the deaf, who never meet on any shared ground, which thus leads to misunderstandings and a growing babelization. (2009, p.235) But if one shifts perspective to seeing supervision as a way of acquainting the student with their own technique, their way of evaluating their own work and how they come to clinical decisions, the supervisee will then be in a better position to learn to supervise themselves. This positions the supervisor more as a participant in a dialogue than as an authority figure.
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