Psychoanalytic supervision and the need to be alone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article studies the process of supervision of psychoanalytic psychotherapy from a developmental perspective. The focus is on a feature of the child's developmental process - the need to be left alone in the presence of the parent. The paper discusses different manifestations and forms of this need in the various stages of the supervision. An ethical problem that arises out of the conflict between the need to leave the supervisees alone to explore their own professional self and the overriding obligation to safeguard the patient's welfare is discussed. Supervisees' experiences and attitudes toward the issue of being left alone are reported, and finally, an example from a supervision is given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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