Judy's waiting room small
Becoming a therapist or an analyst requires more than taking classes at a university or psychoanalytic institute. In fact, W. Bion says that we are never an analyst, but we are always becoming one. We are always learning from our patients and from each other. If we believe that we are constantly ‘becoming’ a professional, we also know that we need to continually examine ourselves and our work. One way we do this is to consult with each other. As psychoanalysts, we believe in the power of the unconscious and trust that we need others to help us see ourselves and what we do professionally. For this reason, analysts and therapists often seek consultation with me and with other training and supervising analysts. I help analysts and therapists understand the processes that are occurring with their patients, with the therapy, and with their own counter-transference responses to them. Again like Bion, I believe that what I offer is a second opinion. Always the analyst or therapist who has the experience of being with the patient knows best. Sometimes, it takes seeking a second opinion in order to recognize what is known. Analysts also seek second opinions about difficult cases, suicidal patients, ethical dilemmas, and professional conflicts. They seek my opinion on counter-transference enactments, and review their own performances regarding patients that have committed suicide or suffered acute traumas. They also bring me cases where they feel the analysis or therapy has become bogged down and is at an impasse. Typically impasses occur when unconscious primitive mental states are being avoided by both the patient and the analyst or therapist. Consultation provides analysts and therapists new insights into their practice.