Thank you for your patience in awaiting news of our next steps regarding remote training at the Center. As you know, the situation has been evolving, and we remain in a moment of transition. However, we have arrived at the following policies for the 2023-24 academic year
From an educational and administrative standpoint, with regard to psychoanalytic candidates’ clinical work, personal analyses, and supervision, the Center will not distinguish between work conducted in person and that conducted by telephone or video platform. This expansion in the ways trainees can gain credit for their work will remain in effect beyond the duration of the pandemic.
These policy changes derive from the findings of several in-depth surveys of the Center’s faculty and trainees regarding the experience of emergency remote training at the Center and follow extensive discussions among members of the Training, Executive, and Steering Committees
The process of deciding how to meet can be complex, and we encourage all members to approach it with the depth of thoughtfulness characteristic of their analytic work in general. In particular, we recommend the following:
The wish to work via teleanalysis should be respected. Treatment should take place through teleanalysis unless and until both people are fully comfortable meeting in person.
If considering in-person work, trainees and faculty should carefully review the evolving safety guidelines provided by the CDC, NYS, and Columbia to make thoughtful decisions about mask wearing and physical distancing while conducting analysis.
These decisions may need to be revisited over time as public health risks and recommendations change and as the analytic pair learns more about the implications of their choice through experience.
As in all cases involving risk, safety concerns may be considered in the broader context of the balance of risks and benefits. Candidates, their patients, and their analysts should explore what they perceive as the similarities and differences between teleanalysis and in-person work in their treatment.
A wish to continue working via teleanalysis should not be approached purely as a resistance to the treatment. As with any issues in a psychoanalytic treatment, there will be conscious and unconscious meanings at play for both the training analyst and analysand. These issues can be explored while working in the modality that is felt to be the most safe.
In considering a return to in-person analysis, we should be mindful that power dynamics are always operative and thoughtfully examine our motivations (such as the wish to please the other) if deciding to meet in person.
The analytic pair should consider continuing teleanalysis on a regular or intermittent basis after both parties feel comfortable with the health implications of in-person meetings if they feel teleanalysis is more beneficial to the candidate overall.
The reduction in commuting offered by teleanalysis can have profound effects on the earning potential of candidates, the accessibility of training, and the quality of life of analysands and analysts alike. These advantages go beyond mere convenience and deserve to be carefully weighed in considerations of the treatment modality of choice.
Some may be in the process of making, or have already made decisions to continue via teleanalysis indefinitely, with no plans to resume in-person clinical work. We recognize that this would represent a significant shift in the treatment frame and encourage open discussion about the ramifications of these choices by the analysand/analyst pair.
The Center’s consulting analysts (Drs. Berger, Chriss, and Kravis) are available to provide consultations to candidates regarding their personal analyses in situations where these issues can not be resolved internal to the treatment.
These policy changes derive from the findings of several in-depth surveys of the Center’s faculty and trainees regarding the experience of emergency remote training at the Center and follow extensive discussions among members of the Training, Executive, and Steering Committees. Seventy-nine percent of candidates and 64% percent of faculty responded to the surveys, giving us a detailed view of the strengths and weaknesses of the remote training experience and of our members’ needs and preferences for the months to come.
Importantly, we learned that:
Regarding remote supervision, candidate responses strongly favored continuing that option beyond the pandemic.
It is hard to predict what precautions will be required regarding in-person classes in September of this year. However, given the size of our classes and our classrooms, under the Psychiatric Institute’s present social distancing requirements in which masks and 6’ distance among trainees and teachers would be required, we anticipate that the in-person classroom experience would likely be significantly compromised.
Given these practical considerations and following an in-depth review of the responses to our surveys by the Executive and Steering Committees, we have made the above decisions for the 2023-24 academic year.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about these policies.