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Teaching Psychoanalytic Concepts in the University Setting: Issues, Challenges, and Promises

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Psychoanalysis has had a longstanding, but not always easy, relationship with scientific psychology and the university environment. Reasons for this tension include challenges related to empirical support for analytic concepts, the co-opting of analytic ideas by other theories without always citing the psychoanalytic foundations of these ideas, and difficulty teaching these ideas to students. Recently, there has been a call for closer scrutiny of teaching practices and advocacy for more research in psychoanalytic societies and institutes. Thus, conflict is both external against misperception by others outside of the psychoanalytic enclave and internal over longstanding attitudes about teaching and training analytic candidates. In this article, I focus on the way psychoanalysis is perceived and misperceived in academic psychology, relevance of empirical psychoanalytic research for educators, and what this means for the future of graduate education in psychology and psychoanalysis. I also present a sampling of creative teaching approaches beyond the traditional pedagogical strategies of lecture and examination for encouraging student learning of psychoanalytic concepts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 9, 2015

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