I have been a Training Therapist and a Training Supervisor for the British Psychotherapy Foundation (formerly of the London Centre for Psychotherapy) and for other organisations. Now that I have retired from clinical practice, I continue to offer psychoanalytic supervision to Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and Counsellors on a weekly or fortnightly basis, and consultation with colleagues.
My focus in supervision is on the detailed interaction between patient and psychotherapist. We examine how this dynamic may be understood in the context of the patient’s personal history, and the current developments in the psychoanalytic space created by the psychoanalytic couple. In the consulting room, the transference that is active at any particular moment is the central element to understanding the clinical material the patient presents. It is the lived psychic history of the patient, both historic and current. The psychotherapist’s understanding of the moment-by-moment transference in the encounter with the patient, and the psychotherapist’s own training, experience, and model of understanding the underlying dynamics, will all play a part in the work of getting to know the patient.
It is important to look at the material the patient brings, both verbal and non-verbal, in a creative way, in order to come to a clear understanding of the detail of the material and the underlying dynamic forces that are so active in the work. The focus on the immediate dynamic relationship rather than a retrospective view on what has been missed or what might have been said, offers a lively understanding of the patient’s internal world and its impacts on others. Understanding the dynamics of the interactions between the patient and the therapist, the factors enabling the psychotherapist to formulate an interpretation, and the patient’s response to the interpretation, can lead to a deeper understanding of the patient that can create a possibility for change and development.