Postmodernism, Psychoanalysis, & Philosophy: A World of Difference
for the Future of Psychoanalytic Education ©
by Patrick B. Kavanaugh, Ph.D.
Consideration is given to Cartesian-Newtonian ways of thinking about, knowing, and perceiving the world and their defining influences on psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic education: the organizational structure of psychoanalytic institutes; the linearized educational philosophy, methods, and model of psychoanalytic education; and, the image of the analyst around which such education is organized. As we enter the postmodern of the 21st century, the analytic practitioner and educator are greeted by a world of perspectivism, relativity, paradox, and uncertainty. Different ways of thinking, knowing, and perceiving order and structure a World of Differences amongst people. Some implications for psychoanalytic education are considered.
One's educational philosophy and views regarding psychoanalytic education proceed from one's view of the world, of people, and of life --- and, are inextricably linked to one's understanding of psychoanalysis, itself. ---The ideas to be considered this morning regarding psychoanalytic education and its future are no exception. The ideas to be presented regarding "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education" proceed quite directly from a particular postmodern version of psychoanalysis as was presented at the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology in February of this year in a paper entitled: "Influences from Philosophy, the Theatre, and Poetry Upon Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique". In that paper, a postmodern version of psychoanalysis was considered in the abstract and in the context of rather extensive and detailed clinical material. Psychoanalysis was considered to be a venture into communication via the associative method within the contextual metaphor of the psychic theatre of the mind. This morning’s paper proceeds from that particular postmodern version of psychoanalysis and develops a postmodern view for the future of psychoanalytic education.
The paper to be presented this morning was originally presented as an invited paper at the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE) this past October. The theme of this year's IFPE conference was "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education". As the title would suggest, the perspective presented and advanced in this paper is that there is a "World of Difference" for the future of psychoanalysis and, thus, a "World of Difference" for "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education".
In the narrowest sense, psychoanalytic education during the Modem Era has meant the education and training of psychoanalysts within a psychoanalytic institute. As I proceed to speak to the psychoanalytic institute of the Modern Era, however, most, if not all, of what I will be saying I would consider to be quite descriptive and applicable to those programs of study that presume and proceed from the episteme of the Modem Era as is embodied in institutional structure, educational philosophy, educational model, and educational methods, practices, and objectives. More specifically, I would consider most, if not all, of what I will be saying to be quite applicable to APA-approved graduate school programs in clinical psychology, pre- and/or post doctoral "residency" programs, as they are currently being referred to, as well as to the psychoanalytic institute training programs sanctioned by the American or the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA).
In the history of people and of ideas, psychoanalysis had its earliest of beginnings within the sociocultural context of the Industrial Age of the Modem Era. Psychoanalysis has been a child of the Westernized cultures; psychoanalytic education has been a product of these times. As a child of the Westernized cultures, psychoanalysis was born out of the then emergent and revolutionary epistemological field of the culture of the Industrial Age. As a product of its times, psychoanalytic education adopted the institutional structure, embodied the educational philosophy, and proceeded from that view of people and of the world which was to most characterize the world view of the Industrial Age. Such marginalized, radicalized, and, indeed, heretical of thinkers as, for example, Darwin in biology, Newton in science and physics, and Freud in the psychological analysis of mental life had questioned the then traditional ways of knowing, perceiving and thinking that had come to constitute science and art during the Agricultural Age. It was to be the relentless pursuit of, perhaps, that most dangerous of all questions, the "Why?" of the "What is?" that was to lead to a continuous questioning and challenging of the then well-established and authoritative sources, forms, and bodies of knowledge of the times: the church, divine revelation, and dogma.
The interweave between the epistemological field and the cultural ideology of the Agricultural Age had provided certain fixed, foundational, and enduring "rules" for the political, social, and institutional structures of the Agrarian cultures. These "rules" had come to prescribe the reality and the "natural order" of things, e.g. the "What Is" during that period of time. These "rules" could be understood, in the words of Foucault, to be...... the fundamental codes of a culture--those determining its language, its schemes of perception, its exchanges, its techniques, its values, the hierarchy of its practices." (Foucault, 1973b, p. xx) These rules had provided for the Agrarian cultures the discursive rationality for that which had come to constitute "reality", "perception", "goodness", "beauty", and "truth" during that particular cultural epoch. It was these very "rules", these fundamental codes of 'the culture-these ways of perceiving, thinking, and knowing-, that were being requestioned, reconsidered, and reconceptualized by such conceptual revolutionaries as Newton, Darwin, and Freud. There was to be a fundamental "change in the rules" in the very epistemological field of the westernized cultures. This change was to signal their entry into the Industrial Age of the Modem Era. A new set of "rules" were emerging which were to provide a radically different discursive rationality during the then emergent Industrial Age. The "What is" of the Modem Era was being discovered; the "Why" of that "What Is" was being developed and established from within the Western Rationalistic Tradition. The "Why" was to be guided by a new system of values, beliefs, and logic as was provided by the Age of Enlightenment/The Age of Reason.
As we meet this weekend to consider the "Future of Psychoanalytic Education", there is, in the words of that renowned philosopher of the Modem Era, Yogi Berra, a kind of "deja vu happening all over again". Recent years have witnessed a time of disturbing transition, a time of increased disorientation and disorganization for institutional structures and individual members of society alike. Certainly, from a quite narrowed perspective, we are all too aware as practitioners and as educators that these have been turbulent and tumultuous times for the "health care professions". The "Industrialization of the Professions" in the United States has been proceeding by stated policy and objective. Considered in isolation, this "Industrialization" carries with it quite immediate consequences for the "Future of Psychoanalytic Education". With the rapid and dramatic changes in the "standards of practice" and in the "ethical standards" for the Health Care Professions, there are also changes taking place in the "standards for education and training". For example, the recently stated policy objective of the American Psychological Association (APA) of more standardized and empirically based programs of study in APA-approved graduate schools. "Outcome-based education" has become a part of the wave of the present. (APA Monitor, March, 1995) The "Future of Psychoanalytic Education" is to be found within such policies and objectives as are currently being designed and implemented. (Kavanaugh, 1995a; 1991) The "Industrialization of the Professions" has quickly led to the "Industrialization of Education", "Psychoanalytic" or otherwise. While this "Industrialization of Education" is certainly deserving of further consideration, there has been something happening within the cultural fabric of the westernized cultures of even more profound consequence for "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education".
These same recent years have been conservatively characterized as a time of "crisis in representation" (Gergen, 1994; Smith, 1994), a time in which the traditional and authoritative sources, forms, and bodies of knowledge as have been established by and embodied in the logical-positivist-scientific tradition of the Industrial Age have been drawn into question. Certain fundamental assumptions of the Modem Era of that which had come to be considered to be axiomatic, as unarguably indisputable, and which had come to be viewed as "common sensical" and part of the presumed "natural order of things" has been and continues to be irreverently subjected to the unrelenting and deconstructive assault of the "Why?" of the presumed "What is" of the Modem Era. --a kind of deja vu happening all over again-- Initially, it was to have been the poets, the playwrights, the novelists, the social philosophers, the existentialists, the radical feminists, and some angry and alienated others who were to passionately and unrelentingly question the "What is" of the social order of the Modem Era. These groups were to have been dismissively responded to as the angry and the desperate; their voices being heard as the wailing sounds of the disenfranchised, the alienated, and the revolutionary "have nots" who occupied the outermost fringes of the periphery of society. Their theories were grouped together and dismissed as being either the voices of desperation of the marginalized, or the last recourse of the counter-culture misfits, or the irrelevant word games of philosophers who had become hopelessly lost in their idle philosophical discourse, and helplessly carried away into their logical absurdities. Perhaps their theories were intellectually interesting, but, nonetheless, they were to be relegated to the category of "esoteric academic speculations"; and, to the sub-category of pragmatically irrelevant to the realities of everyday life and the 'real world"'. It is this "real world", however, that has been drawn 'kicking and screaming' into deconstructive question. That which had been considered to be the objective and knowable "reality", the immutable essence of the "real world" with its self-evident and unquestioned "truth" has been turning into an interesting yet, nonetheless, fictive interpretation.
The Industrial Age of the Modem Era which had its beginnings in the early 1700's has ended after @ 300 years. The westernized cultures are currently immersed in a turbulent transition from the Industrial Age of the Modern Era to the Information Age of the Postmodern Era. The fundamental and foundational codes as to that which have constituted, authorized, and sanctioned " appropriateness" in perceiving, thinking, and knowing during the Modem Era have been changing dramatically and radically, in leaps and lurches... Rather abrupt and ruptured breaks with traditional ways of thinking about things,--- as opposed to continuous evolutionary developments, --- have resulted in radicalized differences and departures from the more traditional ways of understanding and conceptualizing people, ideas, life, and the world. These revolutionary changes have not been limited to the natural sciences and the humanities. The westernized cultures have been traveling the Information Superhighways at warp speed and have entered the Information Age of the Postmodern Era: the Cyberworld and cyberspace of the Internet and Virtual Reality; the Quantum Age of physics and science.--- These changes have been most disturbing in their sudden onset, disruptive in their continued encroachment and impact in everyday life, and disorienting and disorganizing for institutional structures and individuals alike in their aftermath. This entry of the westernized cultures into the Postmodern Era carries equally consequential and far-reaching implications for the future of psychoanalysis as theory, as practice, and for "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education". It is this changing epistemological field of the Postmodern Era as a cultural epoch that provides the context for this paper; it is this emerging epistemological field of the Postmodern Era as a discourse that prompts this reexamination, reconsideration, and reappraisal of psychoanalysis as theory, as practice, and, thus, as education.
As a two-fold contribution to this weekend's consideration as to the "The Future of Psychoanalytic Education". I would like, first: (1) to consider certain philosophical presuppositions of the Modem Era regarding the nature of "the world", "the self", of "reality", and of "truth", and the interweave of these concepts into the classical version of psychoanalysis as theory, as practice, and as have been embodied in the classical version of psychoanalytic education. As I proceed, unless otherwise noted, the American Model of Psychoanalysis will be serving as the contextual frame of reference when considering and referencing contemporary elaborations of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic education.
And, I would like, secondly, (2) to re-consider and re-think psychoanalysis from a different set of philosophical presuppositions and assumptions regarding the nature of the "world", "the self", of reality", and of "truth". More specifically, to consider a Postmodern version of psychoanalysis from within this currently developing sociocultural epoch and context, a postmodern version of psychoanalysis that proceeds from the philosophical presuppositions of subjectivism and which is elaborated from within a psychological framework. I would then like to speak to a vision for psychoanalytic education" which might be more consistent with the emerging episteme of the Postmodern Era. It is within this Postmodernistic blending of philosophy and psychoanalysis that there is to be found, I believe, a somewhat provocative "World of Difference" for the future of psychoanalytic education in terms of its educational model, practices, standards, and objectives.
A Postmodern View of
Modernism, Objectivism, and Traditional Psychoanalytic Theory
The Quest(ion) of the Object(ive)
As noted by Flax (1990), traditional westernized philosophies have organized and constructed their philosophic systems around a "metaphysics of presence" in which "...something Real could be represented in thought, the Real was understood to be an external or universal subject existing 'out there', and 'truth' was understood to be correspondence to it." (p.34) From within this philosophical tradition of Objectivism, all reality came to be understood and dichotomized into an "outer reality" and "inner experiences". This dichotomized reality was to provide for psychoanalytic thinking and theorizing the philosophic premise and framework to develop and to elaborate further an "actual" and "objective" reality in contradistinction to a "psychic" and "subjective" reality. "Outer reality" was considered to be the center of this conceptually created universe. "Outer reality" consisted of an objectively existing and mind-independent world with the basic "units of reality" being located in solid objects. Objective reality was self-evident and was to be found in solid matter with each object occupying its own sharply demarcated place in space and time. This "world" was understood to be a world that had an essential state. In its essence, it was both objective and it was knowable. The "world" of the Industrial Age, however, was more than just "objective and knowable". This world was a Cartesian-Newtonian world, a world based upon a particular way of thinking about institutions, people, and life. The writings of Barratt (1993), Capra (1982), Eacker, (1975), Ritvo (1990), Sartori (1995), Toffler (1990) and Wheatlev (1992) provide the socio-philosophical-historical context for this postmodern view of modernism, objectivism and the quest(ion) of the object(ive).
The Cartesian view of the world was that of a complex machine made up of separate and interlocking parts. From self-evident solid objects of matter that comprised "reality" and from certain self-evident principles regarding the nature of the world, one could proceed to search for the universal laws by which this complex machine functioned. A unification of all knowledge regarding the universe and people was not only possible, it was to be the goal of science. A Cartesian certainty of knowledge about the world was possible only through science and through the application of the scientific method. It was this view of "reality", the "world", and of people as complex machines that was to be developed during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. As noted by Capra (1982), it was to be the Newtonian synthesis of the empirical inductive method as represented by Bacon and the rational deductive method as represented by Descartes that was to provide the methodology upon which natural science was to be based during the Modern Era. This Cartesian-Newtonian way of thinking was to provide the epistemological assumptions, premise, core values, and context for the development of classical psychoanalysis as theory, as practice, and as education.
The Newtonian world was a "World of Sameness". It was a world of predictability and slavish determinism. The Newtonian world was orderly and worked with precision and clockwork-. Within its clockwork regularity was to be found the determinism and predictability necessary for the development of the scientific method and the linearized explanation of its events. These presumed linearizations described the essential and defining characteristics of the world. These same characteristics also provided for the unquestioned framework of objectivity, continuity, linearity, universality, and reductivity for the scientific inquiry into this mind-independent world. (Slife, 1993) This Newtonian "World of Sameness" was a cold and static world, fixed in its essence, stable in its laws, and linear in its understandings of time, space, causality, and logic. It was presumed that a mind-independent reality existed within which real events took place according to universal, real, and rational laws. These laws existed and were to be found along a dimension of absolute and uniform time. Within this "World of Sameness", the Newtonian conceptualization of gravity was to be central and paradigmatic to understanding the nature of the world and of people. Newton's understanding of gravity was that of a universal gravitational force extending outward from earth, moving through empty space, and exerting a force on objects. Space was conceptualized as being an empty container --- a void --- a nothingness as in a "no"- "thing"-ness, the negation or inverse of "some"-"thing". This "no-thing"-ness was an objective and factual "IS", unless and until, the "no-thing"ness was filled by the power and substance of this universal gravitational force. Within this "World of Sameness", a world of nomothetic laws were awaiting their discovery by the scientific method. The nature of the "world", of "realitv", and of this Newtonian based method of science and explanation made it possible to predict the ebb and flow of the tides, the pathways of the planets, and the appearance and trajectory of the comets. The Newtonian world was quantifiable, empirical, and predictive of future events. The scientific method could provide for a relatively untroubled access to this "real-world"--- "as it-really-is". Science was to have a privileged relationship to "The Truth" and, with the discovery of this "Truth", the Cartesian dream could be fulfilled. This Cartesian-Newtonian way of thinking about, knowing, and perceiving the world was to have a profound influence upon psychoanalytic, theory, technique, and the basic concepts of classical psychoanalysis.
Since its earliest of beginnings in 19th century Germany, psychoanalysis was to ally itself with the other emergent disciplines of the Modem Era in a spirit of iconoclastic inquiry and in the pursuit of a world view of science and of "Truth". As a child of its times, psychoanalysis was to contribute to and be shaped by the irreverent challenging and relentless questioning of that which had been the presumed "What is" as had been constructed during the Agricultural Age. Further, psychoanalysis was to venture forth with a different understanding as to the "Why?" of that "What is". In their "Studies on Hysteria" (1895), Freud and Breuer were to draw into question the prevailing understanding of hysteria as being the consequence of "...grave hereditary taint or of individual atrophic degeneration...... (1895, p.61). They were to recast this understanding into question form. And they were to guide the "Why?" of understanding of hysterical phenomenon from a different epistemological premise. They were to develop their understanding of the "Why?" from a different system of values and logic, a different system of explanation and justification, a different way of perceiving, thinking, and knowing about people, the world, and the nature of the relationship of people to that world. They were to introduce a psychological way of understanding and working with "hysterical symptoms", a phenomenon that previously had appeared to be without rhyme or reason. Their conclusion, "Hysterics suffer from reminiscences", was to serve as an introduction to a revolutionary way of thinking about and understanding people that was to proceed from the episteme of the Modem Era.
Freud and Breuer's development of this psychological way of understanding and treating hysterical symptoms was to proceed from the philosophical objectivism of the era, was under the influence of the naturalistic, evolutionary theories of Darwin, and was understood from within the overarching metanarrative of the Age of Enlightenment/Reason. For example, their conceptualization of hysteria presumed a Newtonian linearity of absolute and categorical time in which past, traumatizing, "archaic events" were understood to have occurred at specific points in time existing in Anna O.'s past. These "archaic events" were presumed to be continuous with, and as being related in a causative, deterministic, and evolutionary relationship to those behaviors that would occur later in time. Past archaic traumatizing events were conceptualized as determining symptomatology and interfering with Anna O's then current adaptations to the objective and knowable world. Put another way, that which preceded in absolute categorical time was understood to be causally related to that which followed. With this presumed linearization of time and causality, and of space and logic, the world of mental events, in its essential state, was also understood to be continuous and orderly with its events being interrelated and linear in organization, universal in its laws, and as providing an objective frame of reference which existed independently of the observer. Freud's pathogenic memory model was to provide for the early beginnings of psychoanalysis as a theory of symptomatology, pathology, and etiology that was to be further developed from within a medicalized contextual metaphor of "disease and illness" and "treatment and cure". This conceptual model of the traumatic neuroses was to come to serve as the largely unquestioned conceptual model for much of contemporary psychoanalytic theory. (Kavanaugh, 1992b)
As a child of its times, the classical version of psychoanalytic theory and technique was born from the objectivist philosophical pre-suppositions of the Industrial Age and this Cartesian-Newtonian based view of the world, of people, of life, and of science. It was to be in his later publications that Freud (1933, 1937) was to explicitly identify psychoanalysis as being part of this world view of science. It was to be this view of psychoanalysis as a developing science that was to play a major role in the shaping and molding of that which was to constitute psychoanalytic education. As a product of its times psychoanalytic education was to proceed from these ways of knowing, perceiving, and thinking about the nature of "the world", of "reality", and of "the self".
A Reconsideration, Reexamination, and Reappraisal
With the establishment of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute in 1920 by Eitington, the institutional framework, the educational philosophy, and the tripartite educational model was first introduced as the institutional and educational model for psychoanalytic education. The Berlin Model came to embody and represent the components of training and the objective standards for institute training and education that have continued to this day: the tripartite model of education and training. This educational model consisted of: (1) personal/training analysis, (2) theoretical courses and didactic instruction, (3) control analysis, and (4) the society's control of training. The Berlin Model has long been recognized by organized psychoanalysis as the preferred, if not the only, institutional structure and educational model authorized to provide psychoanalytic education. (Fine, 1990; 19882) The Berlin Institute has continued to serve as the model for psychoanalytic education, essentially without modification, throughout the Modem Era. The origins of the institutional structure, the educational philosophy, and the model for education, however, was to predate the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Neither the institutional structure nor the educational philosophy was particular to either the psychoanalytic institute or psychoanalytic education. Psychoanalytic education was to be a product of its times.
Institutional Structure: Educational Philosophy: Image of the Psychoanalyst
As the westernized cultures moved from the land-based agrarian cultures to the urban based industrialized cultures, special institutions arose to meet the needs of the people. These institutions were Newtonian-based in their structure and in their organization (Wheatley, 1994). The institutional structure, itself, was hierarchically arranged and vertically organized with clear lines of authority and chains of command established. Sharp boundaries and demarcations with clear delineation of function and purpose of the elements, components, and parts were to come to define "a good institution". Within the institution, those who were higher up in this hierarchy possessed power and authority over those who were lower in the structure. Everyone knew their place, their role, their function, and their responsibility. It was from within such an institutional structure that psychoanalytic education was to take place.
Within such institutional structures of the Industrial Age, "Knowledge 'Is'... Power". Certainly, "Knowledge is Power" in the imminently pragmatic sense that knowledge "of" and "about" the institutional system is "power" in that such knowledge enables movement within and through the system --- and, many times, in spite of the system. Within such an institutional structure, however, "Knowledge is Power" in a different and more profound sense: "Knowledge is Power" in that sense as was understood by Nietzsche in his concept of the "will to power" (Nietzsche, 1901) and, as has been elaborated by Foucault ( 1973) in his discourse on the interaction between "power and knowledge". As succinctly stated by Snyder: "All thought that pretends to discover 'truth' is but an expression of the will to power--- even to domination --- of those making the truth-claim over those who are being addressed by them." (1988, p.xi) The exercise of this "will to power" is inherent in the vertically-arranged hierarchically-organized institutional structure of the Modem Era. The specific form of expression of this "will to power" is given through the particulars of the discourse of the institution. Rosenbaum & Sonne (1986) speak to this concept of an "institutional discourse". In so doing, they provide a broad-based contextual framework- from within which the classical/traditional version of psychoanalytic education could be considered.
The "institutional discourse" refers to the institution's organizational structure, its distinct ideology and philosophy, its espoused theoretical orientation, and as related to psychoanalytic education, the image of "the psychoanalyst" around which the education is organized. It is in the dynamic interweave of institutional structure, process, and dynamic that the "will to power" is exercised, given expression, and contextualizes psychoanalytic education. The synergy of this "institutional discourse" reflects, embodies, and reproduces the ways of knowing, thinking, and perceiving and the objectivist underpinnings of the Industrial Age --- the Master Discourse of the Modem Era--- the very epistemological field and set of core values that are disintegrating as we enter the Postmodern Era.
Descartes philosophic system placed foundational emphasis upon rational thought: "I think therefore I am". The Cartesian view of the universe as a complex machine extended to people and to education. Thinking was the essence of human nature; essence lies in thought. Identity and Being were equated with the rational mind. A superior role was ascribed to analytic thinking and to this rational mind. Education was to be an education of the mind; the body was not considered to be a source of knowing, of thinking, or of knowledge. Within this mind-body dualism, the body was to be subordinated to rational thought; cognition, thinking, and objectivity were to take primacy over passion, intuition, and subjectivity in the acquisition of knowledge. (Hooks, 1994; Maher & Tetraux, 1994; Capra, 1982) The educational philosophy of the times was to proceed from --- and, reflect --- these ways of thinking, perceiving, and knowing the "world", "reality", "truth". It was to have been the 18th century Prussian view of people and education that was to become the model for mass education in the westernized cultures during the Modem Era. It was to have been the views of Frederick the Great as they had pertained to people and to education that were to provide the educational philosophy and the model for education for 19th century Germany. Quite consistent with the Cartesian-Newtonian view of people and of life, education in 18th century Prussia consisted of conceptually fragmented components of knowledge and experiences that were to fit logically together like interlocking parts of a complex machine and were to provide for a "classical education, e.g. science, language, literature, and mathematics. As an aside, it is indeed interesting to note, that it was in the early 1800's that Mary Shelley was to write her "fiction" of timeless and frightening appeal, Frankenstein. Through scientific knowledge, a machinelike "Monster-Man" was assembled from the fragmented, interchangeable and interlocking body parts taken from the dead and was brought to life. As noted by Gatto (1992b), her story of Frankenstein has been understood by many as a commentary on the educational philosophy and the educational system of the times.
It was from within this institutional structure and educational philosophy that psychoanalytic education was to be fashioned as was embodied in the Berlin Institute. The tri-"part"-ite model of education extends from this episteme of the Modem Era. As I proceed in this consideration of psychoanalytic education, I will be organizing my thoughts around three definitions of education: (1) "Education" as process: "...the action or process of educating or of being educated..."; (2) "Education" as method: "...the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning..."; and, (3) "Education" as result or objective: "...knowledge and development resulting from an educational process...... (Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary)
"Education" as process: " ... the action or process of educating or being educated..."
"Education" as method: "...the methods of teaching and learning in..."
The candidate's passage through the institute was conceptualized as a linearized process: a movement from a state of "not knowing" to a state of "knowing". There is a linear progression through the Institute in which the "whole" is assembled from the sum of its component tri-"part"-ite methods of educating. "Progress" speaks to the gradual acquisition of a core body of knowledge and the technical skills considered necessary and essential in the formation of the "psychoanalyst". Further, "progress" speaks to, an enculturation into a way of thinking, knowing, and perceiving the world, people, and life as is communicated through the institutional ethic and discourse. All that was one day to be internal as a psychoanalyst was understood to be acquired through the individual's progression through institutional curriculum and life, a kind of socio-psychological determinism in which primacy for the education was to be found and located "out there" with/in the educational methods and training experiences. It was this primacy, it was believed --and, still is--, that influences, shapes, forms, and molds "The Psychoanalyst". All psychoanalytic knowledge originated, existed, and emanated from the external world comprised of the institute, the repository of knowledge and training experiences of that which was to be 'learned".
Within this "institutional discourse", the teacher/instructor, training analyst/supervisor were to be the embodiment of the "Keepers of Truth", the repository figures who were to transmit and convey this knowledge that could be taught through the methods of teaching as were constituted by the tripartite educational model. The "Keepers of Truth" were "educating"; the candidates were being "educated". Knowledge was to pass from the more knowledgeable to the less knowledgeable. The repository figures were to be the Master Signifiers of: (1) who would be a candidate, e.g., to determine the evaluative criteria for selection; (2) what was to be learned, e.g. the content of the curriculum; (3) when it was to be learned, e.g. the sequence of courses, (4) when to start "control cases", e.g., to determine when one was ready, (5) when to begin the didactic/personal/therapeutic analysis, and (6) to evaluatively chart the "progress" of movement through this program of study. Within the "institutional discourse", the repository figures of the institute were to be the Signifiers of the Master Discourse entitled "On Becoming a Psychoanalyst". The superior perceptions, thinking, and knowing of those in positions of power were conveyed in these myriad decisions of "truth-exercised" within this socio-educational system of institutional life. "Truth-exercised" by the "Keepers of Truth" was to become an integral aspect of the institutional discourse and a significant dimension of the educational-enculturational process. This expression of "Truth-exercised" was to contextualize and to become a defining dimension of psychoanalytic education and psychoanalysis. All too often, it was to be unthinkingly, unquestioningly, and unwittingly reproduced in professional life vis a vis analytic attitude, theory, and/or presumed treatment objective.
In this linearized educational process, the student was to be the consumer: a relatively passive recipient of the infusion of this knowledge, e.g., "...the action or the process of being educated..." --like an empty space, or a void of "no - thing" ness to be filled with this information and knowledge. Further, psychoanalytic information and knowledge was to be taken in without transforming or acting upon it--it was to be "learned". The candidate was a master signifier "...in the process of becoming..." with "progress" then speaking to the timely and gradual acquisition of knowledge and "truth" about the world and others through those methods of learning in the institute, e.g., theoretical/didactic courses, the application of that theory and the development of technical skills through "control cases"; and, learning about self in one's own training analysis. The institute was to be the source of all knowledge and information "in the formation" of the psychoanalyst. "Progress" consisted of the acquisition of ever more accurate knowledge of "other" and of "self"---as was consistent with the particular view of the "Theoretical Truth" of the institute. The monolithic view of psychoanalysis was an integral part of that "Truth".
"Education" as objective: " ... knowledge and development resulting from an educational process..."
Within this "Institutional discourse" of the psychoanalytic institute, psychoanalytic education proceeded from a linearized view of--and, relationship to-- "language" and "knowledge". In the fixed, static, and linearized Newtonian world, language was object-based. The word corresponded to the object it represented. This relationship to the "world" and "reality",-- and,-- to the "word" and "knowledge" was to make psychoanalysis teachable and learnable. "Knowledge" understood to be mirror reflections of "reality-discovered-as-it-is"--- and--- "Truth" understood to be "discovered rational knowledge" transforms knowledge into a scientific "thing-like object" correspondent to the real world: a "Theoretical Reality" could be constructed that represented and embodied objective and actual reality. Psychoanalytic theory could stand for the laws, the concepts, the linearized stages of development, or the expected developmental sequence of transference paradigms that had been discovered. The theory now could be handed from one person to another: psychoanalysis could be taught, books could be written, knowledge about people could be factually discovered, stored, recorded, and taught. As the Institute came to be---"Keeper of Truth"---, it was to become the keeper of a series of "pre-thought" thoughts that were interrelated in the correct systemic way to construct "pre-structured theories" of "truth- discovered" that enabled the transmission of that knowledge through its "pre-designed", "pre-approved", "pre-packaged", and "pre-authorized" programs of study comprised of the component parts integral "in the formation" of a psychoanalyst in the institute's "pre-ordained" image. This view of the institutional discourse" of the psychoanalytic institute and its institutionalized relationship to the "word", "knowledge", and to psychoanalytic education would appear to be quite relevant to the general observations made by Bernfeld (1962) in his paper on psychoanalytic training and education, particularly his observation that classes in psychoanalysis were taught as one might teach astronomy or mathematics.
The monolithic view of psychoanalysis coupled with its being a part of the world view of science was to place the Psychoanalytic Institute in a privileged relationship to "Truth". As an educational-institutional setting, the psychoanalytic institute was to be the "Keeper of Truth", its institutional discourse was to speak the voice of this "Truth", and wrapped within this cloak of the "Truth" of its Theoretical Reality was to be found the moral piety of those who were to know --and, those who were to come to know--the "reality", the "goodness", the "beauty". and the "Truth" for others.
"Education" as objective: "... development resulting from an educational process."
The Image of "The Psychoanalyst"
The image of the psychoanalyst around which institute training and education was to be organized was that of the psychoanalyst as the knowing subject who knew and understood the totality of natural causal relations in the formation of personality and symptoms and their formation. The Psychoanalyst was to possess the necessary technical knowledge and skills for the treatment and cure of psychopathology without figuring in the representing process. The Psychoanalyst was to be a true scientist-practitioner dispassionately involved in the study of the subject of scientific inquiry. This inquiry of psychic exploration was to be conducted and directed without interfering with the data as it was discovered and/or without "contaminating" the data in its collection. The psychoanalyst was to be the Knower of the Master Discourse of Psychoanalysis. More specifically, the Psychoanalyst was to be the Ultimate Signifier who was to know what the conditions "ought" to be for psychoanalysis to take place, how the individual "ought" to think and act in order to be considered for psychoanalysis, how the individual "ought" to participate in psychoanalysis in order to reasonably expect to reach certain theoretically anticipated treatment objectives which "ought" to happen as a consequence of having been in psychoanalysis. And, certainly, the Psychoanalyst was to know how the psychoanalytic process, itself, "ought" to move toward this theoretically anticipated outcome ... (Kavanaugh, 1993)
Entrenched within the mythology of the Modem Era has been the unquestioned belief that psychoanalysts--and, later in the chronology of the development of the professions, psychologists--were to be a part of a larger group of scientists who through their combined clinical and empirical researches were moving inexorably forward toward the ultimate destination of putting the pieces of the puzzle of people and of life together. Enshrined within this mythology of the Modern Era was the belief that a better world was to be a better analyzed world through the sciences such as physics, psychoanalysis, and later, psychology. Consistent with the meta-narrative of the Age of Enlightenment, it would be through the enlightenment of various authorities as to this discovered "truth" that a better world could be constructed through psychoanalytically informed social policies.
Something, however, has been happening .... The monolithic view of psychoanalysis of the Modern Era has been disappearing, if not disintegrating, as a plurality of heterogeneous theories have been making their appearance in contemporary psychoanalytic thinking. Theoretical pluralism, at least for the time being, has been accommodated, if not appropriated, through innovations within the traditional institutional structure and educational curriculum. The monolithic view of psychoanalytic education of the Modem Era has become corroded and encrusted as a plurality of epistemological premises have been making their postmodern appearances. The epistemological-philosophical tradition of the Industrial Age which provided a seemingly eternal and unquestioned justification for psychoanalytic education fashioned in the image of the Berlin Model has been disappearing and evaporating beneath our feet. The episteme of the Modern Era, having its origins in the 17th century, is as obsolete and non-functional for the emerging Postmodern Era as the episteme of the Agricultural Era was for the Modem Era. The seemingly "natural" and "common sensical" organic bond between psychoanalytic education and its institutional(ized) structure, educational philosophy, and educational model, methods and objectives of the Modem Era is decaying..... As succinctly stated by Barratt, "We now are witnessing the death throes of this episteme" (1993, p. 3). The Master discourse of the Modern Era is dying.
The discourse of the postmodern is more than just a "...thorough-going critique of the assumptions of enlightenment .... and (of) their foundation in notions of universal reason." (Waugh, 1992, p.5). Postmodernism refers, as well, to the emergence of a new cultural epoch; and, to the discourse of this epoch, a discourse that speaks loudly to the emergence of radically different ways of knowing, thinking, and perceiving. The Cartesian-Newtonian based views of the world, of reality, of people, of institutions, and of life are changing as the westernized cultures enter the Postmodern Era and the Age of quantum thinking, quantum physics, and quantum science. The Quantum Age speaks to a much different view of the world, of people, and of life. It is an Age that reveals a radically different way of thinking about, perceiving, knowing, and presencing the "world", the nature of "reality", and "the person". Beliefs, attitudes, and ways of doing things in everydav life are changing radically as we are introduced to new ways of looking at people and the world via these new sciences of the Quantum Age. The following is presented in the spirit of participating in this discourse of the postmodern and is intended as a developing perspective on the blending of...
Postmodernism, Philosophy, and Psychoanalysis:
Implications for Theory and Education
The Postmodern World is a strange, strange world. It is a world filled with uncertainty and unfamiliarity. It is a weird world, a world filled with that which does not make "common" sense. It is a world comprised of texturized colors and movement; and, could be described, in the words of Fritjof Capra as a world of...... dynamic patterns continually changing into one another--the continuous dance of energy." (p.91, 1983); and, in the words of Dana Zohar as........ a vast porridge of being where nothing is fixed and measurable...(it is) somewhat ghostly and just beyond our grasp." (1990, p 27). The world of the Postmodern is a world of the present and is contained within the present moment ... It is a world of perspectivism and relativity in which one can be certain of paradox, gross contradiction, and uncertainty. It is a world of epistemological, if not ethical, anarchy as would be evaluativelv seen through the standards of the Modem Era.
In the time remaining this afternoon I would like to speak to a vision for the postmodern "Future of Psychoanalytic Education" that proceeds from a postmodern version of psychoanalysis. This particular version of psychoanalysis rests upon different philosophical presuppositions, i.e. subjectivism, and proceeds from a radically different epistemological premise. From this perspective, the difference between the Modem and Postmodern Era is the "World of Difference" that exists between classical and quantum concepts and ways of thinking. A quantum way of thinking, structuring, and ordering the "reality" of the subatomic is considered to be a quite helpful and useful way of thinking about the essentially non-linear nature of mental life, processes, and phenomenon. I would like to briefly consider a way of thinking about the quantum nature of that "world", of "reality", and of the "self" as described and reflected in the writings of Capra, (1982), Zohar, (1990, 1994), and Sartori (1995). I would like to then speak to a postmodern version of psychoanalysis that proceeds from this way of thinking; and, lastly, to a way of thinking about psychoanalytic education.... a way of thinking that has led me to believe that there is a "World of Difference" for the Future of Psychoanalytic Education.
Quantum Thinking and Philosophy
If "Newton's World" could be characterized as "A World of Sameness" then Einstein's world could be characterized as "A World of Differences". There is a "world of difference" between "Einstein's World" and "Newton's World" and within each of these worlds. Within Newton's world of fixed stability and objective knowability, there existed universal and rational laws applicable to the universe, the world, and people. His was a world that would empiricize the soul through the summing up of parts. His was a "World of Sameness" as was constituted by an actual and objective reality that rested upon a mind-independent, factual and foundational essence. His was a world filled with slavish determinism, certitude, and prediction about the "thing-like objects" that existed in the world. "Einstein's World" is a world of uncertainty and contradiction, of paradox and relativity. It is a world in which the whole is always more than the sum of its parts, a world that extends from the subatomic. His is a view of an indivisible, harmonious, organic, and non-reductive universe. It is a process world, a world of "... the continuous dance of energy..." and, "...a vast porridge of being..." as was quoted from Capra and Zohar, the noted nuclear physicists. It is a world of colorized textures and movement; a world of myriad variables interrelating, intersecting, and interconnecting in this continuous and dynamic dance of motion and movement. There are no static structures in this world; passivity, inertia, and deadness conceal and reveal the motions of the movement of life. The Postmodern is a world quite compatible with the eastern philosophies and mysticism and with their holistic views serving as a contextualization for this quantum-based way of thinking....
Einstein's theory and his view of the "universe", of the "world", of "reality", and of "people" differed significantly from Newton's. His is a theory that calls into question the basic unit of Newtonian physics: the concept of "the reality of matter", e.g. the essence, the formerly unassailable and self-evident building blocks of the "real world". As one enters the quantum world of the subatomic, the classical notion of solid objects dissolves and disintegrates into an intrinsically dynamic force field of infinite interconnections and intersections----In quantum theory, there are no "things"; there are only interconnections "within" and "between". Objects do not exist except within the context of intersections and interrelationships... His is a theory of relativity and perspectivism that shatters the Cartesian dream as it shatters the previously unquestioned realities of the Newtonian world. In this quantum world, one thinks in terms of "tendencies to exist" and "tendencies to occur" (Capra, 1982, p. 80). There is, indeed, a ghostly quality to the nature of "reality" particularly as one considers the dual nature of matter. The nature of reality --wave or particle--becomes a function of the measuring instrument.
Newton had conceptualized gravity as "a force" extending outward, filling the void of empty space, the empty container of "no-thing"-ness. In Newton's world this foundational and organizing gravitational force kept "thing-like objects" in the presumed "natural order" of things, as patriarchal in its essence as that might sound. Einstein's is a different model of gravity that develops from his theory of relativity. He advances a different conceptualization of the gravitational field. For Einstein, space is not an empty void waiting in its negation of "black holdness" to achieve its definition by being filled by an outward extending force. Rather, gravity is conceptualized as "a medium". Gravity, as a medium, is understood to be an invisible geometry of space made up of a system of systems of interconnections. Gravity acts to structure space, it is space, and it is within space --- all at the same time. There are spatial structures within the fabric of space. These non-material structures are the basic substance of the universe. The fabric of space is an interweave of a force field comprised of systems of systems of interconnectedness; intricate webs of dynamic meanings, movements, and interrelations. In quantum thinking, time and space are inseparable-- "Time-Space" is an hyphenated and indivisible concept. Causality is quite non-linear and impossible to describe, much less to predict, much less to control ----- It's a weird world and there is not much "common" about the "sense" that it makes....
In the quantum world, all there is to "reality" is the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of systems that construct "the reality". Questions proliferate and vie for attention in their significance and relevance for postmodern versions of psychoanalysis: Could it be that Being is constituted by the experience of the event?; and, at the same time, the event is constituted by the experience of the Being? At what point does perception end? and, the "real" world begin? and, "I" end and "you" begin? Is everything in the universe an extension of one's own flesh? How can there be scientific objectivity if we cannot study anything as being separate from ourselves? How can we study anything objectively if the nature of quantum matter is a function of the measuring instrument ? And, does one transform "reality" in the very action of discovering?, of observing? of knowing?, and of representing?, Is the past determined by the future?, and by the present?... at the same time? Where is the comfortably familiar Newtonian linearizations, separations, and demarcations of objects? the familiar and traditional subject-object division of the westernized cultures? Where is the first cause? Where did it all go? Is one's understanding of Newtonian physics, science and explanation independent of one's perceptions? Is all of 'reality' to be found in the eye of the beholder? Is all of reality "psychic reality"? and, as such, Is all of "reality" dependent upon the laws of the perceiver? ... Including the perceiver's idiosyncratic interpretation, construction of, and relationship to the "real" world, e.g., that which is experienced as constituting "objective reality" and "subjective reality" and the idiosyncratic blending and synthesis of this enculturated dichotomy?
In many ways, Einstein's view of the subatomic world is quite reminiscent of Freud's central discovery and view of the unconscious "as process" as is described in the metapsychological papers. In his paper on the "Unconscious" (Freud, 1915), Freud speaks to the non-linearity of time, of space, of logic, and of causality; to the absence of hierarchical organization; and, to the mobility of cathexes by which anything could be related to anything else. His thinking was in many ways remarkably postmodern in its similarity to these notions of time-space and the invisible geometry of space. Freud, however, was to retreat from the conceptual and technical implications of this solipsistic position. Indeed, he was to subsequently redirect his theoretical emphasis to the "other". That is, Freud was to theorize about the "object" from within the more traditional framework of the westernized subject-object division. His theoretical focus was to be upon the influence of that object upon the development of the subject as would be reflected in his subsequent works ( Freud, 1914; 1917; 1923). Apparently, Freud decided not to participate in the continuous dance of energy...
Philosophy, Postmodernism and Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalytic Theory and the Quest(ion) or the Subject(ive)
I would like to speak to a postmodern version of psychoanalysis that derives from philosophy and the arts and attempts to understand the human condition from within a "psychological" conceptual-theoretical framework. It is a process theory that conceptualizes the psychoanalytic endeavor as being a venture into communication via the associative method within the contextual metaphor of "the psychic theatre of the mind". (Kavanaugh, 1995b) This particular version of psychoanalysis is a process theory that proceeds from the premise that there is an inextricable and special link between "every day life", "psychoanalysis", and the "theatre".
From this philosophical-theoretical perspective, the special link forged between "psychoanalysis", "everyday life", and "the theatre" places the "question of the subject", the person, as being central in the analytic endeavor. One attempts to listen, understand, and respond to the quest(ion) of the subject. More specifically, the quest of psychoanalysis becomes the attempt to understand the individual's world as is predicated and constructed upon that person's particular philosophical framework, with their particular version of what constitutes "objective reality" and what constitutes "subjective reality" and from within that idiosyncratically defined and constructed objective-subjective framework to understand that person's particular theoretical construction of the world with its various systems and forms of logic, thinking, and knowing, and various versions and experiencing definitions of person, place, time, and causality. Psychoanalysis as derived from philosophy and the arts is considered to be a poetic work of art in that it registers, monumentalizes, and attempts to speak to the subject's passage of time.
As "...a venture into communication...", the psychoanalytic discourse is understood to be a unique psychological discourse. Further, this discourse is understood to be a semiotic discourse; and, this discourse is to be understood as one would understand a poetic text. To understand the associative process as a semiotic discourse is to consider the analytic discourse, much like with poetry, to be one of the most complex forms of human discourse and, wherein which all thinking is considered to be radically metaphoric. As a work of art, psychoanalysis is concerned with attempting to understand the "psyche", e.g., the ghostliness of the "something more" of the soul, the spirit, the mind. As a poetic work of art, psychoanalysis speaks to the enduring and fixed traditions of the subject's phenomenal past as are co-existent and co-determinant with the subject's present wishes, desires, and longings, and with their future purposes and goals. In so doing, psychoanalysis as a unique psychological discourse speaks with the voices of the dead in the present moment of the past. Psychoanalysis, thus, serves as a living and breathing link between passion, desire, and the continuous death of "self" and of "other" in the present moment of the "Is".
From this perspective...the center of the universe in psychoanalysis is the human experience and the Question of the Subject, the person; and, that person's way of thinking, knowing, and perceiving "reality", the "world", and the nature of that "world". The quest of discovery is the quest of the subject. Any essence to this world is the essence as is seen and "is experienced to be" by the individual. This world is a world in which reason and "Truth' is situated in the realm of the human experiences of the subject and is to be found within the ideographic laws of the perceiver. Thus, psychoanalysis proceeds from the basic premise that that which exists is whatever it is that occurs when the senses of the observer experiences. (Eaker, 1975) There is no perception independent of one's perception. Throughout one's life, "reality" and the process of its construction and its signification is in the eye of the beholder as is "truth", "good", and "beauty". (Kavanaugh, 1993) This philosophic position is in the tradition of European nihilism and the "philosophy of differences" of Nictszche and Heidegger.
"Against positivism, which halts at phenomena - 'There are only facts'-
I would say: No, facts are precisely what there is not, only interpretations.
We cannot establish any fact 'in itself'. " (Nietzsche, 1967, p. 267)
There are no "facts" except as are construed within the mind of each person. As noted by Vattimo (1988), the world is a "World of Differences": there is an infinite interpretability of reality. The only world that can ever exist and can be known from within this radical perspectivism of Nietzsche is this "World of Difference", i.e., this world of interpretations of the world. "Truth" as to the question of "essence" is reduced to the values of the subject. It is the subject who has the privileged relationship to truth; it is the privilege of the action of the analysis to attempt to understand that "Truth". From a somewhat larger perspective, the postmodern world is made up of differences within people and between people, within specific cultures and between specific cultures. It is this "World of Differences" that, paradoxically, spans the "World of Differences" between people and unites people into a "World of Sameness".
There is a "World of Difference" between this post modern version of psychoanalysis and many of the psychologies of psychoanalysis of the modem era. These differences bear quite directly upon a postmodern vision of psychoanalytic education. While some of these differences are, perhaps, quite obvious by now, they nonetheless deserve to be explicitly stated. This postmodern version of psychoanalysis is considered to be neither a health care profession nor a function thereof; it is concerned with neither prediction nor control, neither treatment nor cure, neither changing behavior nor relieving human pain and suffering. The postmodern version of psychoanalysis as described is not causal-empirical science--nor is it a part of neuropsychology nor a branch of psychology as defined during the modern Era. Lastly, this postmodern version of psychoanalysis cannot be and must not be viewed as another discourse to be tied to the design and implementation of social change and political ideologies,...no matter how virtuous and noble the social and political objectives might be considered to be. If the psychoanalytic discourse is to be so tied to the social, political and cultural ideologies of the postmodern era, psychoanalysis no longer occupies that space and place necessary for questioning and interrogating the presumed realities and the presumed "Truth", Good", and "Beauty". Rather, psychoanalysis would simply continue to serve the presumptive and morally pious objective of bringing about "change" in the service of knowing what is best for the "other" as would be embodied in one's psychoanalytic theory..... In effect, psychoanalysis would simply continue to perpetuate a psychoanalysis of conformity and compliance in the service of bring about a "World of Sameness" in the image of the new Master Discourse of the Postmodern. With that explicitly stated:........ Psychoanalysis as derived from the arts and philosophy carries with it certain implications for psychoanalytic education as we enter the postmodern era.
A "World of Difference" for the Future of Psychoanalytic Education
To begin with a question: How does one teach "...a dance of energy..." in which an infinite myriad of interrelated and pulsating meanings exist? How does one teach "...a vast porridge of being in which nothing is measurable..."?; and, what would be the implications for psychoanalytic education if the consistency of the porridge were to have big lumps? or, small lumps?, or, for that matter, no lumps? How does one teach the infinite interpretability of "psychic reality"? and, the appreciation of the "World of Differences" amongst and within people? How does one teach psychoanalysis as a way of knowing? as a way of thinking? as a way of perceiving? as a way of being? as a way of presencing? --- all at the same time --- because there ain't no parts...
How does one teach this to the students"? ... ("the students" who in the written text of this paper reside, for now, in that linguistic place called "in quotes") How does one teach this to the "students"? One doesn't ---- From this perspective, there is much that can be learned but very little that can be taught. Indeed, it can be talked about, it can be visually illustrated through diagrams and charts, and perhaps even through the marvels of computer graphics and interactive Virtual Realities; it can be talked about through the interweave of material and its threads of poetic discourse, but it's not reducible to a "thing like"-teachable...., yet, it can be learned ........... This postmodern vision of psychoanalytic education raises some fundamental yet, perhaps, disquieting and disturbing questions as to such foundational concepts as "teacher"? and, "student"? and, "education"? and, of the "and" in between each of these concepts that presumes that "teacher"-"student"-"education" are separate and demarcated "thing-like" entities in the first instance. Clearly, it would seem, the re-thinking of what is meant by "psychoanalytic education", itself, as process, as method, and as objective would constitute a major and ongoing postmodern project The following represents a way of thinking about psychoanalytic education and is intended as a contribution to that project of rethinking.
Educational Setting, Model, Process, and Objective
The setting proposed for psychoanalytic education is based upon a suggestion made by John Taylor Gatto (1992b) in his thinking about education in general. He suggests that education take place within the setting and atmosphere of a library. I would concur with the setting and atmosphere being that of a Library--with certain modifications, however. This would be a Library --without walls. This library would be open to all those who would be interested in people, the world, life ... and, the psyche. The library card to gain entrance to the knowledge inside the doorway of this "library without walls" would be one's self-declared interest in the pursuit of knowledge of people and of the world. The books in this library are strange and weird books; they are postmodern editions --- books which have been published and are bound in the form of "living and breathing systems of signification". These books are........ people. These books are written in "living color", so to speak, and are involved and immersed in the continuous dance of energy of "everyday life"...The books of which I reference are, of course, ...the people who are like-minded in their interest and in their pursuit of the infinite "Worlds of Differences" of semiotic construction of the "other" which, paradoxically, constitute dimensions and aspects of "self"...Like-minded individuals who are passionately self-motivated and self-involved in the pursuit of such knowledge.
The specific form of the educational activities at this library? "It all depends..." They would, no doubt, revolve in some way around the three "R"'s of education: Re-examining, Re-think-ing, and Re-appraising --- from multiple and contradictory perspectives, of course --- with the pace, rhythm, and directions of the immersion into these three "R"'s being set by the interests of the like-minded participants...In this library, it is the mutually agreed upon areas of interest that select the topics, the sequence, and the forms of the educational activities. This is a self-directed educational program of study. Literature, music, poetry, philosophy, semiotics, the spatio-temporal world of the theatre, or of the visual arts; the psychologies of the Modem Era, a continuous process presentation of material; a word by word immersion in the Standard Edition; or a comparative study of linguistic theories and practices.--- In this library, the specific content selected for study matters very little: it is within the interpretive encounter and engagement with the written, spoken, and visual word that education is to be found.
The quest in psychoanalytic education is not considered to be found in the acquisition of a core body of knowledge nor in the mastery of technical skills to be applied, although that might be of some interest ... Rather, from this perspective, the quest in psychoanalytic education would be that of understanding the perspective of the "discourse of the ‘Other’" and, in so doing, understanding the "World of Differences" within "Self". The quest in education lies in the understanding that the essence of psychoanalysis is, paradoxically, that there is no essence; in the understanding that the theory of psychoanalysis is that there is no theory ; in the understanding that the model of the mind to be developed is that there is no model of the mind... In the understanding that the essence, theory, and model of the mind is as is already existent in the mind of the "other" which paradoxically is "Self....... The quest of psychoanalytic education is to find that space and place where the idealizing orthopedics and normalizing objectives of traditional psychoanalysis of the Modem Era cannot go and do not exist; to find that space and place where thinking, knowing, perceiving, and presencing are within the moment, all around the moment, and, still,.. just beyond the moment of one's ghostly grasp...all at the same time. In the psychoanalytic study of the arts, "Truth" is to be found in the aesthetic of the beholder; and, it is to be appreciated that this "Truth" can be illusory, elusive, and evaporative . In the analytic moment, "truth" is to be found in the aesthetic moment of the contextual eye ("I" of the beholder(s);--In this study of the psychoanalytic arts, content is quite inseparable from form; process is quite inseparable from structure. To conceptually fragment and separate into these "thing-like" separations and structures is to do violence to the art. The interpretation" of this art?, this poetry?, this psychic theatre of the mind? ... Well, "It all depends From one perspective, at least, any verbal interpretation is little more than a compliment being paid from mediocrity to the genius of the artist .... the meaning is to be found in the expression itself.
There are no prescribed "methods of teaching" nor "methods of learning"….. Each of the like-minded, assuming that there are "others" existing in the world, is a "stu-cher", e.g., a compressed linguistic reversal and hyphenation of "teacher-student". Why? Just because.... the "teacher" and the "student" reside within the discourse of the "other". Each "stu-cher" is engaged in the irreverential Socratic method of discourse. The Library provides a place and space for this immersion and irreverential discourse to take place. There is no knowledge that can be "given" there is no knowledge that can be "taken". Psychoanalytic education is no less than a very personal and intense struggle in dialectic process with the infinite interpretability of the "World of Differences". And, in that process, perhaps, there comes the development and understanding of a multiplicity of perspectives. Education as process, then, is an immersion into the unceasing and non-linear process of engaging in a discourse in which conclusions are only temporary respite areas before they, the conclusions, become introductions and invitations to travel to other places in the invisible geometry of space. Postmodern psychoanalytic education, then, is to travel into the inside of the spatio-temporal experiences of the semiotic constructions of "everyday life"- inside of the outside of the "World-of-the-word", and to "see the smell of the sounds" and to "hear the sight of the forms" in the knowing, presencing, thinking, and being ... The quest and focus of psychoanalytic education is to re-locate knowledge and the sources of knowledge from within the realm of human experiences and within the subject's ideographic semiotic constructions of the world. The purpose of learning and understanding different and intricate and complex versions of causality, of logic, of space, and time? --- of a multiplicity of perspectives? --- To be able to occupy a space and place that permits being with and moving with the dance of the 'other’…… of 'self’……..
Could it be that what is needed is an "Erotics of Education?" a "Poetics of The Black Hole of Uncertainty"? wherein which lies the dissolution of the Cartesian supremacy of rational thought and the exclusion of the body as a source of knowledge?, of Being?, and of thinking? a poetics wherein which ideographic meanings of the subject are to be discovered as they blend into these dynamic patterns of change as they move along this invisible geometry of psychic space?; and, wherein which education itself becomes the personal and private struggle amongst like-minded individuals in the passionate, irreverential pursuit of the infinite regress of the "Why" of the "What Is"? How does one teach this? One doesn't; one participates in the dance. In this version of psychoanalytic education as is derived from philosophy and the arts, one participates in this dance of radicalized perspectivism. --- "It all depends...... becomes a constant contextual companion traveling hand in hand with such like-minded companions as Uncertainty and Curiosity and whose voice is part of the background chorus of the dialectic of this educational process.
Psychoanalysis as art is not "mimesis"; that is, it is not art as a re-presentation of life "as it is" in "outer reality". Neither psychoanalysis nor psychoanalytic education is "mimesis". All reality is psychic reality; and, "the art" of each individual is the expression of reality as the senses reveal it to be. There is neither a time-effective nor cost-effective way to provide for the "education of the ‘other’" ---nor, are there standardized programs of study, much less, "outcome based education" Psychoanalytic education, as is being described, can be neither "re-produced" nor "mass produced" amongst different individuals. Psychoanalytic education cannot be "reproduced" as this educational process to which I speak is different for and with each individual. Psychoanalytic education cannot be "mass produced" as the "..continuous dance of energy of dynamic patterns..." to which I refer is not "line-dancing"; the art to which I refer is not a "paint by numbers art"; and, the poetry to which I speak is not a "Thesaurus of Rhyming Words".
Such questions as "What are the objective standards to become a psychoanalyst" and "Who is to be a psychoanalyst in the postmodern era?" are repudiated by the very philosophical framework and understanding of psychoanalysis as a poetic work of the arts. In the postmodern project of reconsidering and rethinking psychoanalytic education, such concepts as "teacher", "student", "education", and the "and" of the "and" become part of that reappraisal ... While it might be a very disquieting and disturbing question: Why not include as part of that project of reexamination and reappraisal the, as of yet, unquestioned concept: "The Psychoanalyst"? ---- It is an interesting question to pose: "Is there to be such a 'thing-like' entity as a 'Psychoanalyst' to be found in the postmodern era?" By way of brief elaboration: Psychoanalysis as a way of knowing, a way of being, a way of perceiving, and a way of presencing are space-time-sensorial, present-moment descriptions --- of the process of psychoanalysis---of the continuous and texturized movement of the dance of energy... Could it be that to staticize the process into a noun-like entity of "thingness" becomes antithetical to psychoanalysis both as process and as art? Is it the "first step"--or, maybe the "last step" in linearizing a process?, in establishing a linearized destination? in making something teachable? just like back in the "old days" of the Modem Era As a "last step" or as a "first step" does this reduce the dance to steps? In this vision of the Future of Psychoanalytic Education, psychoanalysis is conceptualized as poetry yet there is no poet or poesy; psychoanalysis is a dance yet there is no dancer or dance steps; psychoanalysis is theatre yet there is no actor or script;--- psychoanalysis is the spatio-temporal Being and Presencing that speaks to ... and, into...and, from within this invisible geometry of psychic space .... all at the same tlme,...yet, there is no "psychoanalyst but there is psychoanalysis. A radical and extreme position, perhaps but, then again, I have been speaking to a radical and extreme postmodern psychoanalysis ... within the radical and extreme world of the postmodern
Entry into the Information Age of the Postmodern Era has come to represent for many an alarming unraveling of the traditional, well-recognized, and comfortably familiar ways of knowing, perceiving, and thinking as had been woven within the cultural fabric of the Modern Era. There is a spreading stain of desperation in the cultural fabric that no amount of cleansing, cognitive or otherwise, seems to be able to remove. The postmodern world has presented the psychoanalytic community with a profound sense of uncertainty as to what the future might hold for the psychoanalytic practitioner and educator, alike. Comfortably fixed and traditional ways of thinking and knowing about psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic education have become more illusory and elusive. The present has become filled with efforts by organized psychology and psychoanalysis to preserve, if not to restore, that which "has been" during the Industrial Age of the Modern Era. The "Industrialization of the Professions" has led to the current "Industrialization of Education" as is reflected by such recent policy objectives of the American Psychological Association (APA) as "outcome-based education" in graduate schools (Resnick, 1995a) and the increased educational focus upon common learning experiences that is to lead to mastery of core competencies (Resnick, 1995b). The increased emphasis upon the conceptual fragmentation of the world, of people, of life, and of knowledge is further reflected in the recent proliferation of specialty and proficiency credentialing and certification throughout the Health Care Professions. Educational philosophy and model, educational practices and objectives are becoming further encased, if not entombed, within the traditional institutional structures and organizational framework of the Industrial Age of the Modern Era. These efforts by organized psychology and psychoanalysis to introduce innovations within the traditional institutional structure and educational philosophy appear to reflect a nostalgic yearning for a future for psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic education that, quite simply put, will never be as the past, it has turned out, is simply not what it used to be………. The world, it would appear, will never be quite the same again.
Entry into the Information Age of the Postmodern Era has come to represent for many others an exciting opportunity to participate in the re-weaving of a revolutionary and intricately complex epistemological design within the cultural fabric. Radically different ways of viewing the world, reality, people, and life have led to different and radicalized postmodern versions of psychoanalysis and, thus, of psychoanalytic education. The thoughts presented this afternoon regarding educational philosophy and educational model, practices, and objectives have been presented neither in the service of reducing uncertainty nor of representing a new claim to "Truth" as to either psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic education. To the contrary, it is perhaps only this "uncertainty" that we, as psychoanalytic educators and practitioners, can be "certain of" as we come to know the "World of Differences" in the emerging episteme of the Postmodern Era. Uncertainty becomes an intrinsic condition of the "likelihood of existence" of Being in the postmodern world. Psychoanalysis as a way of Knowing, Thinking, Perceiving, and Being as is derived from philosophy and the arts carries with it many implications for the postmodern "Future of Psychoanalytic Education". This vision for the Future of Psychoanalytic Education includes a plurality of educational philosophies and models arising out of the emerging epistemological matrix of the postmodern era. Indeed, I would imagine and I would hope that there will be many different versions of educational models in the postmodern era ---- a "World of Differences" in educational philosophies and models, practices and objectives. How else could it be?-- I do believe that this is something that is already happening .... But then again, that's where I started from................... Something is happening!
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Dr. Kavanaugh received his doctorate in philosophy (psychology) from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Since the completion of his doctoral studies, he has been active in the academic, organizational, and practice areas of the psychoanalytic-psychological community. In the academic area, he has served as Director of Clinical Training and member of the core teaching and supervisory faculty in the doctoral program in psychoanalytic psychology at the University of Detroit; as a member of the teaching and supervisory faculty in the Program for Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis in Wyandotte, Michigan, an interdisciplinary program for the study of the analytic discourse; and, as a member of the teaching and supervisory faculty in the pre-and post doctoral educational programs at the Detroit Psychiatric Institute, the Wyandotte General Hospital, and the V.A. Medical Center in Detroit. In the organizational area, he is the founding and current president of the Academy for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Arts; past president of the International Federation for Psychoanalytic Education; the Michigan Psychological Association, and the Michigan Society of Clinical Psychologists. In the practice area, many of his professional interests during the past 35 years are directly related to experiences in the discourses of various residential treatment facilities.
Dr. Kavanaugh is a recipient of The Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Michigan Psychological Association and the Master Lecturer Award from the doctoral students at the University of Detroit.
Currently Dr. Kavanaugh is in the private practice of psychoanalysis in Farmington Hills, Michigan:
Office: 31805 Middlebelt, Suite #305
Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA 48334
Phone: (248) 626-6460
Fax: (248) 626-4808