Emotional Hazards of Clinical Training
In his witty and highly in©uential paper “Thirty Methods to Destroy the Creativity of Psychoanalytic Candidates,” Otto Kernberg (1996) issued a “plea for the fostering of psychoanalytic creativity” (p. 1031). From my point of view, he rightly asserts that a signi‰cant challenge in training is to try not to inhibit trainees’ natural curiosity and responsiveness. In other words, if we don’t get in the way, trainees will be able to develop their individual voices and creative contributions to the ‰eld. But Kernberg went on to suggest that all too often we do get in the way. By naming 30 ways we obstruct candidates’ development, Kernberg makes it clear that this negative impact occurs quite frequently and is not just a function of the personality issues of particular trainees and faculty. Rather our training institutes as organizations tend to spawn these inhibiting attitudes, policies, and procedures. What is more, we have been very reluctant to examine this unfortunate situation with the self-observational tools that are our stock in trade.