Initiating psychoanalysis in institutional settings
This chapter describes some case material from the Working Party on Initiating Psychoanalysis (WPIP) to explore specific features of these institutional first interviews. The WPIP wondered whether this consultant analyst's competence and interest in assessing the level of psychopathology had become a bit 'convex' – overriding a more subjective, 'concave' response to the patient – and thus overtaking the decision-making. The aim of a psychoanalytic consultation is to 'consult' the individual seeking help or advice, in a psychoanalytic setting, in order to give the prospective analyse and the opportunity to have a sufficient psychoanalytic experience to enable them to see if they can use this way of working. The psychoanalyst needs a 'third' to enable him/her to recover the stance – the setting is the third – this may be personified as the Clinic in an institutional consultation. A 'psychoanalytic setting' includes, of course, the consultant analyst's internal setting, their psychoanalytic stance and use of psychoanalytic technique.