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113 Ethics – 2 seminars

Seminar Leaders: Drs. J. Kohl and R. Ruskin

Course Description

These two Seminars comprise the first section of an Ethics Course, which is taught over the four years of the Curriculum. The seminars explore the importance of establishing the treatment frame, appropriate boundaries, and analytic neutrality, for the therapeutic relationship. Boundary configurations with different types of patients are described. The Course demonstrates the essential role of confidentiality in facilitating trust and growth in the therapeutic relationship. The Course Readings show the role of boundaries in maintaining a non-judgmental stance, helping the analyst to observe himself, the patient and the developing process, and to generate professional therapeutic responses to intense need or emotion in the patient.

Course Objectives

Candidates will learn:

  1. (4.2) To read descriptions of different basic structures essential to psychoanalytic setting, including: frame, boundaries, confidentiality, neutrality and free association, all-important in establishing a therapeutic relationship (1.2), and establishing its safety (4.2). To apply an ethical decision making process (3.2).
  2. (4.2) To discuss how these structures might be established under varying clinical conditions, depending on the patient’s need for a particular process, while maintaining appropriate therapeutic boundaries.
  3. (4.4, 4.5) To recognize some legal and ethical limitations to the application of neutrality and confidentiality, and to discuss examples together.

Required Readings

Adler, E. & Bachant, J. (1995). Free association and analytic neutrality: The basic structure of the psychoanalytic situation. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 44(4), 102-104.            

Gabbard, G.O. & Lester, E. (1995). Chapter 3: The analytic frame, analytic boundaries and analytic process. In Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Klein, Donna. Stranger in a strange land: Psychoanalytic privacy, counter-transference and the law. (Unpublished)

Barratt, B. (2015). Boundaries and intimacies: Ethics and (re)performance of “the law” in psychoanalysis. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 24, 214-215.

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