The implicit teacher

Perlitz (2019) sets forth the implicit qualities of an analyst (i.e. “the analyst acting and reacting based on her storehouse of relational, procedural memory”, p. 429) that make a difference in how the relationship between the analyst and the patient unfolds. They are both transformed by the implicit relational process that they co-construct. Given this hoped for outcome, the subjectivity of the analyst plays a critical role in helping the patient. In other words, we bring our whole selves to the analytic endeavor, as analyst and as patient. Holding this idea in concert with the compelling evidence that the therapeutic alliance trumps technique in promoting insight and change, it’s not far to the conclusion that who the analyst is must be more important than what the analyst does.

Perlitz notes “Although the general importance of the analyst's personality has been noted, there has been little attempt to delineate specific (italics in original) qualities of the analyst's personality that may be conducive to psychotherapy” (p. 429). Reading teaching through this lens we might ask ourselves – who must the teacher be in order to produce the student? Beyond that, who must the teacher be to produce a learner?

Join us for a discussion of the psychoanalytic approach to teaching at our 3rd biennial workshop entitled: "New Engagement with the Future: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Anxieties and Defenses in Teaching and Learning (about Management and Organizations)". The workshop will be presented online as part of the annual symposium of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations on June 29, 2022 at 6:30am CST.

For more information and to sign up visit:

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