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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

The Analyst’s Learning Curve in the Individual Case

Michael Shulman, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute

Discussant: Jonathan Sugar, M.D.
Lecturer, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute

Saturday, December 15, 2012
2:00 – 4:00 PM

Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
32841 Middlebelt Rd.
Farmington Hills

Practice Gap/Need and Course Description
Analysts listening to clinical process together easily imagine a universal analyst “who listens correctly, hears what needs to be heard, and says what needs to be said, no less and no more, at just the right moment.” Such a model of universal functioning, while embodying a powerful ideal, is not an actuality because of the inevitability of analysts’ varying learning curves as they encounter the remarkable complexities of the individual case. This paper is an effort to explore the learning demands of this actuality in some of its basic dimensions, and to propose a rudimentary model for representing variations between the analyses different analysts of one group make.

At the conclusion of this talk, participants will be able to:
1) recognize myths of universal analytic functioning and universal process;
2) conceptualize the complexity of learning processes needed to come to terms with the individual case; and
3) conceive a means of modeling the complexity of variation between analysts in their differing learning curves in cases.

About the presenter: Dr. Shulman was educated at Wesleyan University, the University of Michigan, and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. He serves on the faculties of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, the University of Michigan (Psychiatry), and Madonna University (Psychology), and supervises at the University of Michigan, the University of Detroit-Mercy, and Madonna. Author of work published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Psychoanalytic Inquiry and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, and current Co-Chair of the Committee on Psychoanalysis and Undergraduate Education of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Dr. Shulman maintains a full-time private practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Ann Arbor.