CANDIDATE'S BLOG: LOUIS ROUSSEL, PH.D.
The term "blog" refers to a web-based journal wherein individuals offer up their personal experiences to anyone with a web browser. The editors at IMPULSE sought out a local analytic candidate willing to "blog" his experience in training. Our intrepid volunteer is Dr. Louis Roussel, Ph.D., a 4th year candidate at SFPI who maintains a private practice in Oakland. Following is his third entry, in which he turns to the intersection of training and teaching.
2006 Mar: As I mentioned in my first blog, the writing seminars offered for candidates at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute provides an excellent antidote to the defensive use of theory by beginning candidates. Another opportunity for candidates to infuse their theories with life is teaching. Teaching requires the psychoanalytic candidate to have the ability to maintain a silent awareness of the pressing needs, feelings, and struggles of students and to use theoretical knowledge to flexibly adapt to the vital experiential matrix of the class. We must listen carefully for points of urgency and tension in student reflections and allow ourselves to go back over previously known theoretical material in a fresh way. It is critical that we allow ourselves to re-experience theoretical concepts as unsolved in each new intersubjective teacher-student matrix. The timeless, ubiquitous, ever-sliding questions must not be answered prematurely, but, instead, we must struggle with them, be decentered by them, until new understandings are co-created dialectically. These understandings should bear the subjective stamp of our personal encounters with our students.
In the teaching of psychoanalysis, it is critical that instructors take the risk of allowing our educational experiences with students to cast doubt upon even our most cherished beliefs, to be decentered, to struggle earnestly in order to maintain the continuous potential to detect new psychological possibilities.
Louis Roussel, Ph.D.