Variations in the Eitingon Training Model

Questions and comments such as the following promise an interesting discussion:

  • “Does the  Eitingon model lead to an enlightening and liberating education, or, by totalizing one's experience, to indoctrination and a closed mind?”
  • “In North America (probably in Europe and Latin America too) some institutes that formally adhere to the Eitingon Model don’t use a Training Analyst system and others allow three times a week training cases”
  • “The debate concerns once more the status of Training Analysis (including the Training Supervision Cases) and the proposal to extend the possibility for each Full Member to conduct analysis for potential future candidates”

To participate in the debate, please log-in first to the website. Then, to add your comment, click the link 'reply'.


Posted March 31, 2015 by Ms. Rhoda Bawdekar

This Round Table on “Variations on the Eitingon Training  Model” offers us all an opportunity to learn more about the most common training model in the IPA and about how it is implemented throughout the IPA world.  For many of us it has not been clear that there are in fact variations on the Eitingon model. We know that as of 2006 there is a French model and a Uruguayan model – though the details of these other models are for many members shrouded in imaginings. This gathering of discussants from all three regions of the IPA will familiarize us with the variations on Eitingon and allow us to consider how we can improve upon our own versions of Eitingon.

Max Eitingon (1881-1943) was known as a quiet behind the scenes diplomat of the early psychoanalytic world. He was fiercely devoted to Freud, a founder and benefactor of the Berlin Polyclinic in 1920, and an early affirmer of the requirement that all analysts must be analyzed. According to Abraham he was the “driving force” behind the establishment of the Berlin Training Commission which established the tripartite essentials of psychoanalytic training that are in place today – training analysis, theoretical instruction and treatment of analysands under supervision.

There are many particulars that need to be fleshed out regarding the variations on Eitingon.

Some of these include-

What frequency is required both for one’s training/personal analysis and in one’s work with control cases as an analytic candidate.

If a candidate has two cases at 4-5 times weekly, can a third and fourth cases be seen with supervision three times weekly?

What is the nature of the Eitingon variations that institutes apply throughout the IPA world?  

What are the differing requirements to become a training analyst and how are they instituted variously around the world.

What can we learn from the fact that outside of APsaA there is seemingly no requirement to have a supervised training experience analyzing both male and female analysands.

Our discussants are -


Madeleine Bachner, Swedish Psychoanalytical Association (SPAF)

Marta Badoni, Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI)

Angelika Staehle, German Psychoanalytic Society (DPV)


Latin America:
Roosevelt Cassorla, Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society (SBPSP)

Maria Cristina Fulco, Uruguayan Psychoanalytic Association (APU)

Jorge Lievano, Colombian Psychoanalytic Society (APC)


North America:
William Glover, San Francisco Centre for Psychoanalysis (APsaA)

Robert Paul, Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute (APsaA),

Rose Vasta, Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (CPS)


Our discussants provide us with a rich variety of meditations on the Eitingon model as they represent all three regions of the IPA world. A sampling of their considerations include -

Some consider that  institutional structures such as Eitingon serve a paternal function, a 'third space', separating the supervisee from their supervisor/institute. It is stressed that this function must be libidinally endowed in order for it to inspire respect rather than mere compliance.

Regulations that are commonly attributed to the IPA turn out in fact to be the prerogative of the local institute. What factors lead to this "projection of the superego" and how do we balance the need for local autonomy with the need for professional consensus?

How should training analyses that are much longer today than they were in the 1920s accommodate to the greater mobility in lifestyles of patients and candidates? How do we make training more portable without requiring stricter IPA regulations?

Are there operational differences among institutes who see their function as "teaching" psychoanalysis versus "transmitting" psychoanalysis.

What are the variety of methods by which institutes fulfill the IPA requirement that TA appointment requires "a presentation of detailed, in-depth clinical material as evidence of the quality of work."

Are there unique aspects to training analyses that require additional vetting of graduate analysts? Are we unable to be sufficiently confident that our graduates are competent to analyze all patients including candidates?

Reading through all these contributions, I am struck by the common challenges that we all face throughout the psychoanalytic world. While acknowledging our cultural differences it is clear that in sharing many of the same difficulties and opportunities in 2015 psychoanalytic education that we also share the possibility of deep collaboration.

I look forward to our online conversations.

Harvey Schwartz

We are excited to announce the new debate on Variations in the Eitingon Model. In anticipation of the upcoming Boston Pre-Congress and Congress, the Website Editorial Board and the Education and Oversight Committee have joined together to begin a discussion on topics in psychoanalytic education that is of interest to the analytic community. This is now the second joint venture. We invited this time 9 participants representing the three regions, Europe, North America and South America to an online roundtable discussion. The debate will be chaired by Harvey Schwarz (APsaA). 

Each participant outlines his view on Variation of the Eitingon Model via a position paper.

Following their initial statements, the panel will continue to discuss this important topic. We invite IPA members, and candidates to join the conversation by replying to the statements anytime they wish during the debate.

The debate will be running from April-June 2015.

Hanna Ratjen
Robin Deutsch

17 Replies
Reply to Dr. Lievano
Posted May 20, 2015 by Dr. Rose A. Vasta
Dear Dr. Lievano, Thank you so much for responding to my contribution to the debate on changes to the Eitingon model. It is notable that there has been so little response overall to the debate and I wonder if this has to do with a general reluctance to be seen as questioning the authority of the IPA and the model in which so many of us were trained. I, for one, am very proud of my membership in the IPA and I view that membership as something that brings with it a number of responsibilities. One of those responsibilities has to do with keeping the profession of psychoanalysis healthy and relevant for the next generation of practitioners. Whatever changes we agree to make to the training model must ensure that the model will continue to honour the psychoanalytic process and the circumstances in which that process can flourish. If our governing body, the IPA and its training models, are idealized by its membership to the point that they are experienced as estranged from practical concerns, then the members themselves must question why that has been allowed to happen. Why do we have a need in our respective countries to feel we are held to a set of regulations that in their perceived rigidity may be stifling the very future of our profession? This does not sound like a healthy approach to take. Part of the difficulty in discussing changes to the Eitingon model stems from a need to more clearly define the various problems. There are issues that have to do with the candidates, their analyses and the cases they treat, as well as problems that have to do with the duties of training and supervising psychoanalysts (TA’s). Both these areas, those that affect the candidates and those that affect the TA’s, require attention, but they are not the same and cannot be confused. One of the great difficulties we have in Canada is the aging of our TA population. Graduate analysts are not stepping forward to apply as the criteria is often said to be too difficult to meet. Many graduate analysts state they do not have enough four times a week analyses in their practices to qualify. In addition, the preparation of a Membership Paper, the approach that most of our component institutes in Canada use to appraise the psychoanalytic thinking of the potential TA, is intimidating for many otherwise qualified graduate psychoanalysts. Is the solution to reduce the qualifications necessary to apply to be a TA or is the solution to reduce the need for TA’s by allowing analyses of candidates to be done by graduate analysts who are not yet TA’s? It appears that the IPA gives great latitude to the individual institutes to determine the selection of TA’s. Yet so many of our institutes suffer from the lack of TA manpower. I, personally, think that the scarcity of TA’s is the most pressing problem for the Canadian Institute of Psychoanalysis (CIP) at this time. I am not alone in this opinion as this is a problem that we in the CIP are currently studying and hope to resolve. Once again, thank you for your response to my earlier paper. I hope I have helped clarify my point of view and perhaps opened up some additional areas for discussion. Warm regards, Rose Vasta, PhD Director - Vancouver Institute of Psychoanalysis
Eitington variations - further thoughts
Posted May 24, 2015 by Dr. William C. Glover
Eitington Variations – Further thoughts: • Eitington’s biography – In his initial contribution Jorge Liévano reports that Max Eitington was quite possibly a Soviet agent implicated in dark intrigues. What should we make of this? For me it doesn’t detract from the usefulness of the model but does remind me not to idealize the man or the model that bears his name. • Adherence to one model? - Maria Fulco asks ‘what is not negotiable… when we consider transmission in psychoanalysis’. For me what is essential are the three pillars of psychoanalytic training - personal analysis, theoretical instruction, and supervised cases - not adherence to a specific model. It was a positive step for the IPA to officially recognize that training can be valid even if these pillars are arranged differently than in the traditional Eitington model. The provision that an institute must adhere to one model, however, may have been designed to gain political support for the compromise by isolating the more controversial variations of the new models; particularly 3x/week analysis, requiring analysis during training, and loosening of requirements for Training Analyst eligibility. No established institute is likely to entirely switch models. They do, however, evolve in adaptation to their circumstances and, as we see, variations abound, including the more controversial ones. Instead of adherence to one of the three approved ‘models’ perhaps each institute could be expected to maintain its own internal consistency and adherence to the three universally accepted pillars of training. This would be a more realistic basis on which the IPA Education & Oversight Committee could exercise its function by “Promoting a process of self-reflection about one’s educational practices in the presence of a third.” • Transmission – Training. Maria also asks if transmission and training are a ‘dialectical couple or contrasting concepts’. I think dialectical couple. Our challenge is to maintain a dynamic balance between them and between maintaining standards and embracing creativity. • Paternal function – I wrote earlier that an element of evaluation is needed as a ‘paternal function’ to help the candidate separate from his analyst and supervisors. A number of colleagues have objected to using ‘paternal’ to describe functions that can be fulfilled by either gender and may also be thought of as ‘maternal’. Evaluation as a ‘third’ in training is another way to put it, but I find the term ‘paternal’ useful in that it conveys the libidinal, bodily aspect of psychoanalytic education. Jane Hall feels that using the term ‘paternal function’ in connection with presenting one’s work for TA appointment casts an ‘oedipal tone’ on what is an adult process. I quite like the procedure she describes at her Society where the applicant chooses whom to present his or her work to. But does this provide a sufficient ‘third’? I’m enjoying this debate, appreciate all the contributions, and look forward to further exchange. Bill Glover San Francisco
posted for Marta Badoni
Posted May 26, 2015 by Dr. med. Hanna Ratjen
I would like intervene again starting from Bill Glover’s writing I quote: “ Recognizing three models of training was a creative and positive solution but the fiction of adherence to one unified model of training was replaced with the fiction of adherence to one of the three models”. Three special questions have found evidence in our debate: 1.The importance to guarantee freedom to promote adjustment in training due to local necessity and to specific needs and changes in our world without losing the possibility to compare our work and reflections. Following Glover thinking the IPA should function as a Third and not as an Instance giving rules and judgements. 2. The possibility to permit to younger people to begin their training is a question in evidence in our debate and has found different solutions among the IPA Societies. 3. Appointment and Functions for Training Analyst is a delicate question everywhere. Therefore I’m particularly interested in the passage where Glover talks about this passage as “ moving from a bias-prone vetting procedure for Training Analyst appointment to a developmental process that greatly reduces the role of explicit evaluation”. It would be of great interest to discuss how this developmental process goes on. warm regards Marta Badoni
Analysis in training... or not?
Posted June 18, 2015 by Mrs. Lida Bitrou
Hello all, As someone who has done an analysis before training (with a training analyst) and is doing a second one in training, I must admit that an analysis outside of training doesn’t have many similarities with the one that is done in training. Personally, I think that using the term “training analysis” isn’t such a good idea, not because one doesn’t learn through it (of course one does, like the child learns how to be a parent primarily through his/her own parents) but because it misleads as to the purpose and function of an analysis. For me, psychoanalysis is first and foremost a therapeutic method, so if candidates think that they are doing a “training analysis” then it is very probable that they will feel that they don’t need therapy. And of course they do because there are very few people who don’t and these would probably not be interested in becoming analysts. I often come across candidates (and analysts occasionally) who pathologize their patients while at the same time they seem quite disconnected from the pathological aspects of their own personality. I don’t claim that analysis “cures everything” but doing one before you begin training is good for your narcissism (in the sense that it moderates it). On top of that, I think that becoming an analyst after having an analysis yourself, makes your decision more sound and well-informed. So although I am being trained according to the Eitingon model, I think that the mingling of personal analysis with training is a weak point of this model for the reasons I mentioned and also because I believe that an analysis should be conducted in an atmosphere of freedom of expression and a good deal of independency from external factors, preconditions that I’m afraid are hindered by the context of an institute or a psychoanalytic society. Best regards, Lida Bitrou Candidate at the Hellenic Psychoanalytical Society
variations in TA appointment
Posted June 23, 2015 by Dr. William C. Glover
Marta Badoni asks about the ‘developmental’ model for Training & Supervising Analyst appointment in San Francisco that I mentioned in my last post. In 2008, as part of a reorganization into a psychoanalytic Center, San Francisco changed its appointment process so that becoming a TA would be an achievable career achievement instead of a status of special distinction. Previously TA appointment was a highly selective procedure requiring the standard objective requirements, Certification by APsaA, and two votes by our Education Committee, the first on general suitability, and the second following a rigorous clinical vetting by a sub-committee of TAs. This hierarchical procedure was listed as a major source of discontent in our Strategic Plan of that time. Following a lengthy, comprehensive discussion the EC voted to make our TA appointment process a more welcoming, collegial experience. The idea is that analyzing candidates and supervising their cases are functions that an analyst can develop in the course of their careers. Those of our analyst members who meet the objective criteria and are willing to do the work are welcome to apply. Certification by APsaA is still required, although this may become optional. We added a requirement that applicants participate in two study groups, one on the TA function and the other on supervision. The most distinctive feature of our new process is the clinical presentation. Once the applicant has fulfilled the objective requirements, our Training Analyst Development & Appointment committee appoints an individual sub-committee of 3 TA’s (the applicant is consulted on the selection) who meet with the applicant several times for discussion of their clinical work and what it means to be a TA. These meetings provide the presentation of clinical work specified for TA appointment by the IPA but are collegial discussions not examinations. The individual’s sub-committee informs the Appointment committee when it has completed its work, unless for any reason it feels it cannot do so, in which case the applicant can request a more traditional vetting committee or wait and re-apply after further preparation. Once the sub-committee completes its work the Appointment committee recommends the applicant to the larger Education committee who approve the final appointment. We are pleased with the procedure and it has contributed to improvement in organizational morale. We will continue to refine it as we go forward. The entire procedure can be found as Appendix B of the SFCP PED Policies & Procedures Manual at The Contemporary Freudian Society’s has a similar process that Jane Hall has mentioned in this debate and is fully described in ‘On Becoming A Training Analyst: Working Through From Group Examination to Self-Evaluation at the New York Freudian Society.’ by Hall, Kramer Richards, Sloate, & Turo. At These variations in the Eitington model are examples if how psychoanalytic training evolves in dynamic ways balancing standards and authority with innovation and growth. I’ve appreciated the contributions of my colleagues and look forward to continuing discussion in Boston. Best wishes Bill Glover San Francisco
Angelo Battistini Training Analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society
Posted July 2, 2015 by Dr. med. Hanna Ratjen
Angelo Battistini Training Analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society As Full-member of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society, and Training Analyst for 17 years, I have always been interested in issues on training and psychoanalysis transmission, often with an impression of dejà vu: discussions that have regarded the thousand hues of the same topics, with the same captiousness of the most refined “scholasticism” for 70 years. It is an evident sign of the difficulties of facing the change of times. Due to space reasons I shall limit my speech to one single point: the fundamental need to update the Eitington model allowing Psychoanalytic Societies which follow this model to accept personal /training analysis for of at least three sessions a week. The sessions frequency of the analysis, carried out with analysts that the different Societies consider suitable for the task, should be agreed on by the analytic couple, according to the needs of the analytic process. In the same way, candidates would be allowed to carry out supervised analyses at the frequency of at least three sessions a week. In order to endorse the reasons of this request I have to make a few preliminary remarks. -In the first decades of the 19th century, Freud carried out analyses in 6, and eventually 5, sessions a week not because of an ineludible technical problem, but because this method was the best to analyze patients/followers, mostly coming from cities far from Vienna, willing to stay in Vienna for an average of 8/12 months with the only purpose of being analyzed by Freud. In other words, the high session intensity was justified by the short length of the analyses. -When Eitingon, who had carried out a five-week analysis with Freud (more or less the same length of Ferenczi’s analysis), set up the Berlin System of Psychoanalytical Training, he was evidently inspired by Freud’s method and custom. -Yet, in 1913, in “New advice on psychoanalytic technique”, Freud himself maintains that in not serious cases 3 weekly sessions are sufficient. In conclusion: the Eitingon model, as all training models, is historically determined, and it cannot be scientifically claimed that it is possible to offer a valuable training model only by fully adopting all its original criteria. Moreover, regarding the value of a personal/training three-session analyses we should remark that: -Both the French and the Uruguayan models allow three weekly session analyses. -For many years several Psychoanalytic Societies have trained analysts at this frequency, before IPA, after the Second World War, firmly decided to impose standard uniformity. -Currently nearly all analysts (excluding candidates training analyses) carry out three-session analyses successfully, without finding any real difference compared to those at 4 or 5 sessions a week. -The Italian Psychoanalytic Society allowed for ten years, in experimental way, that candidates brought in supervision a 3 session analysis. At the qualification examination no examiner ever remarked meaningful differences compared to the 4 sessions analyses. -At present, in a deeply changed society compared to last century’s, in which there is great mobility in lifestyle, in which many candidates do not have the financial resources, having 4/5 weekly sessions for 6/10 years, in addition to supervision sessions, is no longer affordable to many. With the following consequences: -Many brilliant potential candidates for psychoanalytic training renounce to it. -Among those who undertake it, not a little part includes people with a conformist/dependent attitude, to the detriment of creativity and autonomy. -This training is often undertaken by professionals who can afford it only after several years of working. The result is the gradual ageing of new analysts: the average age of qualification in Italian Psychoanalytical Society is about 47/48 years, the one of Training Analyst is around and beyond 60. -The difficulty in respecting today’s standard leads to remarkable risks of corrupting the setting and the analytic relationship: -analyses that turn into 4 sessions a week after years of gradual approach, starting from psychotherapies in 1 or 2 weekly sessions. -“Budget price” sessions (even 10/20 euro) in order to let the patients meet the costs of the sessions, with counter-transferential consequences and risk that these analyses end abruptly after the two years needed for the training. -Candidates that, exasperated, declare years later that they are having 4 session analyses, deceiving their supervisor and the Society. -Training analysts who certify a higher session frequency than what they actually carried out, etc. Concerning the question that the three models recognized by IPA are to be accepted as a whole as they present (alleged) internal coherence: -it is sufficient to read thoroughly the description of their features to see how these descriptions are actually suited only to an abstract theoretical model, where the differences often arbitrarily emphasize some aspects of analysis which would be valid for any analysis, in any model. Moreover, if we consider important variables which usually are not taken into account (the analyst’s personality and personal style, the specificity of the patient’s pathology, the influences of the analyst’s theoretical background in the age of “many psychoanalysis” etc. etc.) the alleged internal coherence dissolves and what is left is a series of theoretical justifications which look more like rationalizations deriving from wishful thinking rather than from a realistic description of things. In conclusion, if we consider that : -training models are historically/geographically determined. -We cannot establish the superiority of one over the others. -The question of the model’s internal coherence is a myth rather than reality. The French and Uruguayan models are definitely favoured as they allow three weekly session analyses. And if we consider that: -Our society has profoundly changed in the course of a century -The current Eitington model, if not “mitigated”, contributes to the crisis of psychoanalysis, to the gradual ageing of the Societies which adopt it, to the risk of corrupting some aspects of the training -IPA established the three models more out of political/institutional convenience than for scientific reasons I claim that it would be wise and necessary to modify the standards concerning the frequency of sessions, allowing the candidates, as patients and as analysts, to do three weekly session analyses. Lastly, we have to acknowledge that already today, despite the three recognized models, there is a growing variety in their application (for example, regarding the Eitingon model, in the Italian Psychoanalytical Society a candidate is allowed two supervisions with patients of the same gender; training analyses can be carried out also by full-members, without Training Functions ), so that the only possible, realistic common ground about the training model is the one represented by the tripartite model, consisting in a deep personal analysis with qualified IPA analysts, theoretical courses and supervisions with the current standards, respecting the socio-theoretical specificities of the different component societies. I am talking about that common ground that allows analysts of different countries, on the occasion of international confrontation, of discussing fruitfully about clinical psychoanalysis.
On the issue of Eitingon model some considerations are circulating:
Posted July 2, 2015 by Dra. Celmy De A. A. Quilelli Correa
The SBPRJ, through its INSTITUTE of Training, has promoted a JOURNEY on the issues that are circulating in the IPA, through DEBATES section and Educational Directors Commitee coordinated by Fernando Weissman. a - considering the frequency of 4-5 sessions per week, although it is desired to all of us as to allow closer proximity and vision of the analytic process, at the time it is almost unfeasible to maintain it. Our economic and financial issues, the transit inside the city and consequent displacement problems that often make patients expend two hours to reach the offices of their analysts, and many more to return. Those are the most often heard arguments. Moreover we are thinking about keeping the frequency three times per week. b- also the official supervision cases are subject to the same restrictions. It should be considered that even the price of the Social Clinic (R $ 20 to 25 per session, R$ 80-100 to R$100-125 per week and R$ 320-400 to 500-625 monthly by the Brazilian currency would mean an amount nearly the Brazilian minimum wage, which is not a small expense for a middle-class family. c- we are also considering the possibility of training analyses being carried out by IPA’s full members. The average age of current training analysts is quite high. One must consider that many of them are over the age of 75. d- we are concerned in determining the invariance within the Eitingon model number of sessions. Being analyzed throughout the training by the training analysts is it a common ground? e - considering the continental dimensions of Brazil, we are discussing to import the model designed for IPA for the societies of Eastern Europe, to create new nuclei: analysis by Skype, with number of personal sessions from time to time, etc. . All these issues listed above have emerged from meetings that have advisory characteristic, only to know different experiences and difficulties, without the prescriptive concern. We also send through our representative, educational Vice-Director Ruth Lerner Froimtchuk, more expository arguments that will make substantial front position to the questions put by the IPA Education and Training Committee. Celmy Quilelli Corrêa- Chair of Educational Institute, SBPRJ, By the Training Committee