Utopic ideas of cure and joint exploration in psychoanalytic supervision.

  • Andrzej Werbart
  • Published 2007 in The International journal of psycho-analysis


The idea of the decisive and complete cure is deeply rooted in our unconscious and in the sacral roots of symbolic healing. Double sets of private theories of cure can frequently be found among patients in psychoanalysis and their analysts. The utopian cure involves a profound transformation of the personality by way of deep regression. The idea of an attainable and more limited cure includes new ways of managing old problems. The actual ongoing treatment is then seen as the 'next-best solution'. The utopian fantasy of creating 'the new person' by means of 'proper' psychoanalysis or analytic training has far-reaching consequences for psychoanalytic education and supervision. Our awareness of the inevitable temptation in the 'utopian state of mind' can help us to trace and focus on utopic elements in the supervisory process. Exploration of utopic ideas of all the three parties involved can itself be a fruitful and stimulating way of working in supervision. An important aim of psychoanalytic supervision is to promote a distinct state of mind that can counterbalance utopic ideas and counteract the phenomenon of a 'false analytic self'.

Cite this paper

@article{Werbart2007UtopicIO, title={Utopic ideas of cure and joint exploration in psychoanalytic supervision.}, author={Andrzej Werbart}, journal={The International journal of psycho-analysis}, year={2007}, volume={88 Pt 6}, pages={1391-408} }