What does it take to be a good psychoanalyst?
Someone asked Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud, what it took to be a good psychoanalyst. She replied the following:
"The answer is relatively very simple. If one wants to be a true psychoanalyst, one has to love the truth, both scientific and personal, and one has to place that appreciation of truth above the discomfort that recognizing unpleasant things can cause, be it in the exterior world or in oneself.
What is more, I believe that the psychoanalyst must have interests that go beyond the medical field... he must be interested in sociology, in religion, in history, in literature... because otherwise his vision and comprehension of the patient will be incomplete. These are the true requisites that the different institutes should demand of their candidates. To be a great reader and be familiar with the literature of many countries and cultures. In the great literary figures we find people with as much knowledge of human nature or more, than that that the psychiatrist and sociologist believe they have."