Clinical Wisdom: A Psychoanalyst Learns from his Mistakes

Clinical Wisdom: A Psychoanalyst Learns from his Mistakes

by Herbert Rabin

Dr. Rabin shares lessons culled from 40 years of psychotherapy teaching and practice.
Identifying and trying to learn from one's own clinical mistakes is often a painful experience, but can be an invaluable source of clinical wisdom. Here, I will share with you several significant mistakes that I have made over the 40 years that I have been practicing and teaching psychotherapy and psychoanalysis which have been extremely helpful to me and my supervisees. I hope that my self-disclosures and self-discoveries will evoke in you an active reflection on your own work and provide a source of professional growth.
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Herbert RabinAfter earning his PhD in clinical psychology, Herbert Rabin spent eight years in postdoctoral training, leading to Certificates in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, Group Psychotherapy and Supervision of the Therapeutic Process. Loving teaching and supervising, he has been involved with these activities at Roosevelt Hospital, Einstein Medical School, and currently as an Adjunct Professor in the Postdoctoral Program of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, as well as Adjunct Professor in the PsyD Program at Pace University and Senior Supervisor and Training Analyst at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. Dr. Rabin is a Life Fellow in the American Group Psychotherapy Association and a Certified Group Psychotherapist. He is also in private practice in New York City. He has published seventeen articles and edited one book. Dr. Rabin can be reached at 646-602-9084 and at Information about his practice can be obtained from the Psychology Today website,
This is an excellent article to gain invaluable insights on the practice of psychotherapy and the experience of being a psychotherapist. I too agree with the quote mentioned from Dogen and Michelangelo as i consider it as the essense of this article. Very much appreciate Dr. Rabin for his willingness to share this message.
Abhilash Jayachandran
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CE credits: 1
Learning objectives:

  • Increase understanding of the importance of ongoing consultation on difficult cases.
  • Reflect on how making mistakes as a therapist is part of becoming a more highly skilled professional.
  • Realize the importance of life long learning and growth for beginning and very experienced psychotherapists and analysts.
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