Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
Inaugural Issue - May 2012
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society! This new publication expresses our desire as a psychoanalytic society to reach out to members and colleagues in the larger psychotherapy community with news about training, special events, and activities designed to educate the public about psychoanalysis. The title Selected Facts alludes to the purpose of a newsletter-to share the details of an organization's activities-and also refers to the psychoanalytic term "selected fact," or the element that gives coherence to scattered data. This expression, as many of you may realize, was adopted by Wilfred Bion from the French mathematician Henri Poincaré, who believed that what we focus on plays an important role in shaping our understanding of the world, inside and out. As a psychoanalytic institute that focuses on British Object Relations, we thought it fitting to name our newsletter using a term that refers both to our theoretical roots and to our pubic relations mission.
As a regular feature, we plan to include letters from the President and the Director of Training. In this first issue we want to introduce the various committees that makeup the organization and the individuals working to support various aspects of the society and the training institute. Also included is a section we're calling Members in Action, where recognition is given to the professional accomplishments of our candidate, analyst, and community members. Staff reporter Lynn Cunningham writes a wonderful piece on what it's like to be part of a colleague cohort while training to become a psychoanalyst. Finally, COR President Mel Knight offers a compelling essay on his recent decision to join NPS as a Community Member.
Selected Facts is published three times annually, in the spring (May), fall (September), and winter (January). The fall issue this year will be devoted mainly to reports from our Annual International Evolving British Object Relations Conference. Because the conference will take place in early September, the next issue of the newsletter will be postponed until October.
Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA
Letter from the President
I am pleased to write in this inaugural
issue of Selected Facts. This newsletter represents an ongoing development and continual integration of our Society.
The Society is a small group, united by a common cause. This year we have opened our membership to the community. We gather in small groups and in larger ones, such as our yearly international Evolving British Object Relations conference (see announcement below), to learn together. Our commitment to lifelong learning about relationships, inside and outside of us, keeps us alive as a Society.
The Board of Directors and all those in our Society are committed to our candidates and our members. Our membership, although small, consists of numerous people who are talented, creative, productive thinkers and therapists making contributions here and elsewhere. Our members write, publish, and present papers all over the world.
As a psychoanalytic society, we have plans to offer seminars to the community and are working with COR Northwest Family Development Center so as to augment each organization's offerings. If you are interested in a particular aspect of British Object Relations, please let us know and we will work to create a seminar or study group for you. If you want to know more about who we are and what we are planning, please attend our annual meeting. It is open to all. The NPS Annual Meeting is July 11th, 7:30 to 9 pm. It will be held in the NPS auditorium at 1711 12th Avenue in Seattle.
We invite those interested in British Object Relations to participate in the life of our Society. Come study with us. Attend our Scientific Meetings, our study groups and seminars. Come to EBOR. Discuss, agree, and disagree with us so we can bring together experiences that inform and enliven us. We want to get to know you and welcome you.
Finally, I hope you also get to know our President-elect, David Jachim, and our Director of Training, Maxine Anderson, whose elections will occur at the Annual Meeting on July 11th.
Judy K. Eekhoff
President, Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
Letter from the Director of Training
I am the incoming Director of Training, appointed right now by the NPS President and the only name on the ballot for election to this post at the upcoming Annual Meeting, held in July. My tasks are to oversee the various aspects of the psychoanalytic training program, which really means working with the various members of the Education Committee, who represent the Dean of Students, Admissions, Progression, Curriculum, Faculty Development, Outreach, and the candidate organization.
We invite inquiries about our training program, including attendance at our Scientific Meetings, held monthly on Wednesday evenings, and drop-in attendance at our Following the Unconscious series, where psychotherapists can see firsthand how various of our faculty work with clinical material from a British Object Relations perspective.
Please visit the NPS website to learn more and, if you wish to consider applying for our program, download an application by clicking here.
If you have questions about training, please contact me by email by clicking here.
Director of Training
This year's International Evolving British Object Relations Conference, our ninth, brings together participants from England, Germany, South America, Canada, and the United States to discuss and elaborate upon the role of emotion and meaning in Object Relations. This small and intimate conference has developed a reputation for its format-one that involves opportunities for small group discussion in addition to plenary and parallel paper presentations. The conference format privileges the emergence of new ideas in the here-and-now setting of the conference as well as drawing on the immediacy of the clinical hour. It also values the contributions of key Object Relations theorists historically and in the evolving present. In this way, the format highlights growth and development, progression, and re-evaluation of theory and practice. It includes keynote speakers as well as presenters from throughout the world who responded to our Call for Papers. Presenters share their emerging ideas about the conference theme, which focuses this year on Oedipal constellations.
We hope you will join us for this year's conference featuring Richard Rusbridger, FIPA, from the UK, and Gisela Klinckwort, FIPA, from Germany, along with our own internationally recognized analyst Robert Oelsner, FIPA. Robert, who is an IPA-certified child and adult training and supervising analyst, will moderate the conference using his skills to facilitate discussion of keynote presentations, along with parallel paper presentations, toward a comprehensive exploration of our conference theme, "Emotion & Meaning In Object Relations: Experiences of Oedipal Constellations."
In one of his papers, Richard Rusbridger states, "The emergence of meaning in analysis is often understood unconsciously as the product of the parental intercourse, represented by the work of the patient with the analyst, or of the analyst's or the patient's mind. The analysis of the patient's characteristic reactions to moments of meaningfulness in analysis is therefore an especially fruitful focus for the analysis of the Oedipus complex." Meaning-making in a session might be thought of as related to the relational interaction or the process of the here-and-now between analyst and patient. The process is intimately related to the affects alive in each moment.
In her sensitive and alive discussion of analysis with a two year old, Gisela Klinckwort explores both emotions and meaning-making as she follows her child patient and facilitates his capacity to hold his internal objects in mind via symbol formation.
With these brief descriptions of our keynote presentations, we hope that many of you will feel enticed to join our conference, adding to the evolution of British Object Relations in Seattle and beyond. For additional details and registration, please check the NPS website at http://www.nps.us.com or contact our administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Regional and International News|
6th International Psychoanalytical Association Congress, 1920, Hague, Holland. Front row, left to right: 3) Anna Freud, 6) Sandor Ferenczi. 12) Karl Abraham. Row two: 3) Ernest Jone, 5) Ernst Simmel, 7) Oskar Pfister, 8) Sigmund Freud, 9) Otto Rank, 11) Melanie Klein, 13) Theodor Reik. Row three: 5) (behind Simmel) Philip Sarasin, 9) (behind Rank) J.H.W. vanOphuijsen. Last row: 8) Max Eitingon, 9) Paul Federn, 12) Carl Muller-Braunschweig (?).
On NPS's Affiliation with CIPS
Since this is the inaugural issue, I will begin with a brief summary of the formal relationship between NPS and the wider psychoanalytic community in the United States and internationally. As some of you may already realize (and others are learning it for the first time), NPS is affiliated directly with the International Psychoanalytical Association. By contrast, most psychoanalytic societies in the United States belong to the American Psychoanalytic Association, and, through APsaA, to the IPA. Like NPS, and a handful of other psychoanalytic societies in the United States (Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, New York Freudian Society, Psychoanalytic Center of California, and Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California) also affiliate directly with the IPA. Some of the independent societies have also chosen to affiliate with one another through a regional organization called the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies. Membership in CIPS provides a link to the larger psychoanalytic community in the United States and a stronger presence for psychoanalysts with legislators and the general public.
NPS has chosen to belong to CIPS for many reasons. For instance, CIPS hosts a clinical conference every two years featuring small work groups, where candidates, graduate analysts, and senior training analysts gather to share their work and learn from one another in a non-hierarchical environment. Clinical conflicts (being in a group with one's analyst or supervisor) are managed by careful attention to group composition. Having no more than two members from each society in a group ensures that participants have an opportunity to meet and get to know colleagues from across the country. Everyone I know who has attended these biennial conferences finds them richly rewarding. By the time this publication reaches our readers, the CIPS Clinical Conference (May 4-6, 2012) in Los Angeles, on the theme of "Sexuality in the Second Century of Psychoanalysis," will have just concluded. Look for a report on this conference in the next edition of Selected Facts.
For those who would like to better understand the relationship between NPS and CIPS and the difference between psychoanalytic societies that affiliate directly with the IPA and those that affiliate with APsaA (and through APsaA with the IPA), click here to read the fascinating history of the development of psychoanalysis in the United States.
Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA, is a director on the CIPS Board of Directors, representing the interests of NPS. Caron is also a director on the Board of the North American Psychoanalytic Confederation.
Dana Blue, LICSW FIPA, has also recently become a director on the CIPS Board, representing NPS. Both Caron and Dana will be reporting in future issues on regional and international news as it relates to NPS.
Maxine Anderson - Education Committee
Adrian Jarreau (Admissions)
Mirta Berman-Oelsner (Training Analysts)
Julie Hendrickson (Candidates)
Dana Blue (Outreach)
Esti Karson (Faculty Development)
David Rasmussen (Curriculum)
Maxine Anderson (Director of Training and Chair)
The Education Committee is comprised of the Chairs of various committees having to do with training at NPS. These committees include Admissions, Progression, Training Analysts, Candidate Group, Outreach, Faculty Development, and Curriculum. These various committees make recommendations to the Education Committee for acceptance of or deliberation on various issues pertinent to training. The Chair of the Education Committee is the Director of Training, who has the responsibility for providing an overseeing mind to coordinate these various facets of the training program for NPS.
Mirta Berman-Oelsner - Training Analysts Committee
Mirta Berman-Oelsner (Chair)
Judy K. Eekhoff
The mission of this committee is to hold a space for training analysts to think and discuss issues related to their training, training analyses, and educational consultation. This committee reports to the Educational Committee. The Training Analysts Committee had its first meeting on February 2011. Meetings occur once per academic term.
David Rasmussen - Curriculum Committee
Maxine Nelson (candidate)
David Rasmussen (Chair)
Barbara Sewell (candidate)
Mission of the Committee:
1. Making changes to the Curriculum of the Psychoanalytic training program of the Institute as needed.
2. Arranging Faculty teaching assignments for didactic and clinical seminars.
3. Coordinating guest lecturers to teach the didactic and clinical seminars for the candidates. The Committee sees our role as informing the regular teaching faculty of the dates and times a guest speaker will be speaking. If the guest instructor is teaching the ongoing didactic, the CC will inform the guest speaker of the course that is being taught to the candidates and coordinate the topic for instruction. The overall organization of the special event is not considered to be a duty of the CC. The person in charge of the special event is thought by the CC to be the best person to communicate with the guest speaker about all arrangements, so as to keep communication clear about all arrangements involving the guest speaker.
4. Oversee syllabus development. Faculty who are preparing to teach a didactic seminar will be invited to attend the regularly scheduled Curriculum meetings to discuss their syllabus for the upcoming course they will be teaching. The CC will review the syllabus and offer any input that may assist the faculty in developing the syllabus for the course. The CC plans to serve as a unifying thread that ensures that essential readings, authors, and psychoanalytic theories are included in the didactic portion of the training program.
5. Review Candidate feedback forms each quarter pertaining to the Instructors and the clinical seminar or didactic seminar they have taught. This year, a policy change was made as a response from the Candidate group that the Candidate feedback forms be turned into the Curriculum Committee for review. The Curriculum Committee will review and discuss the feedback from Candidates so as to be apprised of the Candidates' impressions of each course. The CC will then make the feedback forms available to Faculty for their review. If there is strong critique, the CC will plan a personal meeting with the Faculty member to discuss the feedback.
Maxine Anderson - Progression Committee
Maxine Anderson (Chair)
David Parnes (candidate)
Progression Committee has the task of overseeing the progress of each candidate during his or her sojourn through the NPS training program. This overview includes the gathering of reports from instructors and supervisors as well as a detailed overview of each of the clinical reports due for each control case. All of this input is collated and becomes part of what is shared with the candidate during the yearly face-to-face meetings the committee holds with each candidate. Specific areas of concern are addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Currently, Progression carries out this function via monthly meetings, every second month devoted to reviewing clinical reports and every alternate month being given over to discussion of other matters that pertain to the committee's duties and functions.
Adrian Jarreau - Admissions Committee
Purpose: To facilitate applicants' interest in applying for candidacy to the Institute, to evaluate each applicant to assess appropriateness for admission, and to provide an orientation to training and to the Institute following admission.
1. Standards for admission (references, all the items asked for in application).
2. Pre-screening through pre-candidate group (Following the Unconscious clinical seminars).
3. Faculty interviews each applicant to evaluate his or her clinical abilities and suitability for psychoanalytic training (analyzability).
4. Orientation meeting to aid in a successful beginning of training.
5. Availability for questions and participation in thinking with the Director about mentor pairings.
1. Under the Outreach committee, plan and host an open house held in late spring prior to beginning a new pre-candidate group.
2. Also under the Outreach Committee, organize a pre-candidate clinical conference group held once monthly, led by one or two NPS faculty members.
3. Arrangement of Interviewers and interviews for applicant.
4. Set application deadline.
5. Interview committee meets in late spring to discuss applicants and make decisions regarding acceptance.
6. Orientation meeting held in late August or early September to cover all points concerning orienting new candidates, welcoming them, and introducing faculty.
Julie Hendrickson - Candidate President
It is my pleasure as the NPS Candidate President to present in this first edition of the NPS newsletter information about candidate involvement, roles, and affiliations within NPS. The Candidate group is a vibrant, actively involved constituency of the Institute arm of NPS. As the Candidate President, I attend the monthly Education Committee meeting that is composed of representatives from each of the Institute committees (Curriculum, Training Analysts, Progression, Admissions, Outreach, and Faculty Development). This is a forum where the voice of the Candidates can be heard, thought about, and responded to in a timely, effective manner.
Additionally, candidates have a presence at most of the Institute committee meetings. A Candidate Representative assigned to a particular committee attends that committee's meetings and serves as a liaison between the candidate group and the respective committee. The committees within NPS that candidates serve on as candidate representatives are: Curriculum Committee, Progression Committee, Admissions Committee, Inter-Institute Committee, Outreach Committee, and Publications Committee. Additionally, Candidates voluntarily participate on the EBOR planning committee, Scientific Meetings, Publication committee, Open House planning committee, electronic communication management (listserv), Progression Handbook editing, and the Special Events planning committee. There are a number of ways that candidates actively participate in the NPS community.
On the third Friday of each month, the Candidate group meets at 1:00 pm, before the Clinical Seminar. At these meetings, candidates gather to report news and information to the group, from the committees they represent, as well as to hear issues and questions that have come up. We take minutes of our meetings in order to have a history and recording of our experience and as a means of tracking our concerns and questions that require further attention from other members of the Institute. As a group, we discuss the issues that come up and decide what steps need to be taken to address them, such as which committee within the Institute is the appropriate committee to turn to for consideration of and help with our issue.
The monthly candidate meetings, led by the Candidate President, has evolved since the group's conception in 2006, led first by Caron Harrang, then by a candidate her (or him)self. At that time, with the number of candidates growing and NPS graduating to full society status within the IPA, it seemed necessary for candidates to meet regularly to discuss issues of training and to find support from a united voice that could then have more strength and visibility to the faculty and members of NPS. Caron led the candidates for three years before she graduated in 2009, followed then by Maxine Nelson, who was Candidate President for two years, from 2009 to 2011. I'm the third candidate to take the reins as President. Beginning this next fall, there will be a President-elect, who will step in as the next President when I complete my two-year term in 2013.
The candidate group is a vital and cohesive collective of NPS that provides unity and support to one another during the analytic training experience. It is a collegial, professional community to turn to for referrals, consultation, and support for one's psychotherapy practice and development as a psychoanalyst. Intimate and lasting friendships have formed for many who have trained together at NPS.
I am happy to answer any questions about psychoanalytic training or to provide more information about the NPS candidate experience. You may contact me at 206.527.3081.
Esti Karson - Faculty Development Committee
Rikki Ricard - Special Events Committee
Rikki Ricard (Chair)
The Special Events Committee offers the community the experience of hearing varying points of view from speakers from Seattle, the U.S., and other parts of the world. The committee is dedicated to offering quality experiences that inform both theoretically and clinically. This year, the committee is chaired by Rikki Ricard, and the active members are Patrick Nalbone and Nicole Wiggins, with assistance from the entire NPS membership. Offerings include Peter Goldberg from San Francisco in April and K the upcoming Ninth Annual Evolving British Object Relations Conference, with Richard Rusbridger and Gisela Klinkwort, in September (see EBOR announcement above). NPS is also co-sponsoring the visit of Neville Symington in September.
The Special Events Committee provides a wonderful opportunity to work with colleagues from all over the world in providing the community with enriching experiences, the opportunity to get to know these wonderful presenters, and the chance for all of us to learn together. Please consider getting involved by letting either Rikki Ricard (by clicking here) or Judy K. Eekhoff (by clicking here) know of your interest.
David Jachim - Publications Committee
Selected Facts, which will be published three times per year (January, May, and September), is one of the important projects undertaken by the Publications Committee in fulfilling its mission to inform and connect with Society members, other psychoanalytic organizations, and anyone else interested in the multitudinous dimensions of psychoanalysis. You will also find another portal to psychoanalysis created by our committee at www.nps.us.com, the official website for NPS.
The NPS newsletter and website are the result of a joint effort by committee members, including Daniel Benveniste, Lynn Cunningham, Caron Harrang, Maxine Nelson, and Steve Shehorn. Selected Facts has been fashioned in particular by our newsletter subcommittee composed of Caron Harrang (Managing Editor), Maxine Nelson (Assistant Managing Editor), Rick Clark (Copy Editor), Anna Delacroix (Assistant Copy Editor), Steve Shehorn (Community Member Reporter), Lynn Cunningham (Candidate Reporter), and David Parnes (Reporter at Large). I want to thank all committee and subcommittee members for their devoted effort in making this project come to fruition.
In working with everyone involved in the creation of Selected Facts, I was reminded of the many car trips my family took while my two sons were still quite young. Invariably, at some point on such journeys, one of my sons would call out from the back seat, "Are we there yet?" Just as predictably, I or my wife would respond by saying," Not yet, but we're really enjoying the ride together, aren't we?" What followed for all of us, I think, was a great feeling of contentment. Selected Facts will never be a final "there" destination but instead will be an evolving organ of communication and, in working together with these good people on the Publications Committee, I have really been enjoying the ride.
Dana Blue - Outreach Committee
Dana Blue (Chair)
The Outreach Committee of NPS has as its mission the task of spreading NPS's "brand" of psycho-analytic thinking throughout the community, in concert with the mission of the organization, which is: "supporting our members, offering outstanding psychoanalytic training to mental health professionals, and educating the general public about psychoanalysis."
The committee was formed in late October of 2011. Representatives to the committee belong to all facets of our membership; we have analyst members, candidate members, and community members. This deliberate structure helps us to remain accountable to each constituency of NPS. The formation of a broad-based committee has been one of the greatest accomplishments for NPS.
In this, our inaugural year, the focus of the committee has been binocular. Our sights have been focused internally, on programmatic cultivation and communication within the training institute (called "In-reach"), as well as externally, on the production of community events and activities. The following is a summary of what we've accomplished so far.
1. To meet the goal of fostering communication within the NPS Institute, we note:
- Inclusion of Outreach chair on Education Committee.
- Co-production of February Faculty/Candidate meeting by Candidate president and Outreach Chair.
- Coordination and planning of April 2012 Institute/Candidate meeting.
2. To meet the goal of transmitting "NPS culture" to ongoing training cohorts, we have:
- Recommended that NPS history be added to the training handbook.
- Made a presentation by NPS's CIPS representative at a candidate meeting to share history of NPS and its place in the psychoanalytic world.
3. To the goal of addressing current candidate concerns and making training more accessible for incoming candidates, we have:
- Generated recommendations to the Education committee and NPS Board on the cost of psychoanalytic education.
- Planning and production of the well-attended Prenatal Psychic Life program.
- Cultivation and promotion of an introductory series on psychoanalytic thought, called Following the Unconscious.
- Exploration of the establishment of a second group on the Eastside.
- Participation in community events, such as Maxine Nelson's chairing of the plenary at the Forum and Caron's presentation at the Forum.
- Systematizing of publicity materials from NPS: flyers, brochures, and website
- Gathering information on the outreach strategies of other psychoanalytic organizations, including OPC, SFCP, APsaA, and SFCP.
- Attendance at the SPSI Open House.
- Creation, distribution, and analysis of a Community Survey to determine needs and opinions concerning NPS; dissemination of the results of the survey.
- Planning and production of an Open House to highlight NPS activities of both Society and Institute.
Steve Shehorn - Community Members
NPS is pleased to add a new Community Membership category. We have taken this action because we value the presence and contributions of those who are not IPA members and psychoanalytic candidates but who already attend events like our annual Evolving British Object Relations conference and monthly scientific meetings.
Community members (listed below) are psychotherapists and allied health professionals (medical doctors, physicians' assistants, nurses); journalists, editors, and writers; actors and playwrights; and others whose work may be enhanced by a deeper understanding of psychic reality and human mental life, who are interested in psychoanalysis and desire to support the scientific and educational activities of the Society.
- 10% discount for Continuing Education courses, classes, and lectures.
- Email updates and reminders of programs and special events.
- Newsletter subscription to Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society.
- Journal subscription to Evolving British Object Relations: Journal of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society.
- Opportunity to participate in psychodynamic study groups.
- Opportunity to participate on NPS committees and write reviews for the newsletter.
We invite you to apply to become a Community Member of NPS by downloading an application by clicking here. Community members are listed on the NPS website under the Society tab > member roster.
Current Community Members: Sigrid Asmus, Margaret Bergman-Ness, Donovan Bigelow, Margie Bone, Marian Evans, Joan Fiset, David Gowin, Gwendolyn Gowin, Kathleen Heppell, Mel Knight, Michele Meola, Patrick Nalbone, Adriana Prengler, Steven Shehorn, and Douglas C. Smith.
Members in Action
Dave Parnes, reporter - Special Events
Jeffrey Eaton's Scientific Meeting Presentation
On Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, NPS's Scientific Meetings series presented Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA. Eaton read from his recently published book, A Fruitful Harvest: Essays after Bion. The evening began with a champagne toast to Eaton, in congratulations for the publication of this book of engaging and accessible essays. Following a brief introduction by the evening's moderator, Anna Delacroix, Eaton read excerpts from his book, including the essay "Paying Attention to Attention." In this essay, Eaton examined the growth and development of the capacity for attention in both patients and analysts. Eaton described attention as a "mostly subterranean theme in the psychoanalytic literature," with notable exceptions in the works of several writers, including Freud and Bion. Reviewing Bion's contributions to this subject, Eaton discussed Bion's paper "A Theory of Thinking," in which frustration tolerance is seen as the linchpin regarding the fate of the infant's capacity for attention. Eaton also noted Bion's concept of alpha function as related to attention, as well as the central importance attention is given in the Grid. Reverie-a mother's capacity to utilize her own mind to receive, contain, and transform her infant's emotional distress-was shown by Eaton to be a critical factor in the development of the capacity for attention, to both internal and external reality, in the infant.
Autism, as a condition in which the subject's attention has been captured and turned towards a secret, internal and sensation-dominated world, was considered at length in the later part of the presentation. This form of captured attention was contrasted with the capacity for an evolving and growing field of attention, in which shared attention is both tolerated and welcomed. Eaton then discussed his own work as an analyst, in deepening his capacity for reverie. Eaton noted Freud's famous recommendations for an "evenly hovering attention," quoting at some length from his chapter entitled "Recommendations for Physicians on the Psychoanalytic Method of Treatment." He then addressed Bion's later work, in which Bion made his own recommendations for the analyst, regarding the eschewing of memories and desires, and the analyst's focus of attention on O, the unknown and unknowable. Eaton surmised that one, in fact, cannot take O as the object of attention but, importantly, can work towards intuiting O. He stated, "One aims to free attention and consciousness in order to increase the chances of being able to register the intangible evolution of O.... Ultimately Bion will assert that intuition is the tool for psychoanalytic observation, and the capacity to welcome thoughts in search of a thinker will define his mature definition of the psychoanalyst's task."
Eaton's reading of the essay concluded with a clinical vignette, describing his work with an eight-year-old boy diagnosed with autism. Born prematurely, and having spent his first seven weeks in an incubator, this young patient spent portions of sessions lying on the couch, face in the pillows, whimpering. Eaton described his own, silent reverie in this way: "My consciousness and attention were split between an imaginative involvement with an infantile catastrophe, and a careful observation of Stuart's behavior, as well as my own reactions to it." Eaton summarized his work with this boy as "allowing a deepening reverie to emerge both within myself, by listening to myself listening to Stuart, and between Stuart and me. The experience of reverie becomes part of the shared field of experience where we can both attend to a mysterious emotional evolution that neither of us could predict might emerge. This kind of process, it seems to me, is what allows for the deepening symbolization that is part of the heart of how psychoanalysis works as a form of therapy."
In the introduction to his book, Eaton notes two qualities of mind that he strives to realize in himself: intelligence and heart. Eaton's presentation at this Scientific Meeting demonstrated both of these qualities in abundance.
Scientific Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month and are open to all therapists and analysts in the community. The fee for Scientific Meetings is $10, which includes a continuing education certificate.
Jarreau in Publication
We are pleased to announce that Adrian Jarreau will have a paper published in Modern Psychoanalysis, volume 37-1, this summer. Adrian describes his paper, entitled, "Intuiting the Unknown: Listening with the Unconscious Mind," as follows: This paper is about utilizing one of the oldest techniques in the practice of psychoanalysis and perhaps one of the least considered. Freud wrote about it in 1912 in "Recommendations to Physicians Practicing Psychoanalysis." It is about attention; a specific way of paying attention, to what is not yet known. He called it "evenly suspended attention." Much later, Wilfred Bion described it as attention devoid of memory and desire. Access to the unconscious mind is central to this work and entails techniques of preventing the conscious mind from interfering in its defensive ways. This means that the analyst will be impacted emotionally and need to be receptive to this impact. The emotional response of the clinician is central to this approach because it is from this emotional response that intuition emerges. Through this form of listening and relinquishing thoughts, the analyst is left in a vulnerable state of uncertainty, not knowing how to proceed. Faith in this process, developed from the experiences of learning something that was not known, is all that the therapist has as a supportive resource. Detailed clinical vignettes are employed in Adrian's paper, as clarifying examples of what it means to listen with the unconscious mind and what can happen as a creative result.
Adrian Jarreau is a graduate of NPS and is currently an officer on the NPS Board of Directors, along with being on the Education Committee as Chair of Admissions. He has taught in the psychotherapy program at COR and is on the faculty at NPS. He maintains a psychoanalytic practice in Seattle.
NPS Members Featured at Forum 2012: An Annual Conference on Theory & Practice
Each year, the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study hosts a "forum" for deepening understanding of the human condition. This year the planning committee invited NPS senior candidate Maxine Nelson to organize the plenary session. Maxine, who has a strong interest in psychoanalysis and film, chose to screen Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In (2011), which was followed by a panel discussion with presentations by NPS member Caron Harrang and longtime Seattle film critic Robert Horton (KUOW-FM, Everett Herald). Caron's presentation, entitled "Psychic Skin and Narcissistic Rage: Reflections on Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In," focused on the relationship between Esther Bick's understanding of skin as a psychic function emanating from the mother/infant relationship and Heinz Kohut's conceptualization of narcissistic rage as dramatically rendered in the film. Robert's presentation focused on a number of themes, including the interesting contrast between Almodóvar's narrative, Hitchcock's Vertigo, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Lynn Cunningham, reporter
The NPS Cohort Experience
Generally, we think of a cohort as a group of people moving together toward a common goal over time. In an earlier era, according to Webster, such a group was comprised of warriors or soldiers in need of communal protection against some foe, real or symbolic. Although both are technically legitimate, these definitions tend to elide what is most important to our NPS cohort experience: a recipe for the immaterial glue that bonded a number of diverse individuals into a unique and inimitable cohort. Perhaps I can offer some sense of our esprit de corps, that is, our common spirit, inspiring enthusiasms, devotion, and regard for each other that has evolved into a distinctive source of encouragement, support, and pleasure.
When we were accepted for NPS training and began our first term of classes, we brought with us a variety of expertise and philosophies. Only in the very broadest sense were we a cohort; we all arrived eager and ready to learn how to psychoanalyze our patients. However, we didn't know how to become a cohesive group of candidates who could offer up our personalities as well as synthesize and integrate challenging new material together and individually. I believe that each of us had to undergo some uncomfortable internal shifts, around a new way of thinking about something that may have seemed already sorted out as well as a new way of listening that requires the continual hard work to focus on our patient and refine our understanding. Yet there is something deeply satisfying about growing together and feeling the pleasure of an expanding sophistication of creative thought. Of course, alongside this intellectual unfurling occurs the inevitable messiness of emotional effervescence and the desirable restoring of a befitting decorum that makes us so darn human.
That ephemeral glue has thickened over the years. In addition to thinking and learning as a candidate group, we've learned how to play together. After Friday classes are over, we close the door and exchange news, have a moan, or just chat about life over a bottle of wine. Some or all of us go on for a meal and finish the evening together. On occasion, we share dinner, bringing our families, perhaps cooking together, at one of our homes. Over good food and wine, we tell stories about our selves, laughing outrageously, and just carry on together in a casual and comfortable way. And it's at these times, when we're especially relaxed, that our usually contained natures are exposed. We're moving forward together, albeit unevenly, becoming psychoanalysts who think differently about the world, our patients, and ourselves, and we are becoming very good friends in a unique way.
On Becoming an NPS Community Member
President, COR Northwest Family
The following letter was written for the NPS Open House, which occurred recently (April 28, 2012) on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. Mel Knight was out of town and asked Caron Harrang to read it to the group who gathered to learn more about the Society and the training class forming for fall 2012. Here's what the President of the Center for Object Relations had to say about why he's glad to be a part of our psychoanalytic society.
I'm sorry that I cannot deliver this message in person. But Caron assured me that she would share it for me at the Open House. I want to say a word about why I'm a Community Member of NPS and will continue to be in the years to come.
As you may know, I've been around the psychoanalytic community in Seattle, both as student and leader at COR, for some thirty years. In that time, I have gotten to know, personally, all of the COR members who went on for full psychoanalytic training at NPS. And I am impressed. I am impressed with what can only be called their exceptional dedication to improving their skills as therapists and the personal sacrifice required to reach the goal of graduation. They are my colleagues, yes. But, some have become my mentors as well. So my Community Membership with NPS says simply, "I'm grateful for the quality of their education. And their work helps mine." That's first.
Second, it is no news that the job of being a psychotherapist or psychoanalyst is difficult, draining at times, and can be lonely. The faculty and candidates of NPS are not only colleagues doing a difficult job. They are teachers, as well. They are also personal friends. They are my community, and I need that. Their support and encouragement provides relief at times, courage when needed, and comfort, so that, come Monday morning, I'm able to re-enter the consulting room and give it my best.
Finally, it is no secret that British Object Relations has a unique contribution to make to the practice of psychoanalysis in the United States. Its focus on primitive mental states and the turbulence of one's internal world has helped me personally, through my own analysis, and clinically, in my work with my patients. I need all the help I can get, as we all do. So, Special Events like EBOR (which Robert and Mirta Berman-Oelsner started a few years back), the monthly Scientific Meetings, and last Saturday's workshop with Peter Goldberg from San Francisco, are examples of the kind of ongoing education that I value and need to continue doing the best job I'm able.
So if, as I hope you will, you consider applying for the full psychoanalytic training (salad to dessert), then good for you! But even if you are not quite ready for that, no matter what your background or training, you have the opportunity to join me as a Community Member. Together we can help each other to pursue what Freud rightly called the "impossible profession."