Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
Welcome to the spring edition of Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society. It has been just one year since we published our inaugural issue in May 2012. In this year, we have seen much growth in the Institute and Society, as described in this issue's letters from the President, Director of Training, and Candidate President.
Also in this issue are details about the IPA Congress in Prague this August, including information about a breakfast gathering for all CIPS members, candidates, and invited guests. If you are planning to attend the conference, don't miss this opportunity to connect with CIPS colleagues from IPTAR, LAISPS, NPS, and PCC.
We are also fortunate to be able to share a Special Report on the late Betty Joseph, first published in the spring issue of the CIPS News Brief, by Robert Oelsner. And as regular features, we have committee reports and a column we call Members in Action highlighting the many accomplishments of our analyst, candidate, and community members.
Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA
NPS Board of Directors
President: David Jachim
Past-President: Judy K Eekhoff
Secretary: Caron Harrang
Treasurer: Marianne Robinson
Recording Secretary: Naoko Oguchi
Maxine Nelson (candidate representative)
Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educational and scientific activities based in Seattle, Washington. The primary mission of the organization is to provide the highest quality psychoanalytic education and training for individuals seeking to become psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists. The organization also supports the ongoing professional growth and development of our psychoanalyst, candidate, and community members. In so doing, the organization aims to contribute to the current regional, national, and international psychoanalytic understanding of mental life and to the emotional health, creativity, and wellbeing of those treated through the practice of psychoanalysis.
Letter from the President
The Road to Prague....
Oh, The Places You'll Go! - Dr Seuss
On June 11, 1888, my paternal grandfather, Antonin Jachym, was born in Pravonin, a small village about forty miles outside of Prague, Czechoslovakia. In early August of this year, following my attendance at the IPA Congress in Prague, I will travel to Pravonin to find him again. I look forward to this journey with excitement and some trepidation.What will I find there? Who will be there? Will echoes of my grandfather be there? These reverberating questions turned my mind to thinking about my ancestral heritage and the internal objects that have evolved by way of my grandparents, through my parents, modified within me now and carried forward into the future within my two sons.
In a similar way, I began reflecting on the origins of NPS, its development over time, its present state, and what the future holds. This seems timely somehow as we come to the end of another academic year, evaluating our place as an analytic body and beginning to think about what comes next. Born as a Study Group, rising to the status of a fully IPA-accredited organization, and now on the threshold of our nascent adolescence, NPS continues to evolve as an organizational body also imbued with all the internal objects of past founders, current members, and future, soon-to-be graduated, analysts.
So much has developed, particularly over the past year. The NPS Board has completed one annual turn together as a solid working group: Educational programs such as Scientific Meetings, under the direction of Jeff Eaton, have flourished; the analytic training program has progressed with two more candidates near graduation; an accreditation committee has started diligently working towards application to the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education (ACPE); a new analytic class has been admitted to begin training this fall; and our International Evolving British Object Relations Conference (EBOR) lies on the horizon in the fall of 2014.
There is much more to say, but allotted space prevents me from going on. Suffice it to say, NPS is growing in many positive ways. Nonetheless, there are also growing pains, acutely experienced by all involved with NPS. For instance, necessary administrative, policy, and procedural changes and updates have shaken some protective rust off old, familiar, but comfortable ways of running an organization. We have all had to readjust. In addition, the painful yearning for active involvement by more members continues when there is so much to be done. The ongoing uncertainty of psychoanalysis in the American mental health marketplace continues to haunt us.
There is a saying: "When all is said and done, there is much more said than done." That caveat aside, NPS is doing quite a lot, not just saying it. We are on a journey that began with a Study Group that now turns toward Prague and the future. In this regard, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, land of Dvorak, Smetana, Kafka, and Havel, has much to teach us. This country has evolved, by way of the cultural resilience of its people, through many trials, to become once again a thriving, successful entity. I hope to see many of you in Prague. If you are not able to come but would like to know something about the Czech Republic, I recommend reading Madeleine Albright's book Prague Winter. It is a wonderful pageant of Czech history and culture seen through the eyes of the author, who was born in Prague and became the first female United States Secretary of State. If you do go to Prague, I hope to see you there so that I can greet you with "Dobry den!" (Good day!)
David Jachim, PhD FIPA
President, Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
Letter from the Director of Training
This past while has been a busy one for the Director of Training, who oversees the various aspects of training at NPS. As mentioned previously, one of the functions of the Director is to oversee and coordinate the various aspects of psychoanalytic training, including the admission of students, known as candidates, courses offered in the curriculum, progression in training, development of faculty, training analyst concerns, and outreach to the community. The Dean of Students, who oversees candidate concerns, and the Candidate President both attend these meetings. These meetings offer the potential for much interchange and update for the various committees involved.
Recent updates include the beginning of a new training class in September 2013. We are pleased at present to have three candidates in this incoming class. With our open admissions policy, it is possible that additional candidates will join this cohort before September.
Training opportunities also include short courses and seminars for psychoanalytic psychotherapists, taught by our membership. Faculty and candidates are currently being invited to offer courses on psychoanalytic topics of their interest to NPS members and to the wider community. Those with workshop, short course, or seminar proposals for the 2013-2014 academic year are invited to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of the topic, dates, times, and location.
Offerings to the community this past year include:
- Treating Trauma Survivors Psychoanalytically - Judy K Eekhoff
- Why Infant Observation? - Dana Blue and Caron Harrang
- Infant Observation for Psychotherapists - Dana Blue and Caron Harrang
- Working Analytically with Children: A Clinical Seminar - David Parnes and Nicole Wiggins
Our Faculty Development Committee is spearheading an event led by Deborah Cabaniss, MD FIPA, a well-known expert in the pedagogy of psychoanalytic theory and technique. She will visit Seattle in November to lead a daylong workshop cosponsored with SPSI for faculty and senior candidates.
Another activity involving the Education Committee, along with other aspects of the NPS community, is the application for external credentialing through the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education (ACPE). This process is likely to take the remainder of this year and will enable NPS to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. One benefit of accreditation will be accessibility to low interest loans for candidates. The process will also facilitate our organizational development as we update policies and procedures and become a more progressive psychoanalytic training institute.
Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA
Director of Training
Letter from the Candidate President
A Thousand Mornings
All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing.
- Mary Oliver
By the time Selected Facts arrives in your Inbox, I will have ended my term as Candidate President and Nicole Wiggins will have taken the reins. As I reflect on these past two years, I'm amazed at how quickly the time has gone by and how much change has taken place in that time at NPS. The most notable change is our new location, which we moved into this past fall. Here are some of the other changes that have impacted the candidate group over the past two years:
- The Candidate President became a full-time member of the Education Committee.
- A Dean of Students position was created and meets regularly with the Candidate President to discuss issues of concern to candidates.
- The Inaugural Candidate Retreat was held in March 2013.
- Institute support to candidates increased as a result of candidate feedback to NPS Organizational Consultants.
- The Candidate President-Elect position was formalized and begins one year prior to the completion of the current Candidate President's two-year term.
As I write, with only a few weeks left in the academic year, I'm struck with a familiar bittersweet feeling: the relief, on the one hand, of having the summer hiatus, with its lighter days and lighter training load, while on the other hand missing the weekly communing with colleagues.
Speaking of summer, several NPS candidates will be attending the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Conference in Prague this summer. Senior candidate Barbara Sewell will be presenting a paper on countertransference at the IPSO Conference (that parallels the IPA Congress). Joining Barbara in Prague will be three other candidates: Lynn Cunningham, Anna Delacroix, and Maxine Nelson. We're all cheering for Barbara, who inspires us and makes us proud to be candidates at NPS.
Julie Hendrickson, MA LMHC
|Regional and International News|
"Facing The Pain: Clinical Experience and the Development of Psychoanalytic Knowledge"
The IPA will be holding their 48th Congress from July 31 to August 3, 2013, at the Hilton Prague, Czech Republic. This Congress will focus on how the psychoanalytic process is gradually transformed from the analyst's initial and inchoate conceptualizations to more coherent and polished theories that can be communicated and possibly investigated by empirical methods. Congress activities will include work groups, small discussion groups, individual papers, panels, posters, meet the analyst/author sessions, and films. For additional information click here.
Special Note: David Jachim organized a special pre-conference meeting for NPS candidate, analyst, and community members attending the conference at the Sorrento Hotel in Seattle on Sunday, June 23, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, to share travel tips about Prague and plan how best to promote NPS to our international colleagues.
Then, during the conference, the Confederation for Independent Psychoanalytic Societies will host a welcome breakfast for members, candidates, and invited guests at the IPA Congress in Prague. The breakfast will be held Friday, August 2, 2013, from 7:00 to 8:00 am, in the Chez Louis Salon at the Prague Hilton and conference site. Please join us and feel free to bring colleagues who may be interested in learning about CIPS.
Later on Friday, there will also be a book signing for the latest publication in the CIPS Book Series: Battling the Life and Death Forces of Sadomasochism: Clinical Perspectives (edited by Harriet Basseches, Paula Ellman, and Nancy Goodman) in the Amsterdam Room from 12:45 to 1:45 pm. With pleasure, we note that NPS Training Analyst Marianne Robinson is one of the chapter authors in this publication.
Conference Attendees from NPS
Maxine Anderson, Cecile Bassen, Lynn Cunningham, Anna Delacroix, Judy K Eekhoff, Caron Harrang, David Jachim, Esther Karson, Maxine Nelson, Mirta Berman-Oelsner, Robert Oelsner, Marianne Robinson, Barbara Sewell, and Oscar Romero
Conference Presenters from NPS
Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA - "Entrenched grievance as a container of the negative"
Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA - Panel presentation on "Enactment: assessment, clinical use and theoretical aspects," with Roosevelt Cassorla, Mauro Gus, Robert Oelsner, Nelson Rocha (Moderator), Gabriel Sapisochin, and Alexis Schreck
Barbara Sewell, LMHC - "A Hazardous Journey: Suffering in the Countertransference-A Candidate's Pain Holding the Pain of the Patient" [IPSO]
Special Report: Betty Joseph (1917-2013)
As I Knew Her
By Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA
Betty Joseph (2006), London Clinical Seminars. Photo courtesy of
It was with great sadness that we received the news of Betty's death, which occurred peacefully in her home in London on Friday, April 5, 2013.
I first met Betty Joseph on a very hot summer afternoon, Christmas weekend in 1981 during a half-day case conference that we organized in the Child Department of the Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association. No child analyst missed the conference. I recall meeting a petite woman, full of energy, with sparking eyes and a sharp mind. It took no time for me to know that I had found someone who would change my analytic mind.
We met later at several of the International Psychoanalytical Congresses, where I could again perceive Betty's brilliance. Her workshops were always packed. In the early 1990s, my wife, Mirta, and I began traveling on a periodic basis from Buenos Aires to London to receive clinical supervision from her. Betty would always welcome us with a tray of treats and coffee and, before we began - time was not an issue - she would first gossip with us (a British sport) about all the people we knew in common. How's Horacio (Etchegoyen) doing? How is your psychoanalytic society developing? What are you doing? And so on. Then to work.
To read more, click here.
NPS Society News
EBOR 2014 Committee - Dana Blue and Caron Harrang
Dana Blue (Co-Chair)
Caron Harrang (Co-Chair)
Robert Oelsner (EBOR Advisor)
Planning for the Tenth International Evolving British Object Relations Conference is underway! The Conference will take place October 17-19, 2014, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle. The title is "From Reverie to Interpretation: Transforming thought into the action of psychoanalysis." Artist Sabah Al-Dhaher has donated artwork for the conference. To see the conference logo, "Sabah's Escape From Within," click here. This page will be updated as conference news breaks, including information on keynote speakers, special events, and, by early 2014, registration details.
Planned pre-conference activities include monthly seminars to discuss psychoanalytic papers related to the conference theme of reverie. NPS faculty or senior candidates will facilitate these seminars, and selected papers will be available in advance. The seminars will be held at NPS on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm, beginning October 2013. The cost will be $12 for members and $15 for non-members. As a special incentive, individuals who become NPS Community Members will be able to attend the first of these seminars at no charge. For additional information, contact Maxine Nelson, EBOR 2014 Pre-Conference Reverie organizer. Maxine can be reached at 425.637.8844 or email@example.com.
Outreach Committee - Caron Harrang
Caron Harrang (Chair)
Maxine Nelson (candidate representative)
Outreach efforts this spring have focused on continuing to promote our psychoanalytic training with a new candidate cohort beginning classes this September. We have three admitted candidates, with room for one or two more. If you know of a licensed psychotherapist who may be interested, please encourage him or her to contact Director of Training Maxine Anderson (206.956.4446) for an informational interview to evaluate whether psychoanalytic training is a viable option.
As indicated in the Letter from the President, some of those who will be attending the IPA Congress in Prague gathered at the Sorrento Hotel on Sunday, June 23 (4:00 to 6:00 pm) to share ideas about how to promote the organization and increase our visibility as a component society to colleagues at this important international gathering. As EBOR Co-Chair, Caron Harrang will also be talking with prospective keynote speakers in Prague and encouraging attendance for our tenth conference planned for October 17-19, 2014. We hope that all of you attending the IPA Congress will do the same and help spread the word about EBOR 2014. We have a beautiful EBOR Save-the-Date postcard available at NPS. If you are going to the conference please feel free to stop by and pick up a few to take with you to the conference and share with colleagues you may meet.
In a sense, every time any one of us talks to colleagues about our activities as candidates and psychoanalysts, whether it is here at home or while attending a conference halfway around the world, we are engaged in outreach. In other words, outreach regarding psychoanalysis as a form of treatment, and NPS as an educational organization dedicated to training psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapists, is up to each of us, and not only those on the Outreach Committee. If you are a member of NPS (or interested in becoming one) and would like to join us in reaching out to the local community, please get in touch with Caron Harrang at 206.264.4860.
Publications Committee - David Jachim
Lynn Cunningham (candidate representative)
David Jachim (Chair)
Our newsletter, Selected Facts (SF), continues to thrive under the expert leadership of Managing Editor Caron Harrang and Assistant Managing Editor Maxine Nelson. As you will see in this edition, SF is replete with news about NPS and psychoanalysis at large. In addition, we are anticipating that the fall 2013 edition of SF will include summary articles and personal reflections on the IPA Congress in Prague being held this summer.
Our website (www.nps.us.com) continues to be frequently updated with the latest information about our society and training institute. One new feature, the NPS calendar, can be found on the home page. This calendar will provide you with all the important upcoming dates from international conference events to NPS committee meetings.
If you would like to submit a comment or an article for publication in Selected Facts, please contact Managing Editor Caron Harrang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep reading and have a great summer!
Building Committee - Dana Blue and Caron Harrang
Dana Blue (Co-chair)
Lynn Cunningham (candidate representative)
Caron Harrang (Co-chair)
NPS has received a significant boon. A library of major psychoanalytic journals dating back many decades, a gift from NCP, has now been installed in the south classroom.These journals are a wonderful addition to the NPS library, and in their handsome new shelving, add a touch of academic gravitas to the new space.
We are hoping to establish a borrowing system in the next few months. In the meantime, please enjoy the journals while at NPS, but do not borrow them until we have a library system in place. Moreover, if there is anyone who would like to volunteer to catalogue our now significantly enlarged library (enter titles into a database and create numeric labels for manuscripts), please let the NPS Building Committee, Co-Chaired by Dana Blue and Caron Harrang, know of your interest.
Another addition to the classroom scene is our sleek new projector, which works off thumb drive or laptop input. It has been in use in classes, Scientific Meetings, community offerings, and by the NPS Board since February 2013.
Further, new artwork has been installed near the administration desk, and a lively sprout-green bulletin board now hangs near the mailboxes to facilitate the flow of information. More improvements for enhanced comfort and inspiration are in the planning stages. Look for a Founders Wall of photographs, among other developments, in the near future.
Scientific Meetings - Jeffrey Eaton
Jeffrey Eaton (Chair)
Scientific Meetings feature original papers, or classical psychoanalytic papers chosen for their relevance to contemporary psychoanalytic understanding, presented by our psychoanalyst members. These presentations provide a venue for discussion and debate of evolving psychoanalytic theory and its application in clinical practice. Scientific Meetings are open to members of the Society and to other mental health professionals (including graduate students in medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, and other mental health disciplines) interested in learning more about psychoanalysis, generally, and about the British Object Relations approach, in particular. For those who may be considering advanced training in psychoanalysis, these meetings provide an excellent way of getting to know our analyst members, most of whom also teach in the Institute. Check the website calendar later this summer for information on meetings scheduled for the 2012-13 academic year.
This year we had a lively season of Scientific Meetings in the new NPS home on First Avenue. Attendance was strong, with an average of twenty-two people at each meeting. Adriana Prengler, Judy K Eekhoff, Jeff Eaton, Oscar Romero, and Shierry Nicholson gave original papers. Caron Harrang and Robert Oelsner inaugurated a new feature by presenting significant papers by psychoanalysts Harold Searles and Heinrich Racker as part of a plan that invites analysts to introduce our community to authors they feel have made particularly compelling contributions to psychoanalysis.
As chair of the Scientific Meetings committee, I want to thank all the presenters for sharing their work. I also want to thank those who attended for taking time to engage in the meetings. And I want to give a special thank-you to Barb Sewell for all the work she did to organize the logistics of each meeting. I'm also grateful to the others who helped Barb with setting up, taking registration, and cleaning up.
I anticipate an equally lively new season, with analysts presenting both original papers and papers by their favorite authors. Our goal is to continue to work on creating a space for discussion and for discovering, opening, and thinking through questions about analytic work today. I hope these meetings become events that people look forward to attending and to taking part in.
To see our calendar of Scientific Meetings click here .
NPS Institute News
The Education Committee consists of the Director of Training, Dean of Students, Candidate President, and committee chairs from Curriculum, Progression, Faculty Development, Outreach, and Training Analysts. The Director of Training chairs the EC and is head of the NPS Institute. The first report below pertains to the EC as a whole. Subsequent reports are from each of the subcommittees.
Education Committee - Maxine Anderson
Maxine Anderson (Chair and Director of Training)
Dana Blue (Dean of Students)
Caron Harrang (Outreach)
Julie Hendrickson (Candidate President)
Esti Karson (Faculty Development)
Mirta Berman-Oelsner (Training Analysts)
David Rasmussen (Curriculum)
Marianne Robinson (Progression)
For an overview of the Education Committee's recent activities, see the Letter from the Director of Training (above).
Curriculum Committee -
Joshua Cohen (candidate representative)
David Rasmussen (Chair)
During fall quarter 2013, Barbara Sewell will become the Chair of the Committee, and David Rasmussen will stay on the Committee as a member. The Curriculum Committee has been engaged in coordinating faculty teaching assignments for the next four years of psychoanalytic training at the Institute. Since we will have a new class beginning fall quarter 2013, there will be two didactic seminars each week in addition to a clinical seminar. The Friday training schedule is as follows: Infant Observation (12:30-1:55 pm), Didactic Seminar (2:05-3:25 pm), and Clinical Seminar (3:35-5:00 pm).
Other responsibilities of the Curriculum Committee include reviewing candidate feedback about courses and faculty to improve the quality of the training program, assisting faculty in development of syllabi, and maintaining oversight and coordination of courses taught at NPS. Ample input from faculty and candidates helps the committee fulfill its mission.
Faculty Development Committee - Esti Karson
Esti Karson (Chair)
Faculty Development Special Event-Saturday, November 9, 2013
In our last issue of Selected Facts, we announced that Deborah Cabaniss, MD FIPA, a prominent expert in psychoanalytic education from Columbia University, will come to Seattle for a full-day experiential learning conference. The goal of the event is to delve into the topic of teaching psychoanalysis. We are sponsoring her visit in conjunction with SPSI, and it is our intention that faculty and candidates from both institutes will grapple together with the complexity of optimizing the transmission of psychoanalytic knowledge and expertise to candidates.
Because of its experiential nature, Deborah Cabaniss recommended that we keep the conference small, and, as such, attendance will be limited. Our faculty has been overwhelmingly keen on participating. The Education Committee has decided that candidates will be offered a place in the conference based on their progression status. The Education Committee is planning a post-training event for interested candidates and faculty so that what is learned can be shared with those who are unable to attend.
The event will cost $120 for faculty and $80 for candidates. Location and exact hours of the event are still being worked out.
Progression Committee -
David Parnes (candidate representative)
Marianne Robinson (Chair)
The mission of the Progression Committee is to monitor and support candidates' development throughout the course of psychoanalytic training at Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society. The goal of this undertaking is to ensure that candidates fulfill the requirements necessary for graduation and realize their potential as psychoanalysts.
We completed our yearly individual meetings with each candidate and hosted a meeting with supervisors in order to promote candidate development. Our work over the summer, in addition to reviewing reports that may come in, will focus on revising and updating the Candidate Handbook. This will be done in tandem with writing our contribution for the NPS accreditation process for ACPE.
We congratulate our candidates on completing another year of training and look forward to greeting the new class in the fall.
Training Analysts Committee -
Mirta Berman-Oelsner (Chair)
Judy K Eekhoff
The Training Analysts Committee holds monthly meetings in which all NPS training analysts are invited to participate. It is a forum where themes and issues related to training analysis and educative consultations are discussed. The goal of these meetings is to enrich our experience and to be open and creative to the challenges that the task brings to us and to the Institute.
Lynn Cunningham, Reporter
The Idea of a Compendium
In June, we fifth-year NPS candidates will complete our didactic course work. After the years of instruction and discussions drawn from many experienced theorists and clinicians, we have some idea of how to think about the varieties of human suffering as well as a modicum of experience with a technique for interpreting what a patient can't know as a silent monologuist. According to Merriam Webster, a compendium "gathers together and presents in concise or in outline form all the essential facts and details of a subject." Yet this definition, when applied to the subject of psychoanalysis, feels impractically arbitrary and overly optimistic. I believe the rest of my cohort would agree that our take-away feels modest at best, compared to the challenges of the task. Our instrument needs more polishing, honing, and fine-tuning-gerunds that signify continuance.
At least, we're no longer taken by surprise when reminded that psychoanalysis is a craft that demands we listen and hear, think and feel, engage and remain objective, and use words and language in a very particular way. We even expect our curiosity, intellect, and emotions to be routinely stimulated in unforeseen ways. No, we acknowledge we're not in the business of magic, but "it would be magic," says Freud, "if it worked rather quicker" (SE 20: 197). Now that our formal instruction is ending, the way is open for us to be unlike our analytic parents, whose contributions are being transformed in the internalization process, and to become our own style of analyst. Just at the moment though, I can't help but recognize that the recent deaths of several fine psychoanalysts mean we are relegated to drawing guidance and wisdom from their published words and the possibility of listening to new thoughts presented in a just-completed paper, as accessing personal supervision is no longer realizable. What is opening up, however, is the opportunity to study their thoughts again, bringing more to the next reading, as well as turning to the many creative minds that were excluded from our compendium for the perennial reasons of space, time, and subjective choice. As a cohort, we may also find ourselves drawing on and offering up our own increasing understanding and skills.
Today, I'm speculating that if Freud were here for our last class, he would propose a final, brief, verbal manual: one directive for the patient - "to say whatever goes through your mind" (SE 12: 135) - and the other to the analyst - "the only really serious difficulties he has to meet lie in the management of the transference" (SE 12: 159). But in addition to this straightforward advice, I believe Freud would instruct us to pay attention to other compendiums, especially those of literature, which is a great teacher about the human heart. "Science," he argues, "allows a gulf to yawn between the hereditary and constitutional preconditions of a delusion and its creation" that the literary author fills (SE 9: 53). Thomas Ogden, a modern psychoanalytic theorist, makes a similar argument in Rediscovering Psychoanalysis (2009, p. 61), about how poetry and fiction offer an experience in "ear training" that refines our capacity to be aware of the effects of how language is being used. "Words," he continues, "are not ornaments,...nor are they packages in which information is transported from writer to reader. Words in a story - whether it be a work of fiction or an analytic narrative - create experiences to be lived by the reader" (p. 63). And so, I find the idea of a compendium quite reductive in contrast to the idea of continuance contained in the gerunds sprinkled throughout this text. These words are a gentle reminder to the candidate that psychoanalytic learning is a work in progress, wherein one is continually learning, growing, and becoming.
Lynn Cunningham, LICSW, is a candidate at Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and a member of the Publications Committee.
|Members in Action|
Joshua Cohen, Reporter
Learning from the Master
If we only arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. - Rilke
On March 30, 2013, a rather extraordinary event occurred. NPS, a British Object Relations oriented training institute, invited the heretic Lacan in from the cold. Oscar Romero, MD FIPA, a training analyst at both NPS and SPSI, presented a paper on the work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, entitled "Lacan Remembered...On Time." Both Lacan, the person, and his work have a reputation for being notoriously difficult - a reputation that is well earned. He was kicked out of the IPA in 1963 for his practice of the variable length session. Lacan, like the surrealists he kept company with, prized provocation. Some have argued that Lacan's ideas are merely a lot of sound and fury...signifying nothing. It is not hard to imagine that the same criticism was also leveled against Freud in his time. Not unlike a foreign language heard for the first time, Lacanese can sound like gibberish. But like the work of Freud, Klein, and Bion, Lacan's work rewards continued effort. Given the terrible intellectual thicket and forbidding territory that is Lacanian psychoanalysis, Oscar Romero provided the kind of guidance that is inevitably needed when entering into what, for many, is the unknown continent of Lacanian psychoanalysis.
Lacan often spoke of his work as a "return to Freud." He sought to emulate the spirit of Freud and the Freudian revolution in thought. "It is up to you to be Lacanians if you wish. I am a Freudian." He was also quite deliberate in evoking the experience of psychoanalysis and unconscious communication in his writings and in his famous Paris Seminars. These seminars were held from 1953 to 1981 and were attended by young and old, by people from various disciplines, as well as by some of the great intellectual minds of the 21st century. He was good friends with Martin Heidegger and such good friends with Georges Bataille that he stole Bataille's wife. His playful use of language and puns was a calculated attempt to imitate the unconscious. As with reading Bion, Lacan evokes the very experience he is describing. The unconscious, as anyone who has worked with dreams or the transference knows, can be utterly baffling (Freud spoke of the navel of the dream, as that part which is utterly inscrutable). Romero's presentation was in stark contrast with this sort of approach. Where Lacan can be obscure and enigmatic, Romero was clear and concise. I think I am not alone in feeling awed by the cogency and clarity of Oscar Romero's paper. Not unlike the way an analyst translates unconscious material, Romero translated Lacan for us. And what a beautiful translation it was.
To read more click here.
Maxine Nelson, Reporter
The "Face" in Aesthetics and Psychoanalysis
Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA, presented her paper "Now It Looks at Me: Aesthetic Experience and the Work of Psychoanalysis" on April 17, 2013, as part of the NPS Scientific Meetings series. Shierry's paper was also presented this spring at the conference "On Aesthetics and Psychoanalysis" at Simon Frazer University in Vancouver, BC.
Shierry has a unique background that links her long-term interest in aesthetics with her training in psychoanalysis, specifically British Object Relations. She received a PhD in literature and philosophy from Cornell University and, while there, studied with Theodor Adorno, who founded the Frankfurt School of Critical Social Theory. Shierry has translated a number of Adorno's books, as well as books by Juergen Habermas and other members of the Frankfurt School. She has given many papers on Adorno's work at academic conferences and, in 1997, published Exact Imagination, Late Work: On Adorno's Aesthetics (MIT Press). After many years of teaching in colleges and universities, most recently in the Environment and Community program at Antioch University Seattle, a program she designed, Shierry entered analytic training at NPS, where I was fortunate enough to be part of her cohort. Currently, in addition to her clinical work and teaching at both NPS and SPSI, Shierry maintains a small studio where she creates sculptural forms out of stone. Her work has been exhibited in several Seattle venues.
Shierry began her presentation by naming six key metaphors that she used to describe the processes at work in both aesthetic and psychoanalytic experience: face, field, enigma, rhythm, metaphor, and configuration. She then went on to elaborate on them, referencing authors from diverse fields, including Adorno, Sigmund Freud, Hans Loewald, Donald Meltzer, Thomas Ogden, Adrian Stokes, Walter Benjamin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and C.H. Waddington. She explained that the title of her paper, "Now It Looks at Me," came from the painter Paul Klee's description of the moment when a painting "acquires a face." Adrian Stokes, an analysand of Melanie Klein, took up this notion in his essay "Form in Art" (1959) when he described the face as an indispensable metaphor for the work of art. Although Shierry didn't reference Klein's concept of the depressive position explicitly, she alluded to it in her description of the face as "that aspect of the work that has compacted and articulated itself into a separate and enduring other object...."
To read more click here.
Daniel Benveniste, Reporter
Robert Oelsner on Racker:
Countertransference as a Technical Tool
Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA, presented "Countertransference as a Technical Tool Then and Now: Racker's Work Standing the Test of Time" at the May 15 NPS Scientific Meeting. It was a presentation that incorporated the history of the concept of countertransference and Heinrich Racker's important contributions pertaining to the technical use of countertransference. He also introduced some of his own reflections and examples from his clinical practice and led a fascinating conversation that ended on time but all too early, as the enthusiasm it generated could have kept us going all night.
Freud initially saw the resistance and transference as obstacles to treatment and later saw them as essential parts of the clinical picture that must be dealt with in the treatment. He also saw the countertransference as an obstacle to treatment but never changed his view on that. While Theodore Reik and Wilhelm Reich had both written on the importance of the analyst using his or her intuition, the countertransference continued to be viewed as an obstacle to the analyst's clear perception of the patient, and it was seen as a problem best dealt with in a further analysis of the analyst. But nine years after Freud's death, Paula Heimann, in London, and Heinrich Racker, in Buenos Aires, independently introduced ideas which transformed the concept of countertransference from a problem of the analyst that becomes an obstacle in the analysis, to an inevitable component of the analytic dialogue in which the subjective experiences of the analyst are seen as being partially derived from the patient's psychological impact on the analyst. While both Heimann and Racker had arrived at similar ideas, Racker developed his ideas on countertransference to a much greater extent.
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Dave Parnes, Reporter
Carolyn Steinberg, MD's paper "The Mother Who Didn't See Her Baby and the Hospital That Didn't See the Psychiatrist," published in 2006, has been included in the newly created Single Case Archive (www.singlecasearchive.com) as one of the first 450 single case studies listed. The archive is an on-going compilation of clinical and empirical single case studies of psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapies published in ISI-ranked journals. These case studies were screened by an international group of researchers for basic information on patient, therapist, type of therapy, and research method employed. The objective of the online archive is to facilitate the study of case studies for research, clinical, and teaching purposes.
Carolyn is a child psychiatrist and a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC. She specializes in Infant and Preschool Mental Health and started an Early Childhood Mental Health Program in Richmond, British Columbia. She is currently an NPS Community Member and will be a candidate in the upcoming NPS psychoanalytic training program starting in September 2013.
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On May 18, 2013, Shierry Weber Nicholsen, PhD FIPA, offered a three-hour seminar entitled "Introduction to French Psychoanalysis." This seminar, presented through the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, provided participants with an orientation to some of the key ideas in the French tradition, including the work of Lacan, Laplanche, and Green. Significant contributions by the French analysts in the areas of temporality and psychosomatics were reviewed. Cecile Bassen, MD FIPA, moderated the seminar.
Shierry will also be coordinating a study group for clinicians preparing to attend the Congress of French-Speaking Analysts (with simultaneous translation into English) in Montreal in May 2014.
Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA, a graduate of NPS, is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle. She serves on the faculties of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and is a frequent presenter to groups in the Seattle analytic community. She has an abiding interest in creativity and the arts and a current interest in French psychoanalysis.
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Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA will be offering a workshop and a clinical seminar in November and December of this year, both presented by the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study. The first, "Listening, Containing and Feeding-back in Analytic Therapy," will be a one-day workshop, held on Saturday, November 2. The workshop will explore a variety of questions, including: What are verbal and paraverbal communications? What do we really mean by "containing" the client's anxieties? How does our work disturb to bring about change? How do our minds work when under-stimulated? In November and December, Robert Oelsner will be offering a clinical seminar entitled "The Scene Behind the Scene." In this six-session seminar, clinical material will be used to understand the various roles the therapist plays in the client's mind and how best to use that for the benefit of the treatment. "The Scene behind the Scene" addresses the dimension of creativity and discovery that the analytic approach facilitates.
Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA, is a training and supervising analyst at NPS.
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NPS was well represented at the 39th Congress of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society in Vancouver, British Columbia, on June 7-8, 2013. Presenters included the following:
Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA, Elie Debbané, MD FIPA, and Marianne Robinson, PhD FIPA, participated in the panel "Three Perspectives on the Caesura" (Parts 1 and 2).
Esti Karson, PhD FIPA, presented "Nowhere to Go: When Psychic Equilibrium Prevails."
Mirta Berman-Oelsner, FIPA, and Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA, participated in the panel "The Mind Against Itself: Disorders of Thought as a Distinct Psychopathological Entity."
Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA, was a discussant for Congress Keynote speaker Michael Parsons, from the British Psychoanalytic Society, and she presented the paper "The Analytical Work of Evocation."