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NPSI Board of Directors
Letter from the Director of Training
Letter from Candidate President
Regional and International News
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Institute News
Members in Action
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Selected Facts
Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic
Society and Institute

Fall/Winter 2014

Maxine Nelson Welcome to the special Fall/Winter 2014 edition of Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. You'll notice a number of changes in personnel for the newsletter. Former Assistant Managing Editor Maxine Nelson has stepped into the role of Managing Editor while Anna Delacroix is continuing as our very capable copy editor. Together with reporters Lynn Cunningham and Dave Parnes we look forward to bringing you the current news, events, essays, photographs and reports pertinent to NPSI and our geographically diverse readership. We want to thank Caron Harrang, former Managing Editor, who so adeptly shaped and guided Selected Facts, beginning with our inaugural issue in May 2012.


To our new and returning readers, we hope you find this issue interesting and useful in keeping up to date on what has been happening at Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. As regular features, we have letters from the President, Director of Training, and Candidate President, along with committee reports from the NPSI Society and Institute. I want to thank outgoing President David Jachim for his years of dedicated service and welcome Caron Harrang in this, her first letter to the community as our new President.


This issue features a report and several essays about the recently concluded Tenth International Evolving British Object Relations Conference held in Seattle in October. Special thanks to co-chairs Dana Blue and Caron Harrang, as well as the EBOR conference committee, for producing an outstanding conference that contributes to our awareness of what is evolving in psychoanalytic theory from a British Object Relations perspective. And, related to international news, we want our readers to be aware of the upcoming International Psychoanalytical Association Congress in Boston in July 2015.


As has been customary, we are also pleased to present news related to the professional accomplishments of our individual candidate, analyst, and community members in a section we call "Members in Action." This month features acknowledgement of the participation of most the NPSI community in EBOR 2014 as well announcements regarding several members, including Maxine Anderson, Jeffrey Eaton, Shierry Nicholsen, and Adriana Prengler.


If you have questions or comments about the articles we publish, or if you are a member with an idea for a story or want to join the newsletter staff, please write to me here. Also, feel free to forward the newsletter to individual colleagues who may not be on our mailing list. Forwarding directions are at the bottom of every issue. The next issue of Selected Facts will be published in the Spring (June).



Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA

Managing Editor


Anna Delacroix, MA LMHC 

Copy Editor

NPSI Board of Directors



President: Caron Harrang 

Past-President: David Jachim 

Recording Secretary: Hollee Sweet 

Secretary-Treasurer: Maxine Nelson 



Maxine Anderson

Dana Blue

Adriana Prengler 

Julie Hendrickson (Candidate representative/non-voting)

Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute 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

Caron Harrang

In this my first letter to you as President, I wish to begin by expressing my heartfelt appreciation for the stabilizing work that David Jachim did during his presidency, leaving the organization in a state of security and soundness that I hope to build upon during my term. I also want to thank Maxine Nelson for taking the reins of managing this newsletter, freeing me up to focus on tasks associated with governance of a psychoanalytic society and institute.


In preparing for this new responsibility, I drew inspiration from the great writer-turned-politician Vaclav Havel who notes, "Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good." Havel's definition of hope is required in our clinical work and equally so in the effective management of a psychoanalytic organization. In both settings, one needs hope and a high tolerance for uncertainty to remain open to emerging opportunities for growth.


Before sharing some of my hopes NPSI going forward, I'd like to note a few of the changes in our organization since the last issue that engender optimism for continued growth. In September, we initiated our first study group for analyst members on the clinical applications of Bion's ideas described in Donald Meltzer's Studies in Extended Metapsychology and taught by Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA. This group will meet monthly for two years and is, hopefully, the first of many such offerings by leading analysts for post-didactic candidates, analysts, and community members.


At the annual Membership Meeting (October 1, 2014) when I became President, David Jachim moved into his role as Past-President, Maxine Nelson was elected Secretary-Treasurer, and Maxine Anderson was re-elected Director of Training. Marianne Robinson completed her term as Treasurer and stepped down from the Board. It is noteworthy that Marianne has served on the Board of Directors continuously, except for one year, since the organization's inception in 1999. Her thoughtful presence and intelligent leadership will be sorely missed and ever appreciated by those of us who endeavor to carry on.


Also in October, NPSI hosted its tenth International Evolving British Objects Relations Conference at the picturesque Pan Pacific Hotel here in Seattle. A full report on this highly regarded special event is detailed below.


Since the Spring issue we have received several donations to the NPSI library from analyst and artist colleagues, including Jennifer Kunst's Wisdom from the Couch: Knowing and Growing Yourself from the Inside Out, which Jim Grotstein describes as providing "a much needed bridge enabling the sophisticated field of psychoanalytic theory and practice to make common sense without compromising its complexity." Former EBOR plenary presenter and contributor to this newsletter Meg Harris Williams has graciously donated a copy of her new novel, Hamlet in Analysis: Horatio's Story-A Trial of Faith, which demonstrates how a talented author can meld characters from great literature with a nuanced and imaginative appreciation of what it means to be a psychoanalyst. Our longstanding colleague and friend from the Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association, David Rosenfeld, has donated two of his books: The Body Speaks: Body Image Delusions and Hypochondria and The Creation of the Self and Language: Primitive Sensory Relations of the Child with the Outside World, the latter accompanied by a DVD titled, "Now I am a Real Kid: Treatment of Autism." It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge donations from two members of NPSI. Robert Oelsner has given us a copy of the collection he edited titled, Transference and Countertransference Today, which includes a chapter that he authored and another by Mirta Berman-Oelsner. Last, but certainly not least, Maxine Anderson has purchased and generously donated The Complete Works of W. R. Bion recently published by Karnac. NPSI Administrator Hollee Sweet is in the process of cataloguing our collection and will be glad to assist any member wishing to borrow a publication (except for Bion's Works) during her regular Friday afternoon office hours.


With an eye toward the future, the NPSI Board held its annual retreat in November to review our previous year's strategic plan and develop a vision for the current fiscal year and beyond. Although the details are still being finalized, proposals include formation of an Advisory Council to assist the Board in tasks related to financial reporting, fundraising, marketing, information technology, and organizational development. Plans are also being developed for enhanced support of our members through expanded opportunities for affiliation. Continued development of Institute functions, detailed in Maxine Anderson's letter as Director of Training, remain central to our strategic planning.


In closing, I'd like to invite each of you to consider your connection to NPSI and ask yourself what experience during 2014 stands out as most meaningful for you personally. Was it listening to a presentation or participating in a discussion at a Scientific Meeting? Was it attending an EBOR Pre-Conference Reverie Meeting or participating in the conference itself? Was it a relationship that formed or deepened as a result of learning together in a seminar, co-teaching with a colleague, or working with others on one of our committees? Was it reading this newsletter and feeling part of our community even though you reside in another part of the country or of the world? Then ask yourself, in consideration of your own creative energies and professional capabilities, what is one achievable thing you can do in 2015 to help us grow as a psychoanalytic membership organization and training institute? Then, as my predecessor David Jachim likes to say, "Get 'er done!"


Warm wishes for the holidays and a reverie filled New Year!


Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA, President   

Letter from the Director of Training  


Maxine Anderson

As I pen this letter on the eve of Thanksgiving, I am aware of several events and developments at NPSI which evoke gratitude. First and foremost are the attitudes of creativity, generosity, and intellectual curiosity that are increasingly evident amidst our NPSI community and generated, I believe, by mutual efforts to quest and to learn within an atmosphere of respect for different ideas. The recent EBOR experience is one example: for two years, a dedicated committee, co-chaired by Caron Harrang and Dana Blue, planned and carried forward the myriad details which resulted in a rich and substantive conference on an international scale. The benefits and beneficiaries of such a conference include all who participated, both presenters and audience. In addition, an afterglow of creativity spawned during that process continues within our community.


Another development is the energy of the new NPSI 'administration,' under the guidance of Caron Harrang as incoming President. Her vision for the continued growth of NPSI, including making our society more visible to national and international psychoanalytic communities, offers the potential for even more depth and vitality.


On another front, NPSI has been pursuing accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education (ACPE), an external credentialing body for psychoanalytic institutes in the USA. After over two years of preparation and submission of application, we have recently learned that a site visit regarding this application will be arranged soon.


In terms of Outreach to the community, we currently have two ongoing efforts. One is a series of four Wednesday evening Outreach Meetings to acquaint the therapeutic community with psychoanalytic ways of thinking. The general theme of the series is around dreams and dreaming, an extension of the theme of reverie from the EBOR conference in October 2014. Our intention in designing these meetings is to allow ample time for discussion and collegial interchange. The series will alternate with the Scientific Meetings and take place at NPSI (2701 First Avenue #120) from 7:15-9:00 pm. At the time of publication, the first of these Outreach Meetings will have taken place; the schedule for the remaining meetings follows:


November 19, 2014

Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA facilitated a wide-ranging discussion about the concepts of splitting and repression, oriented around a paper by Robert Hinshelwood.


January 2, 2015

Jeff Eaton, LMHC FIPA will facilitate discussion of the chapter on dreams from his book, A Fruitful Harvest: Essays after Bion.


March 18, 2015

Dave Parnes, LICSW will present his paper, "On Growth, a Gift and Goodbyes: Initial thoughts on a termination."


May 20, 2015

Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA will present a work in progress.


Our second Outreach effort is the development of a yearlong, weekly certificate course emphasizing the fundamentals of psychoanalysis. A faculty committee, chaired by Adriana Prengler, LMHC FIPA, is planning this program. More details will be announced in 2015.


So, there is much to be grateful for, but especially the energy and courage for diverse explorations within our British object relations perspective. In this way, we are all both agents and recipients of our outreach efforts.


Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA, Director of Training

Letter from Candidate President     


As the 2014-2015 academic year is well underway, it is refreshing to see a robust group of candidates working well together. What seemed evident as the Fall quarter began was a certain kind of balance and reciprocity amongst the different cohorts. Our newest group, now in their second year, brings a vitality and enthusiasm along with their substantial analytic learning and thinking selves while the "veteran" group offers a steadiness born out of experience and perseverance. Psychoanalytic training is a rigorous endeavor and to have a supportive, thoughtful, and lively group is vital to the evolution of one's training. It seems to me that the unique voices and contributions of all the candidates are being valued not only within the candidate group but also within the Institute as a whole.


This year's EBOR conference was a good example of candidates and faculty forming solid working groups. All of the candidates participated in some way--from serving on the planning committee to presenting papers and moderating discussions. It was also encouraging to facilitate a "Candidate Curious" lunch gathering at the conference. This meeting was intended to offer a forum for therapists considering psychoanalytic training to learn more and to ask questions about NPSI. In attendance were several NPSI analysts and candidates along with approximately 7-10 interested therapists. The level of interest from members of the Seattle community as well as from surrounding states was noteworthy. The candidates generally felt hopeful that we will soon have another group of candidates to join in this journey of becoming an analyst.


Looking forward to another fruitful year in training.


Nicole Wiggins, MA LMHC, Candidate President 

Regional and International News
Freud et al
6th International Psychoanalytical Association Congress, 1920, Hague

The 49th International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress, along with the 23rd International Psychoanalytical Studies Organization (IPSO) Conference, will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, July 22-25, 2015. The Congress theme is "CHANGING WORLD: The shape and use of psychoanalytic tools today."


Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA has been invited to be a co-discussant, along with Giovanni Battista Foresti, of one of the keynote presentations at the Congress. The paper, by Altamirando Andrade, is titled, "Recovering the Psychic Apparatus."


During the Congress, the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) will sponsor a gathering for candidates and members. Details about this will be forthcoming.


The North American Psychoanalytic Confederation (NAPsaC) will have a face-to-face Board meeting at the Waldorf Astoria on Saturday, January 17, 2105. Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA will attend as a director on the Board representing NPSI and Dana Blue, LICSW FIPA will attend as the alternate.  

NPSI Society News 


EBOR 2014 Report

by Dana Blue and Caron Harrang


The 10th International 

Evolving British Object Relations Conference

"From Reverie to Interpretation: Transforming thought into the action of psychoanalysis"

Sponsored by Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
and Institute - 
October 17-19, 2014


Two years in the planning, this EBOR was characterized by its inventive theme, thorough preparation, and friendly character. The design was developed and implemented by a small yet zealous working committee: Margaret Bergmann-Ness, Lynn Cunningham, Chris Owen, and Maxine Nelson, chaired by Dana Blue and Caron Harrang.


EBOR is always stimulating, gathering thinkers from around the globe to continue the work of advancing psychoanalytic theory. International participation and leading edge scholarship are its hallmarks. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the conference, we added several innovations in design. For example, we developed and offered a study group, the pre-conference reveries that convened in Seattle for 6 sessions in the year before the conference. This ensured that some of the participants would have a knowledge base related to the theme of reverie into interpretation that we hoped would enhance participation at the conference.


The conference was located at the four-star Pan Pacific Hotel in the South Lake Union neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The sophisticated, comfortable setting provided a stylish and intimate environment to hold the conference. For the first time, we solicited a handful of conference sponsors and are pleased to be able to thank them for their support: Jean Tarbox, Doug Ulrich, CFP, the Cunningham Family, Fran's Chocolates, and the American Association for Psychoanalysis and Social Work all contributed to the event. The Menninger Clinic was also our first ever EBOR exhibitor.


After selecting our theme, we invited plenary presenters working in the area of reverie with different emphases. We were very fortunate in our choices of Giuseppe Civitarese, MD FIPA of Italy, and Clara Nemas, MD FIPA of Argentina. From our initial contact, the plenaries were gracious and generous, giving interviews for us to post on-line, offering papers they had written, and joining with us to promote the conference locally and internationally. The call for individual papers generated a similarly generative response, with submissions arriving from the US and abroad, extending the concept of reverie into interpretation in novel directions and applying it to couple work, to child work, to infant observation, to dialogue with the work of Fairbairn and Strachey, and to the supervisory dimensions of analytic work. The program, with its interweaving themes and emphases, was gathered into a wonderful bouquet of offerings over the weekend of October 17-19, 2014.


Another advance was in the creation of a fundraiser, a first for NPSI. This event, titled "Midsummer Revelry," took place in June and featured a program offered by Julliard-trained pianist Ari Livne. It was a masterful performance, with proceeds from the event providing financial footing to offset some of the initial expenses of the conference. The Midsummer Revelry offered a seed of thought - the notion of reverie as a matrix for creativity of various kinds - that flowered at the October conference. Approaching the theme through the lens of creativity, we developed "The Art of Reverie," a two-evening integrated program open to conferees and the general public that helped to foster the extension of psychoanalytic thought into the broader community.


Friday evening, we opened the conference with presentations by Iraqi sculptor Sabah Al-Dhaher ("Reverie as Key to the 'Escape Within'") and Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA ("Working with Stone, Working with Psyche: The role of reverie in the process of making art and working with patients"). Saturday night, we enjoyed a film (The Hedgehog, USA release 2011) and subsequent discussion by Adriana Prengler, LHMC FIPA. This emphasis on art helped to enhance the feeling of reverie that pervaded the conference. Sculptural work by Sabah Al-Dhaher adorned the conference area throughout the weekend, offering conferees a visual echo to his powerful opening talk at Friday night's Art of Reverie panel.


For clinicians, the EBOR conference proper began on Friday afternoon when our distinguished plenary speakers led Master Classes, another first for EBOR. Each Master Class featured an experienced analyst (Leigh Tobias, a training analyst from Los Angeles with Dr. Nemas; Nancy Winters, a senior analyst from Portland with Dr. Civitarese) offering clinical material as a springboard to illustrate clinical and theoretical thinking provided by our plenary presenters.


If a conference is like a garden, the full harvest of ideas lies in the plenary presentations. Dr. Nemas offered a warm and thoughtful plenary presentation on Saturday morning entitled "Courage and Sincerity as a Basis for Reverie and Interpretation," followed by discussant remarks from Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA. The large group divided into smaller discussion groups afterwards to mull over her ideas, then moved on to individual paper presentations. Along with the luncheon, NPSI hosted a well-attended "Candidate Curious" meeting for those germinating a desire for future analytic training.


The afternoon session began with Dr. Civitarese's very stimulating paper entitled "Reverie and the Aesthetics of Psychoanalysis." Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA acted as discussant and the group remained as one for another hour to discuss Dr. Civitarese's contributions. The discussion was followed by individual paper presentations by Carl Bagnini, LCSW BCD; Diletta La Torre, FIPA (read by Rikki Ricard); Shelley Rockwell, PhD FIPA; Mark Gundry, PhD LPC; Gisela Klinckwort, FIPA; Donatella Lisciotto, FIPA (read by Julie Hendrickson); Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA and Carolyn Steinberg, MD; and a panel comprised of Margaret Bergmann-Ness, LICSW, Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA, Kerry Ragain, PhD, Barbara Sewell, LMHC FIPA, and Carolyn Steinberg, MD.


The final design innovation took place in the programming for Sunday morning. Montana Katz, PhD FIPA offered her paper, "The Timing of the Use of Reverie," as part of a final plenary entitled "Selected Short." Drs. Civitarese and Nemas shared their responses to her work in an integrating panel presentation that illustrated their respectfully differing and individually inspiring perspectives on reverie. After reports from the small group discussions of the previous day, conferees returned home, invigorated by new ideas and filled with nascent understandings from the conference. There is an intention to publish a set of conference proceedings; we promise to keep readers abreast of these developments.


EBOR 2014 was a highly successful conference, enriching our fledgling institute with new ideas and tangible resources. We strengthened connections and forged new links with colleagues from around the world. The offering was a project with community-wide support. Nearly all of our member analysts and candidates, along with many of our community members, participated in some way in the creation and production of this memorable event. A final contribution from EBOR 2014 is the creation of a comprehensive conference manual, organized by task over time, to help guide future conference planners. Special thanks to all who contributed, including our new and very capable NPSI Administrator, Hollee Sweet. For those who could not attend, we are happy to report that very high quality DVDs of the plenary presentations will be available for purchase soon. Stay tuned for details, as well as for news of our next EBOR.


Breaking news: Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA has tentatively volunteered to co-chair EBOR 2016 - if she can find a compatible and energetic co-chair. Maxine's dream theme would be "Countertransference and Enactment in the Field." If this topic inspires you, and you would like to contribute to EBOR history, please contact Maxine at .


We invited conference attendees to share their reflections on any aspect of the conference that was memorable to them and have included them as part of this report.




Reflections on "The Art of Reverie"

by Lynn Cunningham


It may sound strange to say, but I could almost feel my mind physically expanding to accommodate the new thoughts and feelings that weren't there before EBOR 2014. The peculiar sense of expansion began on Friday night with two presentations on "The Art of Reverie." Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA, sculptor and psychoanalyst, and Sabah Al-Dhaher, sculptor and painter, attempted to formalize the activity of reverie in their art making. Since I've always thought of artistic production as an offshoot of magic, I was excited at the prospect of learning how something exquisite can come from nothing particularly special, such as stone or coffee. In modest terms, art making begins in a state of reverie, a pastime in which an open, patient mind makes contact with the stone or with the coffee on paper, and where faith in what emerges supersedes the uncertainty of working toward an unknown outcome.


Perhaps the magical part of art making is the initial contact, the meeting of the immateriality of reverie and the material of stone or coffee. What is it that happens in that ephemeral moment of contact so that a new piece of art can come into existence where it hadn't existed before? Nicholsen says "something comes into the mind unbidden" and meets that "specific thing in the stone." The interplay between psyche and stone is an exclusive discourse, at times speaking through feelings of discomfort or pleasure and inspiring further work, until something appears that "belongs only to itself." By contrast, Al-Dhaher explains that in the beginning, the memories of his grief and trauma were transformed, and then conveyed "like magic, watching my hand flow with this beautiful dance between the brush and the white surface of the paper "until something was revealed that "I was not aware of in myself." In his case, Al-Dhaher didn't feel the intervention of his mind or conscious awareness but, instead, gave in to "a process of discovery," an activity of eloquent play that expressed something he felt was previously ineffable. After this cardinal experience, which enabled a clearing of sorts, Al-Dhaher finds that his work is now "a question of energy and not [a] story" needing to be told.


It seems that reverie associates most accurately to something beyond language: to something unbidden, something unknown, and to something magical. Something, as opposed to some thing, implies space for refining, changing, and evolving. Drawing on a different perspective of reverie from philosophy, Hans Jonas suggests,"the mind has gone where vision pointed," explaining with the use of metaphor how the sense of sight informs the intellect and emotions. Our gaze discloses the data for the mind to operate on and, unlike other senses that exist in sequence, sight gives us coexistence and simultaneous representation of the visual field. The content, Jonas reminds us, is "never simultaneously present as a whole, but is always in the making, always partial and incomplete," always adding to the scene ad infinitum from the stores of memory. Nonetheless, I wonder how the hands know the steps to the dance. Eventually, a moment arrives when something is known, the reverie halts, the art making ceases, and the piece comes to be art.



Al-Dhaher, S (2014). "Reverie as Key to the 'Escape Within.'"


Jonas, H (1966). "The Nobility of Sight: A Study in the Phenomenology of the Senses." In The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), pp. 135-156.


Nicholsen, S (2014). "Working with Stone, Working with Psyche: The role of reverie in the process of making art and working with patients."


Lynn Cunningham, PhD LICSW is a candidate at NPSI. She maintains a private practice in Seattle, Washington.




Reflections on EBOR 2014

by Sharon Grostephan


For me, EBOR is embodied in the people who attend and the process of experiencing and learning together. I feel so grateful to be one of the people who attended this year's EBOR, which included being able to spend two and a half days in the process and environment provided by the conference. The wonderful speakers, the papers, the amazing organization are always guaranteed. While these entities are not totally absent at other conferences, they can always be counted on at EBOR.


The process I've encountered at EBOR is not about arguing, proving your point or debating, but about listening with respect. I find this a very rare quality, even among professionals trained to listen carefully in their consulting rooms. It seems to me that each voice heard during the conference adds to the whole. There is no criticism, but an openness to learn. Does that mean everyone thinks alike? Absolutely not. How boring that would be. But differences are honored and appreciated, while being experienced as adding to the process. In a world where differences and different voices are attacked or destroyed, this is rare indeed.


The atmosphere of welcome and community is extended to everyone no matter where they come from. I am not from Seattle, but I feel welcomed and included by my fellow NPSI members as if I were there all the time. People come from all over the world, but for a few days we are all joined as a community of analytic thinkers struggling to learn from each other how to be better analysts, to think together, to feed each other, and to encourage each other to continue doing what we do. Going into analytic training some years ago, I remember thinking "What am I doing? I am learning to be a dinosaur!" I hope this will not prove true. I hope psychoanalysis can survive to offer our best work: hope and thinking to the world of healing in spite of the economic atmosphere we exist in at this point. I believe that we do this work because it is worth doing. Because, in spite of our doubts, our stress, and our lack of understanding, we continue to believe in what we do.  


Thank you to each individual who came to EBOR 2014, for who you are and for what you bring as an open, accepting person in the world of psychoanalysis. Thank you especially to the EBOR Organizing Committee: to Dana, to Caron, and to all who made this wonderful learning experience possible for me.


Sharon Grostephan, LICSW FIPA is on the faculty of NPSI. She maintains a private practice in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.




Reflections on the 2014 EBOR Conference

by Oscar H Romero


How could I write about the 2014 EBOR Conference without entering into my own reverie and without paying attention to the reverie evoked?


Seattle has been a good place for EBOR. This city of ours attracts reflection, reverie and action. It has been the city of WTO turmoil, guitar burning and grunge sounds. It is contained within the referents of human creativity and inventiveness manifested by aircraft building, software development, glass art, coffee processing and a great symphony orchestra. This coexisting and, more often, merging of art and science is what EBOR brought to us this year.


The coziness of the Pan Pacific Hotel contributed to a comfortable closeness between the participants. One table had information about the Menninger School of Psychiatry and the Menninger Clinic. Menninger's had been my first contact with living people immersed in psychoanalysis. My previous experience had been intellectual, reading Freud and Carl Menninger. Ever since those years at Menninger, I have become permanently immersed in psychoanalysis, for good and for bad.


On a hot summer in Topeka, Menninger's offered a barbecue to welcome a special guest from the world of art. Allen Ginsberg, invited by the school, was going to give a reading of his poetry. He was also visiting his lover who was undergoing an evaluation at the clinic. At the barbecue Ginsberg appeared joyful, exchanging thoughts, ideas and jokes with the other guests. He was also completely naked! It was the "Real" learning to Dream and vice versa, a dreaming of the real.


In the EBOR conference this year a naked truth in psychoanalysis moved around the conference rooms of the Pan Pacific Hotel bringing science and art together. Bringing dream and reality together, inviting reverie. Disposed of any luxurious garments the conference offered the essence of daring and risk-taking ideas that contribute to making psychoanalysis a vital endeavor.


One night, a few weeks before the EBOR conference, I arrived for a meeting at the building where NPSI functions. I was early and the place was empty except for two people talking in the area adjacent to the conference room. It was Jeff Eaton talking with a colleague. Jokingly, I asked them if they were plotting something, and with his characteristic shy and serious smile Jeff answered, "I am always plotting something!" This is the spirit of EBOR. This year it brought us powerful ideas, encapsulated in easy, friendly and sincere deliveries presented to us with honest humility.


I was highly impressed by the easiness of the participants when they were conversing with each other in formal and informal settings. I sensed the inspiring spirit of collegiality and respectful defiance of rigid positions. I sensed how as the conference evolved Clara Nemas became "Clara" and Giuseppe Civitarese became "Giuseppe." I was there also to learn and I did. For instance,


I learned from Clara that, in her words, "We need courage not only to sustain hope, but to admit our destructiveness, our wish to destroy something that is worth destroying." I learned from her the existence of a group reverie and that together with our understanding-and learning-of the scientific content of her presentation there were emotions elicited in us that we, as an audience, had to contain, tolerate, transform and follow in our oscillations. In addition, when alone in my consulting room, as she points out, I need a similar containment using the reverie function of the psychoanalytic part of my personality, even without seeking it, because "it is something that happens."  


Giuseppe reminded me that in my work with a patient, the patient and I are a small group and that I use my mind to transform the emotional turbulence produced by our unconscious communication. I associate this transformative function with the reverie function that Clara mentioned. She said that the reverie sometimes comes along "through a poem, a reminiscence or an unexpected occurrence." For Giuseppe, it comes as one of the different forms that the dreaming in a session takes. I learned from him to understand how reverie is one of the transformative functions that include real dreaming, somatic or corporeal reverie, transformation in hallucinosis, oneiric flashes and, to my surprise, an intentional transformation in dreaming.


I learned from both Clara and Giuseppe to maintain the courage and sincerity that allows me to welcome my awareness, and my ongoing development, of tolerance to my destructiveness, surprise, stupor and the effect of that "... slight shock which connotes any epiphany of meaning in analysis; that which can be said to render it truly sublime." (Civitarese)


Oscar H. Romero, MD FIPA is a Supervising and Training Analyst and a faculty member of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (NPSI) and the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (SPSI). He is in the private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis of adults in Seattle, Washington.




Publications Committee 

David Jachim


David Jachim Lynn Cunningham (Candidate representative)

Anna Delacroix

Caron Harrang

David Jachim (Chair)

Maxine Nelson

David Parnes


The mission of the Publications Committee is to provide relevant information about NPSI activities to NPSI members and the community at large. Our house organ, the Selected Facts newsletter, is published three times a year and carries news regarding NPSI events, member activities, commentaries, and articles relevant to the international psychoanalytic scene. This special Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Selected Facts contains articles and reviews related to the most recent International Evolving British Object Relations Conference sponsored by NPSI and held in Seattle last October. The NPSI website ( continues to be regularly updated with subject categories ranging from upcoming clinical offerings to psychoanalytic training opportunities at NPSI.


Scientific Meetings

Jeffrey Eaton


Jeff Eaton Jeffrey Eaton (Chair)

Barbara Sewell


The Scientific Meetings are a regular opportunity for faculty, candidates, and community members to gather to hear and discuss topics relevant to clinical practice by practicing psychoanalysts.


I would like to acknowledge the consistently reliable help of Barb Sewell and others that she recruits (including Lynn Cunningham, Anna Delacroix, and Julie Hendrickson) in setting up the meeting space, providing refreshments, and greeting people at the door. Thanks to their input, the atmosphere of the meetings is both cordial and creative. I am also grateful to each of the presenters for making the commitment to sharing their work with the NPSI community.


I am pleased to report the details of the Scientific Meetings Schedule for 2014-2015:


December 17, 2014

Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA

"Further Notes on Bion's Concept of 'Becoming'"


February 18, 2015

Shierry Nicholson, PhD FIPA

"The French and the Sacred Cow: Free Association reconsidered across psychoanalytic cultures"


April 15, 2015

Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA

"Breaking up, breaking down or breaking through: Descriptions of mental pain" 

NPSI Institute News


The Education Committee (EC) consists of the Director of Training, Dean of Students, Candidate President, and committee chairs from Curriculum, Faculty Development, Progression and Training Analysts. The Director of Training chairs the EC and is head of the 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; Training Analysts Committee)

Dana Blue (Dean of Students and Progression Committee)

Nicole Wiggins (Candidate President)

Esti Karson (Faculty Development)

Barbara Sewell (Curriculum Committee)


For an overview of the Education Committee's recent activities, see Letter from the Director of Training (above).




Curriculum Committee

Barbara Sewell


Joshua Cohen (Candidate representative)

Maxine Nelson

David Rasmussen

Barbara Sewell (Chair)


Primary Tasks of the Progression Committee:

  • To arrange teaching assignments for the Institute, including the didactic and clinical seminars.
  • To periodically evaluate the entire curriculum offered by the Institute.
  • To review each syllabus developed for the didactic seminars and offer suggestions to faculty who are preparing the syllabus for each seminar.
  • To review and discuss evaluation forms completed by candidates about each course and about each faculty member teaching each seminar, providing written and/or verbal feedback to faculty members based on candidate feedback.
  • To interface with the Education Committee, with the Chair of Curriculum Committee being a member of the EC, and to interface with the candidates through having a candidate representative on the CC.




Faculty Development Committee

Esti Karson


Esti Karson (Chair)


Many members of our faculty are currently part of a two-year study group on the work of Donald Meltzer led by Dr. Robert Oelsner. This group is under the aegis of NPSI and was only open to those who are full NPSI members. From the experience so far, it seems clear that this group will enrich its participants and grow their capacity to think about complex psychoanalytic phenomena.


The faculty development committee is considering additional ways to augment our faculty's continued growth as teachers of psychoanalysis. One thought that has emerged recently is to consider having a faculty process group where complicated and sometimes painful teaching issues can be thought about and where we can learn from one another. One option is to have this group facilitated by someone outside the Institute who could be Skyped in.  




Progression Committee

Dana Blue


Dana Blue 2 Dana Blue (Chair)

Judy K Eekhoff

David Parnes (Candidate representative)

Barbara Sewell


The mission of the Progression Committee is to monitor and support candidates' development throughout the course of psychoanalytic training at Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. The goal of this undertaking is to ensure that candidates fulfill the requirements necessary for graduation and realize their potential as psychoanalysts. The committee is composed of a chairperson and two to four full members of the society with appropriate experience and one candidate representative. The candidate representative does not attend the committee's discussions regarding individual candidates; rather, the candidate member serves as liaison between the committee and the candidate cohort on matters of policy and procedure.


The group is currently engaged with becoming a working group, has assigned file monitors and begun communication and case report reviews. We look forward to a productive year.




Training Analyst Committee

Maxine Anderson


Maxine Anderson (Chair)

Cecile Bassen

Mirta Berman-Oelsner

Elie Debbane

Judy K Eekhoff

Ken King

Robert Oelsner

Marianne Robinson

Oscar Romero


The committee holds monthly meetings in which NPSI 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.

NPSI Members in Action


In this section we feature brief reports on the individual activities of our analyst and community members.



Dave Parnes, Reporter David Parnes


The Tenth International Evolving British Object Relations Conference, held October 17-19, 2014 in Seattle, was a rousing success, in great part due to the many contributions of NPSI's membership. Friday night's "Art of Reverie" discussion, focusing on reverie and the creative process, included the work of Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA, sculptor and psychoanalyst. The "Art of Reverie" continued Saturday night, with a screening of the film The Hedgehog, followed by a discussion facilitated by Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA and Adriana Prengler, LMHC FIPA. Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA responded to the initial plenary presentation of the conference by Clara Nemas, MD FIPA, while Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA was the discussant for the second plenary paper presented by Giuseppe Civitarese, MD FIPA.


Members Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA and Barbara Sewell, LMHC FIPA, candidates Margaret Bergmann-Ness, LICSW and Carolyn Steinberg, MD, and community member Kerry Ragain, PhD presented their paper entitled, "Come on Hold a Baby's Hand: Psychoanalytic Reverie and Infant Observation." Robert Oelsner and Carolyn Steinberg co-presented a paper entitled, "Beta Elements in Search of Meaning or Little Hans Went Alone into the Wide World," with Mirta Berman-Oelsner, LMHC FIPA facilitating the ensuing discussion. Rikki Ricard, MA FIPA read "The Magnetic Compass of Reverie" (written by Diletta La Torre, FIPA, who was unable to attend the conference) and Julie Hendrickson, MA LMHC read "The Couple" (by Donatella Lisciotto, FIPA (who also could not attend). Community member Daniel Benveniste, PhD was facilitator for the discussion of a paper by Carl Bagnini, LCSW BCD, while candidates Joshua Cohen, MA LMHC, Lynn Cunningham, PhD LICSW, Anna Delacroix, MA LMHC, Becky Jackson, MA LMHC, and Nicole Wiggins, MA LMHC facilitated paper presentations for Mark Gundry, PhD LPC (Portland, OR), Donatella Lisciotto, FIPA (Italy), Gisela Klinckwort, FIPA (Germany), Diletta La Torre, FIPA (Italy), and Shelley Rockwell, PhD FIPA (Washington, DC) respectively. 



On September 20, 2014, Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA gave a talk entitled, "Free Association: The Paradoxical Heart of the Psychoanalytic Method." Her presentation, for the Center for Object Relations (COR), was part of COR's ongoing Saturday Descargas series. On November 8, 2014, Shierry presented her paper, "What Is Adorno Doing When He Listens to Music?" at the Adorno Conference at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. This paper was an expansion of the one she gave in Dublin, Ireland, in July 2014 at a conference called "Music, Marxism, and the Frankfurt School."


The paper presented by Shierry on the opening night of EBOR, "Working with Stone, Working with Psyche: The role of reverie in the process of making art and working with patients," will be published, along with some of the images from the accompanying slide presentation, in Rivista di Psicoanalisis, the Italian journal edited by Giuseppe Civitarese. Her paper "Enactments as Rescue Operations" will be published in the Revue Francaise de Psychanalyse in December 2014. This paper is a version of a talk she gave on a panel discussion of enactments at the Congress of French-Speaking Analysts in Montreal in May 2014. 



Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA presented a paper titled "From Emotion to Evolution" at the Bion in LA conference in October 2014. In November 2014, he was a panelist with Michael Paul, MD and Yvonne Hanson, PhD discussing Australian analyst Mark Howard, MD's presentation at the Frances Tustin Memorial Lecture that was held at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in Los Angeles.


In addition, Jeff contributed the chapter "Building a Floor for Experience: A Model for Thinking about Children's Experience" to the book Transgenerational Trauma and the Aboriginal Preschool Child: Healing Through Intervention, recently published by Rowman & Littlefield. Community member Sigrid Asmus served as project manager for the book, providing editing, proofreading, and other editorial expertise. 



Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA presented a paper at the International Bion Conference in Los Angeles in October 2014. This paper, "Notes on Bion's Concept of Becoming," was also presented at the NPSI Scientific Meeting in December 2014. 



On October 25, 2014, Adriana Prengler, LMHC FIPA was the discussant for the Alliance Community Psychotherapy Clinic's "A Different Point of View: A Clinical Case Discussion."

In the Spring 2014 issue of Selected Facts, a review by Marian Joycechild, "On Experiencing Donald Meltzer," stated: "along with Meg Harris Williams, he [Robert Oelsner] holds the unpublished works of Meltzer." The review should have indicated that the Harris Meltzer Trust holds the copyright to the published and unpublished works of Donald Meltzer. 


The review also omitted the published source of the following quote by Meltzer found in The Vale of Soulmaking: The Post-Kleinian Model of the Mind by Meg Harris Williams (Karnac, 2005, p. 182): 


"The first step is to recognize that the state of 'observation' is essentially a resting state. Second, that it is also a state of heightened vigilance. I compare it with waiting in the dark for deer, grazing at night, visible only by their flashing white tails. This nocturnal vigilance is on the alert for movement of the quarry, part object minimal movements, which with patience can be seen to form a pattern of incipient meaning 'cast before.' This catching of the incipient meaning cast before is a function of receptive imagination, 'open to the possible,' unconcerned with probability. Being rich with suspense, it is necessarily fatiguing, even exhausting. However, it is a poetry generator."


Selected Facts Next Issue Deadline


The next issue of Selected Facts will be published in June 2015. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2015.


Please feel free to contact Maxine Nelson with general questions or either of our reporters with news items or ideas for stories.


Maxine Nelson
Managing Editor
Anna Delacroix
Copy Editor
Lynn Cunningham
David Parnes