On September 12, I wrote to you welcoming everyone back after the summer recess, highlighting some of the progress that the Board and Institute committees, and the administration were making quietly during the summer. Since that time, classes have begun, and our programs have resumed for the Fall. In this current edition of our biannual Newsletter, you can read about several initiatives, upcoming programs, and the exciting work that continues throughout our Center.
Please take a few moments to peruse the photos of our new PSP1 class members and read their brief bios. Each year we have been impressed by how accomplished our students already are. This year is no exception as they join the accomplished PSP2 cohort and our candidates who are in analytic training. As faculty and supervisors, we hope to deepen their knowledge of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and their skills in psychoanalytic technique as we introduce them to multiple lenses from which to engage their patients in this work that we call psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. We strive to do this respectfully and incorporating and addressing diversity in its many shapes and forms. On October 15, there was a welcome reception for all our trainees and several of our faculty. We hope to have many more such receptions throughout the year so that members and students can meet each other in person prior to our Graduation and Awards Ceremony in June. If you were not invited to the first one, do not despair. We will try to include more faculty and members in the upcoming months.
Our Membership Committee has announced in person get-togethers for our members as well as Zoom meetings so that we can feel more connected to one another, even as Covid threatens to dampen these attempts. Keep an eye out for these emails and invitations.
David Cooper has written about the Ombuds Committee and their work over the summer to move this initiative to a working, functioning committee that is ready to be utilized should we need to do so. The committee members edited the document making it a cleaner, clearer, and more readable document. It will be added to the website once our lawyers at Hogan and Lovell have vetted it. The committee voted for David as chair and he has graciously accepted the position. Raquel Adams has similarly graciously agreed to be Deputy Chair. With much gratitude, thank you both. Our new deans, Anne Adelman and Terri Judge have also been meeting, trying to do the same for their new positions. I believe you will be hearing more from them soon.
Our Treasurer, Cary Gold, has written a short piece clarifying a question he and the Board are often asked: If we have such a large endowment, why can’t we reduce dues, tuition, the cost of programs, etc.? We are fortunate to have the Mellon bequest to keep us running, but Cary clarifies the confusion around this bequest and spells out the restrictions mandating its use for supporting the operating costs of our Center.
Debbie Feldheim and Joy Kassett have been approved by the Board to develop a Community Psychoanalysis Certificate program that will be housed under the Program Management Committee. They plan to have it up and running for the first cohort next September. The certificate program that Debbie and Joy write about is the culmination of several years study, and we are very excited to sponsor this new program. Please read about the future of psychoanalysis and its expansion into the social.
Lizbeth Moses has been working tirelessly with the American Psychoanalytic Association Department of Psychoanalytic Education (DPE) and the Psychoanalyst in the Community group to develop a magnificent conference slated for March 16-17: The Unseen: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, and the Future of Community Psychoanalysis. The keynote speakers are Francisco J González, MD, Kimberlyn Leary PhD., ABPP, and Daniel Gaztambide, PsyD. Along with several other Centers who are leading the charge in community psychoanalysis, we will also be co-sponsoring this hybrid conference. It looks to be a fabulous opportunity. Please read Lizbeth’s article on this conference!
Several persons in leadership have signed up for Balint Group Leadership Training next month as we try to better address issues that arise in classes and in other large and small group settings, and within the organization as a whole. We will report back to you about this training. In addition, the Community Psychoanalysis Certificate program plans to make Balint groups a cornerstone of their work. More on this initative after this training has occurred.
Finally, please take the time to read about these and other initiatives and focuses within the Center. Terri Judge recognizes our many volunteers and encourages every member to participate. We have so many excellent, ongoing programs, and we depend on our volunteers’ generosity. Within the Board and the Institute, we have a mandate to make the Center a more equitable, welcoming, and respectful Center. Please reach out to me and/or others in leadership, if you have ideas of how to do so. We welcome your ideas and your perspectives and genuinely want to know how we are doing addressing issues – what we are doing well and what we need to improve on.
To borrow an important phrase: Together we can! I/we mean that. I/we welcome you, your ideas, and your help.
Yvonne De Cuir,
President, WBCP Board