One of the most important and enduring neighborhood relationships that the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis (WBCP) maintains is with Jubilee JumpStart, a thriving and innovative Child Care Center in the Adams Morgan section of Washington DC.
As is fitting for the neighborhood, Jubilee JumpStart is a bi-lingual center where children in each classroom, many arriving as young as six-weeks old, are exposed to a continual stream of English and Spanish. The vast majority of these children come from families who have fled war-torn parts of the world, only to encounter violence and chaos on the streets of Washington. While these families continue to struggle with issues around employment, housing and general well-being, they know that their babies (ages 6 weeks to 5 years) are spending their days in a safe, nurturing and developmentally sound environment.
The relationship between WBCP and Jubilee JumpStart began at a time when the psychoanalysts from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and Society were transforming their organization into a Center, with the intention of aligning psychoanalytic study and practice more intimately with the wider community. A relationship that began tentatively and experimentally, as it was new ground for the WBCP and most of its members, has emerged into a lasting and productive relationship.
The Work Discussion
As one aspect of this partnership, the WBCP psychoanalysts and the Jubilee teachers have created a unique process, known as Work Discussion, in which, through weekly meetings, teachers learn the art of separating what they actually see in children from pre-conceived notions and truisms. In doing so these teachers have become uniquely sensitive to the lively dialogue between the internal and external lives of the children in their care.
Modifying Ways of Consulting
Another group of psychoanalysts go weekly as well to Jubilee JumpStart, this time into the individual classrooms, where they consult with teachers, parents and administrators around children experiencing particular difficulties. These psychoanalysts have also risen to the challenge of modifying their usual ways of consulting to the special challenges of Jubilee JumpStart.
Many other psychoanalysts from the WBCP community contribute their time, volunteering to work therapeutically with individual children and parents, run parent education sessions, participate in training sessions, and in countless ways that add to the health and success of the children of Jubilee JumpStart.
The psychoanalysts who participate in this affiliation often express their gratitude for the special rewards of providing active community service work, as do our partners, the teachers, parents, staff, and administrators at Jubilee Jumpstart. Together we continue to create insights and solutions.