Archive for June, 2008

The Forever War on Terror: Dilemmas and Choices by Charles Strozier

Monday, June 30th, 2008


The Forever War on Terror: Dilemmas and Choices
Charles B. Strozier, Ph.D., Professor of History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Director, John Jay Center on Terrorism, New York;  and a training and supervising analyst, TRISP.

Summary of paper delivered at the meetings of the APsaA in Atlanta, June 20, 2008

In my talk I described the apocalyptic mindset that underlies the current global “war on terror” (GWOT).  The GWOT emerged out of a radical shift in America’s relation to the world after 9/11.  The GWOT, as a self-proclaimed fight against evil, has served as the ideological basis for the actual wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The GWOT also reverses centuries of our cautious posture to the world, projecting power in ways not seen since the Roman Empire.  This new stance alters the principles established by the framers of the constitution, and early presidents, particularly George Washington, John Quincy Adams, James Monroe, and Abraham Lincoln.  (more…)

Dr. Marian Tolpin 1925 ~ 2008

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Click Here to Read:  An Obiturary of Psychoanalyst Marian Tolpin from the Chicago Tribune on June 27th, 2008.

Click Here to Read:   Thoughts on the Group Self of Psychoanalysis, in Light of the Controversy over Training Analysis Status by Marion Tolpin from the International Psychoanalysis Website on April 26th, 2008. 

W.H. Auden’s Poem: In Memory of Sigmund Freud

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Click Here To Read: W.H. Auden’s Poem: In Memory of Sigmund Freud

Auden wrote this poem shortly after Freud’s death in 1939. Freud for Auden was an anti-hero “He wasn’t clever at all: he merely told the unhappy Present to recite the Past.” 

Research-Based Psychotherapy by Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD and Robert Michels, MD from Psychiatric Times Vol. 25 No. 7.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Click Here To Read: Research-Based Psychotherapy by Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD and Robert Michels, MD from Psychiatric Times Vol. 25 No. 7.  Posted on the Psychiatric Times Website of June 1st, 2008. 

Sigmund Freud Avoids His Double, Theodor Herzl by Robert Lippman

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Click Here To Read: Sigmund Freud Avoids His Double, Theodor Herzl by Robert Lippman. 

Whatever Happened to the Unconscious? A Critique of Dissociation, Multiplicity, and the Eclipse of a Unitary Self: Theoretical Challenges to Donnel Stern and Philip Bromberg by Jon Mills

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

 Click here To Read:
  Whatever Happened to the Unconscious?  A Critique of Dissociation, Multiplicity, and the Eclipse of a Unitary Self: Theoretical Challenges to Donnel Stern and Philip Bromberg by Jon Mills.

Psychoanalytic Archives: A Discussion of Charles Brenner’s Paper at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Click Here To Read: Commentary on Charles’s Brenner’s Paper  “An Addendum to Freud’s Theory of Anxiety” presented at the New York Psychonalytic Institute November 28th, 1950 by the following discussants: Ludwig Eidelberg, Heinz Hartmann, Judith Silberfennig Kesternberg, Rudolph Loewenstein, Rene A. Spitz, Max M. Stern, Abram Blau, and Otto Sperling.

Dr. Brenner’s paper was published as: Brenner, Charles (1953).  An Addendum to Freud’s Theory of Anxiety. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 34:18-24.

Freud’s “Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” Revisited by Robert L. Lippman

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

lilacropolis.jpgClick Here to Read: Freud’s “Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” Revisited by Robert L. Lippman
This article has been previously published as Lippman, Robert  (2008).  Freud’s “Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis” Revisited.  The Psychoanalytic Review 95(3) 489-99 and appears here with the requisite rights and permissions and with the permission of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis.

Leonard Shengold’s Haunted by Parents reviewed By Leon Anisfeld

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Click Here To Read: Leon Anisfeld’s review of Leonard Shengold’s book Haunted by Parents. 

“3:10 to Yuma”: Creating a Hero/Villain

Monday, June 16th, 2008


How do films evoke an identification with one character as opposed to another? Two recent films, The Bourne Ultimatum and No Country for Old Men give us a character who appears to be indomitable, almost supernaturally in control. Both of these characters are professional killers who leave a trail of bodies behind them. Yet we react to them very differently. Jason Bourne is a hero whom we admire and wish to identify with whereas the relentless murderer, Anton Chigurh, in No Country is a bogeyman, a nightmarish figure whom we fear but do not identify with. He may unconsciously act out our most extreme aggressive fantasies, but we tend to place him in our representational world as an external object.

Filmmakers usually allow us to identify with a hero or dis-identify with a villain by manipulating their circumstances and motives. Jason Bourne kills those who attack him. He defends women. Although he is relatively unexpressive, we are led to feel that he can be kind and empathic. He is fighting a cruel system that has made him into a killer by using and corrupting his idealism. The killer in No Country is motivated by greed and self need only, killing people because they get in his way, although observing an odd idiosyncratic moral code.

However, a third character, from another recent film provides us with a model that stands on the prism point between these two archetypes, an object with whom we both wish to identify and fear as an external threat to our moral integrity. I am referring to Ben Wade, the charismatic outlaw, played by Russell Crowe, in 3:10 to Yuma.


In Treatment: An Israeli Viewpoint by Phil Bloom

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Click Here to Read:
In Treatment: An Israeli Viewpoint, a commentary by Phil Bloom on the Israeli series BiTipul in The American Psychoanalyst.

Chengdu 6/17: A kaleidoscope of events

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Chengdu: A kaleidoscope of events

I had dinner last night with a friend, a psychiatrist getting his PhD, (his doctoral dissertation is on PTSD with a series of 3000 prisoners). He is back here to work in the Disaster region. He had come in in the first days after the earthquake with the Army at the request of the government. He had asked a colleague of his to join us, (himself, myself and an American analyst disaster expert, Jeff Taxman). The friend arrived and we went through the lovely Chinese custom of handing each other our cards with both hands, receiving them with both hands and reading them carefully. I looked at his. “0ooh, you are Jie”—some one I had never met but had been emailing back and forth for a couple of years. He grinned at my shock.

He had especially wanted to see me. He was starting a two-year training program at a University in the Disaster region (In China today the number of universities grows every minute. My friends here, mainly academics, have to call to find out where universities are in their own city that they have never heard of, universities with 10-20,000 students.) His training program (masters degree) will teach all modalities of psychotherapy. There will be no tuition. The students will come from the Disaster area and will sign a contract to return to their villages and towns to work for 5 years. Out comes his laptop amid all of our cell phones, Blackberries, platters of food. He showed me his curriculum and suggested we collaborate. Could CAPA teach the psychodynamic courses? One of the courses is called something like the Importance of English for learning and doing psychotherapy. He will have them read one paper in English a week. Jie has PEPWEB.

A few days ago I visited the Department of Psychiatry at the Sichuan University Medical School. I have tried for a number of years to make contact with them. They have not been interested. This invitation was arranged by a member of our local CAPA group, a woman in treatment and supervision with CAPA, not a mental health professional. She works for a corporation that has given her time off to work in the Disaster region where she goes almost every day with a team from the medical school. She has been teaching them about what to do with children. She convinced the department of psychiatry to see me. On our way there she warned me not to talk about psychoanalysis, to talk only about the Mercy Corps Children’s workbook (Gil Kliman’s) and about the Disaster trainer that CAPA had brought to town. Both psychiatrists spoke excellent English. They listened to my spiel somewhat impatiently and said, yes yes we want both the child trainings and the general disaster training, but we hear that you have a two-year training course in psychotherapy. Tell us about it. I did—“Don’t you have a brochure? No but I will send you a description of the curriculum (Linn Campbell’s and others’ work). We definitely would like if you can arrange that for us here. We know nothing about psychotherapy we want it for our younger faculty and residents. We will need it even more now after the earthquake. The tuition is high ($3000/student/year) I told them that we are trying to raise scholarship money. They grinned and said Maybe something good will come from the Earthquake. You will be able to convince people to donate scholarship money for us poor suffering people in Sichuan. We laughed and shook hands. They were my kind of people.

This last weekend there were many two and three day Disaster training sessions, I had a part in arranging three of them. One was sponsored by the Young Communist League in cooperation with EAP, a private company where I had given lectures in previous years. The other was arranged by members of the local CAPA group. A Buddhist businessman friend of one of them had paid Jeff’s fare. There were two hundred Buddhists at that one, many of them monks in their robes, from Sichuan and other provinces. Is this your picture of Chins? An American, working with a private Chinese company, invited by the Young Communist League? A Buddhis businessman, paying the airfare of an American psychoanalyst and robed Buddhist monks receiving Disaster training from him?

The Chinese government has thrown a huge amount of manpower, supplies etc into the Disaster area. Every one is now sheltered, in tents and other places, those without cooking facilities are being fed, there is clean water, there are no epidemics, and schools are reopening in tents and other temporary buildings. Every American I have met here asks-“Why couldn’t we have done that in New Orleans?” The government has, for about 4-6 years been aware of the need for more mental health professionals and has opened schools of counseling, sent psychologists abroad to study best practices, etc. In their usual way they will now probably try to open many many schools of psychotherapy. The problem as my Chinese colleagues are aware is that they do not have the clinical teachers for these schools. I believe that the Sino-German group, which has been teaching psychoanalysis in China for 15-20 years, has funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. I think that the Norwegian and Swedish analysts also receive some support from foundations or their governments. I do not know for sure. CAPA runs on the $25/year dues of its members and on all the analysts and psychotherapists who are paid the munificent fee of $4-$8/session (many of them donate their fees to CAPA), who come to China paying their own way to teach supervise, and work with their patients in person. I want to thank them for having made all this possible

As I was walking down the street with a Chinese colleague, she ran into two friends on the street She introduced us and the women thanked me “Who were they?” “Counselors at XYZ University. They had heard about you.” (China is a very very small place—at least the mental health community). She said that they ran the local hotline. The Youth Hotline was started about 25 years ago by a journalist. It now has hundreds of volunteers all over China some of whom are mental health people, others they train. I lectured there three years ago and have become friendly with one of their volunteers an English professor in Beijing sShe is Chinese) with a counseling degree. She and her graduate students have worked on the translation of Gil Kliman’s children’s’ workbook. In a few days, she is going to Boston where her parents live—(I don’t know why they are there) and she and I plan to meet midway between Boston and New York for lunch.

When the women on the street thanked me, I said, as I have learned to do in China, “It is my pleasure.” And indeed it is. My work here, both with CAPA and with the Earthquake Relief, has been an extraordinary opportunity: to become a small part of a world I did not know, to meet wonderful people, to do something very very useful here in China and, I had hoped, for psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts in America. I will light a candle to Saint Rita. Ubaldo Leli, the Vice President of CAPA tells me she is the saint of lost causes.

Themes for Survivors: A Chorale by Luis Feder

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Dear Audience:

The music and introductory text of ‘Themes for Survivors” “Temas para Survientes” with introductory text and music by Luis Feder with texts in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Aramic, is going to be prefaced in the voice of my late, dear friend and distinguished colleague, Dr. Merton Gill, who translated from Spanish and recorded it in Chicago in the Winter 1981. He established the precondition for this recording to delete whatever he was not in agreement with. As a result, he took out the name of Dr. Anna Ornstein, for her own protection and gave me his reasons. Dr. Ornstein was the one who stimulated with her story, this whole musical project. He also went to great trouble to contact his brother who in turn consulted a Rabbi, and the Rabbi sent me a quotation from the scriptures establishing that a Jew could not gladden with the death of his slain enemy. I do not recall this kind of an indication in my Spanish text, but I fully agree with all the preconditions. As a result, I had the privilege of getting his rich, raw, baritone voice, his prestigious translation and adaptation, the humanitarian preconditions, and the recognition and enthusiasm that he showed to my first symphonic chorale. It has been heard in many lands and played in Villa de Janedo, Brasil on the eighth of May anniversary of the Nazi signature of surrender to the allies.

“Themes for Survivors” has been proposed as part of a disk where Arnold Rosner’s moving work from the Dairies of Arancho Yakov , Ernest Block poem Troi Poems Juisse would be included. It is to be performed by the Phiharmonia of London and to be recorded by Harmony Mundi, directed by Maestro David Hasmish, just as soon as the funds for the event are gathered.

Meanwhile, kindly accept a more modest recording by one of our best orchestral groups, Orchestra Symphonica of Mexico, our national Symphony Orchestra directed at the Jewish Music Festival by Maestro Lazlo Roth, in its world premiere March 12th, 1990, here in Mexico City, at the Teatro Oringiolisli where the use of the horns and the blowing of the Shofarim bursting in a protest that no deniers of the Holocaust could ever silence.

The performance lasts approximately 25 minutes. I hope you enjoy it. This is Luis Feder, Mexico City, December 8th, 1995.

Themes for Survivors by Luis Feder

Freud’s Failure to Recall the Surname of Julius Mosen by Robert Lippman

Saturday, June 14th, 2008


Click Here to Read:
“Freud’s Failure to Recall the Surname of Julius Mosen” by Robert Lippman.  This is an original paper which has not been published before. 

6/12 Chengdu: A visit to a school in the earthquake area

Friday, June 13th, 2008

6/12 Chengdu Update

Things are becoming less chaotic here. Coalitions are forming between government departments, Chinese corporations, and Chinese NGO’s. They want university professors to train volunteers and others. The university professors want us to train them. A variety of large groups are holding training session in the next three days, some of them three day sessions: the Chinese Red Cross, the Chinese Academy of Science (under the auspices of the Foundation for Sichuan Earthquake Psychological Assistance a large newly formed Chinese NGO), the Counseling Department of Sichuan University, a large Buddhist group and the Young Communist League of Sichuan (in association with EAP in China a group whose on-line training we arranged). I don’t know whether to describe my self as a spider in the center of a large net or as a match-maker. It has been a real pleasure for me to watch and help these various groups coalesce and begin working together.

I usually have breakfast and dinner with old or new friends and colleagues (People I know from Beijing and Shanghai are constantly arriving to work in the disaster zone or to train others.) or journalists. We talk about the earthquake and what each group or person can do for the other and what I and CAPA can do for them. We also talk about—what else?— politics. Here as many views are expressed as freely as they are in America. No secret police at the dinner table. No glancing uneasily over one’s shoulder when something critical of the government is said. (I am writing all these details in part because of the TAP article, which gives such a bizarre picture of China and in part to give those of you who have not been here some view of how it is.) (more…)

Analysing Adolf: Nazism through the Lens of Freudian Psychoanalysis by Daniel Pick

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Click Here to Read: Analysing Adolf: Nazism through the Lens of Freudian Psychoanalysis by Daniel Pick from the Times Literary Supplement,  which appeared on May 21st, 2008 and which is a review of “The Death of Sigmund Freud” by Mark Edmundson. 

Psychoanalytic Theories of Infant Development and its Disturbances: A Critical Evaluation by Sylvia Brody and a letter to Dr. Brody from Charles Brenner

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

 Click Here to Read: Psychoanalytic Theories of Infant Development and its Disturbances: A Critical Evaluation by Sylvia Brody. This article was previously published as: Brody, Sylvia (1982).  Psychoanalytic Theories of Infant Development and its Disturbances: A Critical Evaluation. Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 51: pp. 526-597 and appears here with all requisite rights and permissions.

 © The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Inc.; first published in The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Volume 51, pages 526-597 

Click here to read: Letter from Charles Brenner to Sylvia Brody about this article, written on May 4th, 1983. 

Renewing Relationships: Communication Workshop Materials from NYDCC

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The following materials from the New York Disaster Counseling Coalitions are being made available here to all.  They are especially useful to non-profits working with people in relationships.

Click Here for: Participants’ Workbook: Enriching, Reconnecting and Rebuilding Intimate Partnerships

Click Here for: Module 1: Feeling and Facts about Stress and Resiliance

Click Here for:  Module 3: Communication Skills

Click Here for:  Faclitator’s Guide.  

“Off the Couch, Back on its Feet” by Matthew Reisz from the London Times

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Off the couch, back on its feet
12 June 2008 Times Higher Education 

By Matthew Reisz

Psychoanalysis may have little place in university psychology departments, but it is flourishing within the arts and humanities. Matthew Reisz reports on the debates – and divisions – between academics and clinicians

The American Psychoanalytic Association recently set up a task force with an ambitious goal – to “reach and captivate the 10,000 best minds of the next generation with the power of psychoanalytic ideas”. Clearly worried that its influence was in decline, it employed Jonathan Redmond and Michael Shulman to research “access to psychoanalytic ideas in American undergraduate institutions”. Their report was recently published in the association’s journal. (more…)


Wednesday, June 11th, 2008


First let me apologize both for the length and the disorganization of this report.
This is a kind of nuts and bolts report of what I have been doing up until the 10th. Later today I will write a report about my visit to a devastated village with 110 dead children and also about some plans to reduce the chaos.

Each day when I sat down to write, something happened and I could not continue with it. I get up at about 5 and fall into bed at midnight. New volunteers continue to email me, the result of all of you sending on my postings. Thank you.

This report is somewhat chaotic, mirroring the situation in Sichuan. I left NY on Monday 6/2. I am staying at a Sichuan University guesthouse, a large three star hotel on the edge of campus. Chengdu’s climate is like that of Savannah, hot humid—but there is less pollution than on any of my previous visits. The city is bustling, all the classy high-end shops, boutiques (places like Prada etc) are filled with smiling shoppers and lots of beautiful clothing, etc. The only sign of the earthquake is the small tent cities that have been used to house local Chengdu people whose houses fell down. About 1000 people died in Chengdu, but there is no feel of a place only 40 miles from devastation. There has only been one mild set of tremors since I came. Sitting in my 4th floor room with two Chinese volunteers from a local medical school. I asked, What do we do? They said, Keep on talking– and so we did. (more…)