April Division 39 Insight

From The Editor
2015 Spring Meeting: Life in Psychoanalysis in Life
Psychoanalysis is not just a treatment; it is a way of life. Individually and collectively, we live psychoanalysis and it lives within us. We invigorate psychoanalytic thought through our evolving musings and conversations. In turn, we draw on it to enliven our minds, our relationships, and our work, while we strive to use psychoanalysis to make changes in the world around us. The life we live in psychoanalysis changes with time and setting. We discover it in diverse internal and external spaces, in expected and surprising ways at different times in our lives, and at different times in the life of psychoanalysis.
In keeping with the theme Life in Psychoanalysis in Life, we invite you to explore your own creative excursions into the intersection of psychoanalysis and life and to submit proposals for the meetings in San Francisco, April 23–26. We encourage you to create novel formats that promote lively interactions among presenters and with/ among members of the audience.

For more information visit our web page

Don’t forget to check out our Division 39 social media sites for daily news.


Division News
President’s Message


By Marilyn Charles, PhD and Zane Dodd


I have been taking advantage of the President’s Column to try to highlight some of the issues facing us as psychoanalytic practitioners and advocates, and also some of the good work being done by our members. This month, I would like to highlight the efforts of the Dallas local chapter to raise awareness regarding the benefits of psychoanalytic thought and training. Writes the President:

“As President of the Dallas Chapter of Division 39 (Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology), my first initiative has been to create a welcoming and helpful community, so that others might benefit from the very useful ideas offered by psychoanalytic theory and technique. To this end, we have provided several presentations to various university graduate programs in counseling and clinical psychology. We have also begun presenting to local mental health clinician organizations. Our presentations have attempted to provide an accessible introduction to psychoanalytic theory and practice today, to address misconceptions, and to inform people about what our organization has to offer. In addition to presenting information, we also hoped to invite attendees to experience a psychoanalytic process of curiosity and reflection.

For example, in a recent presentation to a local clinician group, we first asked the audience to take a moment to become aware of their minds and to notice what came to mind when they thought about psychoanalysis. We never even made it to the presentation that day, because of the energy and curiosity that arose about theory and practice, and how might be helpful in their work. I believe that inviting their curiosity rather than assuming an authoritative role was helpful. While the three of us on the panel that day are similar in many respects, we are also different, so that participants were exposed to the reality that there is not one psychoanalytic way of thinking and practicing, but rather many vantage points that hold, at the core, to some common truths. Attendees asked to us to return the following month, at which point we were able to provide a more formal presentation.

We have found this response to be surprisingly common. It is my belief that there is a hunger for something more than most people are exposed to during and after their formal training and education. They are searching for a deeper (or even initial!) understanding of the people they sit across from, and their training in many cases only helps them to find and treat symptoms. For this reason, we titled our presentation “Psychoanalytic psychotherapy: Treating personality not just the symptom”.

Sadly, within our field as psychologists and in complimentary fields, the attempt to understand or even recognize the existence of the person who manifests the symptoms is increasingly disappearing. While I find this lack very disheartening, it also provides a wonderful window of opportunity for psychoanalytic understanding to fill this gap. My experience to this point has been that listening respectfully to challenging cases by clinicians and students, and offering something of value about how the personality of the patient – and therapist – might be related to the manifest symptoms is warmly received. It is my hope that our local chapter of the Division and the larger Division as a whole can findnew ways to reach out to a community around us that hungers for something more.”

These experiences highlight how important it is to be available to our colleagues who might benefit from learning more about the work we do and the ways in which we think about people and about clinical practice, to be interested in possible gaps we might fill, and to engage respectfully enough that our efforts can be received.

Looking forward, the 2015 Spring Meeting looks to be very rich. We will hope to see you there.

Marilyn Charles & Zane Dodd

The Early Career Committee of Division 39

This month our blog post writer is Tiffany McLain who works in private practice as a Licensed Marriage & Family therapist in San Francisco. She graduated from the two-year, psychoanalytically-oriented training program, Access Institute for Psychological Services, and is currently serving as the Outreach, Membership & Liaison Chair for the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. She serves on the board of Section IX: Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility and manages a popular psychoanalytic blog: www.psychoanalysisissexy.com
A Psychoanalyst: To Be or Not to Be?
Throughout my life, I have had the experience of constantly straddling two worlds. As a multi-ethnic child, a combination of “blacks” and “whites”, who grew up in a small-town environment where the binary was demanded, I was often asked to fit my experience into a tidy, little package, and eschew all parts that did not fit into this categorical notion of racial difference. MORE>


Crash-My-Couch/Share-A-Room Program

Traveling to San Francisco for the 2015 Spring Meeting and looking to cut down on accommodation costs? The Division 39 Graduate Student Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s Crash-My-Couch/Share-A-Room Program is now underway! If you are interested in staying with a local Division 39 member or sharing a hotel room with another attendee, we will help you make arrangements. Please email crashmycouch@gmail.com indicating your housing preference (couch crashing or room sharing), as well as your gender, additional preferences, and inquiries.
Division/Review is now on PEP

As Chair of the Publications Committee—

I’m delighted to announce that Division/Review is now on PEP web and is highlighted in the “What’s New” section of their home page. All eleven issues are available and searchable.


Congratulations to Editor David Lichtenstein and to all the contributors! This is a serious achievement—a new voice in the psychoanalytic literature—and one we can all be proud of!
Please join our effort to update and steward Wikipedia’s Psychoanalysis pages!

Wikipedia is one of the most widely used references in the world and is transforming the way we gather information. It provides instant answers in the simplest form and is frequently the first resource consulted when faced with confusing concepts or terms. Yet, psychoanalytic articles on Wikipedia currently lack credible sources and have significant gaps in content. Historically, as psychoanalytic professionals, we do a great job helping individuals, but we don’t do as good of a job helping inform the public. As a profession, psychoanalysis has a corpus of knowledge about the human experience, and as professionals, we have an opportunity to improve the quality of psychoanalytic information available to the public.

The Division 39 Wiki Project is a collaborative effort to disseminate psychoanalytic information in more accessible and relevant ways. As more professionals contribute to this project, the information becomes more accurate and usable by the public.

Please join us in assembling a group of psychoanalytic professionals dedicated to improving the quality of psychoanalytic information on Wikipedia. Graduate students and faculty are especially encouraged to join us. We are seeking the following:
1.) Article Editors – Individuals wanting to edit and/or learn how to edit Wikipedia articles.

2.) Content Consultants – Individuals wanting to review edited articles and provide content-based feedback on an as-needed basis.
For more information about the project, please email Ari Pizer ( ari.pizer@gmail.com). We look forward to hearing from you!

Join the co-chairs and other members of the task force in San Francisco for coffee and discussion about how you can help as an Article Editor and/or an Expert Consultant. Graduate students and faculty are especially encouraged to attend.
When: Saturday, April 25, 7:30am – 9:00am
Where: Twin Peaks South

For more information about the project, please email Ari Pizer ( ari.pizer@gmail.com). We look forward to hearing from you!

The Division 39 Fund

The Division 39 Fund announces the recipients of its first grant: Anne Dailey, Professor of Law, and Ann Johnson Prum, cinematographer. The grant helps support the production of a one hour documentary film, “The Talking Cure: Psychoanalysis in the Twenty-First Century”. Applicants for this grant had to demonstrate how their project advances education, research, and service in the field of psychoanalysis. The intent of the film is to increase public awareness of psychoanalytic principles and treatments and the application of these principles and treatments to contemporary social issues.

According to Ms. Dailey, “Culturally, psychoanalysis may help us to deal with pressing social problems beyond the reach of scientific psychology; the surge in the use of psychotropic medication for children, the suicide rate among veterans, the prevalence of gun violence by the mentally ill, the effects of foster care, and the intergenerational effects of domestic abuse. And morally, psychoanalytic ideas encourage us to consider the value of a self-reflective life in today’s consumer-driven world.” She further asks, “ How can we bridge the gap between scientific approaches to the study and treatment of mental illness, and the kind of long-term treatment and model of mind offered by psychoanalytic psychology?”

Professor Dailey focuses in part on the 2004 creation of the Soldier’s Project, a non-profit organization providing free and unlimited psychoanalytically informed therapy to Iran/ Afghanistan war veterans and their families. The growing interest in psychoanalytic ideas for the treatment of war trauma reflects an understanding of the limits of present scientific psychiatry to treat complex psychological struggles that involve deep personal and moral injuries. MORE>
Division 39 Discount Subscription Program

As you know, for a number of years, we have been able to offer our members discounts for subscribing to psychoanalytic journals. It is the time of year when many of us are renewing our subscriptions and this note is a reminder to consider renewing or beginning a subscription by taking advantage of these savings. For now, as you will see, you may need to contact customer services to request the discount, although several journals offer direct links to the discount. Please follow the directions that are different for each journal. MORE>
Ethics Committee Announcement
To the Membership:
We are writing to remind the community that the Ethics Committee is available to the Division 39 membership for informal, confidential consultations on matters of ethical concern. We are not an adjudicatory body: our aim is to help you think these through and clarify your understanding of the problem at hand.

For more information, please contact
Joyce Slochower, Chair: joyce.slochower@gmail.com 212-362-4437
Ethics Committee Column

This is the first of a series of ‘thought’ essays addressing ethical issues in our field. Their purpose is not to make ethical pronouncements, but instead to open conversation among Division members about the ethical dilemmas we confront.

The present essay addresses the problem of sexual boundary violations from the perspective of our graduate student member, Annee Ackerman. Her articulate, brave and frank essay confronts us with our failure to adequately teach graduate students about erotic issues in the countertransference. Noting that countertransference erotics were largely avoided in her graduate training, Ackerman calls for the explicit exploration of these issues in an effort to reduce students’ sense of shame and deepen their underlying dynamics. In her view, it’s avoidance of this issues within the training process that invites shame and leads to dissociated acting out. Ackerman believes that the explicit exploration of these feelings within both classroom and supervisory settings will serve as a wedge against erotic boundary violations as the graduate student moves into her own clinical work.

Is acceptance and open exploration enough? Can we train students in ways that will serve as a wedge against boundary violations across their professional lifetime?

Joyce Slochower, Ph.D., ABPP
Chair, Ethics Committee

Addressing issues of sexual attraction in treatment:

A 5th- year doctoral candidate’s perspective

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate
Annee Ackerman, M.A.
Long Island University, Brooklyn

In the increasingly-relational milieu, we are taught that to be effective in our work we must feel our way into it, embracing even the most powerful feelings evoked in us as valuable data that inform the treatment. Against this backdrop, our relationship to love and desire is all the more complex and paradoxical. We share extraordinary emotional intimacies with people we have no claim upon, but rather, a duty to insulate whenever possible from the pressures of our own needs and the burden of our insecurities. As much as this is a privilege, it is a challenging tension to maintain—particularly as trainees and early career psychologists, when the relationships we form with patients are likely to have the most profound impact on us. Currently, the lack of formal training curricula around erotic issues serves as a tacit denial of these clinical realities. MORE>



We are pleased to announce the creation of The Task Force on the Archives of Division 39. As the division has become important in the evolution of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychology, it follows that the time had come to a) collect materials which reflect its history, b) encourage scholarship among the membership when the collection is assembled, and c) establish a means to promote awareness in future generations of the important contributions to psychoanalytic thought by the Division. More>

From the Awards Committee

Submit your nominations for division award nominees

The Awards Committee of Division 39 is soliciting recommendations from our membership for award nominees for 2015. This 2014 awardees are Elliott Jurist for Scholarship; Marsha McCary for Leadership, and Dolores Morris, for Diversity. The list of prior awards is on the Division 39 website. MORE>

Author Connection

Recent Publications by Division 39 Members

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014, 1996). The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity. New York: ORI Academic Press, republished with new illustrations and new editing, and second Foreword, from a former 1993 Routledge book (New York and London). Foreword by Martin Bergmann.

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). The Klein-Winnicott Dialectic: New Transformative Metapsychology and Interactive Clinical Theory. London: Karnac

Kavaler-Adler, S. Dialectics of mortality and immortality:time as an internal and transitonal object experience and time as a persecutory vs. a holding object. MindConsiliums, 13 (12), 1-32. Formerly in Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology, 2013, 35.

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). Psychic structure and the capacity to mourn: Why narcissists cannot mourn. MindConsiliums, 14 (1), 1-17.

Kavaler-Adler, S. (2014). Erotic transference: A journey to passion and symbolization. MindConsiliums, 14 (1), 19-43,

Jeanne Safer, PhD, ABPP, contributed an essay, “Beyond Beyond Motherhood” to the forthcoming anthology, Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, New York: Picador, March 31, 2015. Dr. Safer’s book Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children, on which this essay is based, was a Finalist for The Books for a Better Life Award in 1996.

Stolorow, R. D. (2015). A phenomenological-contextual, existential, and ethical perspective
on emotional trauma. Psychoanalytic Review, 102:123-138.

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