The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society


December 1999


The President's Message
   by Phil Lebovitz, M.D.

Institute Director’s Report
   by Jerry Winer, M.D.

The Adult Psychotherapy Program Welcomes Another First Year Class
   by Jim Fisch, M.D.

Freud Comes to Town 
   by Richard I. Herron, M.D.

The Candidate Connection
   by Judith Lichtenstein, M.D.

Public Information and Psychoanalytic Theory
by Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D.

Coming Events!

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President’s Message

by Phil Lebovitz, M.D.

This year the Council of the American Psychoanalytic Association voted to establish an annual award in honor of Edith Sabshin; it is called the Edith Sabshin Teaching Award. Ten members of the American will be selected each year from those nominated by Societies. The goal is to honor those who are teaching noncandidate students and whose efforts promote psychoanalytic understanding as a standard part of training in academic programs; through such efforts, psychoanalysis stands the best chance of remaining vital. Consequently, the objectives are (1) to encourage members to teach non-candidate students, (2) to reward excellent teachers, and (3) to stimulate interest in the Student Associate program locally and nationally. Nominees must be (1) gifted and hard working teachers of these non candidates, (2) members in good standing of a Society or Institute, and (3) recognized locally as outstanding teachers. Nominees may also be published on the subject of student education and involved in administration at the graduate level or higher. The deadline for submitting the nominations is early Fall of each year through the President of the local Society.

I am devoting space to this because of Chicago's enduring connection with Edith Sabshin who was a teacher and colleague for many of us. We have several members of our community who could qualify for the award; probably, we could submit nominations each year for many years. I am asking you to submit suggestions to me soon; so that the Executive Committee can discuss the suggestions in order to make the strongest recommendation each year.

One of the forums available to us to teach in, and learn from, is the monthly scientific presentation. Our venue (the Pritzker Auditorium at Northwestern) now is conducive to a freer exchange between the speaker and those of us in the audience. The papers are available to members of all categories at the reception desk at the Institute, so that we may read them and come to the meetings with questions and inquiries that are considered in advance. The hope is that the lively discussions which are the mark of a vigorous group could become a regular part of the presentation. In the works are a new, updated roster of the Society and meetings of the Psychoanalyst's Assistance Committee with a committee from the Institute to resolve how to establish a joint committee with members from both organizations; an additional effort of this joint effort will be to enhance the charge to assist.

Director's Column

by Jerry Winer, M.D.

The past months have been filled with planning for conferences to be held in 2000 and 2001. The Conference on Youth and Violence, to be held May 12-14, 2000, will feature nationally recognized speakers from a number of disciplines, and we expect a "full house" at the Chicago Cultural Center, where the plenary sessions will take place. Numerous break-out sessions will meet at the Institute for Psychoanalysis and DePaul University Law School, which has graciously offered the use of their facility as well as being a supporter and co-sponsor of the conference. We have already raised over half of the $100,000 budget from charitable foundations and other gifts. At the same time, Chicago will be hosting the Spring meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Many of us will be busy changing hats as we participate in both events. A joint half-day program with the Jungian Institute is being arranged for October 2000, which will focus on dreams. With the 100th anniversary of the publication of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams in November 1999, and the upcoming exhibit of The Freud Archives at the Field Museum in October 2001, this seems a fitting topic for our two institutions to discuss.

On November 1st, the 20th Helen Ross Memorial Lecture featured Professor Michael Roth, curator of the Freud: Conflict and Culture Exhibit. This lecture served as a preview of the Freud Exhibit. Committees are now hard at work planning a conference, a fund-raising gala, a special issue of The Annual of Psychoanalysis, and other events to coincide with this exhibit. We hope to invite Professor Roth to return at that time.

Freud is hot press of late. Numerous articles have appeared in Chicago papers over the past few months, including a lengthy article by Peter Gorner in the Chicago Tribune "Perspective" section on Sunday, October 31, 1999. It was my privilege to be among those Mr. Gorner interviewed for this article. Hollywood has also taken an interest. John Malkovich is in Chicago directing the play "Hysteria" at the Steppenwolf Theater. We are hopeful that Mr. Malkovich will agree to participate in a colloquium as part of the events planned to coincide with the Freud Archives Exhibit. We have also had conversations with Harold Ramis ("Analyze This"!) about coming to the Institute for a fund raiser.

The Ad Hoc Candidate Recruitment Committee, chaired by Ken Newman, is planning an Open House for a Saturday morning in late February. There will be presentations by faculty, graduates and candidates, and we hope to target local residency training programs, as well as clinical psychologists and social workers. The committee has been meeting regularly over the past several months discussing ways to make the Institute more "user friendly" and welcoming.

Our Continuing Education offerings in the Fall Quarter were very successful. "Models of the Psychotherapeutic Process" featured faculty members Arnold Tobin, Jorge Schneider, Kenneth Newman, Sheldon Meyers, and Michael Hoit discussing some of the main psychoanalytic points of view from several currently used schools of thought. The Barr-Harris Center sponsored a workshop on trauma and grief which was very well attended by mental health professionals and school personnel.

We look forward to welcoming Robert Wallerstein to our Institute as this year's Edith Sabshin Visiting Lecturer on April 19th. Plans are also moving ahead to establish a Thomas J. Pappadis Memorial Prize at the University of Chicago. Students will compete in an essay contest. The winner will receive a cash award and the winning paper will be published in The Annual.

I wish you all the best for the holiday season and the new year.

The Adult Psychotherapy Program Welcomes Another First Year Class 

by Jim Fisch, M.D.

A group of seven students representing the disciplines of clinical psychology, social work and psychiatry began the two-year sequence of the Adult Psychotherapy Program on October 5,1999. This group promises to be as enthusiastic and conscientious as the last. The members are: Susan Rosenberg, Kate Schecther, Yvonne Heins, Doris Caro, Cindy Solomon, Robin Rosenblate and Sherry Nover.

The seminars are held every Tuesday afternoon at the Institute from 1:00 to 4:30. There is one theoretical and one clinical seminar each quarter plus 33 weeks of individual case supervision. The program is organized around the study of three clinical models: classical, self psychology, and object relations. An outstanding faculty has been assembled and both the faculty and students are excited and pleased with the level of the educational experience. Any interested prospective students are invited to contact Chris Susman at the Institute.

Freud Comes to Town

by Richard I. Herron, M.D.

Michael Roth Ph.D., the present curator of the Getty Museum and organizer of the Freud exhibit at the Library of Congress, presented the Lecture at the Field Museum on November 1, 1999. A most entertaining and informative lecture Dr. Roth detailed his goal in organizing the Freud Exhibit. An historian, his goal was to demonstrate how many of Freud's concepts have been woven into the "people's psychology." He timed the exhibit to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Interpretation of Dreams.

For example, he organized a display case detailing some of Freud's works on the unconscious. One section of the display could be used for scholars. At another end of the display case he used excerpts from popular media to demonstrate how these concepts have been woven into everyday knowledge. His examples included clips from Alfred Hitchcock's films or parts of the TV program The Simpsons.

He also outlined some of his well publicized struggles to have the exhibit displayed. He was finally able to dispatch his critics, who had accused him of being a promoter of psychoanalysis, by suggesting they mount an exhibit themselves about contrary beliefs. This argument was seen by the press as a first amendment issue and their support of the exhibit changed from negative to positive. Roth, the historian, was steadfast in his belief that if we don't know our own history, then there will be others who will gladly tell it to us. It was easy to be enthusiastic about Roth in that he presented many complex psychoanalytic concepts with facility, so there was no disagreement, and his talk was most entertaining.

Do not miss the exhibit when it comes to the Field Museum in October 2001.

The Candidate Connection

by Judith Lichtenstein, M.D.

As the new millennium approaches, the candidates association is in a strong position. As president, I am privileged to be working with Linda Marino as president-elect, Alice Bernstein as treasurer, Joshua Kellmen as secretary and Christine Keiffer as affiliate assembly representative. We all want to recognize Joanne Marengo for her excellent tenure as past-president and appreciate her continued support this year.

This year, the association has three specific goals:

1. To continue to press for eliminating the requirement of a terminated case for graduation. It is the candidates' position that the requirement to terminate a case to graduate must be re-evaluated. Although all candidates agree that terminating a case is a very important part of training; we know that it is not a requirement in all institutes. Presently, analysis, even in control cases, last longer than in the past. Also, candidates coming to the Institute have many years of clinical experience. Most have completed their respective training programs long ago. These are some of the reasons for our request that the requirement be re-evaluated.

2. Exploring with the candidates and faculty ways to increase enrollment in the analytic training program. We feel that the change outlined above, along with others, will allow the faculty and candidates to create a program even more appealing to clinicians and researchers. We want to increase enrollment and support the unusual value of analytic training, recognizing this is a time of economic crisis in our field.

3. Organize the candidates' reception at the American Psychoanalytic meetings this spring in Chicago. Presently, Joan Lynch and Linda Marino are planning a great welcome for all the U.S. candidates during the Chicago spring meetings.

These are ambitious yet achievable goals. The candidates have committed their energies and are working in cooperation with the faculty to enhance our field with new members and new ideas.

Public Information and Psychoanalytic Theory

by Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D.
Institute/Society PR Committee Chair

It recently came to my attention that a colleague was concerned that in my speaking to the media on behalf of the Institute and Society, I represented only one point of view from psychoanalysis. "Mark Smaller and I talk a very different language," the colleague said, which I thought somewhat ironic since this colleague and I had never talked. I am happy to report that we have decided to start talking.

However, this experience concerned me. It is true that my self-psychological perspective influences how I think about and put together responses to the media and others in the community. Translating psychoanalytic ideas into terms to which the public can relate has proved challenging, similar to making a complex interpretation to a patient in the simplest and most straightforward terms.

Whether one is a self psychologist, an ego psychologist, Kleinian or even a Lacanian (talk about a different language), the public is NOT interested in our theoretical divergence. Rather, they are only interested in whether we can contribute something to understanding and solving particular social problems or certain cultural phenomena.

The following will serve as an example. Reporters frequently approach us for our views on violence and the recent school shootings. Although not in a position to predict violent behavior, analysts do know something about aggression, trauma, adolescent development, how to treat troubled kids, etc. One of us might suggest that aggression is a given instinct which, if not sublimated in adaptive behavior or another kind of neurotic symptom, can overwhelm the individual, especially a severely troubled adolescent and lead to violent behavior. Another view might be that the aggressive behavior of an adolescent, who has been chronically unresponded to by his environment (parents, teachers, peers, etc.), is the transformation of normal adolescent frustration into unregulated narcissistic rage. NEITHER view, in the public's mind, is important. BOTH views, however, could have significant implications for understanding and contributing to solving this major health problem.

What the public will want to know is how parents and a community can identify when their children are troubled and may be communicating a need for help; how to intervene with other kids after these tragedies occur; how to work with families coping with these tragedies; and how to work with schools and teachers to identify children who might be alienated and moving in the direction leading to violent acts.

I was recently told by someone from the Denver Institute how analysts mobilized in the most unprecedented ways to make themselves available to Columbine students, families and the school. An offer of assistance which the community readily accepted.

Our upcoming Youth and Violence Conference is a perfect example of our involvement in the community working together with other experts outside our field on a social problem. We can return to our own research meetings and scientific presentations and passionately argue with each other about different theoretical points of view Addressing social problems, I believe, advances and enhances our field and knowledge. However, out in the community one's theoretical perspective is not important. How the public makes use of what we know is. And first the public must trust that we are genuinely interested and available.

Freud was committed to the application of psychoanalytic ideas to social problems and culture. Kohut was as well, along with Winnicott, Bion and others. Why shouldn't we be committed in these ways? Not only will such a commitment solidify our place in the next century, it will make us all better at what we do.

Note: The Institute/Society Public Relations Committee is looking for new members. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in joining.

Editor...........................Richard I. Herron, M.D.
Assistant to the Editor....Ms. Eva Sandberg

Coming Events:

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society Meetings

Pritzker Auditorium, Northwestern Memorial Hospital


January 25, 2000 at 7:30
Presenter: Paula B. Fuqua, M.D.

Termination: End or Transition?
Discussant: Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D.

February 22, 2000
Presenter: Mark J. Gehrie, Ph.D. 

Forms of Relatedness:
Self Preservation and the Schizoid Continuum
Discussant: Susan M. Fisher, M.D.

March 17-19, 2000
Clinical Issues with Lesbians and Gay Men:
A Conference for Mental Health Professionals

The Knickerbocker Hotel, North Michigan Avenue, Chicago

June 27, 2000
Presenter: Arnold Goldberg, M.D.

Gaps, Barriers and Splits:
The Psychoanalytic Search for Connection
Discussant: TBA

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