The Analytic Observer

The Analytic Observer is published quarterly
by the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society


March 2001


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

Director's Column
   by Jerry Winer, M.D.

Conference Report
   by Steven A. Flagel, M.D.

Recommendations for the IPA Ballot
Jorge Schneider, M.D.

Coming Events!

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Presidentís Message

by Phil Lebovitz, M.D.

In the near future a letter signed by Harvey Strauss, Jerry Winer and myself will be sent to each of you regarding the Psychoanalyst Assistance Committee. The letter will ask you to vote in favor of establishing a joint committee with the Institute. This vote represents an essential addition to our organizations because the P.A.C. has provided the Society with a structure to assist in resolving situations that have been uncomfortable and distressing to all of us; the P.A.C. of the Society has served the purpose so far for which it was intended. The administration of the Institute approached the Society about forming a joint committee which would save manpower and money and would avoid duplicated efforts. The joint P.A.C. will consist of equal numbers of members from the Society and the Institute; the chair will rotate. When a member of the Society comes to the attention of the P.A.C. and is not a faculty member at the Institute, that individual, if he/she desires, may request that only Society members who are not Institute faculty be involved. The existence of a P.A.C. provides us with a mechanism that assures our professional community and the lay public that we can cope with difficult situations with integrity and fairness. Everyoneís vote is important; so be sure to return the ballot when it comes.

During the last few months, a ballot was circulated asking the membership whether it wanted to begin the Scientific presentations at 7 PM instead of at 7:30 PM as has been the custom. Out of a membership of about 220, including candidates and retired members, only 50 have submitted their vote on this issue. Sadly, this is about the same number of stalwarts who attend the Scientific presentations. Perhaps this is a commentary on the relevance of these presentations. I trust that it is not. However, what we might consider is whether this is tantamount to a referendum indicating that a change in the concept or format of the presentations is due. Although the task of determining that may fall to the Program Committee under the leadership of the incoming President, I will begin the process by circulating a second ballot on the question of the starting time and a memo asking for opinions and suggestions about the format. Possibilities could range from changing the time and the day to providing dinner partially subsidized by the Society with discussion groups, etc.

An exciting new opportunity is being planned and created through the activity of the recently formed Mult-Cultural Issues Committee. The Committee is learning about the varied activities of our membership in communities which are poorly represented within psychoanalysis in Chicago. The aim of the Committee is to enhance and to broaden these contacts. Efforts like these need time to ripen and need assistance in fostering them. An initial foray into this is being planned for late Spring. A program on the issue of group hatred is on the drawing board; its tentative title is "Us and Them." The concept is to involve sophisticated participants in addition to our membership; some speakers would set the tone with brief presentations which will then be opened to discussion from the floor. Speakers under consideration are Marvin Zonis, Carl Bell, Ernest Wolf and, perhaps, others from the academic community. For this attempt to succeed, follow-up engagement with leaders of other communities would be needed. Including these individuals in our Committee to plan other activities and events is a model that has been productively utilized in other cities and is one that could be employed here. Members of the Society who are interested can contact Bob Gordon, Mark Smaller, Ruth Yanagi, Bhaskar Sripada, Phillis Shepherd, or myself.

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Directorís Column

by Jerry Winer, M.D.

I am very pleased to report that the Institute now has an Executive Director/Development Director, Pat Nelson. She brings with her an extensive history of work with not-for-profit organizations. We anticipate great things for the Institute!

SAVE THE DATE! The Instituteís Benefit will be held on Monday, May 14th at the Knickerbocker Hotel. Beginning with a cocktail reception and select Silent Auction, the evening will include a dramatic presentation of Ibsenís The Master Builder by The Shaw Chicago Ensemble, which will be followed by dinner and the opportunity to discuss the performance with members of the ensemble. The Benefit Committee is looking for contributions to the silent auction, specifically gift certificates for dinners at local restaurants, and tickets to symphony, opera, Ravinia, theater, or sporting events. We rely on the support of our Board, Faculty, and Students to continue the important work of the Institute.

As I have reported previously, the Institute will be represented in the 2001 Chicago Humanities Festival this fall. As a result of our new connection with the Festival, we have been asked to co-sponsor a program on Friday, April 20th at 6:00 p.m. at The Latin School. Booker Prize winner Pat Barker, one of Englandís most exciting writers, will read from her recently released book Border Crossing, and I am honored to be interviewing her. The event is free of charge, but reservations are required. Call 312-661-1028, ext. 32.

It has been almost two years that we have been working on the Community Advisory Committee of the Field Museum, planning programs to coincide with the Library of Congress Freud Exhibit. The exhibit is scheduled to open in early October. In addition to the multidisciplinary course being offered by the Field Museum, the Institute will sponsor a conference on "Freud in Austria" on October 19-20 at the Knickerbocker Hotel. With funding from the Austrian Government and private gifts, the conference will feature scholars from Austria and the US, including members of our own faculty. Jonathan Lear, who has recently joined the Institute faculty, will be the keynote speaker.

The Instituteís biennial Psychotherapy Conference was held on Saturday, February 24th. The theme was "The Therapeutic Emotional Connection," and featured Evelyne Schwaber, M.D., from the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute. Ken Newman and Steve Stern were the discussants. Afternoon discussion groups were led by members of the Institute faculty. Thanks to Steve Flagel, and the planning committee for another successful conference.

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Conference Report

by Steven A. Flagel, M.D.

The Seventeenth Biennial Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Conference was held on February 24, 2001 at the Knickerbocher Hotel in Chicago. One hundred twenty attendees heard stimulating papers presented in the morning session by Dr. Evelyne Albrecht Schwaber, Dr. Ken Newman and Dr. Steve Stern each offering their views on the topic "The Therapeutic Emotional Connection." This was followed by an afternoon of discussion groups.

The panelists spoke to their understanding of the nature and role of the affective experiential aspects of the therapist-patient relationship and how this experience ultimately leads to change in the therapy. Dr. Schwaber presented her view that the basis for this therapeutic connection and for the mutative effects of therapy in general was the therapistís recognition of the inherent legitimacy of the patientís perspective and experience in any given situation, as distinguished from that of the therapist. The therapistís comfort with such a stance can lead to the identification of still unconscious experience in both the patient and the therapist, otherwise not identifiable. Taking what they described as a more "relational" position, both Dr. Newman and Dr. Stern agreed with Dr. Schwaber up to a point. Dr. Stern suggested that something more than assuming Dr. Schwaberís basic position was necessary in order to effect change, and provided clinical material demonstrating his belief that interpretation, working through, what he described as the "mutual regulation of the patientís emotional states" and the therapistís willingness to communicate his/her own feelings to the patient were also vital components of therapeutic action in therapy. Dr. Newman pointed out that Dr. Schwaberís willingness to allow for a "decentered listening" would be vital to a group of patients with earlier developmental failures and barely coherent selves, but wondered if Dr. Schwaberís model would accommodate these patients as they developed more coherent selves through treatment. He provided clinical material to demonstrate his point and suggested that other forms of object need may be present in more developmentally advanced patients or emerge during the course of treatment.

The entire Conference was well received and provided a positive exposure to the Institute and our way of thinking.

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Recommendations for IPA Ballot

by Jorge Schneider, M.D.

By now, you have probably received the ballots for the I.P.A. Election. I strongly urge you to vote "yes" for the constitutional amendments. As the North American delegate to the I.P.A. House of Delegates for the last 3 years, I can tell you that we worked very hard to democratize the I.P.A. I think we accomplished most of our goals. Probably the most important change is that the different regions will elect their own representatives to represent them in the new I.P.A. Board of Directors. This body will replace the Executive Council. In this manner the regional representatives will carry a direct mandate from the membership and also will be responsible to them. The present system of Vice-Presidents being elected worldwide did not work because they did not have a grass-roots mandate. There are some other important changes that you can read about in the ballot information. Make sure you cast your vote!

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Coming Events

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society Meetings

Pritzker Auditorium, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Feinberg Pavillion, 7:30 p.m.


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April 24, 2001
Presenter: Douglas Kirsner, Ph.D.

Australian Author of Unfree Association will speak on the History of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and the Future of Psychoanalysis
Discussant: Meyer Gunther, M.D.


The Chicago Institute Story:
From Machine Politics to Democracy

Like the city itself, Chicagoís leading psychoanalytic institute was from its beginnings, Ďon the make.í This story is not about personalities so much as about a crucial structural fault in the governance of the Chicago Institute that allowed boosterism, authoritarianism and conflicts of interest to flourish. This flaw eventually brought about the fall of its director as well as a revolution by the members that brought about a greater measure of democracy and ethics to the Chicago Instituteís structure. This paper will detail the history of the Chicago Institute from its 1932 inception until the Ďrevolution,í and will explore the structural reasons for the changes, through the directorships of Drs. Alexander, Piers and Pollock.

May 22, 2001
Presenter: Shelley Doctors, Ph.D.

Clinical Notes Toward a Reconsideration of Adolescent Turmoil
Discussant: Robert Galatzer-Levy, M.D.

June 26, 2001
Presidential Address
Phil Lebovitz, M.D.

What is Empathy is the Question

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

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