Letter from the Director

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Dear SPSI Community,

As I begin as Director at SPSI, I am aware of the monumental sea-changes that have occurred both within and outside our community. In dealing with these, a core belief of mine is in the wisdom of the group. I recall a story that to correctly guess, say, the weight of the prize pig at the fair, you can do no better than ask everyone and go with the number mentioned the most. This doesn’t work unless the group is large and heterogeneous. On an intercontinental plane flight, I won Who Wants to be a Millionaire (a game in the console on the back of the seat in front of me), by using the audience help line. Anyway, I value listening and developing a path forward with a healthy skepticism about my own ideas and an awareness of the value of others’. I am excited about the chance to work together with you as individuals, committees, and members of the board to pool our separate and group-generated voices.

There have been many transitions within SPSI, and changes going on now at APsaA and in the outside world that occasion a spectrum of feelings. This year many people have left SPSI, either retiring from practice and/or retiring from SPSI: Sheri Butler, Piyale Cömert, Ron Furedy, Ken King, Michael Miller, Jacqui Metzger, and Oscar Romero. We need time and a process to recognize their contributions, express our feelings, and mourn their loss. There have also been changes such as the Consulting Analyst Pilot Project which aim to reflect and enact our changing visions and respond to our deepening understanding of systemic issues that may have interfered with the optimal functioning of individuals and SPSI as a whole.

I believe we can find common purpose and unite behind a shared vision of who we are and how we want SPSI, analysis and analytic training to look. This superordinate goal will help us rise above what Freud called the narcissism of small differences and the various conflicts and dilemmas that can bedevil an analytic training institute. I would like to know how you see our strengths, our vulnerabilities, and any thoughts you have in the coming months.

The leadership team and I would like to provide venues for these discussions and are eager to hear your voices as we move forward. We are excited to work together with you to provide the best possible education in psychoanalysis and the best opportunities for professional growth, while being responsive to the community and to each other.

Please let me and the leadership team know your thoughts going forward,

Warm regards,
Chris Keats, MD, Director