Director’s Letter

Sue Radant

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Soon our 2016-2017 academic year will begin, and I want to thank everyone for your support and dedication to SPSI.

Over the past few years our faculty and associates have worked diligently to enhance our institute and facilitate our esprit de corps. To do so, we have developed a methodology for recognizing our individual achievements and contributions, as well as a process of working out conflict. Our open discussions have deepened our commitment to SPSI and enhanced our relationships with one another. And, we continue to work accordingly.

I would like to express my gratitude to all of you who have contributed to SPSI as teachers, committee chairs and members, Board members, donors and students. Your efforts are valued and appreciated.

Proof of our ongoing success is demonstrated by the continuation of our robust classes. This year a new class of seven clinical associates will begin adult psychoanalytic training. Of these new students, three are also enrolled in child and adolescent psychoanalytic training. We have eleven new APPP students and seven new CPPP students.

Over the last few years, there have been some major changes in the structure of our parent organization, the American Psychoanalytic Association, with more changes to yet come. Members of APsaA will be voting on what is called the “Six Point Plan” next year. If passed, this will change APsaA from a regulatory organization to a membership organization resulting in significant changes at the local level. SPSI will then have the opportunity to reorganize our policies and procedures, including TA appointments, in the direction of more flexibility. APsaA will no longer provide the bedrock of standards, but the standards of the International Psychoanalytic Association will become our baseline. Over the course of this upcoming year, we will be discussing how we would like to shape our organization. Faculty meetings will, in part, be devoted to whether and how we would like to change our vision, policies and procedures.

As a result of these changes, site visits by the Committee on Institutes of the American Psychoanalytic Association have become optional. Given that SPSI already has full accreditation by the ACPEinc, we decided to cancel our scheduled COI site visit. This, of course, has freed up many resources (time and money in particular), allowing us to focus more on local issues.

There have been many transitions over the last year.

Sadly, George (Mike) Allison, M.D. passed away. Mike was one of the founding members of our organization, a past president of APsaA, and a beloved member of our community. He will hold a special place in our hearts, and will not be forgotten.

Several of our committee chairs will be rotating off of their positions after years of work and devotion. They are: Mike Gundle, M.D., Progression Committee; Diane Wolman, M.S.W., Curriculum Committee; Melissa Stoker, M.S., APPP; Jacqui Metzger, M.S.W., Faculty Appointment Committee; Diane Grise, M.S.W., CPPP; Don Schimmel, Ph.D. and Lisa Kahan, Ph.D., Child Program Co-Chairs; Cecile Bassen, M.D., Continuing Education Committee; and, Ron Levin, M.D., Training Analyst Committee.

On a brighter note, the years of 2015 and 2016 have seen the graduations of many associates in our core psychoanalytic training program. Congratulations to Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam, M.D., Luke Rho, M.D., Babs Glover, M.A., LMHC, Bertrand Wicholas, M.D., and Greg Silverman, JD (who graduated from the Academic Associate Program). We are very fortunate to have these individuals continue on as faculty and Board members at SPSI.

Congratulations are also in order for the achievements of several of our members:

  • Mike Gundle, M.D. was elected Councilor at Large, as well as Co-Chair of the Task Force on Governance and Structure for APsaA, and the IPA Co-Chair of the Sponsoring Committee for the Taiwan Study Group.
  • Maxine Anderson, M.D.’s book, “The Wisdom of Lived Experience: Views from Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Metaphysics,” was published by Karnac Books.
  • Sarah Matlock, M.S.W. became licensed in social work last year, and was promoted from Mental Health Therapist to Clinical Supervisor at Sea Mar Behavioral Health in March 2016. She will be joining us as a new Clinical Associate this fall.
  • Shierry Nicholsen, Ph.D. presented papers at international conferences in Paris and Oxford, England, as well as at the International Psychoanalytic Association meetings in Boston. She has published papers on psychoanalytic process, psychoanalytic listening and the creative process in the arts, in journals and edited volumes in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil, with more to come in England and the US.
  • Kathryn McCormick, M.A., LMFT, LMP received a promotion to be Manager of Preschool Clinical Services at the Tulalip Tribe, and is working with Dr. Gil Kliman to bring Reflective Network Therapy (RNT) to the Tribe’s Early Learning Academy (with more than 260 children, birth to 5 years old).
  • Cecile Bassen, M.D. presented her paper on, “Good Girls and Wicked Women” at the Oregon Psychiatric Association in Ashland, the “Myths of The Mighty Woman” conference in NYC, and a conference on “Cultural Change and Women” in Washington DC. In addition, she led a discussion of Fred Busch’s keynote paper “Our Vital Profession,” and participated in a panel on “Hope and Disappointment: The importance of psychoanalytic theory and institutions for women,” at the IPA meetings in Boston the summer of 2015. Cecile also participated in a panel as the North American Co-Chair of COWAP (the Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis of the IPA), and helped to organize a conference on, “The Courage to Fight Violence against Women” in Washington DC this past March. As an outgrowth of that conference, she wrote a blog post titled “Why Don’t We Talk about Sexual Assault?” for the APsaA website.
  • Diane Wolman, M.S.W. went through the arduous task of taking the national social work credentialing exam, and has been licensed as a social worker and psychoanalyst in New York State.

We have several continuing education programs planned for this year:

  • Judy Kantrowitz, Ph.D. will be here October 14 and 15, presenting “Endings: Myths of Termination.”
  • Howard Levine, M.D. will present May 19-20, 2017. The title is “The Unconscious Today.”
  • Cecile Bassen, M.D. will be leading a discussion based on the film “Whiplash.”
  • Jonathan Kolb, M.D. will present his paper on “Confessions of a Recovering Ego Psychologist” to us on Friday evening, October 13, 2017.
  • The SPSI Art Salon Committee will be presenting artist Terrell Lozada on December 9, 2016.

More information about these programs will be forthcoming.  Also, you may check the spsi.org calendar for more information.

Finally, you are all invited to the first art opening of the new academic year on September 9th from 6:00-9:00pm. We will be featuring art by Liz Ulrich, Cara Alexander, Karl Krogstad, Trish Lipscomb, Michael Miller, Maaike Bakker, Gina Ballí, Veronique Burke, Rob Janes and Eve Wright. Music will be provided by Sandy Walker, Katie Rene, Jake Powell and Jeff Davies. Admission is free. Drinks and appetizers will be served.

Best regards,
Sue Radant, PhD,
Director