Statement from the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

August 4, 2020

Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute would like to take this opportunity to voice our care and support for our friends, relatives, colleagues, clients and patients of color.

Since its founding in 1946, our institute, and the study and practice of psychoanalysis, has historically been overwhelmingly white.  Over its long history, SPSI has not adequately reached out to our friends, colleagues and relatives of color for their wisdom, experience and perspective in bringing diversity in the practice and teaching of psychoanalysis to our members, and to those we endeavor to help.

At this historic moment, the evidence of societal racism, and the trauma inflicted on people of color in America and the world over, calls on us to take our place among the ranks of allies and supporters of Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and myriad other people of color.

SPSI dedicates itself to an ongoing effort to become an institute that acknowledges and reflects the diversity of its members, society at large, and those we seek to help through the study and practice of psychoanalysis.

To that end, SPSI has implemented, and is currently implementing the following (list to be updated as needed):

  • In 2016, we completed a grant proposal and obtained a diversity grant from ApsaA.  Since that time, the following effort have been made toward inclusivity and diversity.
    • Curriculum:
      • A new class, “Diversity & Difference” was developed and offered in the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and the four-year Core Analytic Training at SPSI. In addition to the courses specifically dedicated to topic, diversity issues are now represented throughout the curricula for both the psychoanalysis and the psychotherapy training programs.
    • Continuing Education Programing:
      • The SPSI Art Salon hosted a film and a panel discussion on the movie Get Out.
      • In the 20-21 academic year, a SPSI Scientific Session will offer a psychoanalytic understanding of racism
      • Along with COR, NPSI, and The Alliance, SPSI is co-sponsoring a workshop with Dr. Zachary Green, Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist.
    • Self-Assessment:
      • We had a SPSI retreat entitled, Engaging Diversity, with LueRachelle Brim-Atkins, MA held at the Northwest African American Museum.
      • Diversity issues have become an ongoing agenda item at SPSI faculty meetings.
      • We have begun a program of ongoing Town Halls to address racism inside and outside of SPSI.
    • Advocacy:
      • We sent a letter to Governor Inslee requesting that mental health providers be included as a part of the Governor’s task force on improved collaboration between the police and mental health intervention.
      • A clinical associate peer support program has been created to help new clinical associates to make the transition into the SPSI community. Particular attention will be paid to the unique experiences of people of color entering SPSI.