In This Issue

Letter from the President

Letter from the Director of Training

Letter from the Candidate Group

Regional and International News

NPSI Society News

NPSI Institute News

NPSI Member and Candidate News

Analyze This!

Next Issue Deadline
Selected Facts
Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic
Society and Institute

Fall/Winter 2020

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2020 edition of Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
This issue includes letters from our new President, Barbara Sewell and new Director of Training, Dave Parnes, as well as a letter from the NPSI Candidate Group.
Included are summaries of the 2020 Annual Report and of our Community Retreat: "Within and Without".
In Regional and International News, NAPsaC President Robin Deutsch fills us in on the activities and upcoming programs at NAPsaC, and CIPS President Batya Monder reports on a Book Series initiative and upcoming Board position opportunities.
In Society News, we provide you with information on how to access our video recordings via our My NPSI program.
The Spring/Summer 2021 issue of Selected Facts will include a special section devoted to “Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist,” which will occur on January 23, 2021. We invite personal reflections from participants and group facilitators related to the event itself as well as poems, essays, or musings that speak more generally to issues of race and racism.

If you have questions or comments about the articles we publish, or if you have a topic you would like to see addressed in an upcoming issue, please email me at Also, feel free to forward the newsletter to colleagues. Forwarding directions are at the bottom of every issue.
Tese Mason
Managing Editor 
NPSI Board of Directors
President: Barb Sewell
Past-President: Maxine Nelson
Director of Training: Dave Parnes
Secretary: JoAnn Mills
Treasurer: Eileen Fletcher
Community Member Director: Michael Doughtery
Director: Caron Harrang
Director: Alison Kneisl
Director: Carolyn Steinberg
Administrator/Recording Secretary: Tese Mason (non-voting) 
Candidate Representative: Nicole Wiggins (non-voting)
Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educational and scientific activities based in Seattle, Washington. The primary mission of the organization is to provide the highest quality psychoanalytic education and training for individuals seeking to become psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists.

The organization also supports the ongoing professional growth and development of our psychoanalyst, candidate, and community members. In so doing, the organization aims to contribute to the current regional, national, and international psychoanalytic understanding of mental life and to the emotional health, creativity, and well-being of those treated through the practice of psychoanalysis.
Letter from the President
Here we are; in the midst of a pandemic, in a world filled with racial injustice, justifiable anger and protests that can turn violent on a dime. We wait, full of anxiety, to see what the future will bring. And meantime, we diligently turn our hearts and minds to our patients to help them as best we can. We feel our inadequacies, study and train, and grow our capacities to weather the storms that come our way. Each of our members represents a life and a world of individual connections; of family, and countries near and far. As I think of you I am reminded of moments with you, with groups of you, and the loving and painful memories we've shared.
We are the last outpost of humankind. What we do affects the future. How we connect to our pasts, individually and collectively, reveals the values we hold and determines the direction we will grow. I am glad to be part of an organization that seeks to be of help, that seeks to increase our thoughtful contributions to our community in order to help each of us evolve and manage the challenges of life that come our way. My wishes for our group have to do with creating the space where each of us can be empowered to meet the times in the way we need to be. 
In the introduction to their collection of papers on Betty Joseph, Hargreaves and Varchevker (2004) writes: “Joseph believes that the very important function of the group is found in the capacity of members to help each other to contain the anxiety, sense of frustration and professional inadequacy that the work inevitably entails and make use of the awareness of these issues to further understanding of the patient's anxiety, defensive maneuvers and sense of impasse that otherwise can prevent true psychic change.”
I hope we can continue to foster a group that functions like Joseph describes. Where our vulnerabilities are accepted. Where our strengths can develop. Where our differences can be embraced and we can make room for disagreements and all the juicy wrestling matches that help us to realize our limitations and with grace and humility develop as a people. As I Zoom from session to session, person to person, racing to meetings and Skyping through my days, my sense of belonging at NPSI and my relationships to each of you stays with me. I feel stronger facing these times because of you. I hope you too feel the support of NPSI sustaining you and your work. 
Our new Director of Training is Dave Parnes. He and I have talked and we are committed to doing our best with you to grow and sustain our training program so that we can be a beacon in these times. A beacon shedding a light on the darkness of injustice, mental pain, and suffering. We hope our leadership and collaboration with members deepens our understanding of what an inclusive and diverse community can look like; that we can bend the arc of moral justice in a positive way for those in our midst and for the community we live in.

On a personal note, I want to extend an invitation to each of you. If you have any questions or concerns or just want to talk, please send me an email. I will find time for conversation with you. My door is open. Thank you for all you do to make this world a better place. It is my honor and privilege to be a part of this Society and Institute with you.

Thanksgiving Reflections

On a practical note, I want to acknowledge the activities NPSI has been involved with lately and others that are upcoming. It is Thanksgiving as I sit down and reflect and I find myself in the spirit of gratitude. 

  •  I begin with appreciation for the hours of thoughtful energy Maxine Nelson has contributed to Dave Parnes and me in the service of transitioning administrations.

  • Our annual membership party on October 23 brought together a kaleidoscope of expressive voices and faces on the Zoom screen, breaking through the isolation of analytic work and reminding me of the varied personalities and wide range of talents represented in the NPSI membership.

  • As a new Officer on the NPSI Board of Directors, the Annual Board and Advisory Council Retreat broadened my appreciation of business and fiscal concerns which enable and underpin our educational offerings. I didn’t know what a communication audit was until recently. Community Member Director Michael Dougherty taught me what it is and worked with Tese to inaugurate this process for the Board. I didn’t realize the structure that goes into creating the scaffolding and navigation for a website, but now I do as a result of the work that Director Caron Harrang has been engaged in with Totera Web Systems. Eileen Fletcher explained to me why a fiscal calendar and a budget could or could not be reconciled. In addition to her work as Treasurer, Eileen’s years working in Human Resources is helping us tighten our financial policies and provide increased clarity for our budgeting process. Secretary JoAnn Mills and Community Member Director Ali Kneisl have helped me think through a number of business decisions including planning for an online member retreat ("Within and Without") and development of a new Visioning Group. All of these individuals have been generous with their time and expertise over the last few months, educating Dave Parnes and me on business strategy as part of enabling us to function as a non-profit educational organization. These board members are impressive and I count them among our blessings.

  • Election day on November 3 highlighted the importance of the democratic process nationally and locally as we transition into a new administration at NPSI.

  • The Community Retreat on November 14 titled, "Community Engagement: Within and Without" gave those who attended a chance to process our experiences of working during this time of COVID-19. Energy from this retreat, building on the study group initiatives has generated a Visioning Group which will meet on December 5 to clarify the direction of our new administration.

  • Our ability to meet electronically has created the possibility for a wider forum for community conversation and long distance participation in educational opportunities as well as society functions.

  • The NPSI Scientific Meeting, “Black Psychoanalysts Speak" on November 18 led by Zachery Green fostered an inspiring and energetic discussion with the highest attendance of any scientific meetings to date. 

  • We sponsored a Scientific Meeting on Wednesday December 16 in which Marianne Robinson discussed "The Denigrated Other: Diversity and Group Relations" co-authored by Zachary Green. Green's paper explores the work of Bion and others applied to the dynamics of diversity and race within a group relations context.

  • The November and December Scientific Meetings are preparatory for the highly anticipated workshop, “Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist” co-sponsored by COR, NPSI, NWAPS, and SPSI on Saturday January 23, 2021.

  • Also in this edition of the newsletter, Director of Training Dave Parnes recounts his experience of the Community Retreat and we have timely articles in David Jachim’s column, “Analyze This!” and Don Ross’ piece on Propaganda.

These are a few of my reflections and I’m sure you have your own list. I look forward to our evolving relationship as I step into my new role as President.

Barbara Sewell, MaMFC MDIV MRE MIPA
President NPSI
Letter from the Director of Training
I thought I’d begin this letter, the first in my role as Director of Training, by speaking of my own personal and professional experience during this time. This time of unrest, of masks and social distancing, of flattening the curve, of wildfires, of global warming and economic hardship. So, what can I say about this last year? It’s been, for me personally, as I’m sure it’s been for all of you, a tremendously painful, scary, troubling and unsettling time. And, professionally, it’s been a very difficult, strange, and complex time. There is all of the cumulative trauma and grief, experienced by my patients and by me. As well, the frame and setting of the analytic work has been radically altered, for an unknown length of time. Each patient has responded to these sudden changes in their own idiosyncratic way, and through the lens of the transference. And I’m impacted by these changes as well.
I’ve also experienced how my patients and I have soldiered on, despite the enormous challenges, the painful loss of face-to-face contact, the dropped calls and bad connections. We’ve soldiered on - as I know you all have - continuing to do the work, delve into the unknown, and reach out emotionally to one another.
In notable ways, NPSI has taken up the challenges facing us. On November 14, NPSI held a retreat via Zoom titled, “Community Engagement: Within and Without.” This was an opportunity for the NPSI community to come together, process our experiences and discuss the dual theme of the retreat: responding to the pandemic and addressing how the Society and Institute can move towards greater cultural inclusion and diversity.
On January 23, NPSI, along with COR, SPSI and the Alliance is co-sponsoring "Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist.” The collaboration of the four organizations presenting this conference is meaningful in itself and during a time in which isolation and divisiveness can feel like the norm. Keynote speaker Zachary Green, PhD notes in, “The Denigrated Other: Diversity and Group Relations” how “an intolerant culture predisposes itself to breakdown into fanaticism or paranoid xenophobia when confronted with the complexities of interaction in the wider world.” NPSI’s efforts to address structural racism in collaboration with SPSI, COR and the Alliance are indicative of how we, as a community, are facing the challenges being a multiracial country and local community with courage and thoughtfulness.
All of us at NPSI have soldiered on, during a time of enormous upheaval, flux and uncertainty in our nation and in the world at large. Due to the social distancing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can feel like passengers on a small lifeboat, adrift in a turbulent sea; other lifeboats and their passengers in sight, but out of reach. During such times - times of catastrophic change - individuals, groups and cultures will respond in ways corresponding to their ability to tolerate change and the unknown. It inspires and gives me hope to see how our Institute is responding to these difficult times. We’re lashing our boats together and working collaboratively to get through these stormy times.
David Parnes, LICSW FIPA
Director of Training
Letter from the Candidate Group

The Changing Frame of Psychoanalysis
"A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn."
Helen Keller

"One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain."
Rick Godwin

The academic year 2019-2020 proceeded along much the same as any other year until March when the extent of the pandemic ripped through the nation, Washington state and NPSI. Thanks to the quick action of the leadership team at NPSI, we changed overnight the frame for training from in-person classes to Zoom. Likewise, the frame of our practices changed from in-person to telehealth. 

Just as we were orienting to remote training and practicing telehealth psychoanalysis, the pandemic of racism with the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 exploded across the nation and in the streets of Seattle. These pandemics crushed the frame of 'normal' and 'business as usual'. Although institutional racism has been around since the inception of America, it did not rise to the current level of conscious awareness at a national level amongst whites until the horrific murder of George Floyd. The culturally acceptable frame of denial of racism and privilege was for many crushed. Yet there are some who still have not turned the bend in the road because the feared loss of privilege is so hard to bear and there is little awareness of what is to be gained. We have much work to do.

In the early months of the pandemic, it was hoped that we would soon go back to our normal frame of in-person training and practice. In these intervening months, we have discovered that remote training and the practice of remote psychoanalysis is possible. Not only possible, but, in a new way thriving. Academically, the candidate group is progressing in our training. We have taken to remote classes without missing a beat. In training and in our practices, we are coping with and developing new skills to overcome what can be the disembodied, flat, part-object experience of video conferencing. This is evidence that remote training and analysis are viable; that catastrophic change can lead to significant shifts. Rather than striving to return to the normal frame, it may be possible to establish a more flexible frame that includes remote training and becoming an anti-racist profession in theory and practice. 

From the local psychoanalytic community all the way to the international psychoanalytic community, we seem to have turned the bend in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, we are also in the process of turning the bend in response to the pandemic of racism. There are many twists and turns in the road ahead that will require us to bear these and other losses yet to come. Yet these losses can and must be mourned so that psychoanalysis can be born anew in our changing world. 

Becky McGuire, LMHC
Candidate President
Regional and International News
Report of the North American Psychoanalytic Confederation

Robin Deutsch, PhD, FIPA
NAPsaC President

North America is Changing
At the time of my contribution in May, we were all deeply immersed in our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, its effects on our communities, our families, and our patients. We were confronted, literally face-to-face, with the reminder of our second and ongoing pandemic: cycles of racial hatred, violence, and trauma in the United States related to the treatment of African-American lives as expendable. Now in November, we have had an election, millions of our fellow citizens have fallen ill and almost 250,000 have died. Psychoanalytic organizations are engaged in learning how to address systemic racism as it exists in our local and regional organizations and in our culture at large.
The work of NAPsaC is continuing during these disturbing times. The mission of NAPsaC is to promote cooperation amongst all of the North American IPA Societies, Japan, and IPA Study Groups of Vermont, South Korea, and Taiwan. The Board’s current focus is further refining NAPsaC’s organizational structure. One of our goals has been to establish a structure that is unique to the needs of North American psychoanalysts. As of this writing, NAPsaC’s Board has agreed to a major organizational transition: from an organization of members to an organization of organizations. The Board believes this structure will enhance the voice of each component organization, no matter its size. Each component organization’s Board, including NPSI, has approved this change in structure.
Upcoming Programs
Randi Wirth, Chair of the Program committee, reports they have developed two excellent clinical programs, one to be held at APsaA’s national meeting in February 2021, with panelists Cordelia Schmidt-Hellerau, Michael Diamond, and Martin Gauthier. A second program will be held during the IPA Congress in July, and include presenters from the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF) and Federação Psicanalítica da América Latina (FEPAL) as well as NAPsaC. Stay tuned for further details and schedule.
NAPsaC will be offering a Zoom webinar in spring 2021 titled “Meet the Candidates” to introduce all the North American candidates running for the IPA Board of Directors to members and candidates of NAPsaC component societies. Details will be forthcoming, but we invite you to meet your potential representatives, and come prepared with questions. Democracy works best when we all participate!
Join Us
NAPsaC is growing! If you are enthused about bringing your creativity and joining with other analysts in developing NAPsaC as a vibrant regional and international organization, please contact me at NAPsaC currently has openings on the Speaker’s Bureau, to respond to events of social/cultural/political importance such as immigration, climate, and economics. With additional human resources, we hope to develop a Communications committee to monitor and improve content for the website and social media outlets. In the meantime, check us out at
At NAPsaC’s upcoming annual meeting on February 6, 2020, my term as NAPsaC President will come to an end. At the close of that meeting, Mary Kay O’Neil (CPS) will assume the NAPsaC Presidency, Leigh Tobias (PCC) will become President-elect, Carolyn Steinberg (NPSI) will become Secretary, and Sandra Borden (APSA) will continue as Treasurer. Caron Harrang, current Secretary, Drew Tillotson, current Vice President, and I will leave the Board after completing our current terms.
For the past 2 ½ years, it has been my pleasure to work with NAPsaC’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. We owe a debt of gratitude to our colleagues who are willing to serve our organizations. I thank each Board member for welcoming me to NAPsaC when I took over from Lee Jaffe (APsaA). I thank each Board member for sharing with me their frank appraisals of the organization, for highlighting their views of what needed to change to help NAPsaC grow, and for the collaborative work we have done together over the past 2 ½ years to help NAPsaC develop in creative ways. 
The Board has exciting plans for the future growth of NAPsaC. Stay tuned and speaking for the ExCom, we invite each of you to join us in making NAPsaC a more robust and effective Regional Organization.
Report of the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies

Batya R Monder, LCSW, BCD, FIPA, BCpsa
CIPS President
CIPS will soon begin to announce its spring lineup of video conferences. Dorinda Welle, PhD, will teach an Introductory Infant Observation Seminar that begins in January 2021 and runs for seven weeks. This course is co-sponsored by CIPS and the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program, which is jointly affiliated with CFS and IPTAR. Look for a flyer and fuller description of the course in your inbox.
Michael Diamond, PhD, and Pamela Dirham, PhD, current president of LAIPS, will co-lead a two-hour seminar, titled "Dancing in the Dark: Psychoanalytic Musings on Group Regression, Madness and Chaos in the Time of COVID-19".
Peter Wolson, PhD, also a LAIPS member, has been writing about politics for years. He will lead a seminar on Politics and Psychoanalysis. Judy K Eekhoff, a NPSI member, will repeat a course she offered in the fall titled "Trauma and Primitive Mental States".
CIPS will also be offering a course on Suicide Prevention led by Jane Tillman, PhD, who is an expert in the field and has written and presented on suicide prevention over a long career at Austin Riggs Center, where she is the Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research.

The CIPS video conferences will be announced one at a time. Please think about registering for the courses that interest you. CIPS courses are open to full members and candidates and provides an opportunity to learn together with colleagues from other parts of the country.
CIPS Book Series Initiative

Over the last ten years, the CIPS Book Series has published books authored by individual members and by groups of members writing on a single theme. This year, we are launching a new initiative to encourage each of our component societies to produce “society-based” volumes representing the work of their respective communities. Society-based volumes are intended to help individual societies to raise their profiles and recruit new members and candidates, while promoting the work of their contributing authors as well as our larger national community.
The introduction of society-based publication opportunities is accompanied by both an expansion of our potential readership as well as a widening scope of potential topics. As you know, our book series is now being published by Routledge Press, a division of the Taylor and Francis group, whose journals and books cover a wide spectrum of academic and clinical fields. The Routledge division for mental health publications is eager to publish books on a wide variety of psychoanalytic topics, including such specialized practice areas as analytic couple and group treatment as well as books addressing today’s “widening scope” of analytic treatment. These cover clinical problems like addiction, obsessional conditions, attentional problems or emerging issues related to the pandemic. We were especially excited to learn that Routledge is particularly interested in interdisciplinary studies that connect psychoanalysis with traditionally separated areas such as politics, social psychology, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and, of special interest to many of our members, the world of literature. These academic domains offer wonderful contexts for collaboration among members of our multidisciplinary community.
Don Ross, MD FIPA is NPSI liaison to the Book Series Initiative. If you have ideas for a book theme or would like to participate as an author, you are encourage to contact Don at
CIPS Board Certification--What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
Board Certification Period - January 15, 2021, to February 28, 2021
Board Certification is a credentialing process through which a professional community recognizes the maturity and expertise of its qualified members. Professionals who fulfill educational and experiential requirements set by the professional community are awarded board certification in recognition of their seasoned professional competence.
At present in California, in order for psychoanalytic institutes to be accredited as educational bodies, their supervisors and faculty, as well as one-third of their members, must be board certified. These requirements have not yet been imposed on NPSI or on the two CIPS institutes in New York, but they will be in the near future.
This is your opportunity to be ahead of the curve, to become board certified before it is state mandated.
ACPE, the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education, Inc., has recently received what is called a “federal link,” which is the first step to recognition by the U.S. Education Department. When their application as an accrediting body is fully accepted, all CIPS Society training analysts, supervisors, and faculty members will be required to be certified in order for their society to be accredited.
If you are a psychoanalyst at an IPA approved institute interested in board certification, we invite you to see what is involved in applying for board certification on the CIPS website (
My NPSI Library

Access the full library of Scientific Meeting recordings. New recordings are added as they become available, so check back often.
If you need help accessing recordings, please contact NPSI Administrator Tese Mason at 
"Intuition: An Emotional Foundation of Analytic Transformation" presented by Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD FIPA (Scientific Meeting - December 2019)
Intuition, like emotion, cannot be seen, heard, tasted, or touched. Yet we often say, "I sensed it." Sometimes we might say, "I just knew it." Intuition - sensing or knowing an emotional truth - is an essential element of psychoanalysis. In this video recording, Judy K Eekhoff uses Bion's ideas of reverie and his models of transformation as well as a clinical example to illustrate his ideas about Transformation in O.
Click here to purchase the December 2019 Scientific Meeting Recording.  
"Contributions of Neuroscience to Intuition" presented by Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA (Scientific Meeting - February 2020)
In this presentation Maxine Anderson proposes that neuroscience considerations are significant for our understanding of intuition. She outlines how the right brain and autonomic nervous system may usefully be thought of as major contributors to our intuitive capacities.
Click here to purchase the February 2020 Scientific Meeting Recording.
NPSI Institute News
Education Committee
Barb Sewell, MaMFC, MDIV, MRE, MIPA (President, Chair, Curriculum Subcommittee)
Maxine Nelson, LICSW, FIPA (Past-President)
David Parnes, LICSW, FIPA (Director of Training, Chair, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Subcommittee)
Dana Blue, LICSW, FIPA (Chair, Admissions Subcommittee)
David Rasmussen, PsyD, FIPA (Chair, Progression Subcommittee)
Becky McGuire, MS, LMHC (Candidate President, Candidate Group)

Tese Mason (Administrator, Recording Secretary)

The mission of NPSI is to provide the highest quality psychoanalytic education and training for individuals seeking to become psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists. We are currently accepting applications for our Psychoanalytic Training program for Fall 2021.
To read the full report detailing the past year's activities of the NPSI Education Committee, including the various subcommittees, click here.

Admissions Subcommittee:
David Parnes, LICSW, FIPA
Margaret Bergmann-Ness, MA, LICSW, Candidate Representative
Ambre Lane, MD, Candidate Representative
Dana Blue, LICSW, FIPA (Chair)

In the pandemic, the requisite move to distance analysis has offered the Admissions Committee a natural opportunity to observe the effects of remote learning, in order to evaluate the possibility of admitting trainees at a distance to future classes. In conjunction with the Training Analysts Committee and in discussion with the Education Committee, the topic is under consideration. Further, the intensification of the Black Lives Matter Movement has combined with the NPSI exploration of Group Dynamics to invite attention to the question of how we might make our program a more overtly difference-welcoming one. Ideas are most welcome in either of these areas.

The Admissions Committee is seeking a Chair to continue this essential work for the future of the field of psychoanalysis.

Candidates Subcommittee:
Becky McGuire, MS, LMHC, Candidate President (Chair)

Report from the Candidate “Committee”

The academic year 2019-2020 proceeded along much the same as any other year until March 2020 when the extent of the pandemic ripped through the nation, Washington state and NPSI. Thanks to the quick action of the leadership team at NPSI, we switched, overnight, from in-person classes to Zoom classes. The infrastructure was in place as the institute had been developing its long-distance program, so this transition was smooth and easy, compared to the emergence of the pandemic. Our in-person practices switched overnight to telehealth as well. 

Just as we were orienting to distance training and telehealth psychoanalysis, the pandemic of racism with the murder of George Floyd exploded across the nation and in the streets of Seattle. These pandemics crushed “normal” and business as usual instantly and we continue to cope with the tidal waves of catastrophic change. Waves of uncertainty, turbulence, and fright are followed by ebbs of reorienting, finding our way in uncertainty, carrying on as best we can. . .“the new normal”. 

In response to the pandemic of racism, the candidates looked inward and found us and our institute to be part of the problem. We made a commitment to ourselves, to the institute, to the wider community, and to psychoanalysis itself to strive to become anti-racist practitioners in an anti-racist organization. We realize becoming anti-racist is a life-long undertaking, and at the core of becoming an anti-racist organization is becoming anti-racist individually. We are committed to that task at every level. (Please see the Spring 2020 edition of Selected Facts for our written commitment.) 

Academically, all the candidates have been progressing in training. We have taken to remote classes without missing a beat. We have managed to cope with, what at times, seems like the never-ending frustrations of technology issues and the disembodied, flat, part-object experience of video conferencing. This is evidence that remote training and remote analysis are viable; that catastrophic change can lead to paradigm shifts and we can strive not for normal but for better. We are grateful that we have technology, a leadership team, and colleagues that supports adaptation so that we can continue our training and work; we acknowledge these privileges. 

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program Subcommittee:
Dave Parnes, LICSW, FIPA (Chair)
Helen Widlansky, PhD
Dina Maugeri, MA, LMHC
John Allemand, PhD, LICSW, BCD, MPH
Samantha Good, LICSW

The committee met periodically throughout the year, focusing on resuming the Fundamentals course in the coming academic year. The committee made an extensive review of the program, including: marketing and advertising strategies; the name of the program; the curriculum; the website content; and, how the program fits into the overall mission of NPSI. As part of this process, the committee also researched other psychoanalytic psychotherapy programs offered elsewhere. As a result of this review, changes, updates and tweaks were made to the program.
Some advertising efforts had to be curtailed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, the committee made a decision to offer year one of the Fundamentals course, beginning in October of 2020, as an online-only program. As a consequence of this decision, the program was marketed more extensively in Canada. On October 1, the course resumed, with 14 students attending, via Zoom, from around the country and Canada.

Curriculum Subcommittee:
Anna Delacroix, LMHC (Candidate Representative)
Esti Karson, PhD, FIPA
Barbara Sewell, LMHC, FIPA (Chair)

The Curriculum Committee has been active with the regular tasks listed on the attached policies and procedures page. I have listed the areas we have been active in here.

Teaching Positions filled: We have been actively filling teaching positions by soliciting instructors from within and without NPSI broadening our teaching base. Esti and Barb have successfully sought instructors and filled all of the teaching needed for the past year and have much of the coming year filled as well. The teaching schedule for this year is attached below.

Responding and incorporating candidate feedback: At the retreat last fall, the candidates requested a class focused on how to transition cases into analytic frequency and stated they would like to hear from senior analysts more of how they think and work. We created a Process and Technique class on this topic and invited 6 senior analysts as guest instructors.

Incorporating Ethics: The Curriculum Committee was involved in bringing Board member Brad Cokelet in to teach and facilitate an ethics class one Friday last fall. Esther Karson worked with Brad to decide on readings and direction for this class.

Uniformity in syllabi and reading: Anna Delacroix has been an invaluable help in these areas researching references for reading on the PEP and on the internet and editing syllabi for uniformity.

Combining Didactic Classes when possible: We listened to feedback from instructor’s and candidates about class size and workable study groups and we have combined all didactics when possible and appropriate for both the didactic classes and clinical seminars.

Transitioning to Zoom classes: The CC also has helped in the transition to using Zoom for classes and new requirements from the Continuing Education Licensing Board NASW

Progression Subcommittee:
Lynn Cunningham, MA, MA, PhD, LICSW (Candidate Representative)
Judy K. Eekhoff, PhD, FIPA
Julie Hendrickson, MA, LMHC, FIPA
Esti Karson, PhD, FIPA David Rasmussen, PhD, FIPA (Chair)

The Progression Committee's main task is to support and assist Candidates as they progress through the psychoanalytic training program. The PC also maintains the integrity of the training program requirements. As such, the Progression Committee reviews control case reports, faculty evaluations of didactic and clinical seminars, assists in arranging Oral examinations, and graduation papers. The Progression Committee works with Candidates when challenges occur during training. We meet twice per year with each Candidate over the course of their training. We also periodically update the Candidate Handbook for incoming cohorts. During 2020, we have had the additional task of thinking about how to adjust training guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic. NPSI has implemented on-line (Zoom) seminars, control cases, supervision, and training analysis during the pandemic, and the Progression Committee has participated in implementing these changes.

Summary of Community Engagement Retreat: "Within and Without"
On November 14, NPSI held a retreat for its membership, facilitated by President Barb Sewell and Director of Training Dave Parnes. Twenty-six people, representing all three member constituencies of NPSI: TA’s and Faculty; Candidates; and Community Members, participated in the meeting, which was planned as a follow-up to the retreat held on June 6. The theme for the retreat was: Community engagement, within and without.

How do we become a more culturally diverse and inclusive learning community?
How do we continue functioning in our lives, our training, our practices, and as psychoanalytic society and institute, under COVID-19?

Here is the dialogue that occurred between Dave and Barb shared with participants at the retreat.

Dave Parnes:
Within and Without
How do we process our pain and grief, in the face of so many problems in our country, the world, the planet? And how do we do that within the confines of social distancing?
Without our usual therapeutic setting, the face-to-face encounter within our office, we, our patients, and our work, are impacted, in ways both conscious and unconscious.
How can those of us within NPSI help those without, to cope with the trauma of these times?

COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities in our society: those with and those without.
How can we, collectively, look within, to explore how the institute can become more culturally and racially inclusive? Do we have a larger role in addressing equity in the greater society?

We are “here” today, “with” one another… and we are not.
How do we continue to grow and nurture the NPSI membership, so as to have a thriving and robust society and institute, and

How can those within NPSI become motivated to take on leadership positions?
Can NPSI join with other organizations and individuals to address the collective trauma and grief in our world?

Projection and introjection create a cycle that results in the perception of that which is within and that which is without. This foundational psychoanalytic concept is particularly relevant in understanding many of the current issues in our nation and the world. Psychoanalysis has many such concepts, which can be of great use in understanding and addressing the issues we face.

Barb Sewell:
Dave sent me his responses and I thought to myself I have nothing to add! I could reflect on those questions for a lifetime. But since he asked for my thoughts I sat down to see what would come to my mind as I considered the chosen topic for this retreat, Community Engagement: Within and Without. Here are some of those thoughts.

Within. Within what? 
The womb? (What is the room in the womb like? Spacious, crowded, nurturing, withholding?)
The group? (Same questions as above?)
Bion says that a preconception mates with a realization and a conception is formed. The birth of a spacious life giving concept allows the individual to grow. How do we as an organization and a people facilitate that?
It’s easy to conceive if I think of what is not life giving. Cut off, exclusion, exclusive judgmental attitudes. No space, no entry in.
What are the sustaining benefits of being within?

Without. Without what? Lacking what?
On the outside. To be on the outside is an especially vulnerable place to be if you need something from inside. There needs to be a conduit from the inside to the outside. What kind of conduits do we have and do they run one direction or back and forth? What is the benefit of one direction or bidirectional?
What is the benefit to being on the outside? Can an outside experience benefit an inside experience and vice versa?

What methods of communicating are there from within to without?
What methods are there for communicating from without (lack, or on the outside) to within?

**As I am writing these thoughts my phone dings and indicates Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died. I’m thinking of who is inside the courts and how that will impact those on the outside. I saw a sign that had the word TRUTH on it with the name Ruth inside of that word highlighted. Our dedication to truth and desire for a community dedicated to truth seeking is something we hold in common with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’m wearing my pearls today in honor of her

Breakout Groups:
Having heard from Dave and Barb, attendees broke into small groups and had open discussion of the retreat theme. Breakout group facilitators then reported back to the full group and together we shared our thoughts. Here are some of the many topics discussed:

The link between COVID-19 and inclusion is a positive correlation. COVID-19 has required distance learning which allows for greater inclusion by allowing more people to attend events.The vantage point from being on the outside is a 'privileged view' that is quite valuable.

There are gains that come with some of the losses from COVID-19. Gains include not being as rushed, work transitions are almost non-existent, and some feel an increased appreciation of community and gatherings such as this.

The need and importance of having 'outside eyes' (people of color, disadvantaged persons, etc.) in the psychoanalytic community.

The difficulties of increasing the diversity of our Society and Institute, due to the lack of diversity within the psychoanalytic field, means we need to become focused and intentional in our outreach efforts.

We are facing varied truths: impermanence, vulnerability, life unfolding, absolute truth and unbearable psychic pain. Through these extremes, NPSI has an opportunity to investigate racism, sexism, and other dimensions of discrimination.
NPSI Member and Candidate News
Community Members in Action
Connie Sais, LMHC Reporter
Judy K Eekhoff, PhD, FIPA presented “Intuition & Transformation in O” at the International Bion Conference in Barcelona, Spain on February 1, 2020. She presented “The Black Hole: Alarm signal of Catastrophe” as the invited speaker for the C. Philip Wilson Memorial Lecture at the Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY; formerly the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute) via Zoom Webinar on September 14. In addition, Judy was an invited plenary speaker at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society (October 30-31) where she presented “No Words to Say It: Trauma and Unmentalized States” via Zoom webinar.



A bright metal screen.
Eyes peering, ears harkening.
Together with Zoom.

Covid therapy –
Your internet connection
Is unstable. Sigh…

Birds at my window –
A chair, a screen, me, then you.
Virtual session.

By Julie Hendrickson, MA, LMHC, FIPA

"The Hundred Minute Hour"

By Donovan R Bigelow JD, LLM, MA, LMHC
Why do therapists almost universally use a 50-minute hour to see patients?        
Because Freud said so, that's why.

It may seem strange now that, since Freud has often come under critical scrutiny over the last several decades, most therapists hold rather strictly and without serious question, to some or most of his technical recommendations. At this stage, it seems unlikely that most therapists even know where their technique comes from. It has simply been the culture within which most therapists were educated and began their practice. The 50-minute hour has been one of those unquestioned recommendations since literally the 1890's. It seems to work for most patients and most therapists, and that was all the justification anyone seemed to need. It simply has not been seriously questioned. And, to be clear, I do not intend with this writing to call that bit of technique into question myself. I do, however, wish to add a new perspective that might be useful to many patients and therapists.
To begin with, psychoanalysis has been traditionally done with 5-6 sessions per week (Freud worked Saturdays) with each session being 50 minutes long. The patient in a formal analysis would be lying on the couch with the analyst sitting behind him or her just out of sight. As time went on, that tradition has been modified in some cases to reduce the number of sessions to 3 or 4 per week. The duration remains 50 minutes per session.

As psychotherapy began to replace psychoanalysis as the method of choice since the 1960's the technique moved away from the couch to simply sitting up face to face across the therapist's office at whatever distance the therapist was comfortable with. The sessions were reduced to once a week with some therapists seeing patients more than once a week but the session length has remained 50 minutes to this day.
The Story of My Innovation

Almost 15 years ago, a female patient came to me after divorcing her husband of 30 years. We began with the standard 50-minute session scheduled for once a week face to face. It became clear to both of us rather quickly that she needed more support than 50 minutes a week was going to provide her so she asked if more hours were available on my calendar. I did have more hours then but she lamented her commute from her home rather far north of my office was very difficult for her and could she perhaps see me for two hours back to back rather than on separate days? 

I will never forget that moment. I was actually initially confused by the question. I had never heard of such a request before, certainly not in my own practice, but more importantly, I took some pride in a vast library of books on technique and psychoanalytic theory and there was no reference to such a thing that I was aware of. I literally sat there for a moment scanning the books on my shelves and was at a loss as to how to respond.

When I suggested to her that nothing of the sort had been done before she seemed mildly disappointed and simply said, “Well, can we try it?”  I remember feeling a bit like I was contemplating some mischief that might get me in trouble, but, after a brief hesitation, I said, “Sure, let's try.” And so began my trial of a technical innovation that was to transform my entire practice. 

What happened almost immediately was that the work went deeper than I had experienced before with just the 50 minute hour to work with. The sustained attention seemed to afford a stronger, safer holding environment. This facilitated the bringing to conscious awareness of insights that would not have been accessible with less sustained effort on both our parts. Resistances could be more readily addressed, projective processes more thoroughly explored, and the evolution of the link between us could more patiently be nurtured with the extra time. 

I seems like a patient might be able to hide from me for 50 minutes, but no one has been able to hide from me for 100 minutes, at least so far. I believe that changing the time of the clinical hour has gone a very long way in countering resistance. It was in the working through of resistances that Freud saw any therapist's greatest challenge. Perhaps that challenge is not as great as it once was.         

Most importantly, dream interpretation, which has always remained central to my day to day work, was significantly more productive given the extra time to explore the patient's associations to each element of the dream. 

To paraphrase Hamlet, it seemed like an undiscovered country we were exploring. 

Over the course of the first 2 years of this work she improved considerably by every measure: insight concerning the developmental precursors to her issues, anxiety management, lifting depression, effective working through of the grieving process, and on and on. We were both pleased. This continued for approximately 5 years at which time we terminated due to her relocation plans. 

During all this time I had not been comfortable talking about my “discovery” to other clinicians.  What mischief might I be accused of?  What heresy even? 

In spite of such concerns I decided to suggest it to other patients who seemed able and willing to make the transition to what I hoped would be consistently deeper and more effective work. That was ten years ago and now the vast majority of my patients see me in blocks of 100 minutes once or even twice a week. The results have been unequivocally positive for all of the ones with whom I have tried the longer sessions. I have yet to experience any downside and no patient has raised concerns. I will continue to offer this technical option to all new patients if my schedule allows it. 

In large part because of the quality of the work this allows the patients to experience, my practice is now nearly at capacity. My third analyst suggested to me in response to a question I posited to her about marketing, that the best marketing was doing good work. This innovation is now a central part of the best work I do.

It seemed like a good time to do a bit of research and see if there actually was any support in the literature for my little bit of mischief. All I could find was some anecdotal musings from my second analyst concerning “condensed analysis” that was conducted in Los Angeles years ago when famous analysts would be flown into town to do extended sessions on a Saturday as part of formal analytic training in a local institute. This seemed rather different that what I was doing and was, in any case, hardly the results of careful research. 

I continued my search. I could only find 2 references to modifying the length of the clinical hour and, perhaps somewhat ironically, they were both from Freud himself.  

The first was a rather vague reference from “Further Recommendations on Technique, 1913, (I) On the Beginning the Treatment” pages 127-128.  He states,
...When the hours of work are less frequent, there is a risk of not being able to keep pace with the patient's real life and of the treatment loosing contact with the present and being forced into by-paths. Occasionally, too, one comes across patients to whom one must give more than the average time of one hour a day, because the best part of an hour is gone before they begin to open up and to become communicative.       

The second reference I happened upon accidentally while researching a lecture on Freud that I had been asked to give to a local organization. In The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sandor Ferenczi, Volume 3, 1914-1919, p 129-130, Ferenczi requests, “I would spend this time in treatment with you and request that you reserve two hours a day....” Freud responds, “...Since you want it that way..., I will reserve for you two hours a day from the middle of June on....”

Somewhat after the fact, I seem to be in good company and on relatively solid theoretical ground. I hope this little excursion will be useful to clinicians and patients alike.  
Candidate reporter Jack M Ringel, LICSW

NPSI candidates continue to navigate—as we all do—this utterly remarkable and challenging year, including leaning on each other and connecting every week over Zoom. Our group is energized in our training, and in trying to be voices of constructive change amidst the shifting social and cultural tides that our communities face.
In October, Mary Sacco, LMHC, was involved in a presentation titled “Abandonment and Exclusion in the Context of the Chinese Exclusion Act”. This event involved the work of artist Cheryll Leo-Gwin, and was hosted by the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (SPSI) Art Salon Committee. The mission of the salon is to serve “[…] as a bridge between the institute and the greater Seattle community, by inviting artists to present their work. We explore the interface of art and psychoanalysis as it deepens our understanding of creativity, aesthetics, psychological and artistic processes. In collaboration with the artist, through shared stories, dialogue and discussion, we seek to highlight, to learn and to challenge our beliefs about race, equity, gender, sexuality, and the environment." Mary Sacco, LMHC, and Erica Rubin, PsyD, facilitated the discussion, where Ms. Leo-Gwin described the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act on her personally, as well as her hopes to tell the untold stories of many through her art.
Analyze This!
By David Jachim, PhD, FIPA

"Arrogance and Ignorance in the Time of COVID-19"

“The part of life we live is really small.”
- Unknown Poet

As psychoanalysts we are familiar with the clinical concepts of arrogance and ignorance. We understand that arrogance, in particular, is a derivative of unresolved infantile omnipotence. Ignorance, often a corollary to arrogance, might also be understood as a state of either not knowing or refusing to know (remaining ignorant). The death instinct further complicates the profile of arrogance (with pride as its subsidiary) by adding a pathological curve to the mix. Bion has noted “When pride is present with the life instinct pride becomes self-respect. If it is present with the death instinct it becomes arrogance.” Charles Caleb Colton has added to the helix of arrogance by stating, “The whole family of pride and ignorance are incestuous, they mutually beget each other.”

Omnipotence provides a defense against the anxiety of smallness and dependency, an early wound that is created by a reality that arrives prematurely and en masse.  Steiner has observed, there is a traumatic shock wave in the sequence to maturity (“from “I am the breast” to “I need the beast and I am not the breast.”). Steiner has also pointed out that the premature uncovering of infantile omnipotence lends a sense of shame as well and, we might also say, obstructs the ability to accept the uncertainty that is part of reality and the human condition. Indeed, uncertainty only increases as we become more aware of our universe (“There has been an alarming increase in what we do not know” – Scientific American).

COVID-19 has become the reality that challenges our smallness, our vulnerability. For many, the pandemic has increased the anxiety in meeting the real, natural world and thus the need to retreat to ignorance. Masks, for instance, become the hallmark of arrogance and ignorance as it symbolizes to some that their independence and power is being taken away (“Don’t Tread on Me”). Such defenses obscure the reality that we are all vulnerable, inter dependent and need to protect one another. Such pathological maneuvers are further reflected in the idolization of a deeply wounded president who was raised in an aura of arrogance and ignorance.

COVID-19 has also brought these issues to smack us in the face in our clinical settings. How do we talk with patients about this terrible threat to our existence and how we are all tied together in its wake? Of course, we can analyze the clinical meaning of this dilemma for each individual patient e.g. the patient’s own degree of omnipotence, fear of uncertainty, dependency and refusal to accept, as Steiner has pointed out, the feminine that exists in all of us. However, we may have the duty also to address the humbling and sometimes painful acceptance of the natural world and the larger, sociological interdependence between human beings that also provides a vital boost to each of our emotional immunities.

Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden of Eden in sorrow, guilt and shame but they also gained the valuable assets of humility, human need and responsibility. I think we all need to exit the Garden together.

“Ignorance is the womb of monsters.”
- Pulpit
"Thinking Propaganda"
By Don Ross, MD, FIPA

Suffering from the barrage of propaganda…pitches from politicians, pharmaceutical companies, Black Friday discounts? The antidote (a bit more propaganda perhaps)…analyze your fears.

Propaganda belongs to the broader universe of communication and promotes a particular idea, way of thinking or action. Etymologically, it is derived from the Latin, to propagate, as in to propagate some idea. The activities of consumer and political marketing and advertising are examples applied to specific purposes, but nonetheless are forms of propaganda. Public health messaging is arguably a form of propaganda. Messages may include facts and deception. In either case, propaganda’s intent is to persuade me to buy into the message-sender's point of view.

Psychoanalysis, beginning in the 1940’s with Kris, Money-Kyrle and Ackerman has examined propaganda. Earlier research sought to explain how certain, not all, people are susceptible to propaganda. Kris described a parallel between hypnosis and propaganda. Money-Kyrle asserted that certain uneducated classes have a propensity to be being influenced by propaganda. Depressive-paranoid and manic phases of suggestibility offered him a template for understanding the phenomenon. “The most effective propaganda probably begins with an appeal to fear. It first points out symbols of bad parents and so raises these sleeping demons of unconscious fantasy; and then erects compensatory symbols of good parents, heroes who are strong enough to defeat the demons, and who can restore lost belief in their power to do creative work, and gives courage to face real dangers often in fact far greater than the more or less imaginary ones they were first made to fear.”

To me, this psychoanalytic theory is interesting but unnecessarily obfuscating. I agree that our susceptibility is based on fear. But experientially, we’re susceptible because at deep or less deep levels, we all: 1) fear loss and desire gain, 2) fear ignominy and desire fame, 3) fear blame and desire praise and 4) fear suffering and desire happiness. How we stage and enact these fears on our own unique internal stage make up the bread and butter psychoanalysis. The stories are very good theater; they bring the abstract to life, but they are only apparently alive.

The unanalyzed mind’s task of eliminating its apparent fears and obtaining its desires is futile. Never realizing the true basis and futility of the task, we look for a way out by re-papering our prison walls, suggestible and trapped in a Sartre-like theater of “No Exit” We achieve fame, we fear indifference. We accumulate great wealth, we fear its loss. We receive praise, fear blame. It’s not only a problem of the uneducated. It’s a problem for any unexamined mind.

Ultimately, we may realize that the narratives are conceptual inventions, only seeming to be real. Tearfully, joyfully we glimpse the central cause of our existential problem. We have mistaken views of who we are in essence and what we fundamentally need. Such thinking, not driven by fear or hope, unconstrained by concepts and unimpeded by theories, has limitless creative potential. Propaganda has no foothold.  
Selected Facts: Next Issue Deadline
The next issue of Selected Facts will be published in June 2021. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2021.
Please contact Tese Mason with general questions or our reporters with news items or ideas for stories.
Tese Mason
Managing Editor

Margaret Bergmann-Ness
Copy Editor

Jack Ringel
Reporter, Candidates

Connie Sais
Reporter, Community Members

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