Policy Statements

Politics As Usual?

Posted November 11, 2007

Dear fellow psychoanalyst,

I do appreciate the effort you are making to read these messages. It’s the primary way you can learn about your future leaders and make your choices. By mutual agreement, your presidential candidates are not traveling around the country, and I can afford only one costly mailing to the entire membership. But the Election List has been a great vehicle for communicating with you openly and fully. I join the other candidate for President-Elect in urging you to cast your vote. Read more…

Perspectives on Leadership I

Posted November 2, 2007

Being asked to run for President-Elect of this prestigious but troubled organization leads me to reflect on the nature of leadership. What qualifies a person to assume such a challenging responsibility? In my reflections, the following words came to mind: Vision – Integrity – Intelligence – Initiative, energy – Open-mindedness, balance, respect – Steadiness, consistency – Interpersonal skills, approachability – Breadth of interests – Sense of Humor – Articulateness – Organization, efficiency – Experience, understanding of complex issues – Ability to see both sides of an issue and achieve a resolution – and most daunting…Wisdom. It feels intimidating and a bit presumptuous to realize that, consciously or unconsciously, the members are assessing me for these very qualities. Read more…

Perspectives on Leadership II: Health Care Economics and Psychotherapy in the Larger World

Posted November 2, 2007

I have long felt that, in order to survive, psychoanalysis had to engage in the world around it rather than withdrawing into itself. For that reason I have been very much involved in my own particular profession of psychiatry (see “On Coming Together,” Election 2007 list 9/30/07) Every step of the way I was up front about being a psychoanalyst who felt that my psychoanalytic persona had much to contribute to who I was and what I was doing. Read more…

Perspectives on Leadership III: An Evolving Psychoanalysis in a Changing World

Posted November 2, 2007

Bringing with me an extensive background in health care economics, I was appointed chair of APsaA’s Committee on Government Relations and Insurance (CGRI) in 1988. We spearheaded the APA’s entry into lobbying by hiring a professional government relations consultant, initially aiming to improve insurance coverage for psychoanalytic therapy. The ominous rise of managed care brought about a shift to advocacy for privacy and confidentiality. I was appointed to the Joint Committee on Confidentiality and continue to serve on it. Read more…

Our Multi-Layered Professional Identity

Posted October 15, 2007

I am a psychoanalyst!

That pronouncement might seem obvious and redundant to you, the reader, considering the office I’m running for – and you would say the same about yourself. I emphasize it because I think we need to give some thought to the many layers of who we are. Read more…

On Coming Together: A Challenge in Leadership

Posted September 30, 2007

Psychoanalysis has a long record of schisms and splits that I need not recount here. I fervently hope that in our second century we have matured past that way of handling our disagreements. Just as a democracy embraces its citizens of all political and religious stripes, this Association can embrace analysts of an immense variety of theoretical persuasions. We have a common ground in the fundamental experience of psychoanalysis that takes people deep into inner experience and self-knowledge and gives them new mastery, and does it in a protected environment of free expression and close attention to the relationship between the two parties. Read more…

Certification, Standards, and Competence

Posted September 27, 2007

The OpenLine discussion of these issues has taken a refreshing turn, with some new contributors taking us beyond complaints about certification to a broader discussion of psychoanalytic education, assessment of competence, and maturation of training analysts. I have given a lot of thought to these issues and feel that there are no simple answers. My views are as follows:Psychoanalysis needs national standards for its own strength and its credibility to the larger world. Even our largest institutes are subject to wide variations and idiosyncrasies. Given the subjective nature of analysis, a national consensus about the central essence of psychoanalysis and the basics of competence – common denominators regardless of the analyst’s preferred theoretical viewpoint – carries much more weight in validating it as a treatment method. Read more…

Our Evidence Base

Posted September 23, 2007

The hallmark of a vital science is that it evolves. Now well into its second century, psychoanalysis is no exception. A high priority for my leadership is that we must strengthen our evidence base and do a better job of assimilating it coherently. This applies to psychodynamic psychotherapy as well as psychoanalysis. I have been pursuing this objective for the last two decades. Read more…

On Bylaws and Training Standards

Posted September 11, 2007

Amending the bylaws is a long and arduous process. As chair of the Joint Committee on Bylaws I oversee the hard work of our talented and diversified committee as it meticulously drafts a number of relatively simple and non-controversial changes that are the minimum required to achieve compliance with New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. These will come to you in proxy ballots for the January and June, 2008, meetings of members. If approved by 2/3 of the membership casting ballots, that troublesome matter will be behind us. Functionally, little will change. Read more…

Strengths And Goals

Posted August 24, 2007

Dear member of the American Psychoanalytic Association,

You have an important choice to make in voting for the next President-Elect of this prestigious Association. I am honored to be nominated and promise that I will give all I can to leading the organization if you choose to elect me. We are in a time of great challenge and great promise. Read more…