BGSP News & Notes

News from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

Issue #10 , July, 2006

Edited by Eileen Keating & Stephen Soldz

Welcome to the latest issue of BGSP News & Notes! This is an occasional e-mail newsletter to keep people informed about what's going on at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. We will present information about recent and upcoming school events, faculty and student publications and presentations, continuing education classes, and other news of interest to the BGSP community.
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Cape Cod Summer Institute: Psychoanalytic Education and Training: Where are We and Where are We Going?

This year's annual Cape Cod Summer Institute to be held the week of July 29 through August 4 addresses critical issues in psychoanalytic education and training. Forty years after the inception of modern psychoanalysis and the establishment of modern psychoanalytic institutes it is time to examine what we've accomplished and where we are heading. Do modern psychoanalytic innovations continue to provide the most effective approaches to treatment of the preoedipal patient? To training? How do we differ from other schools in our treatment and training approaches? Are these differences significant and ubiquitous to modern psychoanalytic training? We are now offering master's and doctoral degrees in psychoanalysis and applied psychoanalysis (applied to the study of violence in concert with other disciplines). How has degree granting affected training? What kinds of research are being generated in the field? In doctoral projects? What kinds of applications of psychoanalysis are evolving as we develop research and new programs, e.g., the Institute for the Study of Violence, the school based therapy program?

These and other questions will be addressed through discussion format morning sessions at the conference itself, August 1 through August 4, and at the preconference retreats for faculty and students and graduates on July 30 and 31. The Institute is held at the Wellfleet Elementary School in Wellfleet, MA. For more information contact Jill Solomon.

Claudia Luiz Wins Phyllis W. Meadow Award

Claudia Luiz, an alumna of the BGSP Certificate program and a current doctoral student at the school, was declared the winner of the First Annual Phyllis W. Meadow Award for Excellence in Psychoanalytic Writing; she will receive a $3,000 prize. A psychoanalyst in Westwood, Massachusetts, Ms. Luiz won for her paper, "Pushing Through Boundaries of Inner Space: The Need for Analytic Transparency in the Treatment of a Juggler." Ms. Luiz was honored at a celebration held at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in New York City on June 23rd marking the thirtieth anniversary of the journal Modern Psychoanalysis.

Honorable Mentions went to Alina Schellekes of Israel for "Writing As a Protective Shell; The Analysis of a Young Writer;" Patrick Lee Miller of North Carolina for "Oedipus Rex Revisited;" and New York's Stephen R. Guttman for "Is Hysteria Still Relevant?" All four papers will be published in Modern Psychoanalysis.

BGSP Graduates First Doctorates

In a landmark ceremony on April 9, 2006, at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis awarded its first doctorates of psychoanalysis. Four doctorates in clinical psychoanalysis were granted from the Vermont School of Psychoanalysis, a branch of the Boston Graduate School, awarded to Rodrigo Barahona, Dan Gilhooley, Gohar Homayanpour and Joan White. Four graduates were awarded the interdisciplinary Doctor of Psychoanalysis in the Study of Violence, Eliana Calligaris, Michal Ginach, Robin Gomolin and Miriam Riss. Five Master's degrees were also conferred and an honorary doctorate was awarded posthumously to Dr. Phyllis Meadow. Dr. Stephen Hayes, Chair of the Board of Trustees, gave the graduation address, an enjoyable account of his personal history with BGSP over the years since its inception.

Spotnitz Master Class to be Held in the Fall

BGSP is pleased to announce that it will offer an extension course in the fall 2006 semester that will feature DVD presentations from the 1978 lecture series given by Hyman Spotnitz, MD, MED.Sci. in New York. This series was one of the first comprehensive public presentations of the theory of modern psychoanalytic technique and as such is an important historical document. The videos, which feature Dr. Spotnitz lecturing and working with questions from the audience, provide an unusual opportunity to experience a master clinician at work. A panel, composed of BGSP faculty who have worked with Dr. Spotnitz, will facilitate commentary and discussion. The course will be held on the regular BGSP class Fridays from 4:40 to 6:30.

Gohar Homayounpour Defends Doctoral Dissertation

The Vermont School of Psychoanalysis, BGSP's Vermont Branch, had its fourth doctoral dissertation defense in February. Gohar Homayounpour defended her paper, The Transferential Nature of Language in the Analytic Situation: Can One be in Analysis in the Wrong Language? Dr. Homayounpour's study examined patients who were undergoing psychoanalysis in a language that was not their native tongue. She found that the language issue became a resistance patients used to express their feeling that the analyst could never really understand their true nature. As she expresses it in her abstract: "The data point to a number of common fantasies that the participants attach to their mother tongue. These fantasies all tend to be emotionally loaded speaking to the affective nature of the mother tongue. In the analysands' reported desire for a particular language in analysis, we hear their transference communications about their analysts, including their fantasies about the pre-oedipal mother, as well as their infantile longings."

Dr. Homayounpour's committee was chaired by Siamak Movahedi of BGSP and VSP. Also on her committee were Joan White of BGSP and VSP, and Fred Busch of the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England, East (PINE).

BGSP Faculty Member to be "Research Leader" at Australian University

Stephen Soldz, BGSP faculty member and Director of its Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development, will be spending time this summer at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. Dr. Soldz was selected for an award under the Australian university's "Research Leader Scheme" to share his expertise with colleagues and graduate students in Wollongong.

From July 12 through August 5th, Dr. Soldz will be in residence in Wollongong. He is scheduled to give talks on his research on personality and on modern psychoanalytic theory and technique. During his trip, he will also attend the Australasian Personal Construct Psychology Conference. Dr. Soldz hopes to establish collaborative relationships with faculty and researchers at the University of Wollongong.

Faculty Member Discusses Avian Flu Threat on Television

On March 16, BGSP faculty member Stephen Soldz discussed the avian flu pandemic threat on New England Cable Network's Newsnight with Jim Braude. Timed to coordinate with a series on the pandemic threat on ABC News, the discussion focused on the extent of the threat and on inadequacies in current preparations to deal with it.

Dr. Soldz was selected because of his web writings on the issue, including The Avian Flu Threat is Real and Avian flu excuses begin .

Models and Meanings: Stephen Soldz's Commentary in Psychotherapy Research

BGSP faculty member Stephen Soldz recently published an invited commentary in Psychotherapy Research, the journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research . The journal accepted two papers analyzing the same question - the extent of therapist differences in client outcomes - in the same dataset, coming to opposite conclusions. Two of the journal's Editorial Board, Dr. Soldz, and Paul Crits-Christoph of the University of Pennsylvania, were asked to comment on the discrepant findings. Dr. Soldz took the opportunity to view these studies in light of his pragmatic constructivist view of scientific research as the construction of empirically-defensible stories. Dr. Soldz's paper, "Models and meanings: Therapist effects and the stories we tell" can be downloaded here.

Gallery 1581 Activities

Gallery 1581 at BGSP opened the new show, "A Thousand Words" on May 19th with works by approximately 50 established and emerging artists incorporating text with imagery. Panelists Robin Dash from the Rose Art Museum and Education Departments and Gunta Kaza from the Massachusetts College of Art spoke about the links between art and psychoanalysis and opened the discussion between artists and psychoanalysts about common experiences in the studio and the consulting room. One artist and psychoanalyst put it, "Making art for me is like all of the good parts of having a love affair with none of the bad parts." The opening and discussion were part of the Brookline Open Studio and will be an annual event at the gallery. The show may be viewed until October 13.

Artists who would like to submit work for upcoming shows or who would like to be contacted about analytic groups forming specifically for artists may leave their contact information at the gallery. The mission of Gallery 1581 is to bring art and psychoanalysis together through imagery as well as words.

Contact: Dr. Mara Wagner, Gallery 1581, or 617-277-3915 ext.34

The Year in Review: BGSP Student Association

The BGSP Student Association sponsored its first international event coordinated by ISV representative, Jeff Madonna, and Student Association International Liaison, Max Cavallaro (see BGSP Group Attends Conference in Oxford). In addition, the Student Association continued its tradition of running the new student orientation, annual holiday party and end of the year party.

The association has started to work closer with the Therapy Center and hopes to co-sponsor an analytic version of "Extreme Home Make Over: Therapy Edition". This will be a great way to have students help in getting involved with one of the most integral parts of the school's mission of training analysts. Therapy Center rooms as well will benefit from much needed refurbishing.

The association will host its BBQ on July 30th at the Cape Cod conference and help with the student retreat this year being held Sunday and Monday, July 30th and 31st at the Cape.

Both Leah Towne and William Sharp have agreed to continue serving as co-chairs of the association. Other '06-'07 association leaders include: Jeff Madonna, ISV Representative; Max Cavallaro, International Liaison; Kim Sapp, Masters representative; Kathleen Henneberry and Russ Lowe, members-at-large.

BGSP Group Attends Conference in Oxford, England

Twenty students, faculty, and guests of BGSP's various programs traveled to England to participate in the International Forensic Psychotherapy Association's annual conference in Oxford. The BGSP group first spent four days in London networking with the psychoanalytic community guided by psychoanalytic psychotherapist Paul Shield of the Portman Clinic of the National Health Service, England's national health care agency. Our group also had the unique opportunity to attend a group supervision at the Tavistock clinic. Both the BGSP and Tavistock students enjoyed a lively interchange- considering ways in which Modern Analysts and those trained in the Tavistock model work with groups.

Brett Kahr of BBC fame was the keynote speaker at a banquet held for BGSP at the Overseas Club in London. Mr. Kahr read from his unpublished paper, "Why Freud refused an extraordinarily high fee to be an expert witness at a murder trial in Chicago." BGSP faculty members Elizabeth Dorsey and Jane Snyder contributed their own ideas to the paper in a short discussion afterwards.

After departing London, the group went to St. Catherine's College, one of the 35 colleges of Oxford University, where they joined the IAFP for its annual conference entitled: Justice, Revenge and Treatment. Three members of the group, Jane Snyder, John Madonna, and Joan White, were presenters at the conference.

Contributed by William Sharp

Paula Berman Presents at ISPS Meeting

Paula Berman, a student at BGSP, presented a case to an April meeting sponsored jointly by BGSP and the New England Chapter of the International Society for the Psychological Treatment of the Schizophrenias and other Psychoses (ISPS).

Ms. Berman's case was from her externship placement for the fieldwork program at BGSP. When she completed her placement, she began to see the patient in the BGSP Therapy Center treatment offices. Rarely are students able to transfer an externship patient to the outpatient setting of the Therapy Center so her presentation about connection was of particular interest.

There was great interest in the patient's aggressive behavior and speech in the sessions, and various views and opinions were offered on issues in this very difficult case.

Outreach in the Universities Program

As part of our Outreach in the Universities program faculty members and advanced students have been introducing modern analytic ideas to undergraduate classes and psychology clubs through the format of case presentations. Case presentations have been enthusiastically received and presenters have been repeatedly invited back.

This semester a number of presentations have taken place including ones given to an Advanced Clinical Seminar at Northeastern; a Human Development class at Wheelock College; an Adolescent Psychology class at Regis College and a Summer Institute at Wheelock. Linda Sklar, Jane Snyder, Mara Wagner, Max Cavallaro, William Sharp, Amy Fleischer and Joan White have participated as presenters in this outreach endeavor.

Linda Sklar is continuing to contact various psychology department faculties in the area to facilitate future presentations, so let her know if you have any university contacts or ideas about subjects you would like to present in an undergraduate or graduate classroom.

Upcoming CE Events

Summer Events

Cape Cod Summer Institute
Psychoanalytic Education and Training: Where are We and Where are We Going?
August 1st - August 4th, 9 am - 12 pm daily
The full conference totals 12 CE hours

Tuesday, August 1:
Part I: Contributions of Modern Psychoanalysis to Technique and Training: Where are we 40 years later?
Part II: Process Teaching: What are we teaching?

Wednesday, August 2:
Part I: Contributions of Modern Psychoanalysis to Technique and Training
Part II: The Training Analysis within the Institute

Thursday, August 3:
Part I: Psychoanalytic Research
Part II: Applied Psychoanalysis

Friday, August 4:
Where are we going?

Fall Events

In Boston:

Saturday, October 14, 1:30 - 4:30
Drive Theory and Clinical Practice
Location: BGSP
Panel presentation and discussion. Presenters: Cordelia Schmidt Hellerau from PINE, Eddy Carrillo from Costa Rica, Jane Snyder from BGSP, Moderator Rodrigo Barahona.

In Vermont:

Two seminars will be held in Brattleboro:

TREATMENT TURMOIL: Resistance to Therapeutic Learning
Four sessions, Friday afternoons 9/8, 10/6, 12/1 and1/12/07

THE AGING SELF: Transitions and Reinventions
Two sessions, Friday afternoons 10/20 and 11/17

Joan White, a licensed psychoanalyst in the state of Vermont, Director of Clinical Studies at the Vermont School of Psychoanalysis, and faculty member at BGSP, will be teaching a class called "Working With the Difficult Person" designed for professionals who wish to enhance their therapeutic skills. The classes will be held at the Upper Valley Events Center every other Monday starting September 18. Each class will be for two hours commencing at 5:30 and ending at 7:30.

For more information call 802-257-0919 or email:

Selected Recent Library Acquisitions

Contributed by Amy Cohen-Rose

Psychoanalysis in the News

New play by a psychoanalyst deals with the early history of psychoanalysis and the mechanisms of racism. It postulates a 20-year old Hitler meeting Jung and Freud: Freud and Hitler face to face.

On the occasion of Freud's 150th birthday, Newsweek had a cover: Freud Is Not Dead and several articles, including: The Therapist as Scientist: "Before inventing psychoanalysis, Freud dissected fish and studied the anatomy of the human brainstem." And: Freud in Our Midst: "On his 150th birthday, the architect of therapeutic culture is an inescapable force. Why Freud-modern history's most debunked doctor-captivates us even now." Also an interview with Eric Kandel, a neuroscientist who was very influenced by psychoanalysis: Interview: Biology of the Mind: "A Nobel Prize winner on psychiatry, Freud and the future of neuroscience."

The Jakarta Post publishes an article on the benefits psychoanalysis could bring to Indonesia: On the couch by Simon Pitchforth.

So, the prognosis for our couch-bound archipelago? It's hard to say but a few more years in analysis should help. This shouldn't be construed as an insult though. There's really no stigma attached to undergoing analysis these days. A few couches in and around the corridors of power would be a good start.

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Notes on Interesting Research

A new study finds men prefer Camus and Conrad, women Bronte and Austin: A tale of two genders: men choose novels of alienation, while women go for passion . See also: Change your life with Jane Austen : Pride and Prejudice wins Radio 4 poll of women's fiction .

Marital rows 'harm heart health'.

But the cause of the damage differs depending on your gender… [A] rterial disease in women was linked to either partner demonstrating hostility, but in men it was linked to either showing controlling behaviour.

New research suggests that loneliness may affect the heart as much as losing weight or excercising: Loneliness Weighs Heavily on the Heart.

Middle-age and older adults reporting the greatest degree of loneliness had blood pressure levels 10 mm Hg to 30 mm/Hg higher on average than those who were least lonely…. The magnitude of the effect of loneliness on blood pressure is comparable to the magnitude of reduction that can be achieved through weight loss and exercise…. For example, they noted, other studies have shown that losing 10 kg of excess weight reduces blood pressure by 5 mm Hg to 20 mm Hg and that regular physical activity can lower blood pressure by 4 mm Hg to 9 mm Hg.

A poor work environment predicts future depression, a five year longitudinal study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology demonstrates. "Women with low influence at work and low supervisor support were at increased risk for severe depressive symptoms… Among men, job insecurity predicted severe depressive symptoms." Psychosocial Work Environment and Incidence of Severe Depressive Symptoms: Prospective Findings from a 5-Year Follow-up of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study.

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Quote of the Month

I use the word "transparency" as an alternative to analytic "neutrality" to emphasize how resistances were resolved: without interpretation and with an almost complete absence of psychological exploration. By becoming "transparent" I was able to accept this patient's projections, allow the boundaries between self and other to remain completely obscured and work to never, ever push against the boundaries of his inner space. These were the only conditions under which he could be seen.

Author: Claudia Luiz from her prize-winning paper, "Pushing Through Boundaries of Inner Space: The Need for Analytic Transparency in the Treatment of a Juggler"
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Special thanks to Caroline Egnaczyk for her help with the creation and maintanence of this newsletter.

Edited by Eileen Keating & Stephen Soldz
Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 277-3915