BGSP News & Notes

News from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

Issue #8 , June, 2005

Edited by 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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BGSP to Offer Doctoral Psychoanalytic Training in Massachusetts

Culminating years of effort, BGSP has been awarded the authority to grant the Doctor of Psychoanalysis (Psya.D.) degree in Massachusetts. This degree is the first of its kind in the state, and is second in New England only to BGSP's Psya.D. program at our Vermont School of Psychoanalysis.

The new program began in Fall, 2005. BGSP is now accepting applications for Spring, 2006.

Spring Conference on Unconscious Dynamics of Leadership and Teamwork a Success

The BGSP Spring Conference on "Leadership and Teamwork: Unconscious Dynamics" held on May 7 at Pine Manor College was very successful. The conference featured Michael Maccoby, a Washington, D.C.-based anthropologist, psychoanalyst and organizational consultant as the keynote speaker. Dr. Maccoby talked about "The Leaders We Need, Why People Will Follow", emphasizing the attributes of good leaders who inspire cooperation and develop the leadership potential of their followers. Dr. Maccoby's talk was followed by a lively panel discussion of resistance to leadership and what inspires teamwork. Panel members included businessman and former CEO Maurice Segall, psychoanalysts Lucy Holmes Johnson and Elliot Zeizel, and MIT faculty member and researcher at the Sloan School, Janice Klein. Afternoon workshops focused on a variety of topics including Building an Organization, Family Dynamics in the Workplace, Leadership in Times of Transition and Resistance to Being a Leader. Workshops were followed by experiential groups. The conference was well attended by a diverse audience of psychoanalysts, other clinicians, organizational consultants, business people and students from other disciplines. Participants enjoyed the interdisciplinary dialogue and application of psychoanalytic understanding to organizational issues, and expressed an interest in more focus on teamwork in future presentations.

Contributed by Jane Snyder

Gallery 1581 Opens New Exhibit Showcasing BGSP Work

This spring and summer, BGSP's Gallery 1581 is hosting an exhibit -- Memory and Desire -- featuring BGSP faculty, students, staff, and their family members and friends. The exhibit launched May 20th with a successful Opening.

Cape Conference Discussed Phyllis Meadow's Work

The Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis its annual Cape Cod Conference this past August. It was on "Passion and Action: Phyllis W. Meadow and Modern Psychoanalysis."

Dr. Meadow, who passed away this winter, devoted her professional life to opening the doors to psychoanalytic training to candidates with a broad range of academic backgrounds. Active as a clinician, teacher, scholar and founder of several psychoanalytic institutes, her passion and charisma attracted many to training and to promoting psychoanalysis. The conference explored Dr. Meadow's legacy to modern psychoanalysis. Her theoretical approaches, techniques and unique perspectives on human behavior and motivation were discussed, demonstrated and experienced throughout the week. Also discussed were the implications of Dr. Meadow's loss for BGSP as an institution and for its students, faculty and staff as people.

The week began with a historic overview of her life long involvement with psychoanalysis. Presentations and workshops during the ensuing week covered such topics as "Great Moments in Process Teaching", "There is no Mother", "Where the Action Is: Enactment", and "The Burning Question: Passion and Research".

Contributed by Jill Solomon

Two Successful Dissertation Defenses at VSP

July 9 was the occasion of an important event for the Vermont School of Psychoanalysis, BGSP's Dumerston VT branch. On that day, two VSP students, Dan Gilhooley and Rodrigo Barahona, successfully defended their dissertation research studies.

Dan Gilhooley, a certified psychoanalyst from New York, presented his research on Stepping Back: An Empirical Study of Regression in the Analytic Hour, in which he developed a measure of regression to be applied to textual analysis of psychoanalytic process. His project included developing and validating the measure and examining its properties, examining the frequency of regressed speech over time in an ongoing analysis, and a qualitative study of session material which was marked by high incidence of regressed speech. He identified several distinct types of regression. These types were identifiable, both across multiple sessions from a single patient and in single sessions selected from multiple patients. He speculated that patients cycle through regressed and integrative states as a way of integrating new experiences, leading to psychic change. Dr. Gilhooley's committee included Robert Marshall, Wilma Bucci of Adelphi University, and Stephen Soldz.

Mr Barahona's dissertation-- The Psychodynamic Meaning of Notices of Non-compliance in the Psychotherapy of Opiate Addiction: Implications for the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Transference and the Therapeutic Alliance - examined the effects of a type of buraucratic limit-setting on the therapeutic relationship in a methadone treatment clinic. His findings indicated that their were two kinds of responses to the notices: the predominant response was feeling punished and judged by the therapist, the second, less common, response was feeling contained and protected. Further, he found that receiving these notices was correlated with a decline in the quality of the patient-perceived therapeutic alliance. The clinical implications of these kinds of limit-setting interventions with this population were discussed. Mr. Barahona's committee included Stephen Soldz, Mara Wagner, and Nigel Mackay.

Both studies usefully combined quantitative analyses with detailed qualitative examination of clinical or interview material using a psychoanalytic lens. They illustrate the strength of this type of mixed-model research.

Contributed by Jane Snyder & Stephen Soldz

BGSP Well Represented at Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference

The international Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) just completed its annual meeting in Montreal. BGSP researchers were well represented there. A panel organized by faculty member Stephen Soldz on Integrating Quantitative and Quantitative Approaches to Psychoanalytic Research presented the dissertation research of three VSP doctoral candidates. Dan Gilhooley presented his analyses of linguistic regression in the course of psychoanalysis: Stepping Back: An Empirical Study of Regression in the Analytic Hour. Barbara D'Amato presented pilot data on conscious and unconscious processes in The Dreams of Adoptees. The third paper on the panel presented the work of Rodrigo Barahona onThe Psychodynamic Meaning of Notices on Non-compliance in the Psychotherapy of Opiate addiction; as events prevented Mr. Barahona from attending, his paper was read by Dr. Soldz. Bill Stiles, a noted psychotherapy researcher and former President of the Society served as Discussant. The discussion was lively, with participants emphasizing the importance of the presented studies.

The three BGSP conference attendees also a Open Discussion Group on Rigor and Clinical Relevance in Psychoanalytic Research. This discussion brought together psychoanalytic and psychodynamic researchers from at least three continents, North America, Europe, and Australia; it included the current President of SPR and a past President of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association. Participants discussed the current state of psychoanalytic research, with an emphasis on recent developments in operationalizing and measuring the concept of psychic structure.

Finally, Dr. Soldz presented a methodological paper on Alternative Models for Multilevel Psychotherapy Data. Abstracts of these and other papers from the conference are available in the Book of Abstracts.

Faculty Member Publishes in Contemporary Psychoanalysis

BGSP faculy member and ISC Co-Director Siamak Movahedi has a new paper (with Aleksandra Wagner) in the April 2005 Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 281-305: The "Voice" of the Analysand & The "Subject" of Diagnosis.

ABSTRACT: Much clinical case reporting is an enactment that alters, distorts and reconstructs the analytic process and the analysand's experience. The analysand's voice in clinical literature tends to disappear leaving the analyst writer as the potential ventriloquist in an illusionary one-person psychic space. This paper presents a fragment of a woman's journey through analysis hearing it in the patient's voice as it presents itself in an email correspondence between the patient and the analyst. In this correspondence, the patient writes about her experience with her first analyst (to whom the correspondence is addressed) and with a second analyst who had found her to be unanalyzable (and with whom she is in analysis while writing). The first analyst, the patient and the first analyst's colleague are exploring various actors' contributions to the analytic process.

Faculty Members Publish Tobacco Control Paper

BGSP faculty members Stephen Soldz and Elizabeth Dorsey have just had their paper Youth Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Alternative Tobacco Products: Cigars, Bidis, and Kreteks published by Health Education & Behavior, vol. 32, no. 4: 549-546. This is the fourth paper to result from Dr. Soldz's Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program funded study of Youth Use of Alternative Tobacco Products. In addition to publication, the paper was selected by the editors to be eligible for Continuing Education credits for health educators. The paper is available (in page proof pdf form): here.

ABSTRACT: Youth use of cigars, bidis, and kreteks has spread as youth cigarette use has declined. This study investigates young people’s attitudes toward and beliefs about these alternative tobacco products. The study used data from a convenience sample survey of 5,016 7th-through 12th-grade students in Massachusetts. The cigar attitudes receiving the highest endorsement levels were that cigars smell good and are something different to try, whereas the item receiving the lowest endorsement was that cigars give you a good buzz. The most endorsed bidi attitudes were that bid is look like joints and are something different to try. For kreteks, the most endorsed items were that kreteks smell good and are something different to try. Multivariate analyses found that reporting that these products tasted, smelled good, or were something different to try predicted use. Because the study was conducted with a convenience sample in one state, results do not necessarily generalize.

Faculty Member Selected to Write Editorial in Addiction

BGSP faculty member Stephen Soldz was asked to write an Editorial for Addiction, one of the top substance abuse journals. The Editorial, Pathways and prevention in tobacco use introduces a paper on longitudinal paths of smoking among adolescents, partially replicating earlier work of Dr. Soldz. [See Soldz & Cui: Pathways through adolescent smoking: A 7-year longitudinal grouping analysis] It can be downloaded here.

Faculty-Student Paper to be Presented at Division 39 Conference

BGSP faculty member Siamak Movahedi and VSP doctoral student Gohar Homayounpour have coauthored a paper, Fantasies About the Language of Psychoanalysis, to be presented at the summer conference of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association in Washington DC this August. The paper is based on Ms. Homayounpour's dissertation research

Selected Recent Library Acquisitions

Contributed by Amy Cohen-Rose

Psychoanalysis in the News

A psychoanalytic profile of Adolf Hitler by . Henry A. Murray has become available on the web: Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler . See press Release: Rare Historical Psychoanalysis of Hitler Available Online. The report was prepared for the wartime Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA.

A new history of psychoanalysis in australia: Freud in the Antiopodes: a cultural history of psychoanalysis in Australia .

Modern psychoanalyst offers treatment in rural Montana: Joseph Scalia wants to extend the benefits of psychoanalysis .

Bringing together Freud and art in London, or not: Art and Psychoanalysis: Rodney Graham.

Freudian Conference in Melbourne Australia featured Vamik Volkan discussing the mass psychology of frightened communities: Beware when tinpot despots wave the flag.

Paul Ricoeur, author of a major philosophical critique of Freud, died in May at age 92: Paul Ricoeur.

Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis receives Honorable Mention as one of the: Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries from the conservative periodical Human Events.

New book deals with two of the towering intellectual figures of the 20th century: The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud, and the search for hidden universes by Richard Panek .

"Freud took the subtext in the work of artists and philosophers regarding our inner universe and elevated it to the level of text. So the invisible has allowed us all to take what was implicit in the conception of a universe that moves and make it explicit: it moves over time."

New book discusses the nature of dissidence in psychoanalysis, and attempts to identify what is truly central to the field: Understanding Dissidence and Controversy in the History of Psychoanalysis .

From the Village Voice: Head Case: In theory and practice, psychoanalysis flourishes in academia.

Christy Rodgers reviews the BBC TV series The Century of the Self : Triumph of the Shill , on the application of Freudian ideas to advertising by his nephew Edward Bernays.

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Notes on Interesting Research

A form of psychotherapy (cognitive therapy) has been shown to be as effective as medication, and is potentially more effective at preventing relapse: Cognitive Therapy Successful Against Depression . See the abstracts of the two papers: Cognitive Therapy vs Medications in the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Depression and Prevention of Relapse Following Cognitive Therapy vs Medications in Moderate to Severe Depression .

New evidence that the ability to understand sarcasm is biological: It's a right lobe thing. No, really . The ability to understand symbolism as a person's creation, as in psychoanalysis, may also be biological. Perhaps the ability to understand sarcasm could be an indicator for the successful use of analysis.

In sarcasm, "the literal meaning is different from the true meaning, and some people just don't understand that difference," said Simone Shamay-Tsoory, a psychologist at the Rambam Medical Center and the University of Haifa in Israel.

Neurophysiologists find love akin to addiction, rather than sex or emotion: Love is Born in the Brain's Addiction Center .

Latest estimates: Mental Illness Common in the U.S.: More Than 1 in 4 Adults Per Year Affected By Mental Illness or Substance Abuse . "Many of those cases are mild, but 14% of the population has moderate or severe mental illness." And, in a related paper: "Most people with mental disorders in the United States remain either untreated or poorly treated," write researchers.

Bullying a regular problem for many school children: Bullying Among Sixth Graders A Daily Occurrence, UCLA Study Finds .

Overweight and inactivity costs California $21.7 billion annually in medical care, workers' compensation and lost productivity, a new study finds: Californians' weight hikes medical costs, hinders productivity.

New evidence on psychosocial factors and heart disease:

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Quote of the Month

[T]he psychoanalytic community debates, Is psychoanalysis a hermeneutic, a method of interpretation, and therefore merely "literary"? Or is it a science that can make the claims on our belief that a science? is entitled to? If we recognize the holistic and therefore (I claim) scientific basis for psychoanalysis, we can see that this is a false dichotomy. Psychoanalysis entails the gathering of data and working it into a generalizable explanation, just as other sciences do. No hard-and-fast line marks off A holistic science from "real" (i.e., experimental) science.

The statement that psychoanalysis is "not scientific" seems to me altogether too simple. While it is hardly physics or chemistry, psychoanalysis is not that far removed from geology or astronomy. It certainly falls quite naturally within medicine, where diagnosis is a holistic skill. And it is, if you will, also and in addition and not at all contradictorily, "literary."

Author: Norman Holland Psychoanalysis as Science
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