BGSP News & Notes

News from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

Issue #9 , February, 2005

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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Clinical Doctorate Opens Doors in Boston

Following years of effort toward this goal, the Boston Graduate School opened its clinical doctoral program on the main campus in Brookline in September, 2005. Twenty-eight students have enrolled in the program. The main campus became the second site to offer the program, it has been up and running at the branch campus, the Vermont School of Psychoanalysis, in Dummerston, Vermont since 1999. These two BGSP sites are the only accredited campus based locations in the country offering the doctorate in psychoanalysis.

Many faculty and administrators have worked over the years to achieve the doctor of psychoanalysis degree in Massachusetts, actualizing the vision of BGSP founder, Phyllis Meadow, who died last January. The original curriculum for the certificate in psychoanalysis has been revised and developed into a doctoral curriculum including more rigorous academic and research components as well as the clinical training and training analysis essential for certification as a psychoanalyst. The basic philosophy that anyone with a bachelor's degree who is motivated to seek psychoanalytic training may apply and be considered for admission regardless of prior training and experience remains intact. Experiential learning as part of the educational process remains as a key element of the doctoral program.

The establishment of doctoral programs in psychoanalysis helps to promote psychoanalysis as a discipline and generate clinically useful research and testing of theory of value to the entire discipline.

Psychoanalytic Historian and Friend Paul Roazen dies at 69

We are saddened by news of the loss of noted psychoanalytic historian and friend of many of us at BGSP: Paul Roazen, 69, Scholar Who Found Flaws in Freud, Dies. We at BGSP had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Roazen discuss his work and his colorful history at our forums ad parties. We will miss him.

Dr. Snyder Presents at Mental Health Grand Rounds at Harvard Health Services

Dr. Jane Snyder, BGSP Provost and faculty member, presented on Enactment and Countertransference in Supervision at the Mental Health Grand Rounds at Harvard Health Services on January 5, 2006.

BGSP Faculty Members and Advanced Students Provide Seminars on Psychoanalysis to Area Colleges and Universities

A series of undergraduate seminars in psychoanalysis is being offered by BGSP faculty and advanced students to psychology classrooms or psychology clubs. A number of professors have responded enthusiastically to the offer and several seminars have already been held. Ms. Linda Sklar and Ms. Gohar Homayounpour presented at the Psychology Club at Northeastern University. Ms. Sklar and Dr. Snyder presented cases to the advanced clinical seminar at Northeastern and will be returning there in the spring semester. Ms. Sklar presented a case to the senior students at Wellesley College in the Strategies of Psychotherapy class, highlighting modern analytic principles. Mr. John Kelley and Ms. Sharon Yannacone talked about our training program to social work students at Boston College. All presentations were well received and addressed some of the misconceptions people have about psychoanalysis. Presentations can be tailored to meet the needs of the group. Some examples of other presentations offered are: Psychoanalysis as Practiced Today (with case illustrations), Psychoanalysis of Dreams, Symbolic Communication, Careers in Psychoanalysis. Ms. Sklar is calling and making contact with the psychology departments of local colleges and universities, so if you have some contact at a college that you would like her to follow up with, please e-mail or call her.

VSP to Offer a Series of Seminars on Every Day Clinical Dilemmas

These Brown Bag lunces will be held in Windsor, VT, beginning January 27 and meeting monthly through May. The seminars will deal with practical as well as theoretical issues facing therapists and educators working in community settings or private practice. Faculty members will present cases as a means of stimulating discussion.

Dr. Goldwater Leads Two Workshops on the Subject of Magic, From Oz to Hogwarts and Magic for Grownups

Following is his intriguing invitation to the second workshop held January 19:

YOU HAVE REQUESTED AN URGENT FAVOR from a frog. In return, he wants to sleep with you! You feel nothing but disgust for this sleazy, slimy creature. What should you do?
Long before the discovery of unconscious sexuality and aggression, the brothers Grimm gave the true answer to this and many other common life problems in their great collection of folk tales. Unfortunately, modern adaptations often distort or suppress their advice-no, the princess in their story most certainly did not kiss the frog! But we can still learn valuable lessons from the Grimms, and from other experts on the magic of everyday life, like Sigmund Freud and J.K. Rowling.

BGSP/VSP Group to Travel to London and Oxford: Three Faculty Members to Present Papers to the International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy

Twenty members of the BGSP/VSP community will be traveling to England for a week long excursion beginning March 26th. London events include visits to the Freud Museum and the Portman and Tavistock Clinics. The second half of the week, the group will travel to Oxford stopping off at Blenhiem Castle along the way. In Oxford Dr. Snyder, Dr. White, and Dr. Madonna will be presenting papers at the International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy's annual conference being held at St.Catherine's College. Overall, the trip should be an excellent opportunity to make BGSP known and solidify a working connection with the IAFP. Institute for the Study of Violence (ISV) and Psychoanalytic Certificate Program student Jeff Madonna was instrumental in organizing the trip.

Fan Fever: Fan Funk, An Enjoyable Evening to Celebrate the BGSP Film Series

The BGSP Film Series, Modern Psychoanalysis Goes to the Movies celebrated the completion of fifty film discussions in its Friday Night Series with a special program, Fan Fever, Fan Funk: The Emotional Connection to Baseball in Film on November 18, 2005. After a Ball Park Buffet, the audience was educated and entertained by Stephen Price, Ph.D., Elizabeth Dorsey, Cert. Psya., and special guest, Bob Tewksbury, MA.

Dr. Price with "Why Sports?" wove a history of the psychological and Freud's psychoanalytic interest in sports, with experiences of the ups and downs of following a sports team through the decades. Sports provide the opportunity to have pleasure and to suffer pain an idea that rings true with any sports fan.

Ms. Dorsey touched home with a story of her connection to her grandfather and baseball, and highlighted the intensity of the connection to baseball with scenes from Bull Durham and The Natural. The opening monologue from Bull Durham provides the libidinal attachments that bring the sports fan to the Cathedral of Baseball. The struggles with loss and illness are dramatically demonstrated in The Natural.

The event covered all the bases with special guest, Bob Tewksbury, who was a major league pitcher for 13 years. Not only did he pitch for the Yankees at one time, but he is currently a Sport Psychology Coach for the Red Sox Minor League. He spoke of the amazing experience of playing in the major leagues and the incredible loss of leaving as depicted in Field of Dreams. The audience provided a variety of questions addressing such topics as working with Joe Torre, why did he go into psychology, and how would he handle the Theo question.

This event hit one out of the park and gave us one more chance to experience the pleasure of being a baseball and movie fan.

Advanced Students Present Workshop: Is Psychoanalysis Possible? Psychoanalysis Off and On The Couch

Advanced Candidates, Rodrigo Barahona, Marcos Cancado, Jon Kelley, Max Cavallaro, Gohar Homayounpour, and Jeff Madonna led a workshop on Jan 27/06, on the topic, Is Psychoanalysis Possible? Psychoanalysis off and on the Couch. Participants discussed the function of psychoanalysis in the sphere of the greater mental health community, be it public schools, hospitals, or outpatient psychiatric clinics. Many times graduates of BGSP begin their professional careers by having to deal with demands from the mental health world that present challenges to working psychoanalytically with their patients. From the use of the couch and insurance issues, to selection of group members and the use and misuse of psychiatric medications, psychoanalytic work has often had to develop parameters to be able to treat patients in these difficult settings, and still call itself psychoanalysis.

BGSP Conducting Evaluation for Rhode Island Tobacco Control Program

BGSP's Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development has received a contract to conduct evaluation activities for the Rhode Island Tobacco Control Program. The work, to be led by CREPD's Director Stephen Soldz, involves two basic components: 1) Evaluating a Center for Disease Control funded program to address tobacco-related health disparities in Rhode Island; and 2) Designing a surveillance and evaluation plan for the tobacco control program. Dr. Soldz is in this work by Chihiro Matsumoto, a student in the Masters Program.

Date and Place Set for Spring Graduation Ceremony

The Spring 2006 BGSP graduation will be held on April 9, 2006 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston. Dr. White would welcome help with this event. Give her a call or leave a note in her box at BGSP if you are available.

Dr. John Madonna Presents Two Papers and Receives Recognition from the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy

Dr. Madonna's paper on the psychological treatment of police stress was selected as one of the "outstanding presentations for the spirit and topics" of the 14th Annual Conference of the IAFP. In November he presented a clinical paper entitled Lost in a Dream, dealing with his analytic work with a man suffering from a schizoid personality disorder. This paper was presented to the International Society for the Psychological Treatments of the Schizophrenias and Other Psychosis. In March he will be presenting a paper, Till Death Do Us Part at a meeting of the IAFP in Oxford, England. These papers are chapters from a work in progress by Dr. Madonna entitled: The Nature of the Hour, The Heart of the Mind: Transparency, Mutuality and Emotional Presence in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

ISV Well Represented at Eastern Sociological Society

Three BGSP/Institute for the Study of Violence (ISV faculty members and another graduate are presenting papers at Eastern Sociological Society at its February meeting in Boston. The papers are part of a panel, Social Stage and Mental Space, organized by BGSP and University of Massachusetts faculty member Siamak Movahedi. Dr. Movahedi is presenting a paper with ISV graduate Miriam Riss entitled Intersubjective Space and the Structure of Narratives. Faculty members Robin Gomolin and Stephen Soldz are also presenting. Dr. Gomolin's paper is entitled Negotiating a Private Space for Self-Disclosure through Writing while Dr. Soldz's paper is Red Zone, Green Zone: Contiguous but So Distant.

New York Student Presents on Evil in Literature and the Imagination

BGSP New York student Christian Talbot presented at the 8th Annual Comparative Literature Conference : Cultures of Evil and the Attractions of Villainy at the University of South Carolina February 9-11. Mr. Talbot's paper was entitled "The Imagination of Man's Heart is Evil from His Youth" and was included as part of a panel on Psychoanalysis and Evil. Here is an abstract of his paper:

The Bible says, "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Genesis 8:11). For millennia, humankind has been simultaneously mystified by and drawn to evil. But as human history marches onward, we are less likely to locate evil in the world around us; rather, other people-whether individuals or groups-become the incarnations of evil.
In fact, it might be said that we have come full circle from the concern voiced in Genesis. Speaking about the horrors of his war experience, a character in Pat Barker's WWI novel Regeneration asks in bewilderment, "You know that thing in the Bible? 'The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth'? I used to wonder why pick on that? Why his imagination? But it's absolutely right."
Between the early history of the novel in English and its latest exponents, the discipline of psychoanalysis emerged. Through the exploration of the unconscious, psychoanalysis purports to explain those ideas and behaviors that for so long have perplexed and allured us. In the process, however, evil, denuded of its mystical, supernatural quality, may have become all the more difficult to confront. Why? Because-if we are to follow the dictates of psychoanalysis-a confrontation with evil in some sense means a confrontation with unknown parts of ourselves.
British fiction affords countless opportunities to explore the phenomenon of evil. Two novels in particular-Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Pat Barker's Regeneration-highlight the leap from a primitive psychology of evil to a more humanistic but perhaps more disturbing picture of where evil resides in our moral universe. Ironically, though it is more often associated with creativity and divine inspiration, the imagination seems to be the dwelling place of what some would call evil in these two novels.

BGSP Faculty Member Receives Recognition for Social Commentary

Stephen Soldz of BGSP and the ISV has received increasing recognition for his social commentary. He has been on the radio several times, including in Connecticut, Oregon, and Cape Town, South Africa. The OpEdNews web site has selected Dr. Soldz as one of its Frequent Contributors and Znet as one of its paid Contributors who prepare articles to be sent to their sustainers. Dr. Soldz's commentaries have also appeared on a number of other major web sites, including CounterPunch and InformationClearinghouse. Among his recent pieces are To Heal or to Patch? Military Mental Health Workers in Iraq; Is Prejudice a Mental Illness?; The Sex Lives and Sexual Frustrations of US Troops in Iraq: An Ocean of Ignorance; and Narcssism, the Public, and the President. A here is a complete list of Dr. Soldz's commentaries.

Gallery 1581 Activities

Gallery 1581 and BGSP/ISV hosted an exhibit of the Faith Quilts Project culminating in an evening of shared food and discussion. Students, faculty and quilt makers participated in an exploration of diverse representations of Faith embodied in a collection of stunning quilts.

Gallery 1581 will be presenting an exhibit with a wide range of media by students of the Putney School Programs. The opening reception will be on Friday, February 10, 2006, and the show will hang until March 26, 2006.

On April 7 a new show will open called "Two Artists in Motion" featuring work by Randy LeSage and Dana Wolffson. Randy has shown at gallery 1581 in the past and has a drawing, "Denial", in the permanent collection. Dana's work is new to the gallery. Please join the artists and the BGSP community for wine and cheese at 7:00 April 7th.

The final show of the academic year, "A Thousand Words", coincides with Brookline's "Open Studio Weekend". Works by a large variety of emerging and established artists will be on view at the gallery. On opening night, May 19th, we will host discussions between psychoanalysts and artists about words and imagery. All are welcome to submit words and to participate in the discussion opening night. This show may be viewed throughout the summer.

In the Fall of 2006 the gallery's new permanent collection, SepARTness will be displayed. Contributions of art and donations of money are welcomed through the pARTners Program dedicated to the ongoing activities of Gallery 1581.

Psychoanalysis in the News

The British newspaper, the Guardian, profiles psychoanalyst and researcher Peter Fonagy: On the couch.

Psychoanalysis has been dismissed by certain medical and academic thinking, says Oliver James. But one man is making Freud's legacy fashionable again.

A Catholic priest defends psychoanalysis in a local Ohio paper: Our past is always involved in our present .

Nathan Deuel reviews three new books on Freud in the Village Voice Shrink Raps: Goodnight, Vienna: Three books refract Sigmund Freud . Perhaps of greatest interest is Elizabeth Ann Danto book: Freud's Free Clinics, which demonstrates Freud's strong commitment to providing free psychoanalytic treatment to the poor.

Elliot Jurist reviews Eli Zaretsky's Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Tikun.

Isidor Sadger, an early psychoanalysts and student of Freud wrote a mixed account of Freud's personality, recently republished as Recollecting Freud , published by University of Wisconsin Press. See: Berkeley professor rescues tell-all bio.

Lacanian psychoanalyst, cultural critic, and one-time Slovenian Presidential candidate is now the subject of a new documentary film: Zizek!, directed by Astra Taylor.

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Notes on Interesting Research

Psychoanalysts call this "defense": Erotic images, gore cause temporary "blindness"

Just what do those dolls represent? Researchers Find Barbie Is Often Mutilated

Blacks are diagnosed with "schizophrenia" four times as often as whites, despite equal prevalence rates: Racial Disparities Found in Pinpointing Mental Illness

New theory elucidates the functioning of placebos while explaining why they work for certain conditions and not others: Placebo:The Belief Effect. See the paper: Suppression of the acute-phase response as a biological mechanism for the placebo effect.

Motherhood increases intelligence, a new line of research suggests: Giving birth to a better brain: Do babies sharpen parents' minds?

Debate as to whether men are smarter than women roils British academic circles: Who has the bigger brain? As one respected journal claims that men are smarter than women, another leaps in to rubbish the research.

A new study suggests there is a genetic aspect to loneliness: Loneliness could be in your genes .

Nothing to do with psychoanalysis, but we can't ignore... Bittersweet Victory for Chocolate: Study Confirms Health Benefits .

Those who ate a bar of chocolate every day for a week had a drop in blood pressure, an increase in blood flow and were more sensitive to insulin, a hormone that regulates sugar in the body. "The blood pressure lowering effect of dark chocolate in this study compares favorably with the one achieves with commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs," said Dr. Frank Messerli, the director of the Hypertension Program at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Quote of the Month

A little Odysseus, each child ventures into the world of daydreams, carried off by the mind’s capacity to generate theaters for heroic action. The daydream in some respects is the first truly heroic place, where the child can objectify the self engaged in heroic action that brings acclamation and recognition by an implicit other. Oh, if the mind were so simple! How easy life would be. But this very same place also brings with it uncomfortable thoughts, disturbing emotions, and persecutory daydreams. The mind and its spontaneous conjurings displace the heroic self’s envisioning of life, compelling the child to struggle with evil ideas and feelings. What, then, does the child do with his mind?

Christopher Bollas: Why Oedipus in Being a Character
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