by Michael Donner, PhD
What’s Your Brand?
As our search committee was interviewing candidates, one of them asked us “What’s your brand? Do you have an elevator speech?” That candidate (now our Executive Director Marian Banks-Nickleberry) stumped me then, and I remain a bit stumped today. I was recently interviewed by a TV reporter who asked me about SFCP. He wanted to know what we do. I fumbled around a bit, and finally settled on describing us as “an academic institution that trains mental health professionals the principles of psychoanalysis.” Wholly unsatisfied by this response, I found myself ask-ing the question: What is our brand?
Although no one asked, I do have an answer to the question: “what is psychoanalysis?” For me, psychoanalysis is a model of the mind, and a way of thinking about people and relationships based on that model. Psychoanalysis can be a form of treatment, and a way of engaging and thinking about people and groups. Right or wrong, good or bad, I have an answer to the question. It says something important that I'm not so clear about what (or who) we are at SFCP.