Newsletter Blog

News from the Psychoanalytic Education Division

by Wendy Stern, DMH, Training Analyst Appointment & Development Committee

Becoming a Training Analyst/Supervising Analyst in 2016 and Beyond

SFCP, in anticipation of coming changes at APsaA and in concert with psychoanalytic education centers nationally, is taking a fresh look at the procedures for developing psychoanalysts who will analyze and supervise future candidates. To that end, community wide discussions will be taking place in the hopes of reaching a consensus about the kind(s) of writing and presenting requirements we want for our future TA/SAs.

In the meantime, however, we do have our developmental procedure in place for faculty members who wish to head in the direction of TA/SA appointment in 2016 and 2017. Thus far, eleven TA/SAs have been appointed under the auspices of SFCP’s developmental process, instituted in 2007 to replace the more evaluative procedures operating under the old Education Committee of SFPI. When we transitioned to becoming a psychoanalytic center, TAs voted to change our appointment procedures to reflect an ongoing commitment to post-graduate development with a greater emphasis on development, per se, rather than evaluation.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-04 (April 2016)


Reflective Parenting Incubator Project (RPIP) – Child Development Program

by Era Loewenstein, PhD, Co - Chair

Members of the Incubator include SFCP analyst members, candidates, experienced psychoanalytically oriented clinicians and early childhood educators who have been meeting since September 2015 on the third Thursday of each month (September – May) at SFCP. The ten member group is part of the Child Development Program (CDP) of SFCP and is facilitated by Era Loewenstein, PhD and Greg Villalba, LCSW.

The current project has been in development over the past four years with the same cohort of members. The main goal of this project is to study, develop, and provide groups for parents of young children (ages 2.5 to 7). The parent groups are primarily focused on helping parents enhance their reflective functioning. The Incubator Project continues to develop different curricula and modules, and provide workshops and parent groups on topics that address issues, concerns and questions that parents of young children often face. We have identified the Friends of St. Francis Daycare Center as our Lab School and are working with Sally Large, the executive director, on developing a two year parents’ education program that could later be replicated at other preschools and daycare centers.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-04 (April 2016)


Culture Study Group: A Preliminary Report and an Invitation

by Mary Margaret McClure, DMH

We have all been stirred by the on-going and emergent national and global turbulence, and we have a need to think within our psychoanalytic community about what is going on in our world and beyond. By last Fall, 2015, some of us decided to get together to sort out how to approach these problems. Michael Donner, in his role as President of SFCP, acted in a supportive leadership role through the SFCP Newsletter (and in other ways) and invited members to meet together to see what we might do. There ended up being ten of us who were able to meet that first time back in October, and we shared our deep concerns about race, diversity, poverty, immigration, and other aspects of our culture — and about the absence of psychoanalytic discourse on these issues. Everyone in the group expressed wariness about making a commitment to regular meetings, but by the end of that first gathering, we realized that we had already formed a group of sorts, and we wanted and needed to continue to meet.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-04 (April 2016)


Library News, April, 2016

Please join us in welcoming Melissa Cooper, our new part time librarian. She will be managing the library until Eric Rosen returns from medical leave. Eric anticipates being away for at least three weeks beginning the week of March 14, 2016. Let us all wish him a speedy recovery. You may send well wishes to Eric at


New Library Assistant
Melissa Cooper, MLIS comes from a diverse professional background, which includes digital and physical collection management, processing archival records and providing educational services for organizations ranging from law enforcement agencies to art galleries and museums. She is also an established forensic artist and because of her strategic interviewing techniques that take memory fragility and eyewitness misidentification into account she attributes much of her success to her enduring fascination with human behavior, cognitive science and psychoanalytic principles

Her innate curiosity and passion for helping others lead her to pursue a career in librarianship. At last, she has found her perfect home here at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis where her aspirations unite.

Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science in addition to a Bachelor’s degree in Art History.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-04 (April 2016)



Michael Bader, DMH has published “How Cynicism Has Ruined Our Political Lives →", in

Beth Steinberg, PhD has published the following: Steinberg, B. (2016), How much needs to change in analysis? How do we get there? JAPA, 64 (1): 177-192.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-04 (April 2016)


President’s Message

by Michael Donner, PhD


This last weekend I had the opportunity to meet with a number of psychotherapy trainees and other interested members to discuss technology in clinical practice. This was a lively and interesting discussion about what is gained and what is lost with the introduction of iPhones, email, telephone and video sessions into analytic work. In another part of my life, I teach Law and Ethics to mental health professionals, and this is always a topic of great interest; most of my seminars involve a good deal of discussion about how technology is becoming so omnipresent in clinical work.

One of the things that strikes me is how much anxiety can be stirred up by these changes. Of course, there are many things to think about that are clinically and theoretically challenging, but there is also an undercurrent of worry about something new. It is a pervasive concern that something good will be lost, though this aspect of our anxiety is obscured by more concrete worries about the implications for HIPAA or licensing boards. I am constantly reminded that the encounter with something new stirs up our anxiety. One of Freud's many great contributions was the identification of the resistance to change, and the human desire for homeostasis.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-03 (March 2016)


Membership Services Division News

by Meryl Botkin, PhD, Chair

It has been an exciting and eventful time for the Membership Division these last few months. The following captures a few of the things that are happening that make the Membership Division one of inclusion and individual endeavor.

New Membership Category: PPM
Together with the Management Team and our Board of Trustees, we have developed a new membership category for our Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy graduates, known as the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Members or PPM. Behind this new category for membership is the desire to provide an ongoing professional home, connection and involvement for the graduates of these programs at SFCP. We want all of our members to consider SFCP their professional home, and the creation of the PPM is our way of including more of our community in our functioning. Lovina Chahal, MD, is our new Chair of the PPM and she will be forming her committee as soon as the PPM is officially established by a vote of our membership. This coming June, our membership will be voting to establish this new category for inclusion in our bylaws. Please contact me if you have any questions about the process involved in our new membership category.

Members Present
Members Present is a unique opportunity for our entire community to present finished work, ideas or work in progress. Leah Fisher kicked off our first presentation with “How to Take a Sabbatical,” describing her mental health involvements in her year of travel in Guatemala and Indonesia. On January 31, Diane Donnelly presented work based on her paper: “The function of suffering as portrayed in The Scarlet Letter and in clinical work,” which won the New Author Prize of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and was published in the December 2012 issue. Claire Kahane, Professor Emerita at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a CORST graduate of SFCP, discussed Diane’s paper. In April, Helen Schoenhals Hart, who received her medical degree and analytic training in Germany, will show a documentary film by Wilhelm Rosling, with subtitles that she translated from German, on the experiences of Ernst Federn, who survived Buchenwald.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-03 (March 2016)


News from the Poetry and Psychoanalysis Committee

by Alice Jones, MD

Celebrating Ten Years of Poetry and Psychoanalysis

Saturday April 16, 2016 10:00am to 12:00pm

Our tradition has been to have one of our committee interview a visiting poet about her work. We will mark this ten year milestone with a role reversal, having an illustrious visiting poet, Carol Snow, interview three SFCP poet-analysts about their writing and its intersection with psychoanalysis.

Susan Kolodny, Forrest Hamer and Alice Jones will read poems and have a conversation about their work.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-03 (March 2016)


News from the Child Colloquium Committee

by David Frankel, PhD, Child Colloquium Committee

Please join us on Saturday, March 12, 2016, from 10:00am - 12:00pm in welcoming Lawrence Brown, PhD, from Boston, MA. He will present his paper, “The Capacity to Tell a Joke: Reflections from Work with Asperger’s Children.” This paper represents a thoughtful and entertaining look at the developmental achievement of humor as vehicle for contact with and treatment of a severely disturbed child with Asperger’s Syndrome. Word play and other forms of humor are used to facilitate the child’s capacity to move beyond the concrete, and to form symbols about an interpersonal situation.

Lawrence Brown, PhD, is a child and adult analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute (BIS) and on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and BPSI. He is President of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies and author of several books including the forthcoming Contemporary Psychoanalysis: The Theory and Technique of Transformations, to be published through IPA Publications and Karnac.

Dr. Brown is in the Bay Area due to the joint efforts of the Scientific Meeting and Child Colloquium committees. He will also be presenting a paper at the Scientific Meeting on Monday, March 13th, at 7:30pm entitled "Three Unconscious Pathways to Representing the Analyst’s Experience: Reverie, Countertransference Dreams and Joke-Work."

Newsletter Issue: 2016-03 (March 2016)


Our 75th Anniversary

by Meryl Botkin, PhD, Membership Committee Chair

In 2017 SFCP (formerly SFPI&S) will celebrate its 75th year of training, education and research in psychoanalysis. Our mission—to advance the vitality and enduring value of psychoanalysis in Northern California—is alive and well. We are training analysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, and, in addition, have a wide range of programs for mental health professionals and the general public.

Our 75th year is a time to honor all the analysts who established the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute and Society in the spring of 1942, and those throughout the decades who are responsible for creating and sustaining a vibrant psychoanalytic community. Our Gala Committee will be planning an event in September of 2017 so hold that open to come and celebrate our past and our future.

Newsletter Issue: 2016-03 (March 2016)



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