Newsletter Blog

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Education Division News

By Beth Steinberg, PhD, Chair

Expanding Ourselves and Thinking About Race and Culture: Introduction to the Day With Program
November 14, 2015

At the International Psychoanalytic Association meetings in Boston this summer, Stefano Belonging, the president of the IPA (whose words I often find inspirational), advocated for the need for psychoanalytic therapists — for us — to have a professional home where we can, in his words, “work through difficulties, differences and new inspirations both about the changing world, and about a psychoanalysis that can . and does change: a home that is open to reflection, exchange, and … transformation. A home [that is] respectful of our heritage but open to what is new, and capable of dealing with the changes in the world and the consequent difficulties without denying them, either through fear or self-reassuring idealizations.”

If we want SFCP to be a “home” for our psychoanalytic community — that is, your home — we need to be able to extend ourselves into and take in more of the world. And that involves, as Bolognini said, facing painful truths and not denying what we are afraid of — that is, being truly open to change.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)


Membership Division News

by Meryl J. Botkin, PhD, Chair

By now, we have all had our fill of turkey and are preparing for the next series of holidays: Chanukah, Christmas and New Years. This year, as all the years, flew by quickly. This fall we had had a full plate (in keeping with the metaphor of Thanksgiving) of parties and programs; there’s much more to come next year when we celebrate 75 years of SFPI and SFCP with a grand gathering of all of our members at a location to be determined.

One of our new programs this year is Members Present. It is a forum for presenting work of our members that includes all manner of clinical, intellectual and experiential work; either a work completed or in progress. It is presented in an informal way so that there is lots of conversation between presenter and audience.

Leah Fisher, LCSW, was our first presenter; her program, “How to take a Sabbatical from Clinical Work,” was attended by about twenty-five people. Leah described an extremely moving time she spent following a dream she had since she was in college after she had taught English in Hong Kong. She wanted to do “global travel with meaningful service.” She had two grown children and a husband to negotiate being away from, for a year, in order to follow this lingering dream. She closed down her practice over the course of a year, and then spent a year traveling to other countries in search of adventures on her own. She and her husband, Chuck Fisher, MD, met up every four months, but for the rest of the time Leah travelled by herself. She was in Guatemala when there was a devastating mudslide, where an entire village was destroyed. She worked with local mental health workers treating the survivors and particularly with the children who were severely traumatized. She even had Gil Kliman’s workbook for children translated into Spanish to help children who had no words for what they experienced and what they had lost. After Guatemala, she made her way to Indonesia, and was affected by the Java earthquake. She then became involved in Java with the local mental health workers in treating the victims of that disaster. At different points in her travels, natural disasters occurred; she was able to use her skills and humanity to address the pain and trauma of the people she encountered and subsequently made friends with.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)


Faculty Committee News

by Elizabeth Biggart, PhD


SFCP would like to welcome Karen Peoples, PhD, to the faculty. Dr. Peoples was recently appointed to the Adjunct Faculty. Her teaching interests include social trauma, narcissism, developmental perspectives on empathy, uncanny states in clinical experience, and incest trauma.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)


Curriculum Committee News

To: SFCP Community
Re: Graduation Paper Presentations
Date: Fall 2015

Dear SFCP Community,

The curriculum committee is working on establishing a process that enables newly minted members to present their graduation papers. We wanted to share some of our deliberations to inform and solicit ideas for consideration as we work on finalizing a structure.

We discussed a twofold aim for this project. The first is concrete — establish a reliable process and venue for graduating members to present their final papers. The second is cultural — encourage more involvement with each other’s ideas and interests. Formalizing a process that welcomes graduating candidates to disclose aspects of their thinking, work and identity is likely to affect our culture in positive ways; at the very least it will increase familiarity and involvement with one another’s work and thinking.

The usual format at other institutes has been to hold a formal presentation where a senior member of the community acts as a discussant. In order to maximize the cultural impact of making us more familiar and involved with another we wanted a medium that was more "horizontal”, a convivial meeting of colleagues organized around a piece of writing. We envision it more like a book club with the author present. Wine and snacks will be provided.

The next steps for this round will be to set up two presentations at the end of March early April where 12–15 members can sign up for a meeting. Each meeting will be organized around a paper that will be discussed book club style. Abstracts and invitations will be emailed to the entire membership. The email announcement will familiarize the community with the new graduates papers, and interested members can sign up for the event.

We welcome your reactions and reflections as we hammer out the details.


Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)


Library News, December, 2015

by Eric Rosen, MLIS, Librarian and Gregory Borman, MLIS, Library Assistant


End of the year thoughts

The end of the year is a time for stock-taking and reflection.

It has been a busy year for the SFCP Library. Circulation of books and other library materials were actually slightly higher than last year, and our remote users increased their numbers to about 500 online readers of eBooks, databases, and online journals. Fewer people visited the library, it is true, than before, but the ones who did seemed to have just as much of an appetite for the printed word as before.

Our online resources took a dramatic increase this year with a subscription to the Psych Books collection from the APA. It gives access to research studies and other materials about psychoanalysis and psychiatry published by the APA and other mental health publishers, expanding the diversity of our collection. It gives access to over4,000 books, with no restriction on recent publications. Only active since September, PsychBooks has already attracted 88 users.

Our other online resources, Pep-Web, EZ-Proxy and the Taylor & Francis eBook collection continue to be popular and worthwhile platforms for research and study of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

In the special projects currently percolating at the library, Greg, Jackie, and I have managedto expand the proportion of processed material. The Wallerstein, Anna Maenchen, SFPI&S have been completed; we are currently at work on the Norman Reider and Emmanuel Windholz papers.

We are committed to producing 16 DVD/Digital Video programs for our audiovisual archive and circulating collections in the next year; in the last three months, we were able to film and convert 6 videos tyo DVDs. Coming soon (we hope)…streaming video of films without having to remember to return the DVD!

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)




Gilbert Kliman, MD, 2016 Anna Freud Educational Achievement Award
The Schools Committee, of the American Psychoanalytic Association, is profoundly pleased to announce that the winner, of the 2016 Anna Freud Educational Achievement Award, is Gilbert Kliman, MD, the Medical Director of The Children's Psychological Health Center of San Francisco. Dr. Kliman's achievements are too numerous for any brief announcement. Suffice it to say, simply, that his decades of dedication have benefited people all over the world.

Naomi Janowitz, PhD, APsaA 2015 Edith Sabshin Teaching Award Recipient
The Selection Committee of the Edith Sabshin Teaching Award selected Dr. Naomi Janowitz, PhD, as one of the recipients of this year’s APsaA Edith Sabshin Teaching Award.

Robert Waska, LPCC, MFT, PhD, will be teaching online January and February 2016 for the Contemporary Psychoanalytic Couple's Psychotherapy Institute, located in New York. His five week class will be The Modern Kleinian Approach to Working with Couples: A Case Conference

Robin A. Deutsch, PhD, has been nominated for a 2015 Gradiva Award, in the edited book category for her book, Traumatic Ruptures: Abandonment and Betrayal in the Analytic Relationship.

Robin A. Deutsch, PhD, gave the following presentations at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis:
October 27, 2015, Scientific Meeting: A Voice Lost, A Voice Found: After the Death of the Analyst and
October 28, 2015, Faculty Lecture: Knowing and Not Knowing: Analyst Aging, Disability and Death

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)




We welcome opinions from all our members.
Please submit to Lynda Connelly ( and Catherine Witzling ( by the 25th of each month.


The following material was submitted by Emily Brewer, MD, Volunteer Member of the SFCP Get Out The Vote! Group, regarding the upcoming APsaA vote on the Bylaw Amendment.

in this Historic Ballot to UNIFY the
American Psychoanalytic Association

VOTE FOR the By-Law Amendment
We Need YOUR Vote!

Please make sure you VOTE in the upcoming APsaA ballot
which arrives the first week in December.

Every Vote Counts and a two-thirds majority is needed to pass the By-Law Amendment.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-12 (December 2015)


President’s Message

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.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-11 (November 2015)


Message from the Executive Director

by Marian Banks-Nickleberry, MS


You are critical to our success. There are several exciting upcoming events that we want you to place on your calendars. All of them will require your time and willingness to participate.

One highlight on our calendar is the Black Psychoanalysts Speak event. This event is a wonderful opportunity for you to join a very important conversation regarding race and how it is or is not being addressed by Psychoanalysts.

However; this is just the beginning of the conversation…

We have invited our community partners (African American, Hispanic Mental Health practitioners and community members ) to see the film and take part in the conversation.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-11 (November 2015)


Haskell Norman Prize for Excellence in Psychoanalysis, 2015 - Scientific Meeting

by Charles P. Fisher, MD


At the October 12, 2015 Scientific Meeting of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, Professor Mark Solms was awarded the Haskell Norman Prize for Excellence in Psychoanalysis. Stanley Steinberg, MD, presented the award on behalf of the Haskell Norman Committee. Dr. Solms' delivered a lecture entitled "What is a Mind? A Neuropsychoanalytic Approach." Charles Fisher, MD, served as moderator.

In describing his approach to this topic, Mark Solms wrote “What is a Mind? This problem cannot be answered by a purely scientific understanding of the brain, nor by a purely philosophical or psychological approach. Minds are characterized by subjectivity, intentionality, and agency. A psychoanalytic view of mind presupposes that a large part of what we call the ‘mind’ is unconscious. The aspect of nature -- the ‘thing’ in Kant's sense - that both psychoanalysis and neuroscience try to understand is the mental apparatus (as described by Freud). Neuropsychoanalysis seeks to use data from mental experience (the data of psychoanalysis) integrated with data from neuroscience to achieve a deeper view of the mental apparatus.”

Readers might be interested in a slide from this lecture (see below), in which Professor Solms compared regions of the human brain associated with particular mental functions with Freud’s well-known diagram of the psychic apparatus.

Newsletter Issue: 2015-11 (November 2015)



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