by Robin Deutsch, PhD
In slightly more than the blink of an eye, another academic year has gone by; analytic graduation has passed and psychoanalytic psychotherapy graduation is soon to be upon us. It seems that such a short time ago, I was writing my first newsletter column as President, and now, I have arrived at my final newsletter column. On June 30, I will step down as SFCP President.
As I was sitting at the recent Faculty Retreat on the Evolving Analytic Frame, one of the presenters made a comment that stuck out for me in regard to the Center and it’s evolution. I am not quite certain which of the excellent speakers brought up this idea, and I apologize in advance for not giving adequate credit. In the speaker’s comments, she indicated that the frame is a shared skin and that shared skin is a way of being in the world together. I began to think about how the Center, itself, functions as a shared skin for those of us who belong. Before too long, I found myself also thinking about another phrase I read recently in an article about group process: “whose in your group?” I thought both these ideas described one tension of group life at the Center, and one that likely all groups, live with. Familiarity, propinquity, small and large group cohesion, and similarity influence our attitudes and actions. Understanding more about how our groups, formal and informal, join together to live within the frame of the Center and for the Center’s common good remains an important task for the future.
Being President is complex. The President is responsible for the wellbeing of the organization and often needs to make decisions which run the risk of being disagreed with. Fortunately for me, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with a thoughtful and reflective partner in the management of the Center: the Management Team. I thank them for joining me in this endeavor. Our staff’s interest in and contribution to the success of the Center cannot be overstated. Their presence has made my work as President possible, as is true for their contribution to every committee within the Center. Thanks to Aaron Chow, Lynda Connelly, Laura Ingram, Tia Perrott in our Administrative Offices, and Eric Rosen and Alyson Barrett-Ryan in our Library. And, Jeff Miller, our COO, who balances competing interests and demands on a daily basis. I could not have managed without him.
I also wish to welcome our President-elect, Michael Donner, to the role of SFCP President. During his year as President-elect, Michael has taken up the job with great enthusiasm, reflection and good humor. He’s already completed a number of projects, including the recent organizational report. These tasks are helping to establish his goals and focus for his Presidency. I have been grateful to Michael as a thought partner over this past academic year. I found his intellectual and emotional support profoundly helpful. Working together this past academic year, confirms for me what I have already thought: the Center will be in good hands.
I thank the members of the Center for the opportunity to serve for the past 4 years.