I am grateful to my North American colleagues for entrusting me to represent you on the IPA Board of Directors. Now I am asking for your support and your vote in the 2019 IPA election so that I can serve you in a second term.
I have focused on several goals as your representative on the Board:
- Working to repair the disconnect between the IPA and many of its members, especially in North America, by communicating to you regularly about IPA news, member benefits and services and IPA projects. I have posted on listservs and my website and sent out comments and notices about IPA outreach projects such as “Freud’s Bar”, the visiting scholars’ program and the work of the new IPA and the Community committees.
- Providing information and perspective on issues under debate within the IPA. Controversies over educational standards are perpetual, it seems. As your North American Rep with very long experience, I see my role as bringing wisdom, clarity and flexibility to the table and doing what I can to combat zealotry.
- Less concretely but most importantly, I hope to persuade you to consider the value of engagement in international psychoanalysis as a rewarding part of your psychoanalytic career. Not infrequently the IPA can disappoint. But without it, we don’t have an international perspective on psychoanalysis, nor opportunities to learn from colleagues who practice, write and teach far from our homes. I have personally benefited so much from the relationships I’ve made with international colleagues and the things I’ve learned by getting far outside the narrow zone of my practice and institute.
For those members who wonder, “What does the IPA do for me?” I will continue to work to make sure it delivers value and tangible benefits for its members. As an example, I would like to tell you about meetings organized by IPA Committees. The work of the Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis (COWAP) comes to mind. They have had meetings in far-flung parts of the world such as India, the Republic of Georgia and recently in Los Angeles entitled “Psychic Survival in the face of Misogyny.” It was well attended (250 registrations) but regrettably, information about IPA sponsored activities seem to fly under the radar. I hope to change that and help members become more aware of what they can get for their dues. Another example: the IPA’s Sunday webinars on diverse psychoanalytic topics are open to all members. All you have to do sit by your computer and listen as experts discuss relevant psychoanalytic topics. For US residents, I will try to get continuing education credits for these webinars.
APsaA’s bridge building with broadly equivalent psychoanalytic organizations represents an important step forward. APsaA needs to take the initiative to have a dialogue with the two other organizations in North America and demonstrate a willingness to listen to their views. CIPS component societies are more than four hundred strong and represent a vibrant addition to psychoanalysis in the United States that in many ways has changed the whole. The Canadian Psychoanalytic Society nurtures strong psychoanalytic traditions in both French and English-speaking regions, now stretching from Quebec City in the East to Vancouver in the West.
Our region has unique and challenging characteristics. There is a need to clarify what problems or challenges NAPSAC should be addressing. We need to discover what we can give to each other and how this can optimally occur. Issues of equitability are important but may well resolve when NAPSAC’s mission is vital to all.
I support assisting groups such as CIPS and the Canadian having their voice heard on the international stage. Although predominant in size, APsaA, has had its internal struggles, which it is facing and solving. All three organizations face similar challenges when it comes to analytic workloads and attracting qualified, younger candidates. Nevertheless, there is continuing work to be done to optimize inter-group relations and reciprocity, which cannot be left untended.
Psychoanalysis remains the most comprehensive theory of the human mind available, and we know collectively that our treatment changes lives. Nevertheless, we need to continue to demonstrate our relevance, especially to those patient groups for whom research shows do best with the long-term in-depth treatment we offer. By nature, I am a connector and translator. This includes the ability to translate conflicts, aspirations and frustrations into language that allows us to work and solve problems together. We need to reach out to each other building on our common interests. I have done this over many years of IPA service and will continue to do this on the Board.
A note: Since communication is always challenging when dealing with an international organization and far-flung members, I plan to use multiple means of communication–postings on the list-serves of North American components, as they permit, email letters and blog posts to this website.
I hope you will allow me to add you to my email list. I promise to inform but not overload you. Just send me your email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.