For the first time in U.S. history, we have a President who was elected without the majority of white men voting for him, we have an openly gay Senator and more women elected to Congress than ever before. The country is changing, and as Lew Aron noted at a recent presentation, psychoanalysis, like the Republican Party, must also change if it is to remain relevant.

While it doesn't have quite the nail-biting excitement or the high stakes of the Obama/Romney race, NCSPP has an election season as well. Each fall, we elect a new President and other Board positions. In addition, we give two awards: one to a student who demonstrates promise and talent in psychoanalytic theorizing, and one to an individual or agency in our community that demonstrates a commitment to community service.

We give the Student Paper Award to support and foster new clinicians, and we have had many wonderful papers submitted over the 20 plus years we've given the award. We invite papers that contain original thinking and creatively address topics from a psychoanalytic perspective. We also welcome papers that contain interdisciplinary and culturally diverse perspectives. The winner gets to present the paper at a scientific meeting, receives a cash award and has the paper published in fort da. It is one of several ways NCSPP is working to keep the profession vibrant and relevant to students and younger people coming into the field.

In addition, we began giving a Community Service Award seven years ago. This award honors the many individuals in our community who are dedicated to using psychoanalytic ideas and approaches outside the traditional private practice setting. These are people who train clinicians, work in Community Mental Health, provide services to the poor, and fight for human rights. This year's winner is no exception.

The recipients of both awards will be announced at the annual Holiday Party on December 7th. There is much to celebrate. Please join us.

Finally, as this is my last Impulse column as NCSPP President, I want to say a public thank you to the Board of Directors, committee members and Michele McGuinness, who worked diligently and enthusiastically all year. What you see is the result of that work: the programs, events, classes, publications, brochures, and membership materials. What I saw behind the scenes was people giving up their scarce free time to come to meetings, open their homes, write and answer email, compose articles, announcements, and brochure text, make phone calls, bring food, push themselves outside their comfort zones, argue for what they believe in, care deeply about learning, and to think hard about what would be right for the organization. It has been a very rewarding experience for me, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and get to know this dedicated group of people.

Diane Swirsky, Ph.D.
NCSPP President