by Shannon Dubach, Psy.D.
Stepping into this new role, I am once again struck by the multiple challenges facing psychoanalytic clinicians today. Managed care organizations continue to emphasize short-term treatment plans, graduate schools offer fewer analytically focused courses, and psychoanalytic internships are increasingly difficult to find. Against these odds, psychoanalytic training institutes continue to provide robust training programs. Although we are not surprised by the conclusions from research such as Jonathan Shedler's Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, tensions persist.
Fortunately, NCSPP's mission statement focuses on these challenges. To paraphrase, our mission is to encourage the interest, the study, and the practice of psychoanalytic psychology. Our goal is quite clear: to facilitate the understanding and growth of psychoanalytic theory and practice. This translates into a number of objectives, including the following:
- Get the word out. Our emails, brochures, and this newsletter provide wonderful opportunities to reach over 1800 individuals interested in learning about analytic theory and application. For example, I'd like to take the opportunity to promote Division 39's Spring Meeting, Life in Psychoanalysis in Life, which will be held in San Francisco in April. My hope is that many of us are able to attend this enriching local opportunity and to support our many NCSPP members who will present at the conference.
- Strengthen the Northern California psychoanalytic presence.Currently, this translates into working collaboratively with local psychoanalytic training programs and institutes to strengthen and grow our various programs while maintaining organizational stability in a tumultuous environment. At first glance, it appears we are in competition, struggling to divide the pool of potential trainees among several organizations. The risks of offering too many overlapping courses and events are fewer filled classrooms and uncovered expenses. We would all do well to learn from Game Theory and thePrisoner's Dilemma when thinking through how best to work together to assure that we all not only survive but also succeed.
- Provide our own programs. NCSPP provides a wide range ofcourses and events ranging from sponsorship of community mental health initiatives to yearlong Intensive Study Groups. These educational opportunities, our journal, fort da, and this newsletter help us attain our mission. Additionally, we will think creatively about broadening our scope to offer programs for clinicians interested in specific applications of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. My objective for 2015 is to develop and introduce a national biennial conference on "Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Another." The first of these conferences will focus on services for LGBTQ adults, couples, families, and youth.
We are well-positioned for an exciting year of ongoing challenges, new endeavors, and effective outreach. I look forward to a collaborative and generative year filled with community, hard work, and rewarding successes.