NCSPP

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

PRESIDENT'S REMARKS: ANDREW HARLEM, PH.D.

The NCSPP board is very pleased to welcome Matthew Morrissey as the Editor-in-Chief of IMPULSE. Matthew has served as Technical Editor for the past year. He brings to his new position a passion for building psychoanalytic community. We are thrilled to have him aboard and look forward to seeing his ideas come "online".

I had originally planned to use this brief column to alert readers to recent publications supporting the effectiveness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This is a crucial development for us therapists and analysts, but one that I will wait to address.

As you may know, the psychoanalytic community is mourning the loss of Ruth Stein. She died unexpectedly while attending the national meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association, just hours after receiving the JAPA prize for her article, "The Otherness of Sexuality: Excess." In announcing Ruths tragic death, Jeremy Safran, President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP), noted her "rare combination of brilliance, eloquence, depth, passion, vibrancy and heart." 

Members of our local community were fortunate to experience her remarkable person and skill in 2008, when Ruth presented "A Deep Well: Ruth Stein on the Feel of the Unconscious" at the opening event for the NCSPP Intensive Study Group (ISG). Ruth spoke about the ways that we, as clinicians, become personally involved in the clinical process, necessitating our encounter with the deep wells of our own unconscious psychic lives in order to make contact with those of our patients.

In an email, my colleague, Drew Tillotson, shared with me his recollections from the NCSPP dinner that evening with Ruth. "She was warm, funny and brilliant ... we laughed and had a vibrant conversation. I tell you this because she did not know me, and I did not know her, but after dinner she gave me a warm hug. ... I felt very much like she was ... a real humanist, a connected soul with passion in her eyes. She moved me, she got me, she was so very wise. This is so very sad and such a huge loss to psychoanalysis. Such a loss because she was so truly 'alive.'"

The NCSPP board expresses it deepest condolences to Ruth's family and friends.


Andrew Harlem, Ph.D.
NCSPP President