While it's a pleasure to foster social connections, intellectual vibrancy, and professional growth in the Northern California psychoanalytic community, recent events serve as a reminder that our community has the opportunity, and also the obligation, to be involved in larger societal debates and ethical issues of a more weighty nature.

By now many of you have heard about the chain of events leading to the United States Department of Defense giving preference to using psychologists over psychiatrists as advisers to its interrogation teams at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and other unnamed locations. The American Psychological Association's failure so far to echo the American Psychiatric Association's robust and clear policy against its members taking part of these interrogation teams brings up arrestingly timely questions about the role of mental health practitioners in larger societal debate and action.

While the NCSPP has encouraged its members to sign a petition opposing psychologists' participation in interrogations, it is not our aim to assume or dictate anyone's perspective on this or other important matters. Our community values discovery over dogma and expression over suggestion. So in this spirit I have been working to create a space in which our community can talk to one another about issues facing us and the world we live in. In the coming weeks you'll see an interactive component added to the NCSPP website. Whether this takes the form of an online bulletin board or a group discussion email list, I hope that it becomes a space where our community's thoughts and opinions can find a home and where lively debate gives rise to insight and inspiration.

Please send me your ideas and comments at

Beth Steinberg, Ph.D.
President, NCSPP