by Shannon Dubach, PsyD
To put one brick upon another
Add a third, and then a fourth,
Leaves no time to wonder whether,
What you do has any worth.
But to sit with bricks around you
While the winds of heaven bawl
Weighing what you should or can do
Leaves no doubt of it at all.
-- Philip Larkin
As I write the last column I will write as president of NCSPP, I have the luxury of sitting to wonder and reflect on the year. What an incredible group of committed, generous, and thoughtful people who volunteer their ideas, time, and efforts. Thank you isn't enough for Michele McGuinness and the board members who bring fresh ideas and constructive criticism to setting the direction of NCSPP while leading committee members who stack brick upon brick to assure our quality offerings. I want to thank each and every committee member for all of your hard work. It was a pleasure to meet many of you when you visited the board meetings, and to learn more about and more fully appreciate just how creative and diligent you are in developing your programs, publications, and social events.
By way of example, it has been a privilege to be a part of our ongoing commitment to Community Mental Health (CMH) organizations that, in addition to so many other services, work to create time and space for individuals to pause and reflect. This year, NCSPP developed the CMH Committee mission statement and introduced the CMH membership categoryto continue to bridge the theoretical and concrete gaps between community work and psychoanalytic practice. The CMH Committee offered discussion groups prior to the annual lecture by Salman Akhtar, "The Mental Pain of Minorities: Amelioration and Treatment," and developed plans to visit several CMH organizations next year to continue to build a more inclusive home for CMH clinicians within the NCSPP community. In addition, Reflective Spaces/Material Places (RS/MP) continued to grow and thrive. In 2012, RS/MP began as a collaboration between NCSPP, Access Institute, and PINC with an objective of bringing community-based work together with psychoanalytic thinking. In just three years RS/MP has grown from one all-day conference to bi-monthly presentations and discussions about psychoanalytically informed community mental health. Not unlike saying goodbye but not farewell to my college freshman this year, it was a pleasure to see the fruits of their commitment and hard work lead to a successful independent organization. Kudos to those who have given so much to growing RS/MP. And finally, it is with pride that we will announce the winner of the 11th annual Community Service Award this month. This award honors the many individuals and organizations in our community who are dedicated to bridging analytic thinking with community-based work. Please join us at the NCSPP member holiday party on December 4, 2015, when we will announce this year’s recipient.