PRESIDENT'S REMARKS: DREW TILLOTSON, PSY.D.
Fall is already upon us. Back to schooling the mind ... reconnecting with colleagues and friends. Currently, I am intrigued by the notion of therapeutic action. Given the myriad ways we seek to help patients, what actually creates change? Contemporary theories enable us to think more broadly about what we say and do in our work. Do we adhere to interpretation-based interventions, comment on history, or risk speaking to more here-and-now phenomena? We all encounter the multiple vicissitudes of transference and countertransference. But, finding a common parlance within to speak to each other can be daunting. I occasionally hear, "She works way too much in the transference ... ," or "He privileges countertransference too heavily ..." At a dinner not long ago, I overheard a colleague question, "How do you distinguish between "reverie" and your own anxiety and wish to avoid contact with a patient?" In my experience, it becomes difficult at times to locate my own thinking around these ideas. I wrestle in my consulting room with knowing (or not knowing) how to both track the course of the Unconscious and to listen to my own countertransference as a tool and guide. Like many of you, I occasionally am clobbered by dramatic squalls of transference fantasies that send shock waves through any given treatment for days and weeks. Supervision helps greatly, but I have found solace in group settings with colleagues. This month, in San Francisco and the East Bay, we begin another year of our Intensive Study Groups, focusing on transference and countertransference in all its manifestations. Are you as solid as you would like to be in this area? We welcome the privilege of knowing you and encourage you to join us in our upcoming yearlong journey.
Drew Tillotson, Psy.D.