PRESIDENT'S REMARKS: GREG CLINTON, PH.D.
I take the helm of NCSPP amidst challenging times for psychoanalytically-oriented clinicians. Managed care continues to authorize meds more than psychotherapy, graduate schools are shedding psychoanalytic courses and faculty, psychoanalytic internship placements are increasingly harder to find, and psychoanalytic training institutes are struggling to fill their candidate slots. Now this is what I call a truly depressive position.
We need to be reminded of the groundbreaking research published last year by Jonathan Shedler, The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. This research, yet to be fully appreciated and utilized, finally enables those of us with a psychoanalytic bent to escape from the defensive position we have found ourselves in for so long. We can take back the night: the term "evidenced-based psychotherapy" is no longer our enemy but our ally. Rather than continue to grumble with each other over by the water cooler (or over martinis) about the current state of psychoanalytic affairs, we need to be taking a more offensive position. Managed care treatment reviewers, graduate school faculty and curriculum deans not to mention the general public need to know what the latest research says. If you haven't read Shedler's article, read it. If you have read it, pass it to your less analytically-oriented colleagues, students, administrators, friends, government officials, and so forth. We need to take advantage of these findings.
Additional hopeful news includes NCSPP's success in spreading the good word of psychoanalytic psychology to the larger community. After forming our Prelicensed Clinicians Committee and engaging in extensive outreach to graduate schools, NCSPP's student membership has gone from 16 to 126 in just four years. We recently formed a Community Mental Health Committee and partnered with Access Institute to explore creating programs that can bring psychoanalytic thinking to community mental health agencies. As of this month, NCSPP's journal, fort da, is available on PEP (Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing) Web, the esteemed digital archive of psychoanalytic publications. During the next year, NCSPP will be heavily investing in technology in order to reach out more extensively to the community and deepen members, affiliation and sense of a professional home.
Challenging times, yes. But there is excitement, too. Stay tuned.
Greg Clinton, Ph.D.