NCSPP

Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

PRESIDENT'S REMARKS: MELISSA HOLUB, PH.D.

Remembering Ken Appel 

NCSPP's fourth president and noted local analyst Ken Appel died just five weeks ago. We deeply appreciate his contributions to the local analytic community. Maureen Murphy, NCSPP founder, knew Dr. Appel well. Thank you, Maureen, for sharing your memories and for resurrecting your Presidential duties in honor of Ken Appel. 

Warm regards,

Melissa Holub, Ph.D.
NCSPP President

Tribute to Ken

Kenneth J. Appel, a former president of NCSPP, passed away on September 25th in the company of his family. He is survived by his children Morgan, Kamala, Hannah and Oona. I report this with sadness but also amazement because to me -- like most people who had the privilege of knowing him -- Ken was as timeless as the unconscious and as illusive. 

I met Ken thirty-five years ago, when we served on the CSPP Board, where he was the first Dean of Academic Affairs. It was in this capacity, as teacher and visionary, that he helped shape the careers of many psychoanalytic clinicians. My own enchantment with psychoanalysis is a debt I owe to Ken. 

Dr. Appel had all the credentials for professional distinction. He received his undergraduate degree at Wayne State, a masters at the University of Chicago and finally his doctorate at the University of Houston. Later, he trained at the Mt. Zion Department of Psychiatry in the days when Mt. Zion was synonymous with psychoanalysis. With this background, he could cite the literature, quote Freud and debate technique with the best. But, what inspired his students was his command of the poetics of psychoanalysis. After listening to Ken present a case, I always came away determined to do whatever it took to understand, empathize and interpret like that. 

The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Ken never lost that sense of trying new places -- intellectually and personally. In the last fifteen years, he divided his practice between San Francisco and New Mexico. For a time, recently, he moved to India to deepen his spiritual practice of Vedanta. As your students, colleagues, patients and friends, we thank you for the gifts you left us and bid you a safe journey. 

Maureen Murphy, Ph.D. 
NCSPP Founder and Former President