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After months of careful consideration, NCSPP’s Board of Directors has decided to dedicate the 2021 - 2022 academic year to critically rethink our approach to creating and offering community programming. In order for our work to be anti-racist and anti-oppressive, we will pause the majority of our programming to take stock of how White supremacy and racism are built into the structures of the academic home we extend to our diverse community and how they cause harm. While our mission is to offer our membership and community thoughtful spaces for thinking and reflection, our organization has also been in need of a similar space for ourselves.

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With six committees producing a variety of programming throughout the academic year, our Board has little room to think together about our own bigger picture structures. This has led to important issues being dropped and decisions made without enough information and thinking. Structures that have been in place for the bulk of NCSPP’s 35-year existence continue without critical evaluation of the ways in which they can perpetuate our own blind spots and result in harmful transgressions among BIPOC and marginalized community members. Lessening our potential to create further harm among our community is an important intention of our year in reflection.

And, while the general plan is to reduce NCSPP’s programming beginning this Fall through the end of Spring 2022, some specifics are still being shaped and will be addressed in our future communications via Impulse, emails to members, and our website. While we plan to limit our programming, we want to stay engaged, offer transparency and information about further developments, and find additional ways to include you, our readers and community, by inviting your input as we further our anti-racist and anti-oppression work. Over the next number of months, our Board of Directors will continue defining next steps, particularly as we continue our work towards change with our consultants.

During our reflective pause, we will focus on collaborating with our partner organization, Early/Mid. They’ve conducted interviews with our Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Administration and will provide feedback for us to use to deconstruct the racist and oppressive structures of our organization. We also recognize that this is just the beginning of our journey to create and refine structures that offer a safer home for our diverse community of learners and practitioners.

As always, we depend on your continued support, especially now as we forge new relationships — within ourselves, within our organization, with our community, and in current psychoanalytic thinking and practice. We remain dedicated to making the unconscious conscious by confronting the ways that racism, White supremacy, and oppressive and exclusive policies and procedures are baked into the structures of our organization as well as our individual and collective mindsets. While we anticipate this news might rattle a few folks and potentially feel destabilizing, we know this is the time for us to change the course we’ve been on, which has been largely shaped by a lack of attunement to issues of power, privilege, and oppression. We are also encouraged by the initiatives made by our broader communities as internalized “-isms” are identified and confronted by both individuals and organizations. We are grateful for the support and camaraderie of our fellow psychoanalytic organizations in the Bay Area as we learn from one another on our paths forward. We remain grateful to each of you as we wend our way forward, together, on this path of anti-racism and anti-oppression. And, we can’t do this without you — your ongoing support is invaluable.

Please stay tuned for additional information in the near future in various forms, and feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

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September 2022

7:30 - 9:00 pm

How can therapists work with autistic people, individuals with ADHD, and other neurodivergent communities in affirming ways? What is the potential for psychodynamic work with neurodivergent individuals? What biases persist and how can they lead to harmful formulations and interventions? This course will explore these and related questions, striving to introduce participants to neurodiversity-affirming work, to reckon with psychoanalysis’s history with respect to autism, and to dream together about the possibilities of analytic work in this area.

1:00 - 2:30 pm

This class offers a history of the body in psychoanalytic inquiry, looks at foundational concepts such as Winnicott’s psyche-soma, Bick’s second skin, and Anzieu’s skin ego, and aims to move beyond our field’s Eurocentric biases. This class will  expand its gaze to include a Buddhist perspective on oneness of self-and-other in the dyad; the potential reintegration of bodily experience carried through yet erased in immigration; and an awareness of racial difference,  skin tone, and fixed gender binaries as they organize, constrain, or disrupt the clinical frame. It also includes conceptual integration and room for other topics of interest to the group. 

October 2022

Salon | Social Event
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Access Institute, San Francisco

This reading group creates space for clinicians in community mental health settings to think about working with clients managing issues that have risen over the past year, including but not limited to the impacts of COVID, war, political tumult, and racism, while processing these same problems for themselves. The therapeutic  frame is conceptualized by parameters of space and location (i.e., the office), but what if these include changes in the sociopolitical frame? Participants will review articles and reflections on the aforementioned topics to discuss.

November 2022

Salon | Social Event
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Contra Costa Canal, East Bay

This event allows those who work in Community Mental Health to get out and meet others in the field while having an outlet to spend time in the outdoors.