The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter

The President's Page

Hank Evans

Our 1997-98 year is in full swing. Our first two scientific presentations and discussions have gotten the year off to a good start. Arnold Goldberg began the year with his paper "Deconstructing the Dialectic, "discussed by James Fisch, followed in October by Robert Galatzer-Levy's paper "Chaotic Possibilities: Toward a New Model of Development" with discussion by Fred Levin. Both papers were lively, thoughtfully discussed and brought fresh perspectives to audience members.

In October, the Society also sponsored a symposium: "In Honor of Dr. John E. Gedo: a Fusion of Humanism, Science and Art" to honor his 70th birth day. The symposium was well attended and those present were treated to a day of stimulating ideas in papers by Robert Gardner, Arnold Modell, Leo Sadow, Arnold Wilson and Fred Levin. Mike Gunther offered personal anecdotes at an imaginative lunch arranged by David Solomon and both Mary and John Gedo spoke at the evening banquet. The papers presented, 'With others gathered by invitation, will be published in a volume marking this celebration. The Arrangements Committee, under the guidance of Harvey Strauss and Fred Levin, did a great deal of work to make the symposium a reality.

Our upcoming activities are equally exciting. In January, Virginia Barry will present her paper "Self Organization and Consciousness" to be discussed by Charles Jaffe. Jonathan Lear from the University of Chicago will present "Knowingness and Abandonment: An Oedipus for Our Time" in February to be discussed by Mike Gunther. In addition to its intrinsic interest, Dr. Barry's paper will presage the conference scheduled for March 21 and 22. Jointly sponsored by the Society and the Institute, this conference will honor the 65th anniversary of the Institute for Psychoanalysis. The conference is entitled: "Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience and Therapeutic Change " highlighting an area of high current interest within our field, a rapprochement between psychoanalysis and neurobiology. We have come full circle as we enter the second century of psychoanalytic thinking and practice, with renewed interest in the issues which stimulated Freud to write his "Project for a Scientific Psychology. " The current issue of JAPA is devoted to these issues and a regular column focused on interdisciplinary work involving psychoanalysis and neuroscience has begun in the IJA. Conferences exploring the links between psychoanalysis and the "emotional brain "have recently been held in Cleveland and Boston. Our conference will be at the forefront of this area of interest. Our keynote speaker will be Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman, Director of the Scripps Institute. Author of Neural Darwinism, The Remembered Present, and Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, he is known to be a lively stimulating speaker.

Those who attended the panel discussion at the Institute on November 8 heard Virginia Barry, Robert Galatzer-Levy and Eric Plaut discuss the relevance of these concepts for our field. A documentary on Edelman, filmed by the BBC, will be shown at the Wednesday Research Meeting on December 10 with discussion to follow. Packets of reading material relevant to the conference are available for a nominal fee from Robert Fajardo, The March 21-22 conference should prove to be a highly stimulating and thought provoking meeting so mark your calendars now!

In other Society business, the Executive Committee is exploring the possibility of streamlining the process of attaining membership. While circulating the names of those requesting membership to Society members remains useful, the present requirement of a letter from the Institute's Director or Dean and two letters of recommendation seem rather redundant for candidates in good standing and for graduates of our Institute. Discussion of this topic is important to learn the opinions of Society members in general and any change in procedure would require a vote, changing our Bylaws. We plan to announce this topic for discussion and likely vote at the April business meeting. If you wish to express your opinion now please write to me instead of calling so that I can more faithful retain a record of your views.

I want to remind you that the Society has an active website. Our address is and we hope our Web Page will be useful and used by our members and others. Currently, we plan to provide a roster of the membership including office addresses and phone numbers, abstracts of all papers presented to the Society and articles from the Newsletter on condition of approval by the authors. If you have suggestions for other uses, please contact Dick Herron.

Active discussion is going on in the American on several important topics such as peer review, debate about the advisability and safety/lack of safety about communicating with third party payers. Mark Levey will report initiatives in development of the Consortium as well as the topics discussed at the Fall Meeting.

Finally, the Executive Committee is also active in a number of outreach and special activity projects. In early December, Prudy Leib and Mark Levey will take part in a joint discussion with the faculty for the Jungian Institute. Members of the Jungian Institute approached us asking that we send one or more representatives to an evening discussion in which collaborative dialog would occur on issues of joint interest. The first topic is different theoretical and technical approaches to dreams. A report on that experience will appear in the next issue of the Newsletter. The Executive Committee is also planning a series of casual get-togethers for Society members expanding opportunities for us to gather around common interests. The Society Matinee Program will begin this winter. Connie and Arnold Goldberg will again hold one such meeting hosting Professor Eric Santner from the German Department of the University of Chicago. Topic and date have not , as yet, been determined. Get-togethers featuring areas of special interest and expertise of Society members or members' spouses, partners or friends is under consideration. Topics such as opera, photography, theater, instrumental music, wine or literature are possibilities. Or perhaps, just good food and conversation. We will be sending a questionnaire to create a list of people and interests but, if you have someone close to you or have a topic of interest, please contact Phil Lebovitz. Overall, we hope for this to be a full and rewarding year.

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter