The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter

from the Counselor's Seat

By Mark Levey

The major item from the American is the Joint Committee on External Accreditation's endorsement of the plan to establish a Joint Accreditation Board with the Consortium provided that the Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (free standing members of the International) be part of the process. The decision will permit maintaining educational standards while unifying colleagues and training programs. This decision resulted from the Consortium's considerable progress in establishing agreed upon educational standards which would allow, initially, an external certification of institutes and eventually external certification of practitioners. (I previously discussed the suggestions for minimal standards and posted a copy of those suggestions on the bulletin board in the lounge of the Institute). The committee hopes that BOPS and the Council will approve this plan at the December meeting along with the suggestion that a standing joint committee be permitted to monitor the ongoing Consortium process to better keep the Council and membership appraised of future activities. Three other items will be addressed at the December meetings. The first is a bylaw change permitting non-doctoral candidates to be members of the American. This is a pro forma matter as BOPS had previously sanctioned local autonomy in the admission of candidates with a MSW. The exact wording of the new bylaw is still being circulated among the counselors.

Secondly, a sub-committee on ethics has suggested that each local group establish an ethics committee. Objections to this plan have arisen, as some groups fear the expense of possible liability. An alternative proposal has been that the local committee could medicate or arbitrate complaints but that were a complaint requires adjudication it could be referred to a local professional specialty organization i.e. local branches of the American Psychiatric, Psychological or Social Work Associations. The sub-committee is trying to clarify the issues of liability and costs and would welcome any feedback. There is an Ethics Workshop on Friday, December 19 from 3-5 pm. Anyone wishing to represent the Society should contact Hank Evans. (Suggested revisions are also on the Bulletin Board in the lounge).

The third matter is that of Peer Review. A committee whose charge is to support members confronting external review and coordinating the development of Practice Guidelines for Psychoanalysis will present its report. The committee is available for consultation with members undergoing a review process. Drafts on reporting to third parties have already been sent to Societies for comment The committee recently sent a 69 point response to the American Psychiatric Association's draft of Guidelines for Treatment of Panic and Related Anxiety Disorders. That draft recommended only psychopharmacological or behavioral interventions with no mention of psychotherapy. This committee felt the proposed Guidelines moved away from a biopsychosocial model to focus on the management of manifest symptoms exclusively. They are encouraging the American Psychiatric to not only reconsider the specifics but the advisability of a guideline of this nature at any time.

The other news from the Executive Committee meetings is of Dr. Margolis' continued contacts with analytic groups outside the American to promote alliances and the analytic practice. There is a pending cost of $100,000 to increase the office space and computer capabilities and a proposal to include the subscription to JAPA in the dues. These issues will be discussed at the next business meeting. One clarification was also presented: That all counselors and alternates as well as society officers and counselors-at-large need to be certified members of the American.

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter