The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1998 Newsletter

President’s Message

by Henry Evans, MD

I hope the holiday season just past has been a rewarding one for you and yours. As we begin this last year of the millennium we face much upheaval and uncertainty on the national political level. The impacts of this process are already reverberating locally and personally. I suspect many of you have been approached by friends, family and/or neighbors for your views on this turbulent time. As analysts we can bring potentially helpful perspectives on such issues as the psychology of leadership, disillusionment with leaders, factors which can contribute to abuse of power, et cetera. If you feel your thoughts on some aspect of this crisis could be of help to others, I encourage you to contact Dottie Jeffries (312/938-1969). As our Public Relations expert, she can help determine whether your ideas could usefully be brought to the attention of one of her media contacts. In keeping with this theme of representing psychoanalytic views, I also urge you to consider how you can become active on one or another committee of the American. Increasing our representation automatically increases dialog with analysts from other parts of the country, giving opportunities for individual Societies to benefit from one another. If you are interested, please contact me, our Councilor Mark Levey, or Bob Gordon, our Alternate.

Locally, we have been and continue to be busy with agendas for our membership. The vote concerning establishment of a Psychoanalyst Assistance Committee passed by a large margin, making it a new Standing Committee of the Society. We will be making all efforts to insure that any member-related concerns brought to the attention of this committee will be handled in a careful, thoughtful manner aiming first to be of assistance to that member.

You have probably heard discussion concerning establishment of "professional wills" by our members. In such a will, each Society member would be asked to specify one or more individuals who would be available to help family, patients and colleagues when a member becomes incapable of carrying on the responsibilities of his or her practice, or dies. In the midst of inevitably difficult circumstances, a professional will would be of significant help to all concerned. An article in TAP has enumerated many points that can usefully be included in such a will. The Executive Committee has discussed this proposal and is unanimously in support of establishing a policy for our members, using the article as a model. You will receive a copy of the TAP proposal in the near future for your study. We plan to invite discussion of this proposal at our Business Meeting in April and to submit some form of it for a vote as soon thereafter as feasible.

In another agenda, the Executive Committee has voted to consider creation of an Association for Psychoanalytic Thought. This is a program developing under the auspices of The American and created through efforts from local Societies. Membership is generally open to a large variety of individuals interested in psychoanalytic ideas and in applying those ideas to their own fields. Master's level clinicians, educators, lawyers, religious leaders, psychiatric nurses, et cetera have been among the members in other locations. Existing APT organizations have drawn up to a few hundred members in individual cities. These are typically freestanding organizations which develop their own programs and sources of funding. In some locations the members have been granted a special category of nonvoting membership in a local Society. In several locations some Society members participate in the APT programs. Societies and Institutes have benefited from the existence of APTs. APT members have generally been enthusiastic about analytic practitioners and educational programs. They have generated increased requests for supervision, treatment, and applications for participation in educational programs, including analytic training in some cases. We are gathering information about this program and will keep you informed.

After further discussion in the November Business Meeting and in the Executive Committee, we have also decided to change the Society Matinees program. The programs held so far have only been usable by a limited segment of our members. My requests for new program ideas have brought suggestions which will likely appeal to the group already being served. Since the program was intended to draw wide participation from within our membership we have deemed it unfair for the Society to pay for programs enjoyed largely by one segment of our members. The Matinees program can continue if those attending are willing to split the cost of light food and beverages, probably amounting to $10-15/person. We already have music and opera programs in the wings for such gatherings.

We are also proposing a series of small dinner gatherings to be held at the homes of Society members in the city and suburbs. We are looking for ways to advance relationships among Society members, in the interest of increasing cohesiveness in our organization. The dinners would be hosted by one or two members who, together with any partners, would invite a few/several other Society members and any partners of different ages from a list of those who have voiced interest in participating in this program. The dinners might well be done potluck. I will be sending a questionnaire concerning this agenda in the near future.

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1998 Newsletter