In This Issue
Selected Facts
Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic
Society and Institute

Spring 2015

Maxine Nelson



Welcome to the spring edition of Selected Facts: Newsletter of the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. In addition to a letter from NPSI President Caron Harrang, this issue includes a farewell letter from Maxine Anderson as she steps down from her position as Director of Training. All of us at NPSI are grateful for the leadership Maxine has provided since NPSI's inception and her presence will be missed on the Board.

As usual, we offer brief accounts of the professional activities and accomplishments of some of our candidate and analyst members in Candidate News and Members in Action. We wish to thank our candidate reporters, Lynn Cunningham and David Parnes, for their work. We would also like to expand our reporting to cover the professional activities of our growing number of community members. If you are a community member (or would like to become one) interested in joining the staff, we would like to hear from you.


In this issue, we are honoring Jim Grotstein, who passed away on May 30, with a special report written by Joe Aguayo, PCC training and supervising analyst, who was a long-term friend and colleague of Jim's. We will be doing a more formal tribute to Jim in our fall issue.


Under Regional and International News, we have information about the IPA Congress in Boston, including a listing of the many NPSI analysts and candidates who will be presenting there. We invite anyone who attends the Congress to send us your comments or reviews. See newsletter staff contact information at the bottom of this issue and feel free to contact us if you have questions about how to submit news or reports.


Finally, we wish to thank Hollee Sweet, our able NPSI Administrator, who will be designing and formatting the newsletter, beginning with this issue.


Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA

Managing Editor

NPSI Board of Directors



President: Caron Harrang

Past-President: David Jachim

Secretary/Treasurer: Maxine Nelson

Director of Training: Maxine Anderson

Administrator/Recording Secretary: Hollee Sweet



Dana Blue

Adriana Prengler

Julie Hendrickson (Candidate representative/non-voting)


Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educational and scientific activities based in Seattle, Washington. The primary mission of the organization is to provide the highest quality psychoanalytic education and training for individuals seeking to become psychoanalysts and psychoanalytically informed psychotherapists. The organization also supports the ongoing professional growth and development of our psychoanalyst, candidate, and community members. In so doing, the organization aims to contribute to the current regional, national, and international psychoanalytic understanding of mental life and to the emotional health, creativity, and wellbeing of those treated through the practice of psychoanalysis.

Letter from the President

Caron Harrang

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it,

move with it, and join the dance."

Alan Watts


NPSI is, it seems to me, in the midst of a growth spurt fueled by the efforts of an industrious Board of Directors, a newly formed Advisory Council, and individual members who have stepped up to the plate. As we know, growth is also marked by change, and change is never easy. What do I mean?


Thinking of change that is not easy, my mind goes immediately to the loss of our psychoanalyst colleague and master theoretician and clinician James S Grotstein, MD FIPA (Psychoanalytic Center of California) who passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Many of us knew Jim as a supervisor, a mentor, and an inspirational thinker. He was, to paraphrase one of his most enigmatic book titles, a dreamer who dreamed so many beautiful dreams. He will long be remembered and cherished as one of our most creative and prolific writers as well as someone whose generosity touched the lives of analysands, students, colleagues, friends, and family alike. For those of us suffering his loss, I would like to share a quote given to me by a colleague on the occasion of an earlier time of mourning: "It is the image in the mind that binds us to our lost treasures, but it is the loss that shapes the image." (Sidonie Gabrielle Colette)


Turning to change representing growth, I want to start by thanking the NPSI Accreditation Committee co-chaired by Maxine Anderson and David Jachim and including Dana Blue, Margie Bone, Patrick Nalbone, and Nicole Wiggins, along with myself. This group shepherded the application process for national accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education culminating in a site visit last April. As detailed in the letter (below) from outgoing Director of Training Maxine Anderson, we are awaiting a final report from the ACPE Board of Directors regarding accreditation. This application represents a monumental achievement for our organization ensuring that we remain competitive with other IPA Institutes already accredited and continue to develop as a top-flight psychoanalytic training establishment.


Part of the growth also includes a change in leadership of the Institute. On Wednesday, June 10, 2015 many of you attended our special election meeting where Dana Blue, LICSW FIPA was elected to become the next Director of Training. Her term, which completes the one begun by Maxine Anderson this past fall, begins on July 1, 2015 and will run until the Annual Meeting in fall 2016.


I know I speak for many of our members when I say that I feel a profound debt of gratitude to Maxine and Marianne Robinson for co-founding the organization in 1999 and for serving in multiple leadership positions over the past sixteen years. In addition, to Adriana Prengler who ably chaired the Nominating Committee with Julie Hendrickson and Patrick Nalbone helping to facilitate a transparent and democratic leadership transition. And finally, to Dana whom I have worked with on many projects including EBOR 2014 and know to be an excellent leader. I look forward to working with Dana and everyone on the Education Committee as we continue to strengthen and grow the Institute.


In the last issue of Selected Facts I mentioned a proposal to form an Advisory Council to provide non-binding informed guidance to the Board of Directors for the purpose of enhancing the organization's development and governance. I am pleased to report that in the past few months the following individuals have generously accepted my invitation to serve on the Council. Having support in areas such as accounting, financial planning, fundraising, educational policy, distance learning technology, social media, and legal counsel will help the Society and Institute to grow in steady and sustainable ways. In future issues of this newsletter I will provide profiles of each member so that you can get to know them and understand how they are making a difference in our organizational development. The members are as follows:


Brandi Conforth, Petersen Sullivan LLP

Theodore Jachim, Social Media

Michaela Kay, CPA, Petersen Sullivan LLP

Gary Kunis, Distance Learning Technology

JoAnn Mills, Development

Patrick Nalbone, PhD, Education Policy and Management

David Schoolcraft, Attorney, Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC

Doug Ulrich, CFP, Morgan Stanley


I also want to share some exciting news about our International Evolving British Object Relations Conference. Rikki Ricard, LMHC FIPA has agreed to chair the organizing committee, assisted by Barbara Sewell, LMHC FIPA, for EBOR 2016. Rikki has worked on past EBOR conferences and is well prepared to carry forward one of our signature special events showcasing world-renowned plenary presenters and local and international individual paper presenters. Although the exact dates are not yet set, it will likely be late October or early November 2016. Once the dates and conference theme have been established, Rikki will be reaching out to the community for volunteers to serve on the organizing committee as well as to colleagues throughout the United States and abroad to help promote EBOR 2016. If you have an interest in serving on the organizing committee or helping to promote the conference outside of Seattle, please free to contact Rikki at


On a quieter note, it is my pleasure to let you know that Susan Veltfort, granddaughter of Otto Rank, recently contacted NPSI with an offer to donate some of his books for our library. I had the pleasure of meeting Susan and learned that she is herself a retired librarian. She is delighted that we have room for and appreciate the gift of her maternal grandfather's manuscripts. Candidates, full members, and community members interested in checking out books from our library can do so through our NPSI Administrator, Hollee Sweet.


Last but certainly not least, I wish to acknowledge our members and candidates who will be presenting at the 49th International Psychoanalytical Association Congress in Boston on July 22-25, 2015. It is quite remarkable that over half of our analyst members and a significant number of our candidates will be presenting individual papers or as part of a panel presentation. (Please see the complete list of NPSI presenters under Regional and International News.) Additionally, Jeff Eaton, LMHC FIPA and Barbara Sewell, LMHC FIPA will be attending a workshop dedicated to exploring the scientific activities of IPA Societies throughout the world. I hope that all of these activities will be enriching for each of you and usher a next wave of fresh ideas for our Society and Institute.


With best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable summer,


Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA

President, Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute

Letter from the Director of Training  


Maxine Anderson

This is my last letter as NPSI Director of Training. In that role, I have been charged with overseeing the entirety of the psychoanalytic training program, reporting to the Board of Directors and maintaining a mutual working relationship with the President and the other members of the training team. 


The Education Committee at NPSI is comprised of these members of the 'team,' that is, the chairs of all the committees that have a part in the training of candidates in the psychoanalytic training program. These members are Chair of Curriculum, currently Barb Sewell; Chair of Faculty Development, currently Esti Karson; Chair of Progression, currently Dana Blue; Chair of Training Analyst Committee, currently Maxine Anderson; Co-chairs of Admissions, currently Dana Blue and Maxine Anderson; and President of the Candidate Organization, currently Nicole Wiggins. The Dean of Students, currently Dana Blue, is also a member of EC, and she and I have worked together since the position was created as part of the legacy of consultation with Ted Jacobs and Brian Robertson in 2013. They recommended adding a Dean of Students who would be responsive to candidate issues and concerns while also enhancing candidate-faculty communication. Dana has served in that function admirably. 


They also observed a lack of transparency regarding candidates being appropriately informed about issues involving faculty concerns, an issue which had led to a sense of some instability previously. As such, they recommended continuing discussion about costs of training, progression issues, evaluation procedures, and standards of seminar teaching. 


Most of these topics have remained focal issues for us and have taken considerable time and effort within the Education Committee. Curriculum Committee has attended to evaluation measures with regard to seminars, both clinical and didactic. Progression has revamped the Candidate Handbook and several other items of note, which clarifies training requirements.


Most recently candidate concerns about length of training were discussed by both the Director of Training and the Dean of Students who informed the candidates that these concerns about length of training, the number of control cases needed, and the frequency of sessions in the conduct of those cases were issues under discussion in IPA Institutes around the world.


Another significant item on my watch as Director of Training has been involvement in the application for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education (ACPE), which is an external accreditation body for psychoanalytic institutes in North America. Accreditation by this organization enhances credibility of the Institute and its training program and also helps to pave the way for our candidates to access US Department of Education loans. The application procedure was begun in late autumn 2012, and the ACPE Committee (Maxine Anderson and David Jachim, Co-chairs; Dana Blue, Margie Bone, Caron Harrang, Patrick Nalbone, and Nicole Wiggins) all worked diligently to submit the application in April 2014, an 18-month endeavor. One year later, April 23-25, 2015, we had our ACPE site visit. Over a rigorous 3-day visit the site visit team examined every aspect of NPSI functioning. We have heard that the APCE Board has awarded us accreditation but we are still awaiting details about any conditions that still might need attention for the full 7-year accreditation status.


We NPSI members found ourselves noting to the ACPE team that we felt small in our numbers, but the ACPE team itself countered that perception by observing a sense of sturdiness in the organization in spite of our numbers. Still, we are striving to increase our numbers and enhance NPSI's visibility through numerous endeavors.


Although there are more things I could say about NPSI's accomplishments during my tenure, I would like to add a few thoughts about anticipated challenges ahead, particularly regarding psychoanalytic training:


1.  We have a need for more voices on EC. The wisdom born of diversity is important as the Institute and its candidate constituency grow.


2.  Continued attention to the questions of adapting psychoanalytic training to a changing world is paramount: Is psychoanalysis staying sensitive to the changing world of the 21st century? The current IPA leadership is trying to generate discussions in this regard, and NPSI is poised to remain aware and contribute to this conversation.


3.  The question of focused attention in training toward a specific point of view, British Object Relations, vs inviting more divergence of psychoanalytic thought is always a relevant issue. We have seen that a thorough grounding in British Object Relations, and a training analysis similarly grounded, has caused the least confusion in our candidates building a solid theoretical scaffolding. We hope to model excellence in training, which also means openness to evolving thought.


These are some of the issues that come to mind in writing this valedictory note. Again, it has been a privilege to serve NPSI in this capacity as Director of Training. I have a sense that new leadership may bring fresh ideas, energy and perhaps new directions, which in concert with the leadership of the Society will continue to enrich NPSI as a whole.


Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA

Director of Training

Special Report     


In Remembrance of James Grotstein:
Friend, Colleague and Bionian Scholar


by Joseph Aguayo, PhD FIPA


Photo courtesy of Dr. Grotstein's family


Our small psychoanalytic universe was disturbed recently with the passing of our long cherished friend, mentor and colleague, Jim Grotstein on May 30th, 2015. It will take years to measure not only what Jim gave us by way of his many contributions to our field, but also what we have lost by his no longer being here. Here I recall past experiences about what his work has meant - and continues to mean - to me.


First, a psychic travel advisory: like the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said you could not step into the same river twice, Jim Grotstein never sounded the same the next time you heard him speak. The reason was simple: he was simply too caught up in how truly oceanic is the experience of working with the Unconscious. Of Jim's personality, Daniel Stern, the world-renowned infant developmentalist, once said: Jim maintains constant contact with the phantoms of the Underworld, always enthusiastic to relay to us what he found there.


Over the years that I had the pleasure of knowing, consulting with Jim and discussing ideas regarding clinical research in our field, I usually left Jim's house feeling uplifted, and feeling that I could breathe the fresh air of new ideas and concepts, as if for the first time. Jim truly had and never lost the beginner's attitude: he felt fascinated by what he was privileged to hear, see and think in relation to others. [1]   


We all know about Jim's orthodox Freudian, Fairbairnian, Kleinian and Bionian background - how else could it be otherwise? There were simply many different rooms in Jim's psyche and they all merited attention. Jim embraced difference, or how else could he have survived so well during the "Time of Troubles" in 1970s and 80s, when Kleinians and Freudians fought for analytic supremacy in Los Angeles?


What emerged from this crucible was that it was never in Jim's nature to espouse one theory to the exclusion of all others - he was not an either-or thinker. Like Will Rogers, he never met a theory he didn't like, but always in his particular way. While it was true that Jim's passion for Bion and Klein was at the root of his analytic thinking, it was also his genuine receptivity to the ideas of other analysts that led to his being sought after as a lecturer at all sorts of theoretically diverse institutes around the world. And right next to him for this odyssey was Sue Grotstein, wife, graceful muse and life partner. Without her loving dedication - and that of their children, Laurie and Josh - we would not have had these abundant analytic riches from our friend and colleague.


Two remembrances: Jim's contributions were honored at the IPA Congress in Mexico City in 2011. My friend Larry Brown and I chaired the meeting, at which colleagues from around the world came to tell of their experiences with Jim, among them Antonino Ferro of the Italian Psychoanalytic Association, who wrote one of the longest and laudatory book reviews in praise of Jim's A Beam of Intense Darkness in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (Ferro, 2006: 89:869-884).


And yet Jim's analytic odyssey was long and circuitous. Like Odysseus himself, Jim had challenging stops along the way. With the publication of his first book in 1981, Splitting and Projective Identification, he helped to introduce Kleinian clinical thinking to an entire generation of primarily American analysts trained in ego psychology. This important and defining book helped to turn the tide of American analytic opinion, primarily influenced by the work of Anna Freud, towards a reconsideration of the work of Melanie Klein. 


Even more radical was when Jim edited  Do I Dare Disturb the Universe , a volume of collected essays on behalf of his analyst and mentor, Wilfred Bion. Also published in 1981, Jim demonstrated how forward thinking his ideas were, because when he introduced Bion's thought to the United States, he was like Bion, decades ahead of his time. No wonder Jim was also honored at the "Bion in Boston" conference in 2009 as that year's plenary speaker.


Jim's enduring dedication as a passionate Kleinian/Bionian to see both sides now represented his tireless desire to maintain a Bionian sense of binocularity to the analytic terrain he surveyed. So, to those of you familiar with Jim's work - characterized by clinically useful aphorisms such as: 'Establish the adaptive context,' 'What is your definitory hypothesis?' 'Listen to the patient at the point of his greatest, most anxious urgency,' 'There is never not a transference on the patient's part,' and 'How is the patient's same material different today?' - and to those of you who are new to his work-I wholeheartedly commend and advise you to listen to your own personal reactions as you read the work of our dear colleague and friend, Jim Grotstein.


[1]There were two recorded interviews done with Jim Grotstein on August 13 and 27, 2009.  During the course of these interviews, much of the early material about how he became involved in psychoanalysis was discussed in greater detail.




Grotstein, J (1981). Splitting and Projective Identification. (New Jersey: Aronson).


_________ (ed). (1981). Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? A Memorial to Wilfred R Bion. (Los Angeles: Caesura Press).


_________ (2009). "...But at the Same Time and on Another Level...": Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique in the Kleinian/Bionian Mode. (London:  Karnac). 2 Volumes. 


Joseph Aguayo, PhD FIPA, is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California (PCC) in Los Angeles.


Regional and International News

The International Psychoanalytical Association will be holding its 49th IPA Congress from July 22 to 25, 2015 at the World Trade Center in Boston, Massachusetts, concurrently with the 23rd International Psychoanalytical Studies Organization (IPSO) Conference. This Congress will focus on how the fast-changing world around us affects our minds, our technique, and our consulting rooms. The clinical and theoretical presentations at this Congress will show how each analyst works through and thinks about these changes and will include work groups, small discussion groups, individual papers, panels, posters, meet the analyst/author sessions, and films. For additional information click here.


Special Note: During the conference, the Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) will host a cocktail reception for members, candidates, and invited guests at the IPA Congress in Boston. The cocktail reception will be held Thursday, July 23, 2015, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Boston Seaport Hotel. Please join us and feel free to bring colleagues who may be interested in learning about CIPS.


NPSI at the Boston IPA


NPSI is pleased to report that over half of our full members and many of our candidates will be giving individual papers and participating in keynote and panel presentations at the 49th IPA/23rd IPSO Congress. The following is a list of session titles with NPSI members' and candidates' names indicated in bold.


Keynote Presentation: Recovering the Psychic Apparatus

Presenter: Altamirando Andrade

Discussant: Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA

Discussant: Giovanni Battista Foresti


Keynote Presentation: Our Vital Profession

Presenter: Fred Busch

Post-Keynote Discussion Group: Cecile Bassen, MD FIPA (Chair)


Pre-Congress Workshop: Unconscious Theories in the Mind of the Analyst at Work

Clinical Material Presenter: Mirta Berman-Oelsner, LMHC FIPA


The Return of the Negative Object and the Function of Reverie in Restoring Hope

David Jachim, PhD FIPA


The French and the Sacred Cow: Free Association Reconsidered Across Psychoanalytic Cultures

Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA


On Growth, a Gift and Goodbyes: Initial Thoughts on a Termination

David Parnes, LICSW (Candidate)


Hope and Disappointment: The Importance of Psychoanalytic Theory and Psychoanalytic Institutions for Women.

Cecile Bassen, MD FIPA

Monica Fraenkel de Alancon

C?ndida Holovko

Ingrid Moeslein-Teising

Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp

Frances Thomson-Salo


Female Homosexuality: There and Then, Here and Now

Mirta Berman-Oelsner, LMHC FIPA

Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA

Adriana Prengler, LMHC FIPA

Samuel Zysman (Chair)


On Reverie: Tools of the Trade in Evolving Process and Technique


Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA

Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA

David Jachim, PhD FIPA (Chair)


Second Thoughts on Meltzer's Explorations in Autism: The Importance of Psychic Dimensionality Forty Years Later

Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA (Chair)

Didier Houzel

Suzanne Maiello


Tools to Think and Work with Children Who Cannot Think

Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA and Carolyn Steinberg, MD FRPCP (Candidate)


Supervision for IPSO Candidates and Discussion of the Theoretical Function of Supervision

Clinical Presenter: Davide Rosso

Discussant: Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA


Destructiveness: New Paths and New Tools for Understanding

Cl?udio Eizirik (Chair)

Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA

Marilia Aisenstein-Averoff

Clara Nemas de Urman


Working with Transference and Countertransference: Special Learning Moments

Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA (Chair)

Franco Borgogno

Theodore Jacobs

Jorge Maldonado


Imagery, Imagination and Intuition: Experiential Learning through Infant Observation

Barbara Sewell, LMHC FIPA (Chair)

Margaret Bergmann-Ness, MA LICSW (Candidate)

Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA

Kerry Ragain, PhD

Carolyn Steinberg, MD FRPCP (Candidate)


Conference Attendees from NPSI: Maxine Anderson, Cecile Bassen, Margaret Bergman-Ness, Dana Blue, Lynn Cunningham, Jeffrey Eaton, Judy K Eekhoff, Caron Harrang, Julie Hendrickson, David Jachim, Esther Karson, Richard Lazur, Becky McGuire, Maxine Nelson, Shierry Nicholsen, Mirta Berman-Oelsner, Robert Oelsner, David Parnes, Adriana Prengler, Kerry Ragain, Rikki Ricard, Marianne Robinson, Barbara Sewell, Carolyn Steinberg.


NPSI Institute News 


Granddaughter of Otto Rank Donates to NPSI Library 




Susan Veltfort (pictured above), granddaughter of pioneering psychoanalyst Otto Rank, has donated a number of his manuscripts to the NPSI library. Susan is herself a retired librarian and found NPSI through our website looking for a good home for some of his remaining books.


Otto Rank (April 22, 1884 - October 31, 1939) was an Austrian analyst, writer, and teacher. Born in Vienna, he was one of Sigmund Freud's closest colleagues for twenty years, a prolific psychoanalytic author and managing director of Freud's publishing house. He left Vienna for Paris in 1926 and devoted the remaining 14 years of his life as a lecturer and psychoanalyst in France and the United States. 


Daniel Benveniste Donates to NPSI Library



Daniel Benveniste, PhD has generously donated a copy of his recently published book, The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna and W. Ernest Freud, to the NPSI library. Daniel summarizes the book as follows:


The Interwoven Lives of Sigmund, Anna and W. Ernest Freud is a biography of three members of the Freud family in which the central thread is the life and work of W. Ernest Freud, the only Freud grandchild to become a psychoanalyst. He was also the little boy that played 'fort da', the game Freud described and interpreted in "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" (1920). Unlike many biographies that emphasize the independent or frankly heroic efforts of the subject, this biography demonstrates the interpersonal and historical contexts which influenced the life and work of the main subject. It traces the interwoven lives and psychoanalytic contributions of Sigmund Freud, his daughter Anna and his grandson Ernest, from Ernest's birth in 1914 until his death in 2008. Also interwoven are the friends, family relations and world events that touched their lives.


In "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" (1920), Sigmund Freud described the game of an eighteen-month-old child, his grandson Ernest, who played with a wooden reel on the end of a string. Throwing the reel into his curtained cot he said 'fort,' meaning 'gone' in German. Pulling the string and bringing the reel back he said 'da', meaning 'there.' Freud saw in this spontaneous and repetitive game a way for the boy to manage the trauma of abandonment that he experienced each time his mother left the apartment to do her errands. As ill fate would have it, the rest of Ernest's life is a tragic story of bitter losses and the vicissitudes of a troubled man in a troubled world. But it is also the story of a troubled man who would time and again rally his resources and find the courage to love, to work, and to carry on.


The story begins at the height of Freud's career, the beginning of Anna Freud's psychoanalytic training, the beginning of the First World War, and the birth of little Ernest. It takes us through the early deaths of Ernest's mother and little brother, Ernest's psychoanalysis conducted by his aunt Anna, the invasion of Austria by the Nazis, Ernest's emigration to England, and the death of his Grandpa Sigmund. It describes his hardships in wartime England, the Anna Freud-Melanie Klein controversies, and the horrors of the Holocaust. Following the war it details Ernest's marriage, psychoanalytic training, his mentorship under his aunt Anna, the establishment of his private practice, the birth of his son, his work with his aunt Anna at the Hampstead Clinic, and the development of his special interests in infant observation and the psychological aspects of neonatal intensive care. 
NPSI Candidate News


Lynn Cunningham, Reporter Lynn Cunningham


Senior candidate David Parnes, LICSW has been accepted to present his paper at the 23rd Biennial International Psychoanalytical Studies Organization (IPSO) Congress in Boston this summer (July 21-25). IPSO is the world organization for candidates parallel to the IPA, which offers membership to graduate analysts. Dave's paper, titled "On growth, a gift and goodbyes: initial thoughts on a termination," was previously presented at the March NPSI Outreach Meeting and also at the Alliance Forum in April. The paper won the IPSO Writer's Award for North America and will be published in the 2015 IPSO Journal. Dave has also recently been elected NPSI Candidate President, his two-year term to begin July 1, 2015.


Candidate Carolyn Steinberg, MSC MD FRCPC provided a two-day workshop on Early Childhood Emotional Development to the CMO and Developmental Pediatricians from Nanjing Mother and Children's Hospital in Vancouver, BC in April. In addition, she was asked to present the Opening Plenary address to the National Perinatal Social Workers Conference held in Vancouver on May 6. The topic was the relevance of theories of early emotional development to this field and included Kleinian and Bionian theory. The paper will be published in the fall edition of the Journal of Perinatal Social Work.

NPSI Members in Action


In this section we featur brief reports on the individual activities of our analyst and community members.



Dave Parnes, Reporter David Parnes


On May 2, Maxine Anderson, MD FIPA, Jeffrey Eaton, LMHC FIPA, and Marianne Robinson, PhD FIPA were invited speakers in a day-long workshop sponsored by the Oregon Psychoanalytic Center in Portland titled, "Exploring the Clinical Impact of the Work of Wilfred Bion: 'O', The Elemental and the Link." Maxine, Jeff and Marianne each delivered an original paper in the morning, and in the afternoon facilitated separate small groups in discussing clinical material presented by three OPC members. 



Daniel Benveniste, PhD presented a paper, titled "Free-Association and the Search for Psychological Meaning in Everyday Life," at this year's Forum on April 11. The Forum is an annual conference sponsored by the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study.



In May, Mirta Berman-Oelsner, LMHC FIPA and Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA conducted the Annual International San Francisco Seminar for the fourth consecutive year. The topic of this meeting was "Projective Identification, Then and Now: Theoretical and Clinical Considerations." Previous seminar topics have been "Unconscious Phantasy, Then and Now" and "Transference, Then and Now." The seminar meets for three days each year and is composed of a small group of senior psychoanalysts from the US, Canada and Germany.



Dana Blue, LICSW FIPA qualified to become an NPSI training and supervising analyst in April. Congratulations, Dana! On June 6, Dana and Margaret Bergmann-Ness, LICSW (candidate) were among two of the panelists for "Force of Nature," a dramatic and educational event highlighting various perspectives of the birth experience, primitive mental states, and how the birthing process applies to clinical work. This event, sponsored by COR Northwest Family Development Center, brought together doulas, midwives, psychotherapists and the general public in a creative morning of learning.



Judy K Eekhoff, PhD FIPA presented two papers this spring: "Introjective Identification: The Analytic Work of Evocation," with the opening panel of the International Ferenczi Conference in Toronto, Canada in May, and "Breaking up, Breaking Down or Breaking Through: Descriptions of Mental Pain" for the NPSI Scientific Meeting on April 15. In addition, her paper, "The Silent Transference: Clinical Reflections on Ferenczi, Klein, and Bion," was published in the Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol 23, No 1, Spring 2015.



Ann Glasser, PhD taught a course in May as part of the Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study's "Psychoanalytic Perspectives: Roots & Branches Foundational Courses" series. The course focused on the work of Harold Searles and was co-taught by Terry Hanson, PhD.



Caron Harrang, LICSW FIPA was one of four analysts on a panel offering comments on clinical material during the plenary session of this year's Alliance Forum conference. Entitled "The Role of Theory in Shaping How One Listens and Works in the Clinical Hour: Four Psychoanalysts Speak," the panel also included Ken Kimmel, LMFT LMHC (Jungian), Sue Radant, PhD (Self Psychology), and Karen Weisbard, PhD (Relational). True to the title, the session was a fascinating and lively demonstration of how these four respected analysts approach clinical material.


On May 20, Caron presented "Mapping the Session: Bion's Grid as a Navigational Tool for the Analytic Voyage" for NPSI's Outreach Series. Caron gave a brief historical overview of the development of the Grid and offered clinical material for use in a group exercise, aimed at learning to apply this psychoanalytic tool to apprehend transformations occurring in the patient, in the analyst, and between the two in the analytic field.


On May 9,
Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA offered a presentation titled, "Psychic Retreat as a Defense Against Unbearable Loss: Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida." Maxine screened Pawlikowski's film, Ida, at the Center for Object Relations, and following the screening facilitated a discussion of the film. (See report by Shierry Nicholsen below.)



On February 18, Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA presented at the NPSI Scientific Meeting her paper entitled, "The French and the Sacred Cow: Free Association Reconsidered across Psychoanalytic Cultures," and will present it again in July at the IPA Congress in Boston. (Lynn Cunningham references Shierry's paper in her report below.)



Robert Oelsner, MD FIPA has a discussion paper in the February 2015 International Journal of Psychoanalysis as part of the series "The Analyst at Work." Robert also has a chapter in the new publication edited by Meg Harris Williams, titled Teaching Meltzer: Modes and Approaches (Karnac).




Lynn Cunningham, Reporter


Free Association and The Fundamental Rule


Most of us are familiar with how Freud instructed his patients 'on beginning the treatment': try to say whatever comes into your mind without inhibition or censorship. He believed that following this directive would open the possibility for the analyst to fathom and apprehend a patient's inexplicable combining of conscious knowing with not knowing. In psychoanalysis, he instructs, the patient must proceed differently from ordinary conversation. Despite the general acceptance of this 100-year old proviso, some psychoanalysts wonder whether the fundamental rule reflects the evolving nature of psychoanalysis or is no longer essential to psychoanalytic process. While it's hard to look at something archetypal and see new meaning, that's also the appeal of extending considered thought.


In her recent Scientific Meetings presentation on February 18, Shierry Nicholsen, PhD FIPA reviewed "the sometimes polemical pluralism of the contemporary psychoanalytic landscape" and discovered how different psychoanalysts thought about the patient's associative activity and the analyst's evenly hovering attention." Although Freud didn't address the role of interpretation per se, he did elaborate on what interfered with the patient's associative activity, such as transference, resistance, the repetition compulsion, and the death instinct. Understood this way, Fred Busch, for example, points to how the rule emphasizes "the wish to overcome resistances rather than analyze them" and promotes passivity rather than strengthening the ego for future self-analysis.


Representing a relational perspective, Irwin Hoffman considers "the transactional aspect" of free association that requires the patient's agency in the dynamic process between patient and analyst. Shierry points out that the concept of 'free' in free association arouses close reexamination. Reverie, of course, is silent and contradicts the rule that requires the patient to speak everything. Indeed, the patient's thoughts may roam freely, but the unconscious selects what is spoken and, thus, revealed. And while the analyst's reverie is experienced as free, an interpretation may be constrained by tact, timing, ambiguity, and not-knowing. From Thomas Ogden's intersubjective perspective, free association relies on "the dialectical interplay of overlapping, silent but unconsciously communicative reveries of patient and analyst."


By contrast, French psychoanalysts claim to elaborate Freudian principles and concepts rather than critique. In some cases, as Andr? Green describes, a breaking off of free association is "a psychic functioning itself by a part of an ego threatened with overwhelming traumatic affect." A conflict arises between "a drive toward representation and the impulse of avoidance." In the non-neurotic patient, the analyst must become receptive to a more complex network of connections. Emphasizing the here and now of free association, Jean-Luc Donnet states that the fundamental rule is "a safeguard between theory and clinical practice: to ensure that theory does not subordinate what is actually happening in the room; but also to ensure that there is indeed a game that is being played, a game that has rules." I paraphrase Shierry when she concludes her review, more extensive than I imply here, by saying that the fundamental rule of psychoanalysis was meant to help us understand and handle the difficulties that analytic patients and the analytic process present to us.


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Shierry Nicholsen, Reporter

Film at COR Descargas: Ida


One of Maxine Nelson, LICSW FIPA's gifts to our community is her devotion to and knowledge of good film, which she has conveyed to us through many projects, from Luminous Psyche through the recent Antonioni series at Seattle Art Museum. Her presentation of Ida as part of the COR Descargas series on May 9, 2015 is the most recent of these. Ida is a film that seamlessly combines a very unusual and in its way beautiful visual presentation with a quiet and tactful depiction of the unbearable. I would wish for all of us to see it. As Maxine pointed out in the introduction to her talk about Ida, the term "applied psychoanalysis" sounds as though it depicts something lesser than the clinical work, but in fact much of Freud's inspiration came from nonclinical sources and we can "read" the unconscious at work in films and in their impact on us.


A brief summary of the film is necessary to put Maxine's discussion into context. Ida is a Polish film from 2014 and the winner of last year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It takes place in the early 1960s, thus sometime after the ending of World War II. Ida is a young woman who has been raised in a convent. She has never known her parents and has no idea of who they were. She is told to go and meet her only living relative, her aunt Wanda, before taking her vows. As the film proceeds, Ida and Wanda go on the search for her parents' graves and a complex relationship between the two women evolves. The family, we learn, is Jewish, and during the war Ida's parents were hidden in the woods and then killed by a Polish family, along with Wanda's son. After this discovery, Wanda, who had been a Resistance fighter, then a harsh Stalinist judge and most recently an alcoholic, commits suicide. I will say more about the aftermath for Ida in the context of Maxine's discussion.


Maxine titled her paper on the film "Psychic Retreat as a Defense Against Unbearable Loss" and framed her discussion around Freud's distinction between mourning and melancholia, supplemented with ideas from Melanie Klein and John Steiner. In simple terms, in mourning the reality of loss is worked through in the course of a very painful process, whereas in melancholia the self is subjected to internal violence and it is as though the ego itself has been lost. The unbearable loss in question is multiple: the loss of family members in the context of the Holocaust and its sequelae. The inability to mourn is clearest with Wanda, who has, Maxine argues, drawing on Klein, put up a manic defense against mourning with her harshness as a judge and her later drinking and one-night stands. When Wanda and Ida finally confront the graves of Ida's parents and Wanda's son, take possession of the remains and bring them to the family graveyard in Lublin, one might think that an opportunity to confront the unbearable loss and put the dead to rest has been gained, but Wanda then commits suicide. She is unable to bear the guilt associated with her loss. Things are more ambiguous with Ida, who as an orphan lost her parents from the beginning, and who during the course of the film forms a bond with Wanda and then loses her. Ida goes through a phase of introjective identification with the lost object: she goes to Wanda's apartment, puts on Wanda's clothes, drinks and smokes as Wanda had, and goes out to her own version of a one-night stand. But then she puts her habit back on and we last see her vigorously walking down a rural road - back to the convent, now to take her vows? Off to pursue a life of her own outside the convent but no longer in identification with Wanda? We do not know. As Maxine points out, however, in the final shot we do see that for the first time the camera is moving, tracking Ida's movement down the road.


Click here to read the full essay. 

Selected Facts Next Issue Deadline


The next issue of Selected Facts will be published in late October. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015.


Please feel free to contact Maxine Nelson with general questions or either of our reporters with news items or ideas for stories.


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