Houston Psychoanalytic Society
News & Updates
Message from the President

I am delighted to post my first message as President of Houston Psychoanalytic Society for the 2021-2022 year.

The first of our six conferences, on September 25th, 2021, from 9:00am-3:00pm, is “More than One Can Live: Reconceiving Harm and Reparation in the Intersubjective World” with Jessica Benjamin, Ph.D.

If you join or renew your HPS membership now, you will be able to attend Dr. Benjamin’s conference for free, including free CE/CME/CEU’s! HPS members also receive free registration for our 7 evening speakers and discounted fees for 5 study groups, 9 book club events, and 5 other conferences this year.

I want to draw your attention to the lineup of outstanding HPS Programs for the upcoming year, the theme of which is Evolving Theories, Current Challenges, and Future Directions in Psychoanalytic Practice. Please see JoAnn Ponder, Ph.D.’s News from the Program Chair for our September calendar.

Due to the emergence of a conflict in Mark Solms’ schedule, his August two-day conference on Neuro-psychoanalytic Revisions of Basic Theory and Clinical Technique has been postponed until February.

Additionally, we have seven evening seminars, beginning with Cynthia Chalker, MSS, LCSW, on September 9th, 2021, presenting “Can I Get a Witness? On Being Seen and Heard in a Relational Psychoanalytic Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” 

Looking for a Study Group? We have four to choose from, ranging from three to nine meetings, on topics from Embodiment to the Analytic Third and more. Feedback on the study groups, introduced last year, is that they provide an invaluable opportunity for in-depth discussion, and application of concepts to case material, amongst colleagues.

New this year is our Book Club! Drop in for the first of nine Thursday evenings, beginning on September 30th, 2021, to hear Chapter Author Deborah Anna Luepnitz, Ph.D., present and discuss “Finding the Piggle: Reconsidering D. W. Winnicott’s Most Famous Child Case.”

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the enormous contributions of time and effort by the entire Board of Directors.
  • Special thanks to JoAnn Ponder, Ph.D., for her ever amazing program development, which makes possible the conferences, study groups, presentations and now a book club we offer.  
  • Warm gratitude to Lisa Miller, M.D., our Past President, for her superb leadership this past year, which has been extra challenging given our quarantine circumstances during her tenure. She took the initiative to almost single handedly get us APA accreditation to serve as a CE provider for psychologists, which was no small feat.
  • Appreciation to Anne Strain, LCSW, our President from 2019-2020. Anne held our organization together, recruiting and mentoring new officers with no previous HPS experience, and took us through the transitions which the pandemic brought.

Please do take a moment join or renew your HPS membership now. You can see the entire selection of HPS Programs for 2021-2022 here.

I look forward to seeing you at HPS Events in the upcoming year!

Warm Regards,
Sharon Chada, Ph.D., President
News from the Program Chair

September Calendar with a Focus on Winnicott’s Contributions

HPS Is Exploring Transitional Space in September!

Sep. 8, 14 & 21 A study group facilitated by Margaret Jordan, PhD, From Transitional Space to the Analytic Third: Developmental and Clinical Implications, will explore Donald Winnicott’s concept of transitional space, its evolution in Thomas Ogden’s potential space and the analytic third, with further elaborations by intersubjective-relational psychoanalysts Jessica Benjamin and Lewis Aron. This study group is highly recommended for those who have little familiarity with these concepts, especially if they plan to attend Benjamin’s conference in that these ideas are foundational to her thinking. The group will be facilitated by Dr. Jordan, an experienced clinician in Houston with a strong interest in Winnicott.

Sep. 9 Our first evening speaker is Cynthia Chalker, MSS, LCSW, presenting Can I Get a Witness? On Being Seen and Heard in a Relational Psychoanalytic Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic. She will explore how patients and clinicians were impacted by the pandemic and increased racial violence at this time, in addition to coping with ongoing stresses and life transitions. Cynthia Chalker is a graduate of Manhattan Psychoanalytic Institute and on faculty at Harlem Family Institute, New York, among other affiliations. (JoAnn Ponder has heard this presentation, and found it both engaging and poignant.)

Sep. 25 Our first day-long conference features Jessica Benjamin, PhD, who is on faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and Stephen A. Mitchell Center for Relational Studies, New York. She has been one of the leaders of the relational movement in psychoanalysis since its inception, contributing original ideas and authoring groundbreaking books and papers. Her article “Beyond Doer and Done To: An Intersubjective View of Thirdness” has been one of the most frequently cited articles on PEP Web for many years. Dr. Benjamin will share her latest ideas with us in her presentation, “More Than One Can Live”: Reconceiving Harm and Reparation in the Intersubjective World. She will note research indicating a process from infancy of rupture and repair which leads to secure attachment. She applies this observation to treatment, reformulating the Kleinian idea of reparation of the internal object and also using intersubjective ideas of repairing rupture and restoring recognition following inevitable enactments. Following her lecture, she will conduct a live consultation with clinical material provided by Tyson Davis, PsyD, a relational psychoanalyst in Austin.

Sep. 28 This is the first meeting of a 9-session study group on Embodiment in Clinical Practice, facilitated by JoAnn Ponder, PhD. Although Freud’s drive theory was rooted in embodied processes, psychoanalysis drifted away from embodied experience with the advent of object relations theory. However, the inseparability of psyche and soma has been affirmed by infant observations, empirical research, and relational theories. This study group will examine the foundational nature of embodied experience and consider how to access and use it in clinical practice. Dr. Ponder is on faculty at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston and has a private practice in Austin. She has developed and taught classes on embodied experience for CFPS and Austin Psychoanalytic. This is a revised syllabus, however, in preparation for an upcoming HPS workshop with Steve Knoblauch and Bill Cornell.

Sep. 30 Our inaugural book club event features Finding the Piggle: Reconsidering D. W. Winnicott’s Most Famous Child Case (2021, Phoenix Publishing House), edited by Corinne Masur. Book chapter author Deborah Anna Luepnitz, PhD will tell us how she happened to meet a therapist in the UK who disclosed that she had been treated by Winnicott as a child. Gabrielle’s description of Winnicott’s work with her revealed how his theories evolved over time. Other chapters reexamine the case from contemporary psychoanalytic frameworks. Dr. Luepnitz is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Philadelphia and a faculty member at the Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis of Philadelphia. (JoAnn Ponder has heard this presentation, and found it fascinating.)  

Happy Exploring!
JoAnn Ponder  
The mission of the Houston Psychoanalytic Society is to promote psychoanalytic and psychodynamic principles and engage the community at large in creative discussions about psychoanalytic thought and application.
The Houston Psychoanalytic Society is a leading source in southeast Texas for continuing education for mental health professionals presented by experts in psychoanalytic research, practice, and application at discounted fees for members. If you are not a member and are interested in joining, or you are a member and would like to become more active, please contact a Board member and join us in our mission!
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