BGSP News & Notes

News from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis

Issue #12, June, 2007

Edited by Eileen Keating, Stephen Soldz & Caroline Egnaczyk

Welcome to the latest issue of BGSP News & Notes! This is an occasional e-mail newsletter to keep people informed about what's going on at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. We will present information about recent and upcoming school events, faculty and student publications and presentations, continuing education classes, and other news of interest to the BGSP community.
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The Cape Cod Summer Institute is to be Held the Week of July 4th

Join BGSP and guests in Wellfleet this July 2-6 for four days of Back to Basics: Transference and Countertransference. Monday through Friday (with Wednesday off to go to the parade, the beach and the student barbecue) conferees will enjoy presentations by students and faculty from the Boston, New York and Vermont institutes. BGSP clinical faculty will lead discussions exploring definitions, theory, process and technique, and will welcome views and opinions.

On Thursday evening, attend a special guest appearance by renowned French psychoanalyst Myriam Szejer, M.D., author of Talking to Babies: Psychoanalysis on a Maternity Ward (2005). Dr. Szejer has done groundbreaking work with at-risk newborns and depressed or struggling parents. Her presentation promises to be memorable.

Students, faculty, friends and family are welcome to come for learning, cookouts, the annual bonfire, the farewell dinner and visits with new and old friends - all set in the natural beauty of the outer Cape.

For more information please call BGSP at 617-277-3915

New BGSP Program: Master of Arts in Psychoanalytic Counseling

BGSP will launch the new Master of Arts in Psychoanalytic Counseling program in September, 2007. The program provides students with comprehensive master's level training in mental health counseling with a specialization in psychoanalytic studies. The program builds on the existing Master of Arts in Psychoanalysis program, providing a grounding in psychoanalytic theory and an appreciation of unconscious motivation and the unconscious forces at work in psychic and interpersonal functioning. In addition, the program introduces students to psychoanalytic aspects of treatment, including psychopathology and clinical techniques. Graduates meet the educational requirements for licensure in mental health counseling in Massachusetts including course requirements, practicum and internship experiences.

This program is ideal for the student interested in practicing as a licensed mental health professional within a psychoanalytic framework at the master's level. In order to gain an understanding of the range of treatment approaches in clinical settings, students explore multiple theories and clinical methods in addition to the psychoanalytic model. Students receive clinical supervision from experienced mental health professionals both at the school and at their clinical placements.

Full time-students may complete the 68-credit program in four semesters and one summer session; program courses meet once a week in the evening or during the day on Friday and Saturday.

Graduation requirements include completion of 19 3-credit courses, a 100 hour practicum, and a 600 hour internship. In addition students undertake a personal analysis as part of their training. Most students complete a research paper at the culmination of the program.

Required courses provide the student with a thorough understanding of the facets of mental health counseling, including theories of counseling; developmental studies; psychopathology; assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning; ethics and professional practice; group dynamics; and human diversity. Psychoanalytic courses provide a basic foundation in psychoanalytic theory and an appreciation of the unconscious forces at work in mental health and psychopathology. The psychoanalytic approach to intervention is emphasized and compared with other mental health counseling approaches.

Graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of mental health settings, and may choose to apply for further training in psychoanalysis through the BGSP Doctor of Psychoanalysis or Certificate in Psychoanalysis programs.

For more information please call BGSP at 617-277-3915

The School -Based Program at BGSP

The School-Based Program (SBP), a collaborative effort of BGSP and the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy (BIP) will be concluding another academic year of service to Boston's school children. This year the program was under the directorship of Mr. William Sharp, a doctoral candidate in the clinical program at BGSP.

Therapists staffing the program, many of whom come from the BGSP clinical program, served over 100 patients weekly through individual therapy, family consulting, and large classroom groups in Boston elementary, middle and high schools. Next year, the SBP will be expanding to serve after-school programs and juvenile facilities.

This year was the first time that clinicians carrying a caseload in the SBP were able to take a class at BGSP. In the Fall of 2006, therapists took Dr. Joan White's Working with the Difficult Child. In the Spring, they took Dr. Audrey Jones' Supervision of Child and Adolescent Cases.

The SBP has also been asked to sponsor on-site training for teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals in the schools we serve. Hoping to learn how to listen, explore, and make modern analytically informed interventions with children who are resistant to learning, the teachers will be taking courses that earn them graduate credits from BGSP. Dr. White will be teaching the classes, set to start at the Early Learning Center-West in October of 2007.

For information about the program or if you are interested in working in the schools this Fall, contact William Sharp at

Contributed by Mr. William Sharp

Ego Psychologist Fred Busch Discusses a Modern Psychoanalytic Case

On Friday May 18th Dr. Fred Busch from the Psychoanalytic Institute of New England came to BGSP for a presentation entitled: Talking with Strangers: A Clinical Dialogue of the Technique of Ego Psychology. Dr. Siamak Movahedi of BGSP moderated the presentation, which consisted of Busch's analysis of several sessions of process notes submitted in advance by Mr. Max Cavallaro, an advanced candidate in BGSP's doctoral program. In addition to his interpretation of the case material, Busch discussed how and why he would make particular interventions.

Several sessions were included in which Cavallaro was in the process of studying his countertransference resistances. The patient often came into these sessions in a flurry and the room was highly charged with both libidinal and aggression actions, and symbolic expressions. The process notes showed the difficulty Cavallaro was having in tolerating his own feelings of tension, and allowing for the patient's process to unfold unimpeded by his interruptions. He felt that he was basing his interventions on a drive theory model where he was focused on modulating the stimulation level in the room. The problem, Cavallaro felt, was that he was very anxious in these sessions and often responded verbally and impulsively, in a sense modulating his own tension and not the patient's. Busch analyzed the details of the sessions and constructed an understanding of the patient's communications based on his theoretical background of Ego Psychology.

In Busch's words:

How might I deal with this situation, if I felt bombarded by my myriad feelings? I would wait. There are many things going on, and I would want to wait to see which strand of these many stories the patient might focus on, or my countertransference would lead me to see as central. It might be that I end up primarily feeling bombarded by intense feelings. It is only by waiting can we know which feeling the patient might be best ready to deal with, or might be being expressed via action language leading to a countertransference reaction.

There are two theories dictating my view. In terms of listening to the patient's associations, this is basic to the ego psychology I've written about, which states that t patients will tell us what they are safest in approaching, or why they can't approach anything. In terms of action language, I've written how the earliest thinking is action thinking. Therefore the more regressed the patient, the more likely he or she will communicate in action language. As we empathically listen to the patient our own thinking becomes regressed, leading us to be swayed by the patient's unconscious messages.

Cavallaro found similarities to the contact functioning in Modern Psychoanalytic technique in Dr. Busch's approach in which he waits for the patients' associations, believing that they will tell us what they feel safest in approaching. What Dr. Busch describes as the regressed patient 'communicating in action language' may be comparable to Modern Analysts seeing resistance as a form of communication.

Dr. Busch recommended that Cavallaro work on being more silent in sessions, allowing for the patient's process to unfold and tailoring his interventions based on his own feelings, but also remembering to stay 'in the neighborhood' of the patient's discourse. Cavallaro thanked Busch for his 'incredibly supportive and gracious' response to his case material.

Contributed by Mr. Max Cavallaro

Barry Waterson of VGSP wins the VAPS 2007 Research Award

Congratulations to Mr. Barry Waterson for winning the Vermont Association for Psychoanalytic Studies 2007 Research Award. The award was conferred for his dissertation project "Treating Children with Affect Regulatory Disorders in Public Schools". Waterson is a student in the Doctoral Program at the Vermont Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, a branch of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. With this research project, Waterson demonstrated the effectiveness of a psychoanalytic intervention program in the public schools for the treatment of children with the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.) While working on his dissertation, Waterson also completed a fellowship at the Research Training Program at the Yale Child Center.

Prior to completing his dissertation, Waterson, who is already a Certified Psychoanalyst, served as a school consultant where he treated a number of children with affect regulatory disorders observing that although these children were distractible and hyperactive, they did respond favorably to certain types of interventions. "When language and imagination were integrated into the therapy, then impulsivity decreased."

Waterson continues to apply understandings of modern psychoanalytic theory to a public school intervention program for students with affect regulatory disorders. In addition to his school consultant role, he maintains a private practice in a rural setting, where he treats a variety of different age groups with a broad range of psychopathology.

VGSP students have won the VAPS Research award twice in the three years it has been in existence.

Eugene Goldwater and Elizabeth Dorsey Present at the NASW-VT Spring Conference

Dr. Eugene Goldwater gave the morning workshop entitled Dealing with Difficult People: A Therapeutic Approach. Goldwater says, "Difficult people disrupt our emotional equilibrium and challenge both our self-image and the security of our feeling of connection to others. We may encounter them in our professional lives as clients, co-workers, supervisors, or students, or in our private lives as family members or friends. We may even be forced to recognize that the difficult person in a relationship is ourself!"

In the workshop, Goldwater outlined the basic principles of "emotional self-defense"-how to protect one's emotional balance and well-being (and professional attitude, if that applies) in the face of intrusion, criticism, and provocation.

Ms. Elizabeth Dorsey gave the afternoon workshop, Ethics -Dilemmas in Every day Practice. She writes in the brochure, "Social workers and other human service providers practice ethics in every interaction with a client. Each offers an opportunity to injure the client or to endanger the treatment. Each contact also offers the possibility of contributing to the goals of the individual. Clinicians are subjected to the pressures for destructive action from external sources, from the presentation of the client, and from within themselves. While working with the full force of the impulses in the consulting room, can we trust our training and clinical judgment to define the Parameters of "proper" behavior? For example, is it ever appropriate to touch clients? May we use the transference to gain personal satisfaction, material goods, or secret information? Should we embark on a personal relationship with a client or discharge him/her because of our personal discomfort with the material? Some of the answers seem obvious and are dealt with in the detailed codes of the mental health professions and laws governing practice in most states. But, what if an action seems required on the part of the therapist to advance the treatment, to keep the patient in the room, or to protect others outside the room? Is some action required by law that could interfere with or end the treatment? When and with whom is consultation about a case appropriate? How much may the therapist reveal?"

In the workshop, she encouraged participants to identify situations that evoke the potential for non-therapeutic action in the everyday practice of psychotherapy or other caregiver situations. Having recognized such situations, participants could then discuss constructive alternatives.

Contributed by Dr. Eugene Goldwater, Ms. Elizabeth Dorsey and Ms. Jennifer Andrews

Gallery 1581 News

The current exhibition at Gallery 1581, Inner Life, opened on May 4th to an overflow crowd. Featured artist and curator John Baker, a psychoanalyst who "discovered art by accident" is currently a professor of art history at Massachusetts College of Art. He gave a talk and slide show on Realism, Surrealism and the Depiction of the Inner Life followed by a lively discussion of the intersection of art and psychoanalysis. The exhibit will run through November, 2007.

Gallery 1581 is sponsoring Art Talks, a series of monthly discussion groups for artists. This discussion group provides an opportunity for artists to meet and talk about topics of enduring interest to creative people. Participants may attend the entire series or drop in with a prior call to a group leader. Discussions are shaped by group interest and may include readings or guest lectures on such topics as: balancing art and other commitments, accessing creative energy, understanding self and others as artists, expressing a vision, success and creativity, and just doing it.

Groups will meet at BGSP from 6:00 to 7:30 pm on July 9th, August 13th, September 10th and October 8th, 2007. For more information call 617-277-3915.

Patricia Hugenberger Researching Factors in Choice of Presidential Candidates

Choosing a President from the Heart and the Mind: Who Will Americans Emotionally Choose?

I have started asking people about their emotional responses to candidates, Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians, with an interest in how they react to the candidate and in how this may be connected to their feelings about authority or how it may be an expression of oneself.

Living in New Hampshire, one is offered a multitude of opportunities to meet the numerous presidential candidates. They are down the street at a local school or you can meet them up close and personal in your neighbor's living room. So I have caught the campaign bug early. I decided to watch the recent Republican and Democratic debates to get a sense of who's who. As I watched all of these people, I started wondering about the role of emotional induction, identification, and object or narcissistic transference in a voter's choice of candidates. Although voters can base their decisions on party or individual platforms, it would seem that the emotional response to the person holds great power in one's choice or rejection of a leader. This, of course, is not a new idea. Some of the more interesting commentaries are ones that take emotional responses into consideration. Who is more "presidential" or more "down to earth" or "authentic" in the eye of the voter? And which characteristics help or hurt them?

It is unfortunate that we do not have the luxury of having each of these people on the couch over a period of time to study the inductions and know the true character. For most, we see rehearsed sound bites or moments in a televised debate. And how much are voters influenced by media attention to the celebrity candidates at this point in the campaign? Some of us will have more data, given more exposure to certain contenders. New Yorkers, of course, will have their experience with Giuliani to go on, and people from Massachusetts will have theirs with Romney. And what did Vermonters think of Dean? But even this familiarity will produce an idiosyncratic response from the individual voter.

The 2008 election is of great importance to this country in these times. Who will be our next president? At this point in the race, there are many choices. In New Hampshire, only 8% of Democrats most likely to vote have committed to one candidate. How will the remaining 92% decide?

I would be very interested in your thoughts and examples that illustrate the power of emotional response, conscious and unconscious, in the voting process. I am also looking for references from psychoanalytic literature on this topic. My plan is to share this information in a follow-up article in News and Notes.

Contributed by Patricia Hugenberger

The Contact: New Student Magazine a Great Success

The second issue of the student magazine The Contact was released in May filled with a variety of articles, essays, poems, illustrations, etc. Featured in this issued is an interview with CMPS analyst and faculty member Murray Sherman. The magazine includes contributions from all of BGSP's affiliated institutes. Congratulations to all those students who have worked so hard to bring us The Contact.

To get a copy, email:

Connecting With The Difficult Child Conference to be held in the Fall

A conference, Connecting With the Difficult Child, is being planned by BGSP for Saturday, Oct.13 and Sunday, Oct.14. The conference will be sponsored in part, by Wheelock College and will be at the Wheelock College auditorium.

The program is ideal for educators and clinicians seeking ways to expand their approach to working with the difficult child and to understand the influence of the group as a therapeutic learning experience.

Doctoral graduates and doctoral candidates will describe their work with individuals and difficult populations and the research discoveries that enfolded from these experiences. Presentations include: work with the ADHD and dysregulated child, interventions that promote language development; work with the autistic and aspergers syndrome kids, and presentations that demonstrate the evolution of the classroom as a group.

In addition, a panel of teachers will bring together their experiences in the use of modern psychoanalytic theory and technique in the understanding and management of aggression in difficult classes.

Conference participants will be invited to present cases for professional feedback and small focus groups will explore innovative and effective applications of modern psychoanalytic interventions and generate ideas for school-based programs.

Contact BGSP and/or Dr. Joan White, Coordinator of the Program for Educators for more information.

Psychoanalysis in the News

New play by a psychoanalyst deals with the early history of psychoanalysis and the mechanisms of racism. It postulates a 20-year old Hitler meeting Jung and Freud: Freud and Hitler face to face.

A new biography examines Erenest Jones, psychoanalyst and Freud biographer: Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis. See the review by Dennis Lythgoe.

Jones was Freud's disciple, colleague, biographer and empire builder. Jones was responsible to a large degree for spreading the movement around the world. And he was an interesting man, and controversial in a number of ways. Freud was once quoted saying, "Jones makes trouble all the time but we know his worth well enough." According to Maddox in "Freud's Wizard," the man from Wales was widely read, he possessed genuine administrative skills, prodigious energy and an acerbic wit. Jones was very interested in sexuality and had a magnetic effect on women.

The online book review site, Bookslut has an extensive Interview With Mark Solms, one of the primary figures in neuro-psychoanalysis

Neuro-psychoanalysis arises out of the belief that the theoretical models we construct in psychoanalysis from our observations of the subjective life of the mind, that those models describe a thing, which must be the same thing that neuroscientists are attempting to study when they derive models of the mental apparatus from their neuroscientific observations. In other words, neuro-psychoanalysis exists because we believe that there's only one thing called the human mind, which we're studying from these two different points of view. And if that assumption is valid, then it sort of necessarily implies that we have everything to gain and little to lose by trying to combine our different findings in order to correct viewpoint-dependent errors and arrive at a more satisfactory account of how the mind works.

On the occasion of Freud's 150th birthday, Newsweek had a cover: Freud Is Not Dead and several articles, including: The Therapist as Scientist: "Before inventing psychoanalysis, Freud dissected fish and studied the anatomy of the human brainstem." And: Freud in Our Midst: "On his 150th birthday, the architect of therapeutic culture is an inescapable force. Why Freud-modern history's most debunked doctor-captivates us even now." Also an interview with Eric Kandel, a neuroscientist who was very influenced by psychoanalysis: Interview: Biology of the Mind: "A Nobel Prize winner on psychiatry, Freud and the future of neuroscience."

New play about the life of psychoanalyst Melanie Klein.

The Jakarta Post publishes an article on the benefits psychoanalysis could bring to Indonesia: On the couch by Simon Pitchforth.

So, the prognosis for our couch-bound archipelago? It's hard to say but a few more years in analysis should help. This shouldn't be construed as an insult though. There's really no stigma attached to undergoing analysis these days. A few couches in and around the corridors of power would be a good start.

Contributed by Stephen Soldz

Notes on Interesting Research

Marital rows 'harm heart health'.

But the cause of the damage differs depending on your gender… [A] rterial disease in women was linked to either partner demonstrating hostility, but in men it was linked to either showing controlling behaviour.

A poor work environment predicts future depression, a five year longitudinal study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology demonstrates. "Women with low influence at work and low supervisor support were at increased risk for severe depressive symptoms… Among men, job insecurity predicted severe depressive symptoms." Psychosocial Work Environment and Incidence of Severe Depressive Symptoms: Prospective Findings from a 5-Year Follow-up of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study.

Rat Study Shows Dirty Better Than Clean.

Autism study finds father's age a factor

EXCERPT: Men over 40 are nearly six times as likely to father an autistic child as those under the age of 30, according to a new study that provides support for the role of genetics in the development of the disabling mental disorder…. His team examined records of more than 318,000 Israelis born in the 1980s and provides "the first convincing evidence" that advancing paternal age is an important risk factor for development of the disorder, he said. In a surprising discovery, the team also found that the gender ratio of the afflicted changes as the father ages. Typically, about six times as many boys as girls develop the disorder. When the fathers are over 40, however, the ratio is 1 to 1. ``That might suggest that there are different mechanisms contributing to autism in males than in females, or that the mechanism changes for older fathers," Reichenberg said. Like earlier studies, the new one, reported yesterday in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found no significant effect associated with increasing maternal age…. A growing number of congenital disorders have already been linked to older fathers, including Apert syndrome, syndactyly, cleft lip, and decreased intellectual capacity. Reichenberg's group also recently identified a higher risk of schizophrenia among offspring of older men.

In a landmark study, psychoanalytically-oriented researchers demonstrated that a time-limited psychodynamic psychotherapy was surprisingly effective for anxiety disorders, as reported in the New York Times: In Rigorous Test, Talk Therapy Works for Panic Disorder. See the abstract of the paper, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy relative to applied relaxation training, a credible psychotherapy comparison condition. Despite the widespread clinical use of psychodynamic psychotherapies, randomized controlled clinical trials evaluating such psychotherapies for axis I disorders have lagged. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first efficacy randomized controlled clinical trial of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy, a manualized psychoanalytical psychotherapy for patients with DSM-IV panic disorder. METHOD: This was a randomized controlled clinical trial of subjects with primary DSM-IV panic disorder. Participants were recruited over 5 years in the New York City metropolitan area. Subjects were 49 adults ages 18-55 with primary DSM-IV panic disorder. All subjects received assigned treatment, panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy or applied relaxation training in twice-weekly sessions for 12 weeks. The Panic Disorder Severity Scale, rated by blinded independent evaluators, was the primary outcome measure. RESULTS: Subjects in panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy had significantly greater reduction in severity of panic symptoms. Furthermore, those receiving panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy were significantly more likely to respond at treatment termination (73% versus 39%), using the Multicenter Panic Disorder Study response criteria. The secondary outcome, change in psychosocial functioning, mirrored these results. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small cohort size of this trial, it has demonstrated preliminary efficacy of panic-focused psychodynamic psychotherapy for panic disorder.

Newsday features updated developments in psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis reinterpreted: To help keep Freudian therapy alive, researchers are using modern science to measure the process

Gerber and his mentor, Dr. Bradley Peterson, believe they have captured, on brain scans, activity where transference may take place. The area, the medial prefrontal cortex, is involved with the processing of emotion and social interaction.

New research details far greater brain plasticity than previously thought possible. It turns out that "mere thought" can change brain functioning. In fact, mentally practicing a golf swing resulted in the same changes as did actually practicing with a real club: How The Brain Rewires Itself

Contributed by Stephen Soldz
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Edited by Eileen Keating, Stephen Soldz & Caroline Egnaczyk
Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 277-3915