Virginia Elliott, Cert. Psya., Faculty Fellow, BGSP
I came to psychoanalysis from the special education classroom. What I enjoyed most in my many years as a special educator was the intensive one to one interaction I had with each student. They ranged from special needs infants to autistic adolescents and varied enormously in their abilities. As a teacher, it was clear to me that students of any ability can have obstacles to learning at their optimum capacity. It was also clear that my relationship with each student contributed greatly to their freedom to learn, and at times, their difficulty in learning.
Once the analyst I was seeing at the time learned of my intense interest in how relationship affects growth he arranged for me to visit his institute in Westchester, NY. I loved being in the culture of psychoanalysis! He then referred me to a listing he'd found for the more local Boston Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. An analyst welcomed my phone call to her exclaiming that educators of young and impaired children made the best analysts! I was thrilled and the rest, as they say, is history.
And history has been the name of the game - my history, that of modern psychoanalysis and of the Boston Center (now Graduate School.) All these histories have blended and are marked by milestones of growth and regression, success and failure, gain and loss. My history-in-the-making here at BGSP with students, friends and colleagues, and patients has contributed to what gives great meaning and energy to my life.
My current work at BGSP includes: private practice in Brookline; academic advisor at BGSP; junior faculty member; and candidacy in PsyaD program at BGSP. I am also interested in the intersection of psychoanalytic theory and practice with that of Buddhist doctrine and meditation practice, of which I have been a student for 20 years.
Current classes taught
Primitive states, negativity and somatization, loss and mourning.
Teaching Assistant, PT 185 Diagnosis and Case Presentation
The Art of Joy (Workshop)