From the President (2020 Archive)

News and Postings from the president about issues relevant to the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology.

About the President


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP is SPPP President for 2019-2020. He received a PhD in clinical psychology from Syracuse University in 1988 and his ABPP for Psychoanalysis in Psychology in 2016. He is the Director of Clinical Training at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of APA. He maintains a private practice in psychoanalytic work with children and adults. He is a past president of both Section IV and Section V and is treasurer of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa). He has written numerous articles on psychoanalytic topics in both empirical and non-empirical research. He is the author of Tantalizing Times. Excitements, Disconnects, and Discontents in Contemporary American Society. Peter Lang Publishing Group. New York | Bern, Switzerland (2006).


From the President December 2020


As we make a transition from 2020 to 2021, I’d like to thank the members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for their hard work during this challenging year. This will be my final column as president, and I want to welcome the next president Joe Schaller. I’m confident in Joe’s ability to lead the division forward. Joe has been very experienced in division work for over 20 years. I greatly appreciate his consultation and the consultation of past president Dennis Debiak. They have been great partners to work with during these very trying times. 

Obviously the COVID-19 crisis created enormous challenges for the SPPP as it did for all its members. This was the first time SPPP ever had to cancel the spring meeting. In addition to all the lost educational experiences and personal contact, we were concerned about the potential significant financial ramifications to the division in having to cancel meetings that involve substantial financial commitments. Fortunately, the negotiations with the conference hotel proved successful and minimized the potential fallout to the division. I especially want to thank our Conference Coordinator, Heather Kennedy, for her tremendous work as an advocate for the division and our Treasurer, Jill Bellinson, for helping the Board evaluate our situation. We are in good standing to approach the spring meeting for 2021.

The 2021 Spring conference will be virtual. There has been a lot of hard work and coordination behind the scenes to make this possible and to make it a strong platform for the division. Steven Anen, our Program Chair, and our Conference Co-Chairs Lara SheehiLeilani Salvo Crane, and Nadine Obeid have put in a tremendous amount of work in converting a live conference to a virtual one that will be meaningful, productive, and enable participants to receive CE credit. They were able to preserve most of the presentations for Reckoning/Foresight. Although there are the significant losses of physical space for us to meet as a division, they were able to maintain programming that sets to take up themes of underrepresented areas of inquiry, including displacement, anti-racism and decolonization. Our CE Committee Chair, Soffia Palsdottir, spearheaded the division’s procurement of home-study approval for CE from APA. Conference registrants will be able to access programming during and after the conference for CE credit or simply out of professional educational interest. Of course, we encourage everyone to attend live events as much as possible, but also to recognize that there will be opportunity to view recorded events and receive CE credit. SPPP is acquiring enough capacity in our video platform to also be able to hold other events during the year. As we roll out the virtual spring meeting for 2021, we will also be making plans to hold other events on our virtual platform as well. This represents a new era for the division that should include greater outreach to the membership and foster the capacity for more ongoing interactions.

Over the summer, I let the membership know about discussions that have been taking place within SPPP leadership about how to ensure that we become an organization that embodies the values of racial justice, recognizes the past and present harms done within our organization and organized psychoanalysis, and reforms the structures of our organization to promote these values in an ongoing and tangible way. As part of the process, we had initial discussions with an organizational consultant who came highly recommended by the Multicultural Concerns Committee. These initial discussions proved very helpful to our Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Unfortunately, the consultant’s schedule will not permit her involvement in this process in a timely way for SPPP. The Board of Directors remains committed to this process. As such, Joe Schaller will be appointing a task force to move this process forward, including the process of securing outside consultation. We have felt clear that is important to bring outside consultation to this process and not simply rely on internal mechanisms to address these concerns.

I want to update members on progress with respect to our efforts at engaging Lyra Health on its misleading white paper that listed psychoanalysis as an iatrogenic treatment. After SPPP wrote two letters and received two replies from the Lyra CEO, Lyra has removed psychoanalysis from its list of iatrogenic treatments. I’d like to thank Dana Sinopoli, Chair of the Professional Issues Committee, for her work on this process, and committee members for their input. The extensive input from Stephen Soldz was especially helpful. We consider this to be a major victory for psychoanalysis. We hope that it serves as evidence that forcefully engaging false and misleading information about psychoanalysis in public spheres is a vital and potentially effective undertaking. We cannot simply complain among ourselves about misrepresentation. We should be proactive in countering false and misleading information about our field.

The task force for the LGBTQ+ apology letter has completed its process, and the Board has voted unanimously to approve the letter. We believe the division will see this as a valuable component of our efforts to ensure the division as a space of inclusion and efforts to re-examine the history of psychoanalysis. I’d like to think the task force co-chairs Usha Tummala-Narra and Matt LeRoy for their work and process in developing this letter. There are a few details to iron out, and then we will be distributing the letter on our website and in InSight.

I’d like to conclude by providing members with some information on various activities going on within the division and across divisions. In addition to obtaining home-study approval for CE, the Continuing Education committee has obtained approval for renewal of CE sponsorship for LCSWs and LMSWs in the State of New York. We are also applying for organizational recognition in New York to be an approved provider of CE for New York psychologists. The Membership Committee has joined a pilot program in conjunction with Section V in which participants read and discuss pre-circulated articles for CE credit. JoAnn Ponder has spearheaded this effort. The Candidate Outreach Committee under the leadership of co-chairs Noemi Ford and Michael Klein have held Zoom meetings for candidates, created a listserv, a website, and started a senior analyst/candidate mentorship program. They’ve also launched an essay contest via emails and the website. Our Federal Advocacy Coordinator, Marilyn Metzl, has noted several issues being addressed by APA advocacy, including advising Congress on mental health issues associated with climate change, speaking out against Medicare as proposed cuts in reimbursement, raising awareness about pediatric mental health, and supporting Medicare coverage of services for eating disorders. The Graduate Student Committee under the leadership of Anna Marie Baldauf and Alicia MacDougall continues to build a network of graduate students who have an interest in psychoanalytic psychology as well as provide support and resources for graduate students. The Graduate Student Committee has also worked diligently to help promote the Scholars Program. The committee maintains an active listserv, a campus rep program and has sent representatives to the American born Academy for Psychoanalysis to address issues of diversity and access to the ABPP in psychoanalysis and the need for ABPP specialty in psychodynamic psychology.

The Divisions for Social Justice (DSJ) has been re-invigorated and now expanded by two divisions (Divisions 41-law & 49-group psychology have now joined). Representatives from 22 of APA’s 56 divisions are current members of DSJ. SPPP is now also well represented in its leadership.  SPPP Council Representative Lu Steinberg is the Chair of DSJKenji Miyamoto (SPPP co-chair of summer APA programming) was recently elected secretary of DSJ and Shara Sand and Oksana Yakushko (also co-chair of summer APA programming) are actively participating. For this past summer’s 2020 DSJ programming, Division 39 worked closely with Divisions 27, 29, 34 & 52, and focused on Climate Justice. The topics that were just submitted for 2021 APA convention are Deconstructing and Reconstructing Psychology; How Do We Understand Structural Racism & Decolonizing Psychology; and Critiquing our Past to Understand our Present and Plan for our Future. Division 39 is one of the 4 contributing divisions to this programming, taking an active role in both developing the panels and chairing one of them. In addition, DSJ is looking to take on more advocacy and policy work.

Another interdivisional endeavor that SPPP has been an active part of is the COVID-19 Task force consisting of 13 APA divisions. The idea for the task force was introduced by co-chair of the SPPP Psychoanalysis and Healthcare Committee Maureen O’Reilly-Landry and, with Judie Alpert’s help, was introduced to Division 56’s (Division of Trauma Psychology). Divisions 39, 56 and 52 are considered the Founding Divisions. The task force is chaired by Charles Figley. Division 39 members have taken active roles in chairing working groups. Maureen O’Reilly-Landry chairs the Hospital group.  Division 39 members participate in the many working groups, including drop-in groups engaging mental health professionals around the world who are working in differing venues, addressing health inequities, the shared trauma of isolation, adjusting to remote work, etc. In addition, the working groups have developed webinars and a psychology today blog. The SPPP members contributing to these efforts include Liz GorenMary-Joan GersonJanet Plotkin BornsteinAlmas Merchant & June Lee Kwon.

 

It's been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of SPPP these last two years, and I look forward to serving as past president and chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee. Although 2020 has been a year of struggle for us, I believe we can anticipate great things for SPPP in 2021 under the leadership of Joe Schaller. I hope everyone has happy and safe holidays!

**Please note that Dr. Dauphin is now our Immediate Past President.

From the President April, 2020


I hope that everyone is doing well and doing their best to stay healthy during this extraordinary crisis for the US and the world. Originally, this column was intended to let everyone know about the exciting things that had happened at the most recent spring meeting. Although we’re not able to do that, I did want to let folks know that there has been a lot of activity that I think represents a great deal of hard work, compassion and innovation from SPPP. Because a lot of this is behind the scenes, I’d like to take the opportunity to let people know about it.


Our three conference co-chairs, Lara Sheehi, Nadine Obeid, and Leilani Salvo Crane, arrived at the sad realization of the need to cancel the spring meeting a few weeks ago. This was clearly an anguishing decision for them because they had put a great deal of effort, planning, and creativity into the development of a wonderful spring meeting experience. They have been extremely dedicated and conscientious, and they approached all of their efforts with a great deal of zest. They got in contact with me to discuss their recommendations. We had a zoom conference meeting that included Lara, Joe Schaller (President elect) and Stephen Anen (program chair). Subsequently, the Executive Committee held an emergency zoom conference meeting on March 8. We were quite concerned about the well-being of all attendees and the impossibility of truly having the kind of spring conference everyone has been planning for. The Division owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lara, Nadine, and Leilani for their ongoing work and for struggling with such hard choices.


Out of our discussions emerged the possibility that we could have the meeting in New York in 2021 and retains as much of the same conference program as possible. This has never been done before, but these are certainly unusual times. Our conference planner, Heather Kennedy (of Seventeen17 Management & Events), has been negotiating with the Grand Hyatt for holding the conference in 2021 from March 17 to the 21st. I am happy to report that we have just signed a contract with the Grand Hyatt for these dates after APA legal counsel reviewed the contract. Heather has been an incredibly forceful and knowledgeable advocate for SPPP. Heather made sure that we obtained the best arrangement possible, and that the division suffered the least financial damage possible. Throughout this process, Ruth Helein, our division administrator, has been her usual spectacular self. She has facilitated all aspects of the nuts & bolts that we need to make this all work. I also want to thank all members of the Executive Committee, who made themselves available for a very lengthy meeting in very short order. As sad as it was for us to reach this conclusion, I’d like to assure our members that this was handled with the upmost professionalism and dedication to the safety and welfare of our members and attendees.


There are many instances of members undertaking work behind the scenes in order to fulfill the promise of our conference. One story I’d like to tell is of the efforts to bring an international scholar to the meeting. Kris Yi (Chair of the International Relations Committee) and the Scholars Program co-chairs (Brian Brown and Ally Merchant) worked to facilitate the visa application of an international scholar whose initial application was denied in their home country. Kris and the Scholars Program were incredibly dedicated in their efforts to do what was possible and provide this individual with the information necessary to have the best chance of success in the reapplication. Efforts included attempting to gain assistance from APA, contacting the embassy of the home country and providing the scholar with a letter from the division to use for the next application. Unfortunately, as we know, the conference was canceled, and these efforts were moot. I wanted to make sure that they were recognized as but one example of things happening to make the meeting special that many folks wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.


Due to the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 situation, SPPP became aware of some pre-doctoral students who felt that they were especially vulnerable in terms of work conditions and expectations in the face of this pandemic. Several reached out to the Division for assistance. I turned to Bhupin Butaney (chair of the Education and Training Committee) to initiate a series of letters that we could write in support of the concerns of these students to various regulatory bodies, including the Commission on Accreditation, the Association of Psychology and Postdoctoral Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Office of Mental Health of the State of New York (OMH). Bhupin undertook this task in quick fashion and produced the letters that he and I sent out. You can see one example of this here. I’d also like to thank the efforts of Dennis Debiak and David Downing on this process. We recognize that everyone in different levels of organizations is struggling in the face of ever-changing information and an invisible danger. We wanted to do our part to support the safety and welfare of psychology interns who’ve worked for such a long time toward their degree and were feeling especially vulnerable in light of the significant risks being faced in many settings. We received a rapid response from APPIC:


Dr. Dauphin,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your letter of support for interns. We have heard from many interns that they are getting mixed messages - from DCTs, TDs, for example. Either today or tomorrow, CCTC will be sending out a strong statement of support for students  - those still in classes, interns, and postdocs - that is in line with Div 39's statement. These are unprecedented times, obviously, which call for a different approach to training (and possibly evaluation of readiness for licensure - I am predicting). 

We welcome continued ideas and opportunities for collaboration with you and other members of Division 39.

Claytie III

Claytie Davis III, Ph.D., ABPP


The CCTC that Dr. Davis refers to is the Council of Chairs of Training Councils. Although that is a mouthful, this council includes all of the major training councils in Health Service Psychology, as well as liaisons from APA, CoA, APPIC, and ASPPB. As such, this document represents a consensus among numerous chairs of training councils, all speaking as one.


You can see their statement here: OPEN LETER.  We also received a response from head of psychology of OMH thanking us for our input.


I was also contacted by Eric Sherman and Maureen O’Reilly (co-chairs of the Psychoanalysis and Healthcare Committee). We are exploring the degree to which this committee could be of assistance to efforts being undertaken by APA and to help foster psychoanalytic ways of thinking about the current risks. We’ve reached out to APA and the Psychoanalysis and Healthcare Committee is communicating to make suggestions to APA and SPPP in the face of a healthcare emergency. At the present time we don’t have something concrete to report, but I wanted members to be aware that different facets of our organization are attempting to make a difference. I hope that discussions on the Division Forum can also contribute to informing ourselves of the value of psychoanalytic ways of thinking about this current crisis and that we can be kind to each other in that process.


Lyra Health CEO, David Ebersman, responded to our letter of concern about its white paper labelling psychoanalysis as iatrogenic. Much to our chagrin, but nonetheless expected, he did not address our central concern that its white paper had labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic and, in doing so, implied that practitioners of psychoanalysis are essentially committing malpractice. He wrote that, “Our white paper represents our view in the marketplace of ideas.” While conceding that “…there are psychodynamic treatments with demonstrated efficacy”, he indicated that they would, “…update the white paper to be more specific about the types of psychoanalysis, such as Freudian psychosexual theory, we are uncomfortable supporting in our program.” You can access their response here: OPEN LETTER.


While we are pleased with the somewhat conciliatory tone of Lyra’s response and that it recognizes the demonstrated efficacy of some psychodynamic treatments, its response falls far short of addressing our concerns. They have not yet retracted the false claim of psychoanalysis as iatrogenic nor did he even mention this in his response. In fact a reference from their white paper raising concerns about psychoanalysis (Norcross, Garafolo & Koocher, 2006) was not a treatment study at all, but a survey of “experts” on their opinions about different treatments. The authors noted many drawbacks for their study (response rate issues, overrepresentation of CBT and academic psychologists, large differences in ratings based upon theoretical orientation, etc.). The authors wrote: “We recommend interpreting these results carefully and humbly (pg. 519).” None of the research that they cite in their white paper even makes the claim that psychoanalysis is iatrogenic. Furthermore, it is possible to not support a particular therapy modality within a specific business model, but that is quite different from spreading false information and labelling the false information as an accurate appraisal of the research.


We will be replying to Lyra’s response and will be discussing this issue at our upcoming Executive Committee meeting (happening in cyberspace), notwithstanding that the cancellation of our spring conference has altered the timing of some meetings. We have also informed APA of Lyra’s response and look forward to working with them on this issue. We understand that the COVID-19 situation has resulted in a great deal of unanticipated work for the APA Practice Office and legal departments at this time, but we are confident in being able to have a collaborative relationship with them on this issue. We will keep members updated as this develops further.


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP



From the President March 2020


I wanted to update you on our efforts to address the false and misleading white paper distributed by Lyra Health, which labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic. You can see our letter to Lyra here: OPEN LETTER.


I distributed our letter to Lyra in the most recent edition of Insight, which should have arrived in members’ emails on March 1. To review:


Dana Sinopoli and I began a process with the Professional Issues Committee to draft a letter to Lyra. When we got to a "good place" with that letter, Dana and I had two conference calls with APA, which included Jared Skillings, Deanne Ottaviano, Lynn Bufka and Alan Nessman. They suggested how we could put Lyra on notice that it had now been informed that it published false and damaging information with respect to psychoanalysis. They agreed that Lyra's labeling psychoanalysis as iatrogenic was completely wrong and holds them open to potential litigation in the way they've done it. We are appreciative of APA’s efforts in this matter.


Jared thanked the division for bringing this to their attention. They appreciated our advocacy and leadership, as Lyra’s communications could affect other divisions and patient populations. The APA group looked through this white paper (November 2019), which labeled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic, and another one Lyra published in March 2019 and had concerns with respect to other divisions (especially Division 30-Hypnosis). So APA has contacted Division 30 and will write its own letter. APA will take a more educative approach with Lyra but was comfortable with our hard-nosed letter. We have shared our letter with Division 30 in order to be of assistance with their efforts. Dana Sinopoli has done an extensive amount of work for this and deserves our appreciation and gratitude. I want to acknowledge other contributors, especially Ghislaine Boulanger, Dana Charatan, Stephen Soldz, and Allan Scholom, all of whom made substantive suggestions. This was a real team effort.


Lyra Health CEO, David Ebersman, responded to our letter. Much to our chagrin, but nonetheless expected, he did not address our central concern that its white paper had labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic and, in doing so, implied that practitioners of psychoanalysis are essentially committing malpractice. He wrote that, “Our white paper represents our view in the marketplace of ideas.” While conceding that “…there are psychodynamic treatments with demonstrated efficacy”, he indicated that they would, “…update the white paper to be more specific about the types of psychoanalysis, such as Freudian psychosexual theory, we are uncomfortable supporting in our program.” You can access their response here: OPEN LETTER.


While we are pleased with the somewhat conciliatory tone of Lyra’s response and that it recognizes the demonstrated efficacy of some psychodynamic treatments, its response falls far short of addressing our concerns. They have not yet retracted the false claim of psychoanalysis as iatrogenic nor did he even mention this in his response. None of the research that they cite in their white paper even makes this claim. Furthermore, it is possible to not support a particular therapy modality within a specific business model, but that is quite different from spreading false information and labelling the false information as an accurate appraisal of the research.

We will be replying to Lyra’s response and will be discussing this issue at our upcoming Executive Committee meeting, notwithstanding that the cancellation of our spring conference has altered the timing of some meetings. We have also informed APA of Lyra’s response and look forward to working with them on this issue. We will keep members updated as this develops further.


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP



From the President August 2019


I wanted to provide members with some updates from the most recent APA convention in Chicago.

First, I would like to thank Colin Ennis and Brian Brown for organizing an excellent program at APA. It was great to see the wide representation of psychoanalytic ideas, including psychoanalytic research, at APA. They also organized the discussion group in which people had a chance to address different perspectives regarding the accreditation of programs in institutions that qualify for the religious exemption in the standards of accreditation.


I would especially like to thank Earl Bland and Theresa Tisdale, as well as other representatives from Biola, for their investment and participation in the discussion group. I found the exchange amongst everyone to be respectful, helpful, and promoting good dialogue. Special thanks to Scott Pytluk for keeping track of and organizing the process of people taking turns to speak, addressing concerns, and asking questions. We are also very appreciative of the participation of Jaime L. Diaz-Granados, APA Deputy CEO and his substantial knowledge about these issues and his investment in the process of dialogue.


We congratulate David Downing on his appointment to the APA task force on serious mental illness. We are extremely pleased to have a representative from a psychoanalytic viewpoint on such an important task force.


The board of directors noted the passing of Irene Fast. She was widely admired for her intellectual acumen and rigor and was a pioneer in psychoanalytic theory of early sexual and cognitive-emotional development.


The board of directors welcomed Jared Skillings, APA‘s chief of professional practice, Lynn Bufka of the practice directorate, and Howard Kurtzman of the science directorate to discuss various issues with respect to the clinical practice guidelines. Most importantly, we discussed at length how the office of professional practice could advocate for open ended psychotherapy of the kind often practiced by members of our division as well as other divisions such as the division of humanistic psychology. We were grateful that Arthur Evans, APA‘s CEO, was also able to join the meeting. We would like to thank all APA personnel who were able to participate in the meeting. We continued to discuss the importance of APA advocating for therapy that is relevant to many people with complex difficulties and cannot be meaningfully undertaken in a pre-determined, manualized treatment format. Jared graciously shared his experiences about his long term therapeutic work with a very complex patient. It was clear that utilizing a short term manualized approach for this individual’s work would not have led to the significant improvements in both symptoms and quality of life. As part of this effort for advocacy, we began to discuss good ways of measuring quality of life, which is an aspect often ignored by many empirical research studies on therapy. I had sent Jared some questions in advance to help structure some of the discussion. Jared prepared some written responses, which I will include in a separate post.


In January, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to have a task force to draft an apology letter to the LGBTQ+ community regarding the pathologization of this community and distress caused by psychoanalytic work. I have appointed co-chairs and members of the task force. The division is quite grateful for their service.


(Co-chair) Usha Tummala-Narra:

(Co-chair) Matthew LeRoy

Stephen Anen

Elizabeth Fletcher

Melanie Suchet

Liz Clarke


The election of Dana Charatan to APA Council representative for SPPP beginning in 2020 created a vacancy for a member at large position. The board unanimously elected Bhupin Butaney to fill the remainder of the term. He was the next largest vote getter in the most recent election for member at large positions, and we are confident will provide good service to SPPP.


APA publishing provided us with an update on the performance of Psychoanalytic Psychology for 2018.They indicated that this was another excellent year for the journal and are pleased to see the journal continues to flourish. The journal saw a 39% uptick in submissions and remained financially sustainable with the division receiving a royalty payment of over $60,000. The journal also saw greater usage from countries including Italy, Belgium, Germany, and China. This has been the inaugural year for Christopher Christian as editor for the journal. We are extremely grateful for the past contributions of the previous editor Elliot Jurist.


The board unanimously elected Loren Dent to become the new editor of Division/Review. We wish to extend our deep appreciation to David Lichtenstein for his extraordinary work in helping develop and run Division/Review since it’s inception. We are grateful that he will continue to maintain a presence in ex officio capacity for the publication committee. I have appointed the following members to the publication committee.


Bill MacGillivray, chair


Members

Nancy McWilliams

Ricardo Ainslie 

helen DeVinney

Jaine Darwin

Eliot Jurist

Lianna Trubovitz


Ex officio

Christopher Christian

Loren Dent

David Lichtenstein

Jill Bellinson

Barry Dauphin


Thanks to Larry Zelnick for many years of service on the committee.


We have applied for home-study approval for Continuing Education from APA. We will find out whether SPPP qualifies within the next three months. We believe that home-study would expand options for Continuing Education for our members and provide greater flexibility. I’d like to thank Elliot Jurist and Eric Sherman for their assistance with the application by providing us with two model activities to submit. Our CE chair Soffia Palsdottir has done a great job pulling this all together to help create this opportunity.


Barry Dauphin


Featured Articles (click link to open article)

September 19, 2019

Psychoanalytic Psychology: A Critique of the American Psychological Association Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults


Citation:  


Dauphin, V. B. (2019, September 19). A Critique of the American Psychological Association Clinical

Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults.

Psychoanalytic Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pap0000253

Past Articles

President: Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP

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