The Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology
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From the President
Barry Dauphin, Ph.D.
would like to thank the MSPP members for their participation in the most
recent election. I am honored for the opportunity to serve as MSPP
president once again. Members might be interested to know that the
rate of voter participation for MSPP is actually higher than that of the
APA. If any members have thoughts or concerns about MSPP, I
welcome your input. I can be reached via e-mail (Phinman@aol.com)
or phone (248-203-9662).
I would like during the course of my presidency to continue to address the direction of MSPP, our philosophy of education for psychoanalysis, our efforts at living out this philosophy and to examine the place of an organization such as ours in a changing educational/professional environment. This environment includes the attempts to promulgate laws at the state level mandating certain forms of education to be undertaken by licensed psychologists, the potential impact of prescription privileges for psychoanalytic psychology and on our educational offerings, and the shifting winds which may bring evidence based treatment and therapy templates to our shores and their potential effects on psychoanalytic work and psychoanalytic education.
In addition I would like the society to be aware of, to deliberate the impact of, and to consider whether the MSPP should take specific/concrete actions regarding education about other, but related, important developments which are occurring at the national level but will make their way to the local level. This includes: the current efforts, headed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, to create a diagnostic manual for psychoanalysis; HIPAA & other laws (such as the transaction rule) and the impact on privacy and the practice of psychoanalytic work; the development by Division 39 of Talking Points for psychoanalysis concerning research and scholarly inquiry into psychoanalytic treatment and its efficacy.
I also want the board to consider issues concerning the scope and size of MSPP and to address the size of our membership. I also intend for us to look for ways in which MSPP can further its purposes of promoting the highest standards of practice of psychoanalytic psychology and to enlarge public understanding and appreciation of the psychoanalytic discipline. I look to speak to these kinds of issues through our work on the board, including trying to concretize (as best we can) our discussions, deliberations and decisions about the direction of MSPP and its educational purposes.
I have been fortunate to serve as MSPP’s representative to the Section for Local Chapters (IV) in Division 39. From this vantage point, I have been able to see the involvement of those interested in psychoanalysis across the country. There are 29 local chapters such as MSPP throughout the United States and Canada, and there are a few more potential chapters in the making. The composition of the local chapters varies from a small group of 8 people to a large group consisting of over 500 professionals, including more than 275 Division 39 members. The diversity of activities across the country is extraordinary and is tailored to address the educational needs and interests of the local chapter and the psychoanalytic community. There are a variety of ways in which people participate for psychoanalytic psychology.
Participation is vital in order to protect one’s educational freedoms, which should be precious to any profession and its professionals. Currently, we are able to work as professionals and form an educational group with a great deal of freedom. Of course, various forces in the marketplace (e.g., insurance industry policies) can constrain certain choices. Nevertheless, we currently remain able to function and to think within a multitude of options and frameworks. In order that we continue to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives of our profession, it is essential that we continue to inform ourselves of the direction and latitude of available ways of thinking and working.
There has been a great deal of discussion within the APA and elsewhere about the potential development of treatment guidelines derived from Evidenced Based Treatment (EBT). Although professionals maintain an obligation to remain informed about the state of evidence in our field and prevailing ways of conceptualizing work, the potential new guidelines risk significantly narrowing the range of choices for both the professional community and those with whom we work. At stake are questions such as: What constitutes evidence? Who decides the boundaries of therapeutic work? What constitutes ethical practice? What kind of psychoanalysis would be considered ethical and which kind not? etc.
The Division of Psychoanalysis has taken a keen interest in the issue of EBT. Since much of the impetus for EBT arises from within the APA, our Division sits in an important place to raise concerns and advocate for psychoanalytic psychology. Division 39 is not the only Division within the APA to express concerns (for example, the Division of Humanistic Psychology is also raising questions). However, on the national scene I would suggest that Division 39 is taking the lead on this issue for psychoanalysis.
A committee has already been hard at work creating a Talking Points document for the membership. A first draft was completed prior to the recent APA convention with the second draft due to be ready by the January 2004 Division 39 board meeting. Respected psychoanalytic thinkers such as Sidney Blatt, Ph.D., Drew Westin, Ph.D., Ken Levy, Ph.D., and others are part of the committee charged with this task. The document is meant to briefly address the efficacy of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic ways of thinking in order to help educate those who are unaware of psychoanalytic research and scholarly work and to assist to counteract the position of those who complain that psychoanalysis is ineffective, a waste of time or even harmful.
Helping to maintain the vitality of psychoanalysis involves a collaboration of participants at the local and national levels. I’d like to encourage members to find ways to participate further in efforts to both protect and enrich our chosen field. Please consider assisting MSPP in some way through volunteer efforts. Consider joining Division 39 which is a national home for psychoanalytic psychology with a long history of advocacy (www.Division39.org). Or create your own way to work for psychoanalytic psychology.