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January 2021
In This Issue:
On The Calendar

January 15  - The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) will present a talk by Jamieson Webster, "The Desire for Change: From Freud’s Conversion to Today’s Conversion Disorder," as part of the Center's Fridays@CCP series.  Webster will discuss the ways in which conversion can be seen as a question about psychoanalysis itself and what psychoanalysis is founded on in terms of its relationship to libidinal transformations. She will argue that by showing the potential or power of the libidinal body, conversion is also about the demand for structural change. While this talk will trace conversion as a psychoanalytic concept, Webster will make a connection with recent events, from the Coronavirus Pandemic to Black Lives Matter, as touching on a present day conversion disorder and the demand for radical change. Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She is the author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis and, most recently, Conversion Disorder: Listening to the Body in Psychoanalysis. She teaches at the New School for Social Research and supervises doctoral students in clinical psychology at the City University of New York. Click here to register.

January 26  -  Jeffrey Stern will be giving a Chicago Psychoanalytic Society talk entitled “The Purveyor of Truth: A Discussion of K’s Case of Mia.”  In the talk Stern will recount the case of a self psychologically oriented treatment of a young woman with a disfiguring facial scar caused by a fire at her school when she was a child. The therapist believes that honesty is always the best policy, and when the patient asks if he thinks her ugly, he nods. Neither speaks of the incident for six months during which the therapist builds a theory around the importance of not speaking of sensitive matters until the therapist deems the time right. Stern, a Shakespeare scholar and clinician, is past President of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society. He writes on self psychology, literature, and film. A volume of his papers is forthcoming next year from Routledge. The talk will begin at 6:30 Central Time via Zoom. Click here for the Society’s Zoom link. 

January 27 - The Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute will host an event for alumni entitled "Psychoanalysis in the Public Sphere: A Call to Action."  Alexander Stein will be the guest speaker at this no-charge program. Stein is a principal at the Boswell Group, a psychodynamic management consulting group, and is founder of Dolus Advisors, a consultancy that helps organizations detect, mitigate, and resolve challenging human factor disturbances, including fraud, corruption, executive misconduct, and human vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. He regularly joins multidisciplinary teams as advisor to international litigation, investigations, intelligence, and cybersecurity firms to develop 3D profiles and precision forecasts of fraudsters and their network of affiliates and collaborators. Chicago Institute alumni can register here:

February 1 - The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) will continue its Psychoanalytic Explorations offerings with a 12-hour virtual small group seminar led by Ronald Rosenthal entitled “Uncoupling:  Psychoanalytic Approaches to Working with Divorcing Individuals.” Rosenthal’s seminar will address questions of whether to divorce, when to divorce, and how to survive divorce. He views divorce as a distinct loss and approaches divorce as a problem of mourning.  Rosenthal provides a framework to help individuals separate from their spouses and define a new sense of self. He will also discuss helping children and parents grieve the loss of an intact family.  Rosenthal is visiting faculty at  CCP and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago and Vernon Hills. He is a divorce coach and a child specialist in the practice of collaborative divorce, as well as a mediation facilitator.  The course meets for 6 weeks and provides 12 CE credits. Click here for more information and to register.

February 5 - Joseph Newirth will present "Orphans of the Real - Revisited," as part of the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP) Fridays@CCP series.  Referring to James Grotstein’s concept describing people who are unable to utilize reverie and unconscious processes to create meaning, the paper integrates concepts from Wilford Bion, Donald Winnicott, and Ignacio Matte-Blanco, emphasizing the transformation of the concrete experiences of the paranoid schizoid position into the symbolic experiences of the depressive position.  Newirth will present an extensive clinical example.  A member of the faculty at Adelphi University, Newirth is a supervisor at the  NYU Postdoctoral Program, and is on the faculty at the National Institute of the Psychotherapies. He is the author of Between Emotion and Cognition: The Generative Unconscious and From Sign to Symbol: Transformational Process in Psychoanalysis.  Click here to register.

March 5 - Depth Counseling and the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago will be co-sponsoring a live psychoanalytic supervision event on the dynamics of race and power in the analytic relationship.  The event, also co-sponsored by Yellowbrick, is part of the Society of Fellows’ annual “Weissbourd Dialogues,” this year on the theme of solitude.   Depth’s Clinical Director Gregory Rizzolo, a member of the faculties of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and the Institute for Clinical Social Work, will present the case of a patient who reached out to him with an unusual request: she wanted an analyst to teach her how to speak.  She wanted more than anything, as Rizzolo learned over a decade of work, to internalize and replicate the power she found in the analyst’s use of language.  Live supervision will be provided by Dionne Powell, an analyst at Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training.   Powell is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Holmes Commission, a group of leading analysts empaneled to explored how the field of psychoanalysis has addressed issues of race.  Register here.  Zoom links will be mailed to all registrants in February when they will also be posted on the University of Chicago Society of Fellows website

The Written Word

Flora Lazar has a new blog post, “Confessions of a Teletherapy Clinician” in which she speculates on whether teletherapy will be a game changer for psychoanalysis and its iconic couch. In the blog, she argues that many psychoanalytic clinicians have treated teletherapy as a crisis improvisation and offers a candid assessment of the benefits of teletherapy, which she suggests  may result in some of the most serious challenges to date about the use of the iconic psychoanalytic couch.  Her recent post, “Dealing with Identity: Transforming Apologies into Practice,” reflects on the slow pace of change in psychoanalytic thinking and teaching about race and gender, and asks what it will take for psychoanalysis to become more inclusive of people whom it has historically dismissed and pathologized.  Lazar is a clinical supervisor and director of public engagement and community outreach at Depth Counseling.

Charles Strozier recently opened a new website with his photographs, a step he describes as ratcheting up his long-time hobby.  The site documents his adventures in Florida, where he currently lives after periods in Chicago and New York.  Strozier, an historian and psychoanalyst, is the author of the highly-acclaimed biography of Heinz Kohut as well as books on Abraham Lincoln. 

Jessica Ngiam explores the thoughts of Heinz Kohut on the importance of healthy narcissism in the development of the self in a recent blog post, “Narcissism: Heinz Kohut’s Thoughts on Self-Love.“   Her primer on one of Kohut’s major theoretical contributions — the concept of the “selfobject” in relation to narcissism — offers a detailed review of Kohut's typology of personality types associated with various inadequacies in caregiving during childhood.  Ngiam recently joined Depth Counseling as an individual psychotherapist. She is a graduate of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute’s Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Thought Program.

In Case You Missed It

Marvin Zonis, a University of Chicago a political economist who applied psychoanalytic theory to a wide range of topics, died after a brief illness last month.  He was widely-known for his commentary on political developments in the Middle East. His book Majestic Failure  examines the Shah of Iran's lifelong fear of his father, his contempt for women, his narcissism, and his grandiosity.  Zonis served on the board of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute for two decades.  The Institute’s Board Chair, Robert Graham, called Zonis “a wonderful mentor, an expert on leadership, and someone who always had a wise word that, coupled with his insights on mental health, often helped address the Institute’s challenges with empathy and understanding.”

Ida Roldan gave a lecture at the December Chicago Psychoanalytic Society (CPS) virtual meeting entitled “The Transgenerational Transmission of the Colonized Mind: Puerto Rico.”   Using Puerto Rico as an example, Roldan explained how colonialism causes psychological damage to colonized peoples as well as to the colonizer.  She described how the assumptions and racist attitudes of the colonizer become internalized by the colonized and transmitted from one generation to the next.  Through memoir and historical and political examples, she explored the central role that colonial racism plays in the creation of the colonial subject’s identity and sense of self.  Roldan was the first graduate of the National Training Program for Contemporary Psychoanalysis to address the Society. She is the former Academic Dean at the Institute for Clinical Social Work.  Listen here to a recording of this widely-attended lecture and following discussion.

Tim Sawyier presented an analytic case to Mark Solms as part of the international Neuropsychoanalysis Association's Clinical Workshop Series. Solms' discussion of Sawyier’s case focused on how a patient with a variety of emotional issues could be more effectively understood by thinking in terms of the affective neurological systems described by Jaak Panksepp. With his presentation, Sawyier completed the NPSA course "A Practical Introduction to Neuropsychoanalysis: Clinical Implications," allowing him to be included in the Clinical Register of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society.  Sawyer is a candidate at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute and a clinician at Depth Counseling

Jonathan Lear gave a lecture, “Transience and Hope: A Return to Freud in a Time of Pandemic,” at the Newberry Library in November.  The talk, part of a series offered by Lear, helped inaugurate the new David L. Wagner Distinguished Lectureship for Humanistic Inquiry Series, in which Lear delivered three lectures on how our fears of catastrophe—from pandemic and climate crisis to political collapse—shape the ways we imagine the ends and purposes of human life.  Lear will be reprising the talk in January as part of grand rounds at the Austin Riggs Center in Western Massachusetts.  Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor on the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.   His work focuses on philosophical conceptions of the human psyche from Socrates to the present, and he is an important interpreter and defender of the philosophical dimensions of psychoanalytic theory.

In the Community

Dennis Shelby, co-chair of the American Psychoanalytic Association (ApsaA) Distance Education Task Force, is working on several joint projects with the ApsaA Covid Task Force.  One project used listening groups with candidates to develop suggestions for improving candidate experience with online education.  Another, to be released shortly, is a video round table discussion with senior analysts on initiating online psychoanalytic treatments.  The video will be made available to ApsaA members and all interested clinicians.  Click here for APsaA coronavirus information for providers and here for COVID-related educational resources. 

Ramya Iyer has created an online psycho-education course, “Thriving In Residency,“ that is designed to engage residents in mental health content early in their careers in order to mitigate the impact of burnout.  This psychoanalytically-informed course brings together systems theory, trauma theory, and behavioral skills models to create an in-depth experience while teaching practical skills.  It is intended to be a bridge for struggling residents who are unable to access therapy due to time constraints or stigma associated with therapy.  Iyer is a psychotherapist and fourth year candidate at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. For more information about the course click here. 

Phil Leibovitz continues to oversee a Chicago Institute program to provide pro bono psycho-dynamic mental health services to frontline COVID workers.  The program is being overseen by a steering committee including Adele Kaufman and Don McDevitt.  Norman Kohn coordinates the referrals to available faculty therapists.  Lebovitz moderated a discussion of the Chicago program at the June APsaA meeting, where he was joined by representatives from Boston and San Francisco.  The Assistant Director of Behavioral Health for the City of Chicago also participated in the program.  Lebovitz is a faculty member at the Chicago Institute and works with young adults and adults in his clinical practice.  He has a long-standing interest in creative artists of different disciplines as well as the psychological impact of loss of different kinds. 

Practice News

Office Space Available in Oak Park. Two offices are available for rent on a full- or part-time basis in an Art Deco building in downtown Oak Park.  Contact Maureen Sauvain at 708-386-1761.

North Suburban Family Psychologists is expanding and has openings for providers interested in the treatment of children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Members of the practice can be employees or independent contractors.  They receive individual and small group consultation with Carla Leone, the group practice’s founder and director, who uses an integrative psychoanalytic perspective grounded in self psychology.  Most services are being provided virtually, but the practice has offices in Lincolnwood, Evanston, and Buffalo Grove. Experience working with children, teens, families, and/or couples required.  Current licensure strongly preferred, but experienced applicants close to licensure will be considered.  Contact Carla Leone at to apply. 

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society News
Flora Lazar, Ph.D, LCSW - Editor
 Caroline Steelberg, Psy.D. -  Associate Editor

Please direct inquiries and submissions to:
Copyright © 2021 Chicago Psychoanalytic Society, All rights reserved.

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