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Magee, B. (2002). President's Report. Fort Da, 8(1):3-6.

(2002). Fort Da, 8(1):3-6

President's Report

Bart Magee, Ph.D.

How are we keeping psychoanalysis vital in our community?

As the 15th president of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (NCSPP), it gives me pleasure to welcome you to fort da and to NCSPP. I want to thank all of you who continue to support our mission by joining our membership, volunteering your time, and attending our programs. I also want to give you an update on recent activities and the current goals of the committees and Board of NCSPP, specifically addressing my title question.

NCSPP was started in 1987 as a regional affiliate of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association. Its founders set forth on a straight-forward and radical mission: to “promote psychoanalytic psychology in the mental health and general community.” At the time, psychoanalysis was not seen as a discipline easily promoted in the community. On the contrary, it was largely a theory and practice of exclusion — mainly the province of the white, heterosexual, middle class. It was exclusive regarding who was granted rights to practice and who was treatable, with entire classes of people considered unanalyzable. And, within the study of psychoanalysis, particular ideas and formulations were accepted as dogma, which inhibited debate.

Today, psychoanalysis certainly looks more open and lively in the Bay Area than it did in 1987. Several psychoanalytic institutes have been established, and walls excluding non-medical practitioners from training have come down. A greater diversity of patients is now seen both on and off the couch. With this renewed interest in psychoanalytic ideas, a lively community has matured, where divergent ideas and methods are shared in the spirit of learning. NCSPP now has over 600 members and associates in Northern California. That we are the largest local affiliate of Division 39 is testimony to the strength and vitality of psychoanalysis in our community. Is the picture all so rosy? We'd be fools if we answered yes.

Locally, we have seen a disturbing trend, where psychoanalytically oriented training for graduate-level and post-graduate clinicians has diminished.

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