“The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.” –Queensborough College
The Institute recognizes there is much work to do in the realm of diversity in the psychoanalytic community. The Institute also has a rich history of focus on issues in this arena, and is constantly moving forward to do more. In the first year that the American Psychoanalytic Association offered competitive diversity grants to Institutes throughout the country, St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute was one of the two first awardees. The two grants awarded to St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute were used to integrate issues of diversity into Analytic Training Program curriculum and into Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy curriculum as well as to encourage diversity among students. Additionally, the Institute offers Continuing Education courses focusing on all aspects of diversity including issues of age, race, gender bias, sexuality, nationality and more.
The American Psychoanalytic Foundation supports the Institute’s work as a partner in the Mental Health Collaborative at Casa de Salud. The bi-lingual case conference is intended to increase awareness among clinicians of the influence of racial, linguistic and cultural diversity on clinical work, and to see how clinicians of different backgrounds are able to apply these differences in practice.
“… Work with the unconscious requires a focus on free association, the way in which the most diverse words and memories and thoughts and feelings come to be associated. From the most intimate personal memories and sensations to the histories that define nations, psychoanalysis has a stake in how all experience is verbally addressed by the subject…For this reason, any theory of psychoanalysis that minimizes the role of ethnic or cultural diversity must be seen as unduly restrictive, as limiting the possibilities of psychoanalysis. By focusing on standardization and rules rather than free association as such, organized psychoanalysis gets in the way of its own diversity.” – J. Todd Dean, MD, former Chair of Diversity Initiatives, St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.
Resources: Learn more…
Co-constructed Racial Realities:
African American Experience and Psychodynamic Understandings in Modern America
Instructor: Carol Robinson, MEd, LPC, NCC
Saturday mornings, January 18 – March 7, 2020
This workshop is aimed to help participants “get more comfortable being uncomfortable” and will be a supported dive into our co-constructed racial realities.
This course will provide information on the definition and historical underpinnings of Anti-blackness in American culture. We will use psychoanalytic writings as well as additional sources to explore and discuss the ways in which psychodynamic/psychoanalytic thought conceptualizes racial minority mental health in general and work with African Americans in particular. Participants will have opportunities to explore their own ways of understanding and interacting with African American individuals through introspective journaling and case presentations.
Part of the Centene Charitable Foundation Speakers Series
Thursday, February 27, 2020
This interesting evening will explore how Freud’s conceptualization of the term “neutrality” was culturally influenced, and embedded with internalized racism.
Marcos Posadas will describe an anti-oppressive approach to neutrality, that attempts to highlight the usefulness of neutrality as a way of not-othering patients who are people of color, and/or LGBTQ identified. He will explore methods and approaches that strive to address internalized, anti-black racism and white supremacy, in both sides of the therapeutic dyad. This exploration will include an approach that applies clinical neutrality, through the use of clinical composites, so as to consider the different racial intersections that impact marginalized populations, including LGBTQ identified and persons of color.
All the details of the course and registration information HERE.
Bilingual Treatment for Clients…
The Herbert S. Schiele Clinic for Treatment
Mental Health Collaborative at Casa de Salud
The Schiele Clinic is located with the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute — a community resource providing professional, in-depth psychotherapy with services for individuals and families offered on a sliding-fee scale. The Schiele clinic is dedicated to serving ALL people, regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation, age…
We have expanded services into Spanish and other languages, and can offer referrals if we cannot assist in a particular language.
The goals of the Mental Health Collaborative, located in Mid-town St. Louis, Expand the capacity of the mental health system in St. Louis to provide services to the underserved and foreign-born communities, with a special emphasis on Latinos.
Learn more about the Mental Health Collaborative HERE.
Bilingual Experience for Clinical Trainees…
Herbert S. Schiele Clinic Bilingual Internship/Practicum Programs
The Clinic offers a twelve-month practicum for graduate or post-graduate level students who are enrolled in or have completed clinical programs for masters and doctoral degrees in social work, psychology or counseling. It is an intensive learning experience in the theory and practice of individual and couples psychodynamic psychotherapy with adolescents and adults. The length and frequency of treatment are determined by the clinical needs of the patient. Patient fees are set on a sliding scale based on the patient’s economic and social circumstances. In response to the growing need of the St. Louis immigrant community to have culturally sensitive, low-fee, mental health treatment from bilingual therapists, the Schiele Clinic — as a partner with the Mental Health Collaborative at Casa de Salud — is now offering a Bilingual Clinical Practicum. Eligible applicants must demonstrate fluency in Spanish and have completed one or more years of a clinically based master or doctoral program in social work, psychology, or counseling.
Click to read TREATMENT OF IMMIGRANTS, an article by Schiele Clinic Director Dr. Stuart Ozar and former Institute staff member Breanna Parker-Gills about this partnership and our bilingual clinical practicum published in the spring/summer 2019 edition of The American Psychoanalyst.
Institute Podcasts and YouTube Videos
Pink Parenting: Providing a Facilitating Environment for Gay & Lesbian Teens
Lecture with Gary Grossman, PhD
This lecture addresses some of the unique challenges faced by gay and lesbian teens — and their parents. It provides a good overview of how best to communicate your support to your children, and how to more fully understand some of the difficulties they may be facing in their social environments.
When looking at what trauma “is” and how it is “experienced,” we must look at the cultural context of the child and family. when it comes to processing trauma, a child’s culture typically falls on a continuum ranging from the traumatic disruption of a child’s individual mind to the disruption of an entire community’s way of life. As teachers, clinicians, and professionals, what do we do when it is not only the child’s mind, but the child’s entire cultural way of functioning that is overwhelmed by trauma? Further, how do cultures that privilege a collective mindset mediate childhood trauma when compared to more individualistic cultures?
This lecture and audience discussion considers the way the social categories of race, social class, and culture can be understood from a psychoanalytic point of view, with special consideration is given to the way “whiteness” is constructed in U.S. society, along with the implications for the racial and social class status of various ethnic groups in this country.
Continuing the conversation with Dr. Neil Altman, with Lenita Newberg, MSW, LCSW
“The important thing at the moment is that St. Louis is at the epicenter of a lot of the tension around racial and cultural social class categories right now,” Altman said. “A psychoanalytic institute has to be able to have something to say about that if it wants to be relevant in today’s world.” Psychoanalysts recognize when people are feeling unheard and try to respond to that. He said psychoanalysis is a constant process of consciousness raising; having to deal with what makes people feel guilty and ashamed and how people are socialized in certain attitudes.
This is certainly a one-of-a-kind film. A man desires an alluring and mysterious woman. The woman is sphinx-like in that she knows some vital truth about the situation which the man has to discover for himself. The paradox lies in the fact that the truth, which the man eventually discovers, is the very thing which stands in the way of their union.
John Cameron Mitchell, the director of the explosive transgender rock musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” broadens his investigation into sexuality with Shortbus (2007). Shortbus is an exploration into the lives of several characters living in present-day New York as they navigate the humorous and tragic intersections between love and sex.
Nic and Jules have been raising their teenage kids with many typical bumps, bruises, and achievements. But when the kids decide to meet their sperm donor, new issues get raised for the family. Commitments, love, desire, and conflicts are old issues in families, but the twists can change over time. This touching comedy takes a look at how family is defined and the changing nature of relationships.
Growing old is often difficult in a youth oriented culture such as ours. We experience a gradual loss of independence, at the same time as we might feel both useless and helpless. Retiring from work is a mixed blessing: on the one hand it promises more time to spend with family, friends, and pleasures earlier postponed, and on the other hand, it may bring a fear of having no place to go, nothing to do, of there being no place for us. Feeling lost, perhaps even abandoned, it is tempting to insist on independence as a defense against feeling frightened and helpless, or as a burden for our children. As someone once said to me, “My greatest fear is being old, poor, sick, and alone.” Even though the future is shrinking, the fear is not of death, but rather of helplessness and abandonment. One might even say that it is of feeling dead while still alive. So, how can we make the most of the time left, of the final stage of life?
“One of the most dangerous, toxic things in people’s emotional lives is having a painful experience, but leaving it unformulated, leaving it unarticulated and therefore not being able to think about it and yet being subject to it.” It’s not an overnight process and that it’s less about “getting rid of the [bad experiences] through catharsis” and more about processing and claiming them.
Panel including Institute APP Alum Emily Klamer, MEd
AI am encountering more and more individuals who share that their mental health struggles do not stem from their sexual orientation or gender identity on its own, but rather their interactions with people in their lives that reflect homophobic or transphobic attitudes,” Klamer said. She often works with the LGBTQ community and is creating a support group for LGBTQ people
The cross and the lynching tree are separated by nearly 2,000 years. One is the universal symbol of Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on a cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections. –James H. Cone
If you missed our 6-week study of this book with Patrick Cousins, MA, you’ll still want to explore the book on your own. A fascinating exploration, with both a theological and psychodynamic eye, on the ways in which American culture and Christian theology reinforce and dismantle white supremacy, both historically and in contemporary context.
Immigration in Psychoanalysis
Immigration in Psychoanalysis: Locating Ourselves presents a unique approach to understanding the varied and multi-layered experience of immigration, exploring how social, cultural, political, and historical contexts shape the psychological experience of immigration, and with it the encounter between foreign-born patients and their psychotherapists.
Beltsiou brings together a diverse group of contributors, including Ghislaine Boulanger, Eva Hoffman and Dori Laub, to discuss their own identity as immigrants and how it informs their work. They explore the complexity and the contradictions of the immigration process – the tension between loss and hope, future and past, the idealization and denigration of the other/stranger, and what it takes to tolerate the existential dialectic between separateness and belonging.
Articles of interest…
Racism Experienced In Childhood Lasts a Lifetime
Black Americans have greater prevalence and earlier onset of disability and chronic illness, as well as significantly lower life expectancy, than any other ethnic group in the US. This has traditionally been explained as resulting from unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and stress of economic disadvantage. New research supports a direct link between racism, especially when experienced in childhood, and life-threatening illness. Psychotherapy can help to alleviate the trauma of discrimination. talking about racist interactions can detoxify and alleviate the potential for trauma. Processing the racist event with a therapist, rather than “moving on” from it, makes it less likely that the trauma will be stored in the body, leading to physical symptoms.
Click on photo at right to read.
The Impact of Racism on Children’s Health
A new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics looks at the effects of racism on children’s development, starting in the womb. There is also increasing attention to the ongoing stress of living with discrimination and racism, and the toll that takes on body and mind throughout life. Click on photo at right to read.
The Strange Persistence of First Languages
For those who work with bilingual patients, this article will be very illuminating.
When a childhood language decays, so does the ability to reach far back into your own private history. Language is memory’s receptacle. It has Proustian powers. Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.. Click on photo at right to read.
Psychotherapy and Diversity
Cultural difference can offer moments of opportunity. Beyond the psychotherapy office, we live in a diverse sociopolitical world where intergroup conflicts abound. Underneath every conflict is a rupture, a break in human connection around issues of identity and sacred values… Click on photo at right to read.
Is Three Too Young for Children to Know They’re a Different Gender?
Many gender clinicians now recommend parents ‘socially transition’ kids who persistently express a transgender identity. But research has shown most children will give up their transgender identity by the time they are adolescents.
Not all researchers agree, though, that this research is valid.
Some food for thought…. Click on photo at right to read.
Children Separated from Their Parents at US-Mexico Border Showed Increased Signs of Post-traumatic Stress
Children separated during the“zero tolerance policy” last year, many already distressed in their home countries or by their journey, showed more fear, feelings of abandonment and post-traumatic stress symptoms than children who were not separated, according to a watchdog report from the inspector general’s office in the Department of Health and Human Services. Click on photo at right to read.
Exploring the Psychology of Racism
Back in 2005, the Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Institute held a forum in conjunction with the NAACP’s 96th annual convention in Milwaukee – titled Forum on the
Psychology of Racism. The goal was to have a serious discussion about the psychological causes and effects of racism.
A video from this forum was recently made available by Milwaukee Public Television. It’s definitely worth a watch… Click on photo at right to read.
Why Black History Month Matters To Psychotherapy
Not only during Black History month, but every day, we need to raise our awareness of the social and cultural pressures that so painfully limit access to sensitive psychological, psychiatric and emotional care for too many in our communities. This article and the embedded videos should move us to action Click on photo at right to read.
Courageous Actions Led to Removal of Homosexuality as a Diagnosis in DSM
One of the most memorable moments in the American Psychiatric Association history came when the 1972 Annual Meeting in Dallas included a certain “Dr. H. Anonymous,” his face hidden behind a rubber Halloween mask, in the session “Psychiatry: Friend or Foe to the Homosexual? A Dialogue.”
“I am a homosexual,” announced the mysterious figure. “I am a psychiatrist.”
Click on photo at right to read.
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