Diversity & Inclusion
“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.