From the President

News and Postings from the president about issues relevant to the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology.

About the President


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP is SPPP President for 2019-2020. He received a PhD in clinical psychology from Syracuse University in 1988 and his ABPP for Psychoanalysis in Psychology in 2016. He is the Director of Clinical Training at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of APA. He maintains a private practice in psychoanalytic work with children and adults. He is a past president of both Section IV and Section V and is treasurer of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis (ABAPsa). He has written numerous articles on psychoanalytic topics in both empirical and non-empirical research. He is the author of Tantalizing Times. Excitements, Disconnects, and Discontents in Contemporary American Society. Peter Lang Publishing Group. New York | Bern, Switzerland (2006).


From the President April, 2020


I hope that everyone is doing well and doing their best to stay healthy during this extraordinary crisis for the US and the world. Originally, this column was intended to let everyone know about the exciting things that had happened at the most recent spring meeting. Although we’re not able to do that, I did want to let folks know that there has been a lot of activity that I think represents a great deal of hard work, compassion and innovation from SPPP. Because a lot of this is behind the scenes, I’d like to take the opportunity to let people know about it.


Our three conference co-chairs, Lara Sheehi, Nadine Obeid, and Leilani Salvo Crane, arrived at the sad realization of the need to cancel the spring meeting a few weeks ago. This was clearly an anguishing decision for them because they had put a great deal of effort, planning, and creativity into the development of a wonderful spring meeting experience. They have been extremely dedicated and conscientious, and they approached all of their efforts with a great deal of zest. They got in contact with me to discuss their recommendations. We had a zoom conference meeting that included Lara, Joe Schaller (President elect) and Stephen Anen (program chair). Subsequently, the Executive Committee held an emergency zoom conference meeting on March 8. We were quite concerned about the well-being of all attendees and the impossibility of truly having the kind of spring conference everyone has been planning for. The Division owes a huge debt of gratitude to Lara, Nadine, and Leilani for their ongoing work and for struggling with such hard choices.


Out of our discussions emerged the possibility that we could have the meeting in New York in 2021 and retains as much of the same conference program as possible. This has never been done before, but these are certainly unusual times. Our conference planner, Heather Kennedy (of Seventeen17 Management & Events), has been negotiating with the Grand Hyatt for holding the conference in 2021 from March 17 to the 21st. I am happy to report that we have just signed a contract with the Grand Hyatt for these dates after APA legal counsel reviewed the contract. Heather has been an incredibly forceful and knowledgeable advocate for SPPP. Heather made sure that we obtained the best arrangement possible, and that the division suffered the least financial damage possible. Throughout this process, Ruth Helein, our division administrator, has been her usual spectacular self. She has facilitated all aspects of the nuts & bolts that we need to make this all work. I also want to thank all members of the Executive Committee, who made themselves available for a very lengthy meeting in very short order. As sad as it was for us to reach this conclusion, I’d like to assure our members that this was handled with the upmost professionalism and dedication to the safety and welfare of our members and attendees.


There are many instances of members undertaking work behind the scenes in order to fulfill the promise of our conference. One story I’d like to tell is of the efforts to bring an international scholar to the meeting. Kris Yi (Chair of the International Relations Committee) and the Scholars Program co-chairs (Brian Brown and Ally Merchant) worked to facilitate the visa application of an international scholar whose initial application was denied in their home country. Kris and the Scholars Program were incredibly dedicated in their efforts to do what was possible and provide this individual with the information necessary to have the best chance of success in the reapplication. Efforts included attempting to gain assistance from APA, contacting the embassy of the home country and providing the scholar with a letter from the division to use for the next application. Unfortunately, as we know, the conference was canceled, and these efforts were moot. I wanted to make sure that they were recognized as but one example of things happening to make the meeting special that many folks wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.


Due to the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 situation, SPPP became aware of some pre-doctoral students who felt that they were especially vulnerable in terms of work conditions and expectations in the face of this pandemic. Several reached out to the Division for assistance. I turned to Bhupin Butaney (chair of the Education and Training Committee) to initiate a series of letters that we could write in support of the concerns of these students to various regulatory bodies, including the Commission on Accreditation, the Association of Psychology and Postdoctoral Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Office of Mental Health of the State of New York (OMH). Bhupin undertook this task in quick fashion and produced the letters that he and I sent out. You can see one example of this here. I’d also like to thank the efforts of Dennis Debiak and David Downing on this process. We recognize that everyone in different levels of organizations is struggling in the face of ever-changing information and an invisible danger. We wanted to do our part to support the safety and welfare of psychology interns who’ve worked for such a long time toward their degree and were feeling especially vulnerable in light of the significant risks being faced in many settings. We received a rapid response from APPIC:


Dr. Dauphin,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your letter of support for interns. We have heard from many interns that they are getting mixed messages - from DCTs, TDs, for example. Either today or tomorrow, CCTC will be sending out a strong statement of support for students  - those still in classes, interns, and postdocs - that is in line with Div 39's statement. These are unprecedented times, obviously, which call for a different approach to training (and possibly evaluation of readiness for licensure - I am predicting). 

We welcome continued ideas and opportunities for collaboration with you and other members of Division 39.

Claytie III

Claytie Davis III, Ph.D., ABPP


The CCTC that Dr. Davis refers to is the Council of Chairs of Training Councils. Although that is a mouthful, this council includes all of the major training councils in Health Service Psychology, as well as liaisons from APA, CoA, APPIC, and ASPPB. As such, this document represents a consensus among numerous chairs of training councils, all speaking as one.


You can see their statement here: OPEN LETER.  We also received a response from head of psychology of OMH thanking us for our input.


I was also contacted by Eric Sherman and Maureen O’Reilly (co-chairs of the Psychoanalysis and Healthcare Committee). We are exploring the degree to which this committee could be of assistance to efforts being undertaken by APA and to help foster psychoanalytic ways of thinking about the current risks. We’ve reached out to APA and the Psychoanalysis and Healthcare Committee is communicating to make suggestions to APA and SPPP in the face of a healthcare emergency. At the present time we don’t have something concrete to report, but I wanted members to be aware that different facets of our organization are attempting to make a difference. I hope that discussions on the Division Forum can also contribute to informing ourselves of the value of psychoanalytic ways of thinking about this current crisis and that we can be kind to each other in that process.


Lyra Health CEO, David Ebersman, responded to our letter of concern about its white paper labelling psychoanalysis as iatrogenic. Much to our chagrin, but nonetheless expected, he did not address our central concern that its white paper had labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic and, in doing so, implied that practitioners of psychoanalysis are essentially committing malpractice. He wrote that, “Our white paper represents our view in the marketplace of ideas.” While conceding that “…there are psychodynamic treatments with demonstrated efficacy”, he indicated that they would, “…update the white paper to be more specific about the types of psychoanalysis, such as Freudian psychosexual theory, we are uncomfortable supporting in our program.” You can access their response here: OPEN LETTER.


While we are pleased with the somewhat conciliatory tone of Lyra’s response and that it recognizes the demonstrated efficacy of some psychodynamic treatments, its response falls far short of addressing our concerns. They have not yet retracted the false claim of psychoanalysis as iatrogenic nor did he even mention this in his response. In fact a reference from their white paper raising concerns about psychoanalysis (Norcross, Garafolo & Koocher, 2006) was not a treatment study at all, but a survey of “experts” on their opinions about different treatments. The authors noted many drawbacks for their study (response rate issues, overrepresentation of CBT and academic psychologists, large differences in ratings based upon theoretical orientation, etc.). The authors wrote: “We recommend interpreting these results carefully and humbly (pg. 519).” None of the research that they cite in their white paper even makes the claim that psychoanalysis is iatrogenic. Furthermore, it is possible to not support a particular therapy modality within a specific business model, but that is quite different from spreading false information and labelling the false information as an accurate appraisal of the research.


We will be replying to Lyra’s response and will be discussing this issue at our upcoming Executive Committee meeting (happening in cyberspace), notwithstanding that the cancellation of our spring conference has altered the timing of some meetings. We have also informed APA of Lyra’s response and look forward to working with them on this issue. We understand that the COVID-19 situation has resulted in a great deal of unanticipated work for the APA Practice Office and legal departments at this time, but we are confident in being able to have a collaborative relationship with them on this issue. We will keep members updated as this develops further.


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP



From the President March 2020


I wanted to update you on our efforts to address the false and misleading white paper distributed by Lyra Health, which labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic. You can see our letter to Lyra here: OPEN LETTER.


I distributed our letter to Lyra in the most recent edition of Insight, which should have arrived in members’ emails on March 1. To review:


Dana Sinopoli and I began a process with the Professional Issues Committee to draft a letter to Lyra. When we got to a "good place" with that letter, Dana and I had two conference calls with APA, which included Jared Skillings, Deanne Ottaviano, Lynn Bufka and Alan Nessman. They suggested how we could put Lyra on notice that it had now been informed that it published false and damaging information with respect to psychoanalysis. They agreed that Lyra's labeling psychoanalysis as iatrogenic was completely wrong and holds them open to potential litigation in the way they've done it. We are appreciative of APA’s efforts in this matter.


Jared thanked the division for bringing this to their attention. They appreciated our advocacy and leadership, as Lyra’s communications could affect other divisions and patient populations. The APA group looked through this white paper (November 2019), which labeled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic, and another one Lyra published in March 2019 and had concerns with respect to other divisions (especially Division 30-Hypnosis). So APA has contacted Division 30 and will write its own letter. APA will take a more educative approach with Lyra but was comfortable with our hard-nosed letter. We have shared our letter with Division 30 in order to be of assistance with their efforts. Dana Sinopoli has done an extensive amount of work for this and deserves our appreciation and gratitude. I want to acknowledge other contributors, especially Ghislaine Boulanger, Dana Charatan, Stephen Soldz, and Allan Scholom, all of whom made substantive suggestions. This was a real team effort.


Lyra Health CEO, David Ebersman, responded to our letter. Much to our chagrin, but nonetheless expected, he did not address our central concern that its white paper had labelled psychoanalysis as iatrogenic and, in doing so, implied that practitioners of psychoanalysis are essentially committing malpractice. He wrote that, “Our white paper represents our view in the marketplace of ideas.” While conceding that “…there are psychodynamic treatments with demonstrated efficacy”, he indicated that they would, “…update the white paper to be more specific about the types of psychoanalysis, such as Freudian psychosexual theory, we are uncomfortable supporting in our program.” You can access their response here: OPEN LETTER.


While we are pleased with the somewhat conciliatory tone of Lyra’s response and that it recognizes the demonstrated efficacy of some psychodynamic treatments, its response falls far short of addressing our concerns. They have not yet retracted the false claim of psychoanalysis as iatrogenic nor did he even mention this in his response. None of the research that they cite in their white paper even makes this claim. Furthermore, it is possible to not support a particular therapy modality within a specific business model, but that is quite different from spreading false information and labelling the false information as an accurate appraisal of the research.

We will be replying to Lyra’s response and will be discussing this issue at our upcoming Executive Committee meeting, notwithstanding that the cancellation of our spring conference has altered the timing of some meetings. We have also informed APA of Lyra’s response and look forward to working with them on this issue. We will keep members updated as this develops further.


Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP



From the President August 2019


I wanted to provide members with some updates from the most recent APA convention in Chicago.

First, I would like to thank Colin Ennis and Brian Brown for organizing an excellent program at APA. It was great to see the wide representation of psychoanalytic ideas, including psychoanalytic research, at APA. They also organized the discussion group in which people had a chance to address different perspectives regarding the accreditation of programs in institutions that qualify for the religious exemption in the standards of accreditation.


I would especially like to thank Earl Bland and Theresa Tisdale, as well as other representatives from Biola, for their investment and participation in the discussion group. I found the exchange amongst everyone to be respectful, helpful, and promoting good dialogue. Special thanks to Scott Pytluk for keeping track of and organizing the process of people taking turns to speak, addressing concerns, and asking questions. We are also very appreciative of the participation of Jaime L. Diaz-Granados, APA Deputy CEO and his substantial knowledge about these issues and his investment in the process of dialogue.


We congratulate David Downing on his appointment to the APA task force on serious mental illness. We are extremely pleased to have a representative from a psychoanalytic viewpoint on such an important task force.


The board of directors noted the passing of Irene Fast. She was widely admired for her intellectual acumen and rigor and was a pioneer in psychoanalytic theory of early sexual and cognitive-emotional development.


The board of directors welcomed Jared Skillings, APA‘s chief of professional practice, Lynn Bufka of the practice directorate, and Howard Kurtzman of the science directorate to discuss various issues with respect to the clinical practice guidelines. Most importantly, we discussed at length how the office of professional practice could advocate for open ended psychotherapy of the kind often practiced by members of our division as well as other divisions such as the division of humanistic psychology. We were grateful that Arthur Evans, APA‘s CEO, was also able to join the meeting. We would like to thank all APA personnel who were able to participate in the meeting. We continued to discuss the importance of APA advocating for therapy that is relevant to many people with complex difficulties and cannot be meaningfully undertaken in a pre-determined, manualized treatment format. Jared graciously shared his experiences about his long term therapeutic work with a very complex patient. It was clear that utilizing a short term manualized approach for this individual’s work would not have led to the significant improvements in both symptoms and quality of life. As part of this effort for advocacy, we began to discuss good ways of measuring quality of life, which is an aspect often ignored by many empirical research studies on therapy. I had sent Jared some questions in advance to help structure some of the discussion. Jared prepared some written responses, which I will include in a separate post.


In January, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to have a task force to draft an apology letter to the LGBTQ+ community regarding the pathologization of this community and distress caused by psychoanalytic work. I have appointed co-chairs and members of the task force. The division is quite grateful for their service.


(Co-chair) Usha Tummala-Narra:

(Co-chair) Matthew LeRoy

Stephen Anen

Elizabeth Fletcher

Melanie Suchet

Liz Clarke


The election of Dana Charatan to APA Council representative for SPPP beginning in 2020 created a vacancy for a member at large position. The board unanimously elected Bhupin Butaney to fill the remainder of the term. He was the next largest vote getter in the most recent election for member at large positions, and we are confident will provide good service to SPPP.


APA publishing provided us with an update on the performance of Psychoanalytic Psychology for 2018.They indicated that this was another excellent year for the journal and are pleased to see the journal continues to flourish. The journal saw a 39% uptick in submissions and remained financially sustainable with the division receiving a royalty payment of over $60,000. The journal also saw greater usage from countries including Italy, Belgium, Germany, and China. This has been the inaugural year for Christopher Christian as editor for the journal. We are extremely grateful for the past contributions of the previous editor Elliot Jurist.


The board unanimously elected Loren Dent to become the new editor of Division/Review. We wish to extend our deep appreciation to David Lichtenstein for his extraordinary work in helping develop and run Division/Review since it’s inception. We are grateful that he will continue to maintain a presence in ex officio capacity for the publication committee. I have appointed the following members to the publication committee.


Bill MacGillivray, chair


Members

Nancy McWilliams

Ricardo Ainslie 

helen DeVinney

Jaine Darwin

Eliot Jurist

Lianna Trubovitz


Ex officio

Christopher Christian

Loren Dent

David Lichtenstein

Jill Bellinson

Barry Dauphin


Thanks to Larry Zelnick for many years of service on the committee.


We have applied for home-study approval for Continuing Education from APA. We will find out whether SPPP qualifies within the next three months. We believe that home-study would expand options for Continuing Education for our members and provide greater flexibility. I’d like to thank Elliot Jurist and Eric Sherman for their assistance with the application by providing us with two model activities to submit. Our CE chair Soffia Palsdottir has done a great job pulling this all together to help create this opportunity.


Barry Dauphin


Featured Articles (click link to open article)

September 19, 2019

Psychoanalytic Psychology: A Critique of the American Psychological Association Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults


Citation:  


Dauphin, V. B. (2019, September 19). A Critique of the American Psychological Association Clinical

Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults.

Psychoanalytic Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pap0000253

Past Articles

President: Barry Dauphin, PhD, ABPP

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