Of Interest

Section V Essay Contest

Section V Inquiry & Innovation in Psychoanalysis

Section V of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association

$500 Prize for the Best Graduate Student Essay 

Mapping Self & Other Destruction:  

Applications of Analytic Theory 

In the United States, displays of White nationalism increasingly make their way to news outlets and social media forums. The violence erupting in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year, and recent data reflecting a rise in hate crimes across the country are causes for concern. As psychoanalytic and psychodynamic practitioners each holding numerous identities and experiences within different professional and community contexts, how might we understand and conceptualize these developments? Further, how might we apply these understandings in the service of effecting positive change in our communities?  

Contest Rules: Essays should be no more than 15 double-spaced pages. Deadline is February 15th, 2018. The winner will be announced in April 2018 and the prize awarded at the Spring 2018 Meeting of Division 39. The prize-winning essay, as well as any essays eligible for honorable mention, will be posted on the Section V website. All participants will receive free membership to Section V for one year.  

Eligibility: To participate in the contest, you must be a Graduate Student in Psychology (or related field) or Post-Doctoral Resident. There are no other preconditions.

Submit to: Section V Student Essay Contest at Please submit your essay in an attachment without your name on it. In the body of your email, list your name, pronouns, phone number, address, preferred email, and the name of the school and program you attend.

Questions: E-mail questions to or



Announcing New Book:

Outpatient Treatment of Psychosis: Psychodynamic Approaches to Evidence-Based Practice

Edited by David L. Downing and Jon Mills

Click here to download the flyer for information about Outpatient Treatment of Psychosis: Psychodynamic Approaches to Evidence-Based Practice.  The book can be purchased for 15% off on the Karnac website ( by using the code OTP2017 prior to December 31st.


To use the discount code:

Quote the code in the discount box on the checkout page to get your discounts. This code can be used every time you order on the Karnac website. Please note the code discounts from the cover price of the ordered book (not the discounted web price on the Karnac site), and does NOT work for orders of eBook editions or book + eBook bundles, which are already discounted on our site.


Announcing 2017 Schillinger Menorial Essay

$1,000.00 Prize for the Best Essay

For more information click HERE



 Annual Dissertation Award is given to a member of Division 39 who has completed her/his dissertation within the past two years. The dissertation should further the understanding of women and gender, preferably from a psychoanalytic viewpoint. Applicants should submit a CV and dissertation abstract. The winner will receive a $250 prize.

  Applications for the Dissertation Award should be submitted to by February 12. The award winners will be honored at the Section III at the Division 39 Spring Meeting. The winners are strongly encouraged, but not required, to attend.

The Derner Instituteof Advanced Psychological Studies
Adelphi University
Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship

About the fellowship

The Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship provides psychologists with training and professional experience leading to the fulfillment of New York State licensure as a psychologist. Candidates may choose between training in adult psychoanalysis and psychotherapy or in child, adolescent, and family therapy.. This is a half-time (20 hours/week) position and extends over two years. The following four components will comprise the fellowship:

 Direct clinical work with 4-5 psychotherapy patients and approximately one or two clinical intakes per week for which Fellows will be paid on a fee for service basis.
 Attending two years of classes in either the Postgraduate Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy or the Postgraduate Program in Child, Adolescent, and Family Therapy with a full tuition waiver.
 Weekly, psychodynamically oriented individual supervision and monthly group supervision.
Teaching two classes per semester in the undergraduate psychology or masters- level Mental Health Counseling Program. Fellows will be paid at the University adjunct rate.

Psychology Fellows may also have the opportunity to develop specialized skills working with couples and/or psychotherapy groups. This Fellowship will provide exposure to a variety of theoretical and methodological psychodynamic models  through coursework and through work with a variety of supervisors. All experience will count towards New York State licensing requirements. In addition, all classes, supervision, and clinical experience obtained during the Fellowship will be credited towards certification in our programs. Applicants are required to have earned a Psy.D. or Ph.D. in clinical, counseling or school psychology, to have completed an internship, and to have a limited permit to practice in  New York State. Experience working with diverse clinical populations and a strong interest in psychodynamic treatment modalities is preferred.

About The Gordon F. Derner Institute

The Derner Institute at Adelphi University is widely recognized as a pioneer in the study of psychology. The first university-based professional school of graduate and postgraduate psychology in the nation, it continues to be among the most vital university- based educational institutions promoting the study and practice of psychoanalytic psychology.  The Postgraduate Programs provide a rich array of training possibilities and include advanced certificate programs in the following areas:

 Psychoanalytic psychotherapy
 Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
 Child, adolescent, and family psychotherapy
 Group psychotherapy
 Couple therapy
 Psychodynamic school psychology
 Psychoanalytic supervision

About the Postgraduate Psychotherapy Center

The Postgraduate Psychotherapy Center is the institute’s training clinic as well as a fully-functional community mental health service provider serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties and New York City. We provide a full array of clinical services including psychotherapy for adults, children, adolescents and families; couples therapy; low cost psychoanalysis; and psychiatric consultation. We serve clients with a diverse range of presenting problems including mood, personality and adjustment disorders. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale to make services affordable for clients from a wide span of the socio-economic spectrum.

Our Diversity Commitment

Our faculty, student body, and course offerings reflect our commitment to diversity. We welcome applicants from all ethnic/racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and applicants with disabilities.

Application Procedures

Applications are due February 15, 2016 and should include:

 Statement of interest and experience with psychodynamic psychotherapy
 Curriculum Vitae
 Transcript sent directly from the university granting the doctoral degree
 Three letters of references

Submit application to:

Adelphi University
The Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies
158 Cambridge Avenue – Hy Weinberg Building – P.O. Box 701
Garden City, N.Y. 11530
Attention: Dr. Mary Beth Cresci

Applicants will be contacted for interviews once we have received the completed application.

Questions can be addressed to:
Jack Herskovits, Psy.D. Director, Postgraduate Psychotherapy Center,
Mary Beth M. Cresci, Ph.D., ABPP, Director, Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy—


2016 Section V Essay Contest

We are pleased to announce the details of the 2016 Section V Essay Contest, which features a $500 prize and a spotlight at the Spring 2016 Meeting of Division 39 in Atlanta.  Please follow the link for the full flyer: 

2016 Section V Essay Contest


Comments Regarding the Findings of the Hoffman Report

Opening Comments of Stephen Soldz and Steven Reisner to the
American Psychological Association Board
July 2, 2015

Last October, James Risen published allegations of American Psychological Association (APA) complicity in the Bush era torture program in his book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. In the wake of these allegations, the APA Board in November 2014 commissioned an independent investigation of these allegations. This allegation was conducted by Chicago attorney David Hoffman of Sidley Austin LLC and his colleagues.

In late June, 2015, as they prepared to receive the Hoffman Report, the APA Board asked to meet with us (Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz). We presume we were asked because over the last nine years we have been leaders of the movement to remove psychologists from abusive and sometimes torturous national security interrogations. Further, we have researched and published extensively on these issues and extensively shared the results of our research with Hoffman and his team. Most recently, we were the psychologist coauthors of the report All the President’s Psychologists: The American Psychological Association’s Secret Complicity with the White House and US Intelligence Community in Support of the CIA’s ”Enhanced” Interrogation Program, which was featured in a May 1, 2015 New York Times article.

The Board requested and we agreed to keep the substance of our discussions confidential until the report became public. However, with the public release of the report, we are now free to speak. Below are our opening comments to the Board. 

Stephen Soldz Comments:

Thank you for having us here. I wish it was under less disturbing circumstances. We have come to discuss with you what we believe needs to be done by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the wake of the imminent release of the Hoffman Report. The conditions of confidentiality requested by the Board and agreed to by us have precluded our being able to discuss our ideas with our colleagues who have joined us for the last decade in our attempts to unveil the web of collusion beneath APA’s policies and actions regarding psychologist participation in sometimes abusive national security interrogations. However, our ideas have benefited from hundreds of hours of discussion with colleagues regarding the steps necessary to put APA on an ethical course. We believe that these ideas reflect those of many others besides ourselves, though we also consider it vital that the voices of those many others be actively heard as we proceed.

I would like to make some opening comments, following which Steven Reisner will describe our ideas for the initial steps needed for APA to right itself and weather the storm that is just over the horizon. We would like to emphasize that these comments and ideas were put down less than 48 hours after we obtained access to the 500+ page Report. Neither of us has even read the entire report, much less absorbed it. Thus, these ideas are preliminary and may well be supplemented by others as we fully absorb the report and discuss with colleagues what should be done.

I would like to begin with a very brief summary of what we take to be the gist of this report. The report documents in exhaustive detail the existence of a years long conspiracy to engage in collusion between senior leadership in the APA and the intelligence community, including the CIA and, most notably, the Department of Defense (DOD). This collusion involves a two-pronged strategy by the APA: First, there was a concerted attempt to generate so-called “ethical” policies on psychologist involvement in interrogations that would provide no constraints whatsoever on psychologists in the military working for DOD and other agencies. The second prong consisted of an elaborate deceptive and dishonest public relations strategy to falsely portray APA policy as concerned with the protection of detainee welfare and human rights.

This collusion included the development of apparently fine-sounding policy statements that were, as the report documents, virtually always vetted directly by DOD officials; manipulation of critics of APA policy to ensure that attempts to change that policy were toothless and did not in fact challenge DOD policies or practices; a strategic decision to turn heads away from increasing evidence on torture and other detainee abuse, including homicides, and on psychologist involvement in that abuse; and the dismissal and/or failure to investigate in any serious way ethical complaints against psychologists alleged to have participated in abusive interrogations, accompanied by repeated assurances from APA officials that all complaints would be comprehensively investigated. This collusion was accompanied by systematic manipulation of APA governance procedures, the active solicitation of opposition to critics by APA staff, and even the recording, in at least two known instances, of falsely claimed “unanimous” votes.

This years-long collusion was accompanied by false statements from every Board and every elected President over the last decade denying the existence of the collusion described in such detail by Mr. Hoffman. The collusion was also accompanied by squelching of critics and, sometimes, by personal attacks upon them in the face of overwhelming evidence in the public record, including media reports and the results of multiple government investigations by Congress and other agencies. Most notable, are the vicious personal attacks upon PENS task force member and national hero Jean Maria Arrigo, who first revealed the collusion, attacks that in one case was distributed widely by the president of the Association; responses to those attacks went unanswered by that President or any other Association official. Other critics have been banned from state psychological association listservs; been attacked by an APA president in the official Monitor on Psychology as “opportunistic commentators masquerading as scholars;” been threatened with possible libel suits and ethics complaints; been disinvited from speaking to and writing for state psychological associations; been surreptitiously recorded by APA staff when having a private conversation with reporters; had venues where they were speaking criticized and even implicitly threatened with loss of accreditation; and called “clowns” in a national psychological newspaper by an individual given numerous awards by APA and its divisions and who is often in APA governance. This, sadly, is only a partial list of the attacks on critics. In none of these instances did people in APA leadership positions stand up to defend the right of critics to speak. These actions were all undertaken against those who sought to uncover the collusion that was denied by Association leadership, including this Board and the current CEO only a few months ago.

That is the background to our meeting today to discuss how the APA should respond to the crisis facing the Association, the profession, and the country. I suspect that some of you have not yet fully grasped the magnitude of this crisis. As the result of its collusion, the APA is likely to become the public face of torture. The press storm will be fierce. Editorials will condemn the Association’s actions. Congress members will weigh in.  Human rights groups, frustrated with the lack of accountability for torture, will be lining up to raise money off of suing the APA. There may be a decade of lawsuits, draining the budget and staff and elected officials’ time. Members will flee and young psychologists will be even more reluctant to join. And the Association’s 501©(3) nonprofit status may be threatened.

More importantly, if not handled correctly, torture collusion will become the public face of the profession we love. There is little doubt that the APA’s actions will go down in history books next to the chapter on the Tuskegee and Guatemalan syphilis experiments. The actions we take in the coming weeks, months, and years will determine how that chapter ends.

I would like to end by outlining what I believe are the fundamental principles that should guide the APA’s actions forward. These are: contrition, accountability, transparency, inclusiveness, and genuine change. Notice that I did not list “healing” or “reconciliation.” Healing and reconciliation are needed, certainly, but this is not the time to talk of them. Before healing can start, we need painful surgery to remove the tumor that our work and the Hoffman Report demonstrate have been at the heart of the APA for the last decade.

Now Steven will describe the preliminary steps necessary to start removing this tumor.


Steven Reisner Comments:

Following on Stephen's comments I want to reiterate: There is a cancer on the APA. You here will have to decide whether to do the necessary surgery or whether you will preside over the death of the association:

There are four issues here:

1.    The APA sacrificed its reputation and independence – perhaps its 501c3 tax exempt status – to align its policies with those of the CIA and the DOD. This was an active campaign, with constant behind the scenes consultation, in order to do the bidding of these agencies, first the CIA, then the DOD.

2.   There was an active campaign to undermine the will of the membership and of the council when they attempted to institute ethical restrictions on such activity. Simultaneously efforts were made to prop up and expand opposing efforts in support of such activity. Sometimes efforts were made to create  opposing efforts to such activity. Thus APA ceased being a member-driven or democratic organization. The letter and spirit of the organizations by-laws were thwarted in favor of this secret agenda pushed by a staff that is supposed to be neutral and facilitative of the will of membership and governance. Instead staff manipulated the council and the membership.

3.   There was a public relations campaign directed to deceive the public and to manipulate governance. To the public the PR campaign made the false claims that APA was acting independently for human rights at the behest of its membership, while in fact it was doing the opposite. Within the organization there was a campaign to influence and manipulate those who opposed the policy or were uninformed and to bully those who would not be manipulated.

4.  All of this was done to advance a program of torture and abuse. It continued long after that program and the psychologists’ role in that program were public knowledge. If this level of manipulation and deception were done solely to secretly promote a government agenda, it would be a scandal; the fact that it was done to support torture and abusive monitoring of and research on detainees, is more than a scandal – it reaches the level of support for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The numbers of APA staff and members of governance involved actively in this disgrace is staggering. It began with a few and rapidly incorporated increasing numbers from top to bottom.

Before I lay out what we believe APA must do, I want to make clear what you are dealing with. If the report is released on July 20th, there will be front-page articles in every major newspaper in this country and around the world on July 21st.

The headlines will read: Report Finds APA Leadership Colluded With Bush Administration in Support of Torture.

What will the subheading read?

“Many named remain in leadership positions”


“APA removes tainted leadership in response to investigation”

This is not a PR problem. This is a survival of the association problem. And there is no good way to get through this. You will face numerous lawsuits and secondary investigations. You will face a hemorrhage of membership and the loss of public trust. And APA is going to lose its central leadership of the past decade and a half.


I will now follow on Stephen’s list of five essential categories of steps that must be taken if the association has a chance of surviving:





Genuine Change



·         Let’s be clear that contrition is not a PR maneuver. Contrition requires thoroughgoing acknowledgement, remorse and change. APA must publicly acknowledge the depth and scope of this failure.

·         Apology to all affected – to the people harmed (detainees), it includes the public and the congress (for not upholding public trust and deceiving them), to the profession, members, former member and non-members for undermining our ethical foundations, opening us up to ridicule and scorn, and damaging our reputation. And to Jean Maria Arrigo.

·         I would like to see an op-ed written by APA leadership in the Times expressing this contrition.


Accountability and Housecleaning

·         Staff involved must be fired

·         Members involved must be banned from governance

·         Bring ethics charges where appropriate.

·         More importantly, APA must publicly recommend state ethics charges where appropriate.

·         Make sure there is no hint of conflicts of interest in any part of governance or staff

·         Those found to be part of the collusion should be stripped of association awards, standing and honors.

·         And then you can give a special award to Jean Maria for being willing to stand up to an onslaught of power and manipulation that no one in this room was willing to stand up to.

I will start with staff. I see that some of the people who need to go are in this room. That in itself tells me that you don’t really yet understand the seriousness of your situation. I want to say that this list is possibly incomplete, because I haven’t yet read every page of the report.

Staff to be fired

Anderson, Honaker, Gilfoyle, Farberman, Garrison, Kelly, Mumford, Behnke.

Governance prohibition effective immediately

Levant, Koocher, Banks, Dunivin, Moorehead-Slaughter, James, Deleon, Gelles, Newman, Gravitz, Shumate, Breckler, Strassberger, Sternberg, Matarrazo, and Anton

Recusal for conflict of interest and investigation of role required


APA needs to recommend to Division and State Association that they do the same.

But housecleaning is a small piece of what is necessary for full accountability.

How do we hold leadership and governance itself accountable?

How do we answer the question, how did this happen and what must we do to insure it doesn’t happen again?

We must have a thoroughgoing and independent institutional review. We need to appoint a blue ribbon panel to evaluate the organizational processes, structures, procedures and culture that allowed this to happen.

The panel must recommend changes in processes, structures and procedures geared to preventing this kind of power manipulation from happening again. It must review APA’s overly close ties to military, intelligence agencies and government; it must in particular look at the potential for corruption in the directorates, in particular the ethics office, the ethics committee and the science directorate. It must investigate the APA voting processes and investigate the opaque entity that counts our votes: Intelliscan

It must further address:

·         The power of staff and how it oversteps its institutional bounds

·         The progressive minimization of the oversight role and authority of Council and restore its authority and responsibility

·         Investigate how staff managed to impede the will of Council and prevent it from happening again (e.g., 1.02, statue of limitations).

We need a committee of ethicists to redesign APA ethics policy and procedures. It may be true that 1.02 was not changed with torture in mind – the fact that it and other standards were weakened under the influence of APAIT is a second scandal unto itself that must be investigated. We also need to reopen ethics cases closed as part of this conspiracy. And if those to be investigated are no longer members, we must recommend state board investigation.

There must be a financial accounting, including DOD, CIA and government money, awards, fellowships and quid pro quos.

We must refer this report and its findings to the FBI and we must cooperate fully in any ensuing investigation.

We must also refer the report to the appropriate Congressional committees, as per Senator Feinstein’s request. These committees include Senate Select CI, SASC, Senate Judiciary, and Senate Committee Health and human services and their counterparts in the House of Representatives. (Like the PENS report)

Policy change

All policies regarding APA and national security must be annulled, including the approval of operational psychology as a subspecialty.

Review of the ethics of national security and operational psychology:

Blue ribbon panel #2 to do a thoroughgoing independent ethical review of the role of psychologists in national security operations. JMA should be a part of such a panel, along with internationally recognized medical ethicists and human rights advocates.

Moratorium on participation in national security interrogation and detention operations during the review process.

No statute of limitation on TCID ethics charges, automatic ethics committee investigation for TCID charges when these arise in the context of national security operations, detention or interrogation activities.

We need to develop guidelines for undertaking such investigations.

For Non-members, APA has to recommend full investigation from the state boards in national security sites and offer them guidelines.



Let this be the last time that APA discussions of such import are held in secret. We need to make all such discussions transparent and easily accessible. We also need to report in plain language:

·         The salaries and perks of staff

·         The lobbying APA does

·         Who gets to represent APA to congress and government and how such people are chosen.

·         Anything else members of council, the membership, or the public wants to know or should be informed of.

We need to make all our deliberations and actions transparent, including these discussions.

We should have APA books publish the Hoffman report; The American Psychologist and the Monitor should publish the Executive Summary.

We should deposit the entire record of the Hoffman investigation deposited into the APA PENS Debate Collection at the archive of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

And we should call for a Congressional investigation into the role of health professionals and health professional organizations roles in support of the torture program and invite the other health professional organizations to do the same.


All stakeholders must be represented in these discussions. These include the broader psychological community, including those who opposed now-tainted APA actions when they occurred and the hundreds or thousands who quit the APA because they recognized this complicity while the elected leadership and staff denied it. In addition, equally important stakeholders are the medical ethics community, human rights advocates, Congress (as seen by the expressed desire of Sen. Feinstein to review the report), and the broader public, as attested to by the extensive press interest in our April report. All of these have a stake in the decisions and initiatives you and we undertake today and in the coming weeks.

Ultimately, and importantly, we must set aside a time in August for a lengthy Town Hall Meeting at the convention where we give the membership a chance to discuss these revelations


Genuine Change -  ??? 


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