Letter from the CFS Board of Directors
In the past few days, we have been witness to events that have shaken us to the core as Americans. Our commitment to democratic values, to thoughtful resolution of conflict, and to the peaceful transfer of power has been challenged in ways and to a degree unimaginable until recently, by the violence of fellow Americans stoked by their enablers in the White House and in Congress. For four years now, we have been at the mercy of a deranged leader who has been willing to sacrifice the lives, health, safety and well being of human beings to further his own stranglehold on power and control. We join the ranks of others in the psychoanalytic world in standing up to register our strongest condemnation of these murderous and shameful acts.
Painfully, as students of human behavior, we have watched without surprise as this demagogic leader has stirred his followers and legitimized their primitive rage, fueling racism, anti-semitism, misogyny and hatred of the weak and infirm in the most sordid ways, epitomizing cruel and inhumane behavior. Many, including experts in mental health, have expressed their outrage and mounting concerns about the unbridled behavior of the president and his facilitators during the course of this administration, to no avail. How is it that, we, the American people, have allowed this to happen?
Psychoanalysts understand that human beings protect themselves from facing aspects of reality that cause overwhelming distress. The wish to believe in the inherent goodness and power of paternal leaders can be mesmerizing for followers who are challenged in their own sense of empowerment and efficacy and we can understand, although not condone, the impulse to subsume themselves to follow the leadership of a demagogue.
As psychoanalysts, we are emphatic in our conviction that understanding is the most important element in increasing self-awareness and improving how we live our lives and the world we live in. However, we are also humble enough to acknowledge when curiosity and understanding are not sufficient; when actions must be taken. We find ourselves in a time of national crisis, confronting massive attacks on basic freedoms that involve attempts to twist and poison minds as well as to mobilize violence against individuals and democratic institutions. This is a time for action.
Thus, the Board of Directors of the Contemporary Freudian Society urges the immediate removal and/or impeachment of Donald Trump, actions that need to be taken in order to condemn his egregious behavior as well as prevent him from ever running for public office again. In addition, we urge that members of Congress who actively stoked the flames of violence ahead of last Wednesday should be removed from office. This is essential in order to begin the process of re-establishing the US as a place in which it is safe to think, work, and live together with those with whom we do not agree. While many factors led to the attack on the Capitol building last Wednesday, including unconscious dynamics, none can be addressed until Donald Trump and his enablers are held accountable.
The Contemporary Freudian Society’s
Commitment to Anti-Racism
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin
The Contemporary Freudian Society strives to be an anti-racist organization standing in solidarity with Black, indigenous, and all people of color. Racism is a scourge on our country’s history and deeply embedded in the psychic life of all Americans. The evidence of the ubiquity of conscious and unconscious racism is incontrovertible.
As psychoanalysts, we are committed to bearing witness, exploring, understanding and excavating the internalized aspects of racism and dynamics of privilege. We restate our commitment to making use of our unique knowledge and skills for the enhancement of human life. It is incumbent upon us to continue to review and revise our curriculum to include accurate representation for diverse lives and diverse experience. We continue to work toward the long overdue goal of increasing access to psychoanalytic training and treatment for people of color. And we, as an organization, are fully committed to ensuring that our community is a place in which inclusivity and diversity flourish, and where all members feel enabled to engage in dialogue in a spirit of equity and understanding so that we may all grow toward a greater capacity to inhabit one another’s experience.
The Contemporary Freudian Society
Board of Directors
“The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and our Current Crises: The Psychological Impact of Race, Politics, Economics and COVID”
Co-Sponsored by the International Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association,
and the Contemporary Freudian Society.
We invite you to step into the Virtual Psychoanalytic Museum. . .
The Virtual Psychoanalytic Museum is an on-line center where one can ‘virtually’ stroll through its halls and view exhibits where artists and analysts unite psychoanalysis with poetry, jazz, classical music and photography. It houses an original, edgy and innovative take on psychoanalysis.
Enter here: The Virtual Psychoanalytic Museum
The SPRING Project is an outreach initiative sponsored by the Contemporary Freudian Society. The Project helps expectant and postpartum mothers and their families who are experiencing mood-related problems during pregnancy and after having a baby.
The SPRING Project – support for pregnancy, raising infants, navigating growth – is operating in the New York, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD metropolitan areas. Learn more about the Project at www.springproject.org!
Our Training Institute has its own dedicated website. Training is offered in both NYC and in DC. Our trainees come from locations across the East Coast, including Baltimore, Miami, Connecticut, Norfolk and Charlottesville. Training provides in-depth instruction in multiple theoretical perspectives, including Contemporary Freudian, Contemporary Kleinian, Bionian, Winnicottian and Kohutian. For more information about training to become a psychoanalyst and other training opportunities, and to learn more about our current candidates and faculty, please visit instituteofcfs.org.
Learn more about the Psychoanalytic Training Institute of the CFS:
New releases from CFS members:
co-edited by Kerry Malawista (with Robert Winer)
co-edited by Drs. Paula Ellman and Nancy Goodman
by Dr. Helen Gediman
© 2015-2019 The Contemporary Freudian Society