Tenbusch, Ph.D. - 2002 Annual Letter to the Membership

2002 Annual Letter to the Membership 

November 23, 2002

Dear Academy Members,

I greet you all from the perspective of fourteen months as president of the Academy for the Study of the Psychoanalytic Arts. During these months, it has been my privilege to work with a most impressive group of people. I have been humbled to witness the efforts and accomplishments of the board and committee members whose passionate and tireless efforts have sustained this organization. The spirit of support within which I have functioned as president is ineffable. 

Since August 2001, The LEAP, Program and CIC Committees have executed a variety of impressive objectives. The activities of our secretary, treasurer, and membership chair are by nature less public and perhaps less dramatic. However lacking in glamour, their contributions are deeply demanding and profoundly crucial to the functioning of our organization. While I make no pretext at doing justice to the efforts of our board members, I will try to summarize their activities below. 

The Program Committee sponsored the following programs: In March 2002, Ian Parker, Ph.D. delivered a paper entitled 'Psychoanalytic Narratives: Writing the Self into Contemporary Cultural Phenomena'. The May 2002 program was jointly sponsored with the Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (MSPP). At that time David L. Downing, Psy.D. presented 'Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Film: Paranoiac Visions and Neo-Realities in The Recent Cinema'. The June 2002 program consisted of a half- day presentation by David Walker, Ph.D. during which he spoke about his experience as a psychologist working with the sovereign Yakama Indian Nation. In September 2002 Judith E. Vida, M.D. engaged the audience in a presentation entitled 'Drawn to the Asylum: In Search of Missing Parts (on the way to a possible 
conversation). She included an audio-visual slide presentation of drawings and artwork from the Prinzhorn Collection. This program was jointly sponsored with Michigan Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology.

The LEAP Committee changed its name from 'Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Psychoanalysis' to 'Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy'. This change was informed by the fact that many non-psychoanalytic individuals and groups across the country are working to combat the crush of industrialized health care. The revised name facilitates expansion of our target audience from psychoanalytic practioners to all 
psychotherapists committed to preserving professional freedom. 

Additionally the LEAP Committee has made contacts with other groups working toward similar goals. These groups include, but are not limited to: humanistic psychologists in Division 32 of APA; psychologists in Colorado who were able to block a state effort requiring psychologists to diagnose and maintain records for all client contacts; and the Oregon chapter of the American Mental Health Alliance which is attempting to establish legitimacy of many (long-term) therapies 
currently threatened by practice guidelines/ 'best practices'. Members can read about these efforts on the LEAP section of our Website.

The Community Information Committee (CIC) has continued to develop a network of electronic resources for the purpose of disseminating information on the Academy and its members to the public. This network includes search engines, topical portals, professional sites, and discussion lists. Since August 2001 the CIC has added nineteen scholarly papers to the Academy's library. 

In addition, the CIC has maintained and expanded the Website, added a Search page allowing visitors to explore resources on the site, examined options for a message board, and is currently considering design changes to accommodate the Academy's activities and exposure.

Our membership chair added two members to our roster and relentlessly provided informational materials at all Academy programs. Our treasurer kept our fiduciary meanderings within the green lines, softly but persuasively herding us away from the red. Our secretary's patience defines the concept of limitless. She diligently recorded our discourse, whether inchoate or fast and furious, wrapped it in words and delivered an articulate rendition. The past president brought to 
each meeting his enthused commitment to the mission of the Academy. He presided over an Ad Hoc committee providing research to explicate discussions of future direction. Following his footprints has been nothing short of daunting.

As a board, we spent several long meetings articulating a direction for the Academy. We decided on a formal position opposing Mandatory Continuing Education, selected Thomas Szasz, M.D. as an honorary member of the Academy and we are now in the process of considering what changes will be made to the Website to render it more user-friendly. 

During these past fourteen months various academy members have presented papers and participated in many programs. I would like to cite all of them, but fear I will miss someone. So forgive me for making a general congratulatory reference.
I hope this missive finds you all healthy and fulfilled. Please know that I welcome hearing from you at any time.

Lynne G. Tenbusch, Ph.D., President