Messages from the President

Joanna E. Chambers, M.D.
AAPDPP President (2020-2022)

Dear AAPDPP Members,
I am writing about the recent protests against police brutality and the racism that has plagued our nation for far too long. As an organization that focuses on understanding and healing trauma, we understand that this work extends to the trauma of racism. We stand by the recent statement made by the APA (, however, I believe that it is important to go beyond words and statements. The newly assembled Strategic Plannin)g Task Force will consider diversity a primary mission as we address the needs of our current members, the recruitment of new members, and the patient population that we serve. As always, I sincerely invite each and every one of you to contact me at any time with suggestions, with questions, with answers, with your thoughts and sentiments.

Joanna (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))


Dear Colleagues,

It is a tremendous honor for me to serve as the of President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.  I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Jerry Perman, who has served as the President of the Academy for the past 2 years and has mentored me in preparation for my upcoming role. This transition of leadership is occurring during a time of extraordinary uncertainty.  While the world is facing a pandemic with severe consequences, we are each trying to find meaning in this surreal situation in our own ways.  Our relationships with loved ones, with patients, and with friends and acquaintances have taken on new meanings as we struggle through a world of ‘social isolation’.  It is perhaps ironic that the theme of the 64th Annual Meeting was “Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Relationships”, which sadly had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.  I am hopeful that we will restore the theme in 2021 in Los Angeles, as our relationships, changed in a variety of ways, will undoubtedly continue to be paramount in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

While the pandemic is changing our world and how we see our roles in it, our organization is also experiencing change.  As we are recruiting members who are younger, with various experiences in the field of psychiatry, the needs of our members are shifting.  It is imperative that we take a fresh look at how we can best support our members in their work. Together with the Office Administration and Budget Committee, I hope to develop a task force to evaluate the future of the organization from a membership-needs perspective.  Our members are increasingly practicing in a changing world.  To add to this, the field of psychiatry is facing its own uncertainty as pharmacology and neuroscience research have not decreased the suffering from mental health and addiction over the past 30 years as effectively as was originally hoped. It is clear that psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis have a vital role to serve in addressing the needs of our population.  The Academy has a unique opportunity to pave the way for integrated models of care where neuroscience and psychodynamics are both considered in the causes as well as treatments of mental health. 

It is with sadness that we are also facing a change in the editorship of “Psychodynamic Psychiatry”, the official Journal of the Academy.  As many of you know, Dr. Richard Friedman passed away on March 31, 2020.  He was a long-standing academy member and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal. It has been heartwarming to see sentiments written in the New York Times, as well as a very moving article in the New Yorker about the life and the work of Dr. Friedman.  A search committee led by past president, Dr. David Lopez, will begin the critical process of selecting a new Editor-in-Chief, to begin a five year term in 2022.  The Journal will be continued under solid leadership with Dr. Jennifer Downey and Dr. Cesar Alfonso as Interim Editor-in-Chiefs. 

As we proceed through this time of change and uncertainty, I very much look forward to working with all of you.  I sincerely invite each and every one of you to contact me at any time with suggestions, with questions, with answers, with your thoughts and sentiments.


The American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysisy
Executive Director: Jacquelyn T. Coleman, CAE
One Regency Drive - P.O. Box 30 - Bloomfield, CT 06002
Tel: 1-888-691-8281 - Fax: 860-286-0787 - E-Mail: