Dear Academy Members,
Our Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 18 through May 20, was the first in-person event we have had in three years and was a great success in a number of ways. First, it reconnected us with friends we hadn’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic in ways we couldn’t do with Zoom. People hugged and laughed and smiled, grabbing seats together to catch up over coffee and food. New friendships were formed over discussions of the presentations and by introductions to welcoming strangers. Secondly, it showed that the Academy continues to provide wonderful educational programs for psychiatrists committed to psychodynamic and psycho-analytic treatments. The presentations ranged from the origins of xenophobia, to Allen Ginsberg’s psychotic illness, to a reflection on 50 years of clinical practice, to suicides in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to the impact of global warming.
It is this educational function of the Academy that I would like to focus on. At present, we have two ongoing educational efforts. One is our Annual Meeting, and the other is our monthly scientific presentations, both of which provide CME credit. The annual meetings are organized by a Chair, selected by the Committee on Scientific Programs, who assembles a planning committee. Over the course of a year, a meeting theme is chosen, a keynote speaker is invited, a call for papers is sent out, and the program is assembled from the submissions. The program of monthly scientific presentations, now in its fourth year, has been the creation of Dr. Gerald Perman who established this program, when the pandemic shut down our in-person Annual Meetings, to provide ongoing educational opportunities to our membership. The presentations are 90 minutes, with a 60 minute lecture and a 30 minute audience interaction. They have been uniformly excellent, and provide 1.5 CME credits each. It is surprising to me that participation at these educational events has been so modest. We had 80 registrants for the Annual Meeting in San Francisco and average approximately 30 attendees to the monthly scientific presentations. Are we missing what our memberships would find appealing?
In light of this, I wonder if there would be interest in study groups that might be organized around specific topics of interest and meet monthly. For example, I would like to be part of a study group on psychodynamic psychopharmacology, that would share up to date medication information and clinical experience with difficult cases. Other appealing possibilities might be psychoanalytic perspectives on the arts, on film, on photography, on neuroscience, on therapies such as CBT, EMDR, hypnosis, TMS. I would love to hear from you about what you would like to see the Academy provide for your professional growth and interest.
With best regards,
Joe Silvio, President