The Essay Contest Committee of the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center has announced that the winner of the prize for 2013 is Beth Ash, Ph.D. for her essay entitled “A Consulting Room of Their Own: Film Representations of Psychotherapy Between the Female Clinician and Female Patient in the Contexts of Second-Wave Feminism.” Dr. Ash has examined three films representative of the second-wave period of feminism – “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden,” ” An Unmarried Woman,” and “The Bell Jar” – and demonstrates their important function in moving along the feminist movement, in contradiction to other critiques of them as “insufficiently attuned to historical change” and missing possibilities for creativity in film culture. She concludes with a deep analysis on a fourth film of that period, “A Question of Silence,” in which she finds the important depiction of “the NO!”, the diagnosis of C-PTSD and the legal defense of environmental hardship.
The committee found the essay clear, pertinent, and written with an enthusiasm that was palpable. It’s seen as an important reconsideration of the depictions of the female therapist in films of the 60’s to mid-80’s.
Arrangements are being made for Dr. Ash to present her paper at a meeting at the Center.