Much as we like to fantasize that life is easy and that we can create a perfect world around us, the reality is that living is fraught with ups and downs. Do these life stressors make you think that you have a mental health problem that could be helped by psychotherapy?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or obsessive thoughts you may feel that you should see a doctor or psychotherapist. Perhaps you are having repeated trouble in work situations or recurring difficulty in relationships. These problems are very amenable to being helped by a psychoanalyst.
The purpose of psychoanalytic treatment is to help people change and progress in their lives. The development of self-awareness or insight is a step in achieving that progress. Psychoanalytic treatment explores how unconscious factors affect current relationships and patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior.
The mental health professionals who make up our membership are counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists with additional training in psychoanalytic therapy. They offer psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy and often specialize in different patient groups and mental health problems.
The Find an Analyst or Therapist page on our website lists contact information and specialties for each member. In addition, our members offer a Consultation and Referral Service at 216-229-5959 x123. If you leave your number on this confidential voice mail, a CPC member will call you back and help you to determine the service that you or a family member needs. There is no charge for this service.
Audience members in costume.
The three-day Wonder Woman Symposium that ended last Saturday evening drew large audiences — over one hundred per day for three days– of serious, but fun-loving admirers of the 75-year-old superheroine.
Christie Marston, granddaughter of Wonder Woman’s creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston spoke, as did Laura Siegal, daughter of Jerry Siegel, creator of Cleveland’s own Superman! Major comics artists and writers, including Phil Jimenez, Cameron Stewart, Trina Robbins, and Genevieve Valentine, gave comics presentations and workshops to local high school and college students. Critics such as Carol Tilley, who spoke on the repression of comics within the history of psychiatry, and Pete Coogan of Washington University in St. Louis and Director Comics Studies (also Kent State alum!) spoke on the vexed history of comics within a corporate and often misogynist culture.
Symposium roundtables were lead by Karen Long, manager of the Anisfield Book Award, and Mike Sangiacomo of the Plain Dealer. Comics fans and new converts alike were treated to the history, psychology, and social significance of the comic book/television/film legend in practical, image-based demonstrations, scholarly lectures, and even a lunch time costume-play performance.
A take-away theme of the symposium was that the medium of comics, once proclaimed destructive to children’s moral fiber is now being heralded as the new “novel” media, ripe for the revisions of contemporary concerns regarding diversity, gender equality and social justice. The hope and expectation of this highly publicized and diversely sponsored symposium is to support the non-sexist psychological development of girls and boys and to recognize the importance of fictional role models to healthy, creative and socially astute self-esteem in young people.
Vera Camden (far right) and Speakers
Two CPC members, Training and Supervising Analyst Dr. Vera Camden and early admission student Valentino Zullo were part of the team that organized the event. Besides Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center, principal sponsors included Kent State University, the Ohio Humanities Council, and the Cleveland Public Library.
Cleveland Public Library Auditorium
Nanette Auerhahn, Ph.D.
The CPC Prize Essay Committee is pleased to announce that the winning essay for 2016 is “’I Could Eat You Up’: Philomela, Trauma and Enactment,” submitted by Nanette Auerhahn, Ph.D. Some of you may recall that Dr. Auerhahn received our prize in 2011 for her essay -“Evolution of Traumatic Narratives: Impact of the Holocaust on Three Children of Survivors”. Her current essay explores the question of how trauma that is neither symbolized nor represented in some other fashion is made known to one’s self and others. Dr. Auerhahn sees the problem as one of a powerful defense against the terror of the trauma, and in seeking a paradigm for symbolizing and then understanding of the terror – and then of the trauma – offers the myth of Philomela.
In the myth as told by Ovid, Procne asks her husband Tereus, King of Thrace, to let her see her sister, Philomela, who lives in Athens. Tereus agrees to travel to Athens and to bring Philomela back to Thrace for a visit. He goes to Athens, meets Philomela, immediately lusts for her, and on the return trip rapes her. Then he cuts out her tongue when she threatens to tell her sister. Philomela then weaves a tapestry depicting the story and sends it to Procne who, enraged, kills her son by Tereus, boils him, beheads the body and serves the body as a meal to her husband. The two women then present the severed head to Tereus, making him aware of his cannibalism. Desperate to escape his revenge, they pray to the Gods to be turned into birds; the gods oblige by transforming all three: Procne into a swallow; Philomela into a nightingale; and Tereus into a hoopoe.
Dr. Auerhahn proceeds to dissect the steps in our management of trauma and to demonstrate how the myth offers a general symbolization of the process. She uses several apt clinical examples to bring this to life and ends with an intriguing suggestion that the Philomela myth may offer a way of seeing the connection of pre-oedipal and oedipal functioning.
Dr. Auerhahn will present her paper at a meeting of the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center on Friday, January 6, 2017, at which time her prize will be presented.
The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center held its Annual Meeting June 21st, and it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up on changes, events, and activities. After the opening welcome by Victoria Vermes, President of the Board of Trustees, there were three very informative presentations by members.
The first was a presentation by Candidate Danielle Dronet of an outreach initiative known as “Siggy’s Village,” in the Cleveland neighborhood of Collinwood. “Siggy’s Village,” is a community garden with a market, and a recreation and therapeutic center where the goal is to work with local community agencies and schools to introduce psychoanalytic ideas and therapy to adults, children and families. Siggy’s Village was written about in the January 2016 Candidate Connection, the theme of which is “Psychoanalysis in the Neighborhood.”
Dr. Vera Camden and Candidate Valentino Zullo updated everyone on the progress of the upcoming Wonder Woman Symposium, and gave us some background on the origin of Wonder Woman and her role as a feminist icon. Her creator, William Moulton Marston expressed that his intention in 1941was to create a new woman who would be empowered to take on the leadership of the world and deliver it to peace. The symposium will be September 22-24, 2016 at the Cleveland Public Library. The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center is a partnering sponsor with the Ohio Humanities Council, Kent State University, the Baker Nord Foundation and the Friends of the Cleveland Public Library.
Next members learned of ongoing structural changes at APsaA and what these changes might mean to the various institutes and member organizations, including our own. Dr. Richard Lightbody, APsaA Councilor, presented a glossary of changes to the regulation of psychoanalytic education, standards, and accreditation. Dr. Drew Clemens, chair of the APsaA by-laws committee and Dr. Kay McKenzie, member of the American Board of Psychoanalysis, contributed to the discussion.
Finally, the head of our program committee, Catherine Sullivan, reported on scheduled events through May 2017, and stated that our Visiting Scholar Weekend will again be with Virginia Ungar, M.D. Event details are available from our online calendar or our Facebook page.