From the editors

Psychology graduate students regularly work with the disadvantaged yet their coursework rarely addresses the needs of this population.

By Ruth Fallenbaum, PhD and Ghislaine Boulanger, PhD

Often clinics in which psychology graduate students train are situated in the inner city where they find themselves working with disadvantaged clients . Yet their course work often fails to address the needs of the particular populations they are expected to treat. In this issue, we take a look at two training programs in which graduate students and interns are being prepared to provide psychoanalytic psychotherapy in a way that addresses the issues that arise in working with people of diverse classes, ethnicities, sexualities, and national backgrounds. Bart Magee and Ruth Simon describe the rigorous supervision and training that interns at San Francisco’s Access Clinic are offered as they engage their patients in intensive, long-term psychodynamic treatment. In an interview with Ruth Fallenbaum, Richard Ruth describes the clinic staffed by George Washington University graduate students in the heart of Washington. He emphasizes that graduate students today contend with homophobic, sexist, and hegemonic theories that do not reflect the lives that they or their patients are living. The Psychoanalytic Activist would welcome hearing from other universities and training programs in which these issues are being addressed.

In the President’s Column, Nancy Hollander continues this theme by describing Section IX’s commitment to progressive positions on a range of human rights, class, racial, and gendered equity struggles. She describes the work of two members who have set themselves the task of bringing psychoanalytically-informed perspectives and interventions to psychological experience in the social world.

This September will mark the fifth anniversary of the passage of the American Psychological Association’s member-initiated referendum banning psychologists from working in detention facilities that are in violation of International Law. By a twenty point margin, APA members voted that psychologists should not work in such facilities, thus obligating the APA to implement that position as policy. Has anything changed since September 2008? Division 39 President, Frank Summers, provides some disheartening answers to this question.