Sexualities and Gender Identities Committee Report: May 2011

Drs. Pytluk, Iasenza, & Sand Division 39’s Sexualities and Gender Identities Committee (SGI) participated in the 2011 Spring Meeting in a number of exciting new ways. First, SGI co-sponsored two panels with the Division’s Committee on Multicultural Concerns (CMC) that focused on intersecting identities. The first panel was entitled “Multiple Jeopardy Part I: The Intersection of Social Identities” and featured Beverly Greene, PhD, ABPP; Ruth Lijtmaer, PhD, Melanie Suchet, PhD, and was chaired and moderated by SGI Co-Chair Scott Pytluk, PhD.

Later that same day, the second panel, entitled “Multiple Jeopardy Part II: A Clinical Case Discussion of the Intersection of Race/Ethnicity, Religion and Sexual Orientation,” featured a compelling case presentation by Colin F. Ennis, PsyD Beverly Greene and Melanie Suchet discussed Colin’s presentation and the lively discussion with the audience, and among the panelists, was moderated by CMC Chair Usha Tummala-Narra, PhD.

Second, the committee presented its first annual Division 39 SGI Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Psychoanalytic Study of Sexuality & Gender to Suzanne Iasenza, PhD. Newly appointed SGI Co-Chair Shara Sand, PsyD, presented this award, which recognizes professional contributions to queer psychoanalysis. Dr. Sand stated:

"Suzanne has contributed to psychoanalysis and the study of sexuality and gender in many ways. She has taught and supervised as a professor at John Jay College, City University of New York and at Pace University. She is currently on the faculty of the Derner Institute Post Doctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, Adelphi University and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. She received her doctorate from NYU and her analytic training from the International Institute for Object Resolution Therapy in Bethesda, Maryland. She also completed the New Directions Writing Program at the Washington Analytic Society. She credits this experience as formative and critical in her development as writer.

In 1995 she co-edited, along with Judith Glassgold, Lesbians and Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Theory and Practice. This was followed by the 2004 volume, also edited with Judith, titled Lesbians, Feminism and Psychoanalysis; The Second Wave. She has also published widely on her work with couples, particularly in the area of sex, sexuality, and gender. Suzanne is an active and engaging speaker who has made sure the analytic community knows that lesbians do more then merge and cuddle, that they also have sex. I have been honored to work with her and am proud to present her with this award."

Brian Brown SGI also supported the attendance of a graduate student at the 2011 Spring Meeting, which the committee hopes to do every year. This year’s travel grant awardee was Brian S. Brown, MA, a graduate student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a fellow at The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis. Brian has dedicated much of his clinical work and research to the LGBTQ community and has presented nationally on topics related to this population. He garnered experience in psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment at Center on Halsted, Chicago’s LGBTQ Community Center. Currently, Brian works as a Psychology Extern at University of Chicago and will begin his predoctoral internship at Stanford University in the fall. Brian says that he is thrilled to be a new committee member of SGI.

SGI was formed by Division 39 Past Presidents Jonathan Slavin and Maureen Murphy, and appreciates the support of Division 39’s Board of Directors and members. In addition to Co-Chairs Scott Pytluk and Shara Sand, the committee consists of Brian Brown, Priscilla Butler, Dennis Debiak, Martin Devine, Karen Dias, Colin Ennis, Rhonda Factor, Past Co-Chair Ken Maguire, William Spell, Andy Suth, and Margaret Whilde.