Occupy psychoanalysts

We discuss how psychoanalysts are participating in the "occupy" movement, and the Div. 39 April meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico
By Nancy Hollander, PhD

This issue of The Psychoanalytic Activist includes articles about the Occupy movement, including first-hand reports and photographs by some Section IX members. As you know, the Occupy movement is a civil and nonviolent series of protests against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government, undeclared ongoing wars that deplete national budgets that could be dedicated to address our huge domestic needs, and elected officials who are more interested in their own re-elections than in representing the citizens who elected them. In our commitment to social responsibility, the Section board has followed the lead of other progressive professionals and artists to create a website, Occupy Psychoanalysts. We invite those of you who have not yet signed the statement on the site to do so and to use and add to the number of links that provide information about the movement. We urge you to contribute to the site, which is still in a rudimentary state. Some of our colleagues have offered mental health services to Occupy activists, and colleagues in other countries have been active as well. For example, our British counterpart, Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, has planned a series of events under the rubric Psychopolitics: Occupy the Madness, the venues of which are Tent City University, Occupy LSX, St Paul’s, London. We are hoping that in the coming year, our Board can provide a direction for members who will be interested in organizing events to address the psychological impact of living in a society so deeply divided between the 99 and the one percent.

Join Us!

We on the Section IX board are aware of how busy all of our lives are and how difficult it is to add yet more activities to already jammed schedules. However, those of us who have been active on the board and/or its committees have found this closer ongoing contact with like-minded colleagues has been a source of comfort, liveliness and fun — an antidote to life in an increasingly despairing and alienating world. We welcome you to become active in the life of our section, and in this regard, I want to let you know that we have changed our bylaws to the following:

Members, fellows and affiliates of Division 39 who are interested in psychoanalysis in relation to social issues are eligible to join Section IX as members. The position of Section Representative to the division board must be in compliance with the bylaws of Division 39, so that psychologists must be members of APA in order to run for division representative.

I look forward to seeing you during the Division 39 meetings in April in glorious Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our Section activities are all on Saturday, April 21: our invited panel is from 10 a.m. to noon; our board meeting is from noon - 2 p.m. (we urge you to attend as observers); and our reception is at 6 P.M. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to join our Section, as our engagement in addressing the social matrix of psychic conflict and pain could not be more relevant in today’s world.

Nancy Hollander


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