It was my privilege to be selected as one of the 2017 Section IV travel awards. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dallas, where I provide psychological services in an OB/GYN department of a local hospital. At this early stage in my career, I am eager to become more involved in Div. 39 and my local chapter, Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology. This award allowed me to travel to New York for the Div. 39 spring meeting, which is something I would have not been able to afford without this financial support. It was also an unexpected delight for me to attend the Section IV meeting; I came away from that motivated to increase my involvement in the leadership of my local chapter. This was my first time attending the Div. 39 spring meeting. In addition to the Section IV meeting, I also attended some fantastic presentations and accrued 14 CEUs. I was especially interested in the presentation, “Parents as Clinicians and Clinicians as Parents” (Kevin Meehan, PhD; Elizabeth Zick, PhD; Monique Bowen, PhD; Paul Donahue, PhD; Steve Tuber, PhD). I myself am not a parent, but I work primarily with pregnant and postpartum women as they face parenthood in a new way. This presentation was very helpful for me to think through ways of working with parents as they struggle with conflicted feelings of grace and anger, joy and sorrow.
Another presentation that was particularly compelling to me was Allan Schore’s keynote address, “Moving Forward: New Findings on the Right Brain and Their Implications for Psychoanalysis.” Like many, I am a big fan of his work and it was a delight to see him present in person. My local chapter is bringing him to Dallas in the fall for an invited workshop: his keynote reaffirmed my enthusiasm for further training with him, and I am now eager to become more involved in coordinating his visit to Dallas.
I was also particularly impressed with a graduate student panel entitled, “From the Couch to the Community: Exploring Diverse Applications of Psychoanalysis,” organized by Laura Captari, MA. Some of the speakers on this panel were exceptional presenters, which was quite inspiring as an early career professional. I was especially interested in the paper by two students from University of Texas Austin, Crystal Guevara and Hannah McDermott, who discussed how they negotiate self-disclosure in working with Latina women in a detention center. Their experiences sounded similar to some of mine, and their discussion of linguistic code shifting really resonated with me.
I am very grateful that the Section IV travel grant allowed me to attend these and other presentations. I am also very excited about my mentorship pairing with Tedi Koehn, PsyD. I am grateful that she is based in Dallas so we will be able to meet in person. I am also delighted to learn that she specializes in women’s issues, which is what I hope to specialize in as well. This kind of one-on-one mentorship can be invaluable as an early career professional (ECP) building a practice in Dallas, so I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
Please share my gratitude to all involved in this wonderful scholarship program. Thank you so much for your generosity.