SANDOR RADO LECTURE-Ferenczi, Balint and Rado, and the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Tradition

the sixty-fourth annual

Ferenczi, Balint and Rado, and the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Tradition

Tuesday, May 3, 2022
8:00 PM


Adrienne Harris, Ph.D.

Faculty and Supervisor, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University
Faculty Member and a Supervisor, Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California
Editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, Studies In Gender and Sexuality, and IPA ejournal
Co-editor of the Book Series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis

This lecture surveys three deeply brilliant and original psychoanalytic thinkers, all members of the Budapest Psychoanalytic School. I track their contributions to psychoanalysis and locate many of their values and concerns in the philosophy and principles of the Budapest school. A focus on clinical concerns was central to this group, producing many innovations and powerful understandings of analytic work and process. Work by these analysts on femininity, on process, on trauma and early development, and on medical education will be discussed.

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Trauma and the Art of Transformation: Dutch Painter and Bergen-Belsen Survivor Sieg Maandag

Tuesday, April 5 at 8 PM

The Imperative of Racial Trauma: Truth and Reconciliation in America: Continuing the Work of Margaret Morgan Lawrence, M.D.

Presenter: Dawn Skorczewski, Ph.D.

Discussant: Adele Tutter, M.D.

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

Professor Dawn Skorczewski will discuss her recent book, Sieg Maandag: Life and Art in the Aftermath of Bergen-Belsen. Sieg Maandag (1937-2013) was seven years old when he was liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Separated from his parents, he survived the war with his sister and 50 other Dutch children. A photo of Sieg walking beside a row of bodies in liberated Bergen-Belsen shocked the world when it appeared in Life magazine on May 9, 1945. His mother used this photo to find him in Amsterdam after the war; his father never returned. After trying his hand at the family diamond trade and clothing design and traveling the world, Maandag devoted the rest of his life to painting and ceramics in Amsterdam. In interviews, he often remarked, “I was always a painter.” In his haunting and healing paintings and ceramics, Maandag expresses the suffering and joys of life in what Lawrence Langer terms the “afterdeath” of Bergen-Belsen.

This program will consider questions about life after trauma, violence, and loss. What makes life possible after life-threatening trauma? What is the role of art and literature in doing justice to the past and imagining different futures? What is the relationship between trauma and art? Dr. Skorczewski will interpolate Sieg Maandag’s oral history and writings with a presentation of his visual art, the totality of which gives voice to his experiences and create a dialogue between trauma and visual representation.

Dawn Skorczewski Ph.D. is Research Professor of English Emerita at Brandeis University and Lecturer at Amsterdam University College. She has written widely about psychoanalysis, education, poetry, and the Holocaust. Her books include An Accident of Hope: The Therapy Tapes of Anne Sexton and Teaching One Moment at a Time: Disruption and Repair in the Classroom. She has authored articles in JAPAPsychoanalytic QuarterlyAmerican Imago, and The American Psychoanalyst. She has been a Fulbright Scholar and was a winner of APSA’s CORST award as well as the Gondor Award for her contributions to psychoanalytic education. Her next book addresses the life and work of Wim Ten Broek, a painter who was in the Dutch Resistance and designed the iconic posters of the Holland America Line.

Adele Tutter, M.D., Ph.D. is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, the Vagelos School of Medicine; Director, the Psychoanalytic Studies Program of the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society in the Graduate School of Arts and Science; and Faculty, the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, all at Columbia University. She is also on the faculty of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Her interdisciplinary scholarship has earned the American Psychoanalytic Association Menninger, CORST, and Ticho prizes, among others. A long-time member of the editorial boards of The International Journal of PsychoanalysisPsychoanalytic Quarterly, and American Imago, she maintains a private practice in psychoanalysis in Manhattan.


The Imperative of Racial Trauma: Truth and Reconciliation in America

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 8 PM

The Imperative of Racial Trauma: Truth and Reconciliation in America: Continuing the Work of Margaret Morgan Lawrence, M.D.

Presenter: Dionne Powell, M.D.

Discussant: Susan Coates, Ph.D.

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

Special Event: The APM presents the inaugural Margaret Morgan Lawrence Lecture featuring our esteemed colleague, Dr. Dionne Powell. This biennial lecture brings to the Columbia community speakers who apply psychoanalytic theory or practice to racially and culturally diverse community contexts and honors the life and work of Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence.
There are numerous psychic impingements on a global and national level that can no longer defensively be ignored: the consequences of global warming; a pandemic with new variants on the horizon; democracies in crisis, with people increasingly living in fear and peril. In America, these fears have accelerated our political divide. I propose that at its root our long standing stalemate in reconciling democracy with slavery, freedom with human bondage and ownership, and therefore race, has reached an inflection point that heightens fear and threatens our republic. We are a society that is unconsciously in bondage from the cumulative transgenerational traumas of unacknowledged, un-metabolized racial tensions and hostilities.

Where and how do psychoanalytic ideas and thinking provide a framework to understand these entrenched phenomena and how can we be of some benefit in these challenging times? This lecture attempts to bring our psychoanalytic thinking closer to the psychic and societal vulnerabilities housed in mind that is modern society. This requires first acknowledgment of our fears and traumas as clinicians that paralyze our functioning, with attempts at moving beyond our silence; and using our voices and our writing to convey the power of unconscious influences that shape our behaviors and reactions. By engaging in this type of work we can move away from the powerful influence of familial unconscious generational trauma that transforms ghosts and traumas into ancestors and psychic freedom.

While many have spoken to these challenges, Margaret Morgan Lawrence in her life and work embodied these efforts and was prescient in bringing an integrating, resilient approach providing a guide to what I am speaking of in terms of the adversities, traumas and obstacles that Lawrence tackled head on finding an inner steadfast vitality, resilience and humanity that she shared with her patients, community and colleagues as a pediatrician and psychoanalyst. As a profession we have within us a similar healing force that has never been more needed than today.

Dionne Powell, M.D.

Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dionne Powell is the author of From the Sunken Place to the Shitty Place: The Film Get Out, Psychic Emancipation and Modern Race Relations from a Psychodynamic Clinical Perspective (The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 2020), and Race, African Americans, and Psychoanalysis: Collective Silence in the Therapeutic Situation (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2018, JAPA prize recipient). She is the section editor on racial and ethnic diversities for the 2nd edition of Glen Gabbard’s Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments (2022). Dr. Powell has received numerous awards including the Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine’s 2018 George Daniels Award, the American Psychoanalytic Association Candidate’s Council 2020-2021 Master Teacher Award, and in May 2022 she will be awarded the Solomon Carter Fuller Award by the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Powell is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at Columbia Psychoanalytic, and the Psychoanalytic Association of New York (PANY), Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, founding member of Black Psychoanalysts Speak (next BPS Virtual Conference May 14-15, 2022) and is co-chair of the Holmes Commission for Racial Equity in Psychoanalysis (APsaA sponsored). Dr. Powell is in full time private practice.

Dr. Susan Coates is a psychoanalyst and Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry and an author of numerous articles in her special areas of interest in child trauma, attachment, and gender. Dr. Coates is an editor with Dan Schechter and Jane Rosenthal, of the book September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds. She is a co-founding Director with Karen Gilmore of the Parent- Infant Psychotherapy Training Program at Columbia Psychoanalytic and is on the Board of Directors of the Margaret Mahler Foundation. She teaches a course on Intergenerational Transfer of Trauma and Resilience. Her Expert Interview on Trauma in Children: Considerations for Care after Hurricane Katrina is available at Medscape Psychiatry.

Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence was born in Harlem in 1914 and grew up in Virginia and in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She cited her older brother’s death in infancy as one of the main reasons she sought to pursue a career in medicine. Despite facing the obstacles of repeated systemic discrimination and oppression throughout her education and training, Dr. Lawrence ultimately graduated from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1940 as the only Black student in her class. She was the first Black psychoanalytic candidate at the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and then became the first Black woman to become a psychoanalyst in the United States in 1948.

A pathbreaking child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Dr. Lawrence served as chief of developmental psychiatry services at Harlem Hospital for 20 years. Among her many accomplishments, she established a racially integrated co-op community, was a founding trustee of the Harlem Family Institute (a multicultural psychoanalytic institute), treated families in Harlem and Rockland County, and established a mental health service in the local Rockland County school system.

Her daughter, Professor Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot, describes Dr. Lawrence’s revolutionary approach to the psyche in her biography of her mother: “She understood that not just the interior life of a person but their context in the life of the family as well as forces in the community — particularly forces that are discriminatory — can leave people oppressed and marginalized.”


Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 8 PM

Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia

Presenter: George Makari, M.D.

Discussant: Kwame Anthony Appiah

By 2016, it was impossible to ignore an international resurgence of xenophobia. What had happened? Looking for clues, psychiatrist and historian George Makari started out in search of the idea’s origins. To his astonishment, he discovered that while a fear and hatred of strangers may be ancient, the notion of a dangerous bias called “xenophobia” arose not so long ago.

Coined by late-nineteenth-century doctors and political commentators and popularized by an eccentric stenographer, xenophobia emerged alongside Western nationalism, colonialism, mass migration, and genocide. Makari chronicles the concept’s rise, from its popularization and perverse misuse to its spread as an ethical principle in the wake of a series of calamities that culminated in the Holocaust and its sudden reappearance in the twenty-first century. He then investigates attempts to psychologically understand the rise of xenophobia through the writings of innovators like Walter Lippmann, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Frantz Fanon. Weaving together history, philosophy, and psychology, Makari offers us a unifying paradigm by which we might more clearly comprehend how irrational anxiety and contests over identity sweep up groups and lead to the dark headlines of division so prevalent today.

Historian, psychoanalyst, and psychiatrist George Makari is the author of the newly released Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia, a New York Times Editor’s Choice. He is also the author of Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind and the widely acclaimed Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis. His essays have won numerous honors, including twice winning the JAPA Essay Prize, and have also appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry: History, Policy, and the Arts, Dr. Makari is Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Adjunct Professor at both Rockefeller University and the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He attended Brown University, Cornell University Medical College, and the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center.

Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU. He was born in London, but moved as an infant to Kumasi, Ghana, where he grew up. He has BA and PhD degrees in philosophy at Cambridge and has taught philosophy in Ghana, France, Britain, and the United States. He has been President of the PEN American Center and serves on the boards of the York Public Library and the Public Theater and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012 he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama. He has written the New York Times column The Ethicist since 2015. His most recent book is The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity.


The Aesthetics of Testimony and the Unfinished Transgenerational Task of Trauma

Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 1:00 – 2:30pm
Rebroadcast at 8pm

Working Alongside Oliver Sacks: Kate Edgar in Conversation with Lisa Gornick

Presenter: Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Ph.D.

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

In her talk, Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela will explore the “aesthetics” of trauma testimony through the lens of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and consider culturally specific moments through which traumatic memory was enacted on the TRC. By engaging a conversation between the archive of the public hearings of the TRC and narratives of the younger generation of black South Africans, and informed by psychoanalytic theory, this presentation will offer a conceptual framework for how intergenerational transmission of memory in the lives of descendants of generations of victims of prolonged traumatic subjugation might be explained. A tri-directional perspective in which memory crosses and re-crosses past, present, and future temporalities is proposed, and the movement and translation of memory between and across these temporalities will be explained and conceptualized as a “tri-telescopic” view of memory.

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor and Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation and the South African National Research Foundation Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma at Stellenbosch University. Her work focuses mainly on two strands of research: exploring intergenerational repercussions of oppression and institutional violence, and exploring what she terms “reparative humanism.” The latter builds on her earlier research on the psychoanalytic interpretation of remorse and forgiveness in the aftermath of human rights violations. Gobodo-Madikizela’s accolades include the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award (2021), the most prestigious academic honor on the African continent; the Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute Fellowship (2020-2021), the Alan Paton Prize for non-fiction (2004) and the Christopher Award (2003) for “a book that speaks to the human spirit” for her book A Human Being Died that Night: A Story of Forgiveness. She received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award in 2007, Distinguished African Scholar visiting professorship at Cornell University’s Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and honorary doctorates from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, and Rhodes University in South Africa.

This will be a special Columbia Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine event. Please take note of the times involved.

Because Dr. Gobodo-Madikizela will be speaking to us from South Africa, the meeting will occur live from 1-2:30pm EST. We hope that many of you can join us at that time. If however, your schedule makes that impossible, we will rebroadcast the talk at our usual APM time, 8pm EST.  We do hope you can join us for one of the time slots.


Working Alongside Oliver Sacks: Kate Edgar in Conversation with Lisa Gornick

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at 8pm

Working Alongside Oliver Sacks: Kate Edgar in Conversation with Lisa Gornick

Presenter: Kate Edgar

Discussant: Lisa Gornick, Ph.D.

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

Kate Edgar—who served as editor, assistant, collaborator, and travel companion for Oliver Sacks for over thirty years, and is currently the Executive Director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation–will be in conversation with Lisa Gornick, Ph.D.— voluntary faculty member at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Treatment and Research, and author of four novels and numerous essays—about Oliver Sacks’s precocious and prodigious involvement with writing, both as a reader and author.

In what promises to be a wide-ranging and intimate discussion, the two will explore the psychic origins of Dr. Sacks’s identity as a writer, the roots of his intellectual life in the model of the 19th century poet-scientist from which psychoanalysis was born, the divergent reactions to Sacks’s work in scientific and literary communities, his experiences and conflicts about writing and filming his patients, and his response to literary fame. In addition, Ms. Edgar will share insights about Dr. Sacks’s idiosyncratic writing habits—including losing manuscripts, producing drafts at unpublishable length, ceaseless revisions, and often needing reassurance—and the role she played (in concert with his analyst of fifty years) in stabilizing him such that his enormous body of work could come to completion.

Kate Edgar began working for Oliver Sacks in 1983. For more than three decades, she collaborated with him as editor, researcher, assistant and friend. She was the creative director for the recent documentary Oliver Sacks: His Own Life. She is currently the Executive Director of the Oliver Sacks Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing understanding of the human brain and mind through the power of narrative nonfiction and case histories. Under her leadership, the foundation’s goals include making Dr. Sacks’s published and yet-unpublished writings available to the broadest possible audience, preserving and digitizing materials related to his life and work and making them available for scholarly use, working to reduce the stigma of mental and neurological illness, and supporting a humane approach to neurology and psychiatry.

Lisa Gornick, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and graduate of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Treatment and Research, where she is on the voluntary faculty. She is the author of three novels—The Peacock Feast (FSG, 2019), Tinderbox (FSG, 2013), and A Private Sorcery (Algonquin, 2002)—and a collection of linked stories, Louisa Meets Bear (FSG, 2015). Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York TimesThe Paris ReviewPrairie SchoonerReal Simple, and The Wall Street Journal.


Practicing Psychoanalysis at the Intersection of Covid-19, the Murder of George Floyd, and Trump’s Presidency: A Brown Analyst Speaks

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 8pm

Practicing Psychoanalysis at the Intersection of Covid-19, the Murder of George Floyd, and Trump’s Presidency: A Brown Analyst Speaks

Presenter: Aisha Abbasi, M.D.

Discussant: Sandra Park, M.D.

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

In this paper, Dr. Abbasi, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of Pakistani origin, working in America since 1987, describes particular challenges placed on her psychoanalytic work with patients in the last few years. She speaks about how the Covid-19 pandemic stirred up certain childhood memories within her and her evolving understanding of these memories as she worked with her patients to help them with their sense of destabilization, anxiety, terror, and counterphobic feelings and behaviors. She goes on to examine both the emergence and the suppression of analytic patients’ feelings about the brutal murder of George Floyd. The pandemic hitting America with full force in March 2020 and Floyd’s murder in May 2020 both occurred with Mr. Trump’s presidency as the backdrop. Dr. Abbasi, working with patients with diverse political and socio-cultural views, found herself yet again, as a brown analyst, straddling various mental continents, as both she and her patients struggled to find their analytic footing while navigating treacherous terrain. She shares these difficult and deeply moving clinical moments in this paper.

Most of Dr. Abbasi’s scholarly work is centered on the study of the day-to-day, minute-by-minute clinical interactions going on in the analyst’s office and how much there is to explore and learn from such interactions. Prior to this paper, Dr. Abbasi has written and presented about patients’ reactions to her being different from them from the early years of her analytic career. After 9/11, Dr. Abbasi shared powerful clinical material about patients’ responses to her as a Muslim analyst of Pakistani origin and how she and her patients navigated turbulent analytic waters during that period.

Aisha Abbasi, M.D. is a Training and Supervising Analyst at The Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and a Supervising Analyst at The Florida Psychoanalytic Center. She is the author of The Rupture of Serenity: External Intrusions and Psychoanalytic Technique and the Co-Editor of Privacy: Developmental, Cultural and Clinical Realms. She is a member of the Board of Directors of The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. She is the pro bono Executive Director of the Mel Bornstein Clinic for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Michigan, a non-profit, insurance accepting mental health clinic where non-insured patients are also treated at a low fee.

Sandra Park, M.D. is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who holds voluntary faculty appointments at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Treatment and Research. She has lectured on a number of topics including theories of the self and narcissism, psychodynamic psychotherapy, women’s mental health, and cultural psychiatry. She is the recipient of many awards, including the outstanding teaching award from the psychiatry residents at New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Alexander Beller Award from the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research.


On coming into possession of oneself: Witnessing and the formulation of experience

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 8pm

On coming into possession of oneself: Witnessing and the formulation of experience

Presenter: Donnel Stern Ph.D.

Discussant: Adrienne Harris Ph.D

Location: Register via the button below to receive the Zoom link

In this talk, Donnel Stern, Ph.D. will use clinical theory and illustration to explore details of the formulation of experience, which depends upon the metamorphosis of experience from not-me to feels-like-me. He takes the position that the movement from not-me to feels-like-me, with the accompanying possibilities for formulating new meaning that open at such moments, happens when we not only know or feel something, but also, and simultaneously, sense ourselves in the midst of this process–that is, when we know and feel that it is we who are doing the knowing and feeling. When these two events co-occur, which depends upon what he refers to as witnessing, we come into possession of ourselves.  Witnessing of one person by another is a process of recognition and affirmation that, for fortunate children, begins with parents in childhood and, later on, in psychoanalytic treatment, is crucial in therapeutic action.

Donnel Stern Ph.D. is Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City; Clinical Consultant and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychology at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; and Faculty, New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He is Founder and Editor of a book series at Routledge, “Psychoanalysis in a New Key,” and the former Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He has co-edited many books.

Adrienne Harris Ph.D. is Faculty and Supervisor at New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is on the faculty and is a supervisor at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. She is an Editor at Psychoanalytic Dialogues, and Studies In Gender and Sexuality. In 2009, she, Lewis Aron, and Jeremy Safron established the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School University. She, Lew Aron, Eyal Rozmarin and Steven Kuchuck co-edit the Book Series Relational Perspectives in Psychoanalysis. She is an editor of the IPA ejournal