The President's Column

Burton Lerner, M.D.

In this column, I would like to fill you in on work that the Association is doing in several areas that are of concern to our members.

Practice issues We are probably witnessing the beginning of the end of the managed care decade. The deterioration of care and caring—that has been fostered by corporate invasion of the health care system—has become a stimulus for alternatives, both nationally and locally.

Under the leadership of President-elect Eric Marcus, the Council of the APM has been studying ways to develop a practice enterprise capable of establishing links directly with business, agencies and other organizations, as well as with unaffiliated individuals who are seeking care.

The Coalition for Patients' Rights (CPR) has been active in protecting against the threat to private practice posed by the Clinton Health Plan. The APM is maintaining a close contact with CPR in order to support its efforts and make use of its expertise.

Web sites are an increasingly important communications link in outreach efforts. George Sagi is working on the establishment of an APM web site, which will give our members easy access to information about the activities of the APM and provide a resource for our practice enterprise.

The Bulletin: After years of intermittent publication at best, the Bulletin, the scientific journal of the APM, is back on track. Editor H. David Stein, working closely with Stuart Taylor and George Sagi, says that the next issue will soon be out, and there is the promise very soon of semi-annual publication. Content will be expanded to include not only reports of papers, but also original articles, discussion and commentary on the scientific meetings. Bulletin is a superb outreach vehicle, and we are making efforts to obtain funding to expand our circulation in order to promote interest in psychoanalysis in the academic community and reach a broader population, In addition to the issue for this Spring, a special edition honoring Helen and Don Meyers is in its planning stages. Guest editors Betsy Auchincloss and Steve Roose expect it to be ready for Fall/Winter 1998, roughly coinciding with a celebration for the Meyers that will be held in November.

Scientific Meetings: John Ross has put together a series for 1997-98 that has been highly successful academically, and attendance has been excellent. Of special note was Arthur Zitrin's paper on a peculiar piece of our psychoanalytic history (an evening that also made history as the first of our scientific meetings ever to be co-sponsored with the New York Psychoanalytic Society). In March, French psychoanalyst Daniel Widlocher spoke on "Interaction Between Object Love and Infantile Sexuality." The paper was discussed by Helen Meyers and Marion Oliner, and was jointly sponsored by the five New York City IPA member societies. We also heard, in April, Jonathan Lear's paper "Knowingness and Abandonment: An Oedipus for Our Time," discussed by Bob Michels and reported by Chris Allegra.

In May, Larry Inderbitzen gave the Rado Lecture "Regression in Psychoanalytic Technique: The Concretization of a Concept."

In June, the final scientific meeting of the year will deal with "Mass Violence and the Psychoanalyst as Government Consultant." Otto Kernberg will chair a panel that will include James Herzog (Germany and Xenophobia) and Sudhir Kakar (India and the Sikh crisis). Vamik Volkan will be the discussant.

The first Alternate Scientific Meeting of 1998 was held in March at the home of Paul Spector, who chairs the program. Elizabeth Tillinghast, lawyer and a first year candidate at the Psychoanalytic Center, presented her paper on "Sexual Misconduct and the Clinician." [Ed. note: This paper will be reported upon in a future issue of SHRINK]

Outreach The APM's committee on Careers, Identity and Practice would like to identify practice issues which are of concern to our members, and solicit ideas for programs which would address these needs. In the near future, the committee will send out a questionnaire seeking information on this subject. I hope that all of our members will participate.

APM-Center Collaboration I am pleased to report that collaborative efforts between the APM and the Psychoanalytic Center supportive of the careers, identity and practice of our membership have been part of the very positive ongoing dialogue between Center Director Bob Glick and myself. We look forward to building on this process.