Ways to get involved

Announcing a New Pilot Project: Consultation Group and Seminar for Psychoanalytically-Oriented Clinicians and Mental Health Practitioners in Community Settings

Leaders:  Billie Pivnick, Ph.D. and Jane Hassinger, MSW, DCSW

Co-sponsored by Sections V & IX of APA Division 39

Psychoanalytically-oriented clinicians are consulting with increasing frequency in community-based settings.  Whether they are called to address challenges related to natural or human-made catastrophes, or to respond to constraining social inequalities, consultants often enter these projects as co-equal participant-learners whose relational expertise can enhance both process and outcomes.  Not restricted to the therapy office, this sort of applied clinical psychoanalysis employs a mode of thinking about groups and communities in which personal and cultural histories, the unconscious, and the socio-political surround are always at play.

We are excited to introduce a consultation group that offers support and training for clinicians who want to apply a relational, psychodynamic framework to working with community-based programs that have clinical, educational, community development, and/or social justice goals.  Our objectives are to:

  • Bring psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, educators, and other practitioners into creative collaboration on compelling and persistent problems in the communities in which they live and work;
  • Provide perspective and skills for the challenges of working creatively in interdisciplinary teams (for example, with educators, public health workers, medical professionals, and others including community activists); and
  • Identify and develop a set of resources and curricula that reflect new scholarship, reports from the field, and tool-kits for practice.

We hope to create a learning community (“collaboratory”) in which we think together about how to initiate and join innovative community-based interventions characterized by mutuality, reciprocity, and transformative learning. Participants will share dilemmas and challenges in practice including adopting a new professional role, working in interdisciplinary teams, understanding and navigating team processes, and anticipating and responding effectively to phases of interventions in target communities. ). Facilitators will offer case studies and new scholarship, as well as provide supervision relevant to the implementation and sustaining of projects.  We envision creating a lively space for sharing and generating approaches to new and ongoing projects.

Because this is a pilot project, the number of participants will be limited and there will be no fee for participation.  The group will meet on Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30 PM as a Web-based seminar (using technology supported by the University of Michigan).

Interested?  Contact Jane Hassinger jahass@umich.edu or Billie Pivnick drbilliepivnick@gmail.com

Jane Hassinger, MSW, DCSW is a Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She has practiced for many years with adults, families, couples, and groups.  Additionally, she consults with organizations on issues related to gender inequality and diversity.  A faculty member and researcher at the University of Michigan, she also is a community-based researcher whose body of work has focused on gender-based violence and women’s health and mental health care in the US, Africa, and Latin America. Since 2007, she has been Co-Principal Investigator for the Providers Share Project, an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods action-research project focused on abortion providers’ experiences of stigma and marginalization around the world.  She is co-author with Kim Berman (University of Johannesburg) of Women on Purpose: Resilience and Creativity of the Women of Phumani Paper (2012) and has published extensively on community-based, interdisciplinary and transnational research.  Her paper, 21st Century Living Color: Racialized Enactment in Psychoanalysis, was published in Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society.

Billie A. Pivnick, Ph.D. is a Psychoanalytic Psychologist in private practice in New York City, specializing in treating children and families confronting difficulties with traumatic loss, mass catastrophe, and adoption.  She also has consulted to organizations as diverse as corporations, dance companies, hospitals, and museum designers. She is faculty and supervisor in the William Alanson White Institute Child/Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program, The New Directions Program in Psychoanalytic Writing, and Columbia University Teachers College Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program. Formerly head of the Graduate Dance Therapy Program at Pratt Institute, she served as Consulting Psychologist to Thinc Design, the exhibition designers partnered with the National September 11 Memorial Museum and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Winner of the Division 39/Section Five 2015 Schillinger Memorial Essay Award for her essay, “Spaces to Stand In: Applying Clinical Psychoanalysis to the Relational Design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum,” and IPTAR’s 1992 Stanley Berger Award for the contribution to psychoanalysis made by her study, Symbolization and its Discontents. She has published widely in psychoanalytic journals and academic texts.

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