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Discussion Group #99 APsaA Meeting Report 2009


Dr. Elise Snyder summarized CAPA’s activities since June.

1. See My Sichuan Earthquake Story

2. She showed pictures of a hospital she visited in China. Eating disordered patients have their own kitchen where they learn to cook “to give them a feeling of control.” Depressed patients stay for at least for three months until they have reached a higher level of function than they had prior to the hospitalization.

3. She noted the success of the book program headed by Bill Stockton.

4. CAPA’s web site has been revised. It is now up again in China and will be translated into Chinese.

5. We have been invited to join the NGO Section of the Economic and Social Council of the UN, by Vivian Pender, a Columbia analyst.

The group discussed the psychotherapy training program. Teachers have reduced the reading load because of difficulties students had keeping up with all the English reading. Barbara Katz will develop a model reading list after this first year of classes. This list will ensure that the books are available in China. Also, all students have PEPWEB. In Chengdu students have had difficulty staying with the program of study because of the earthquake. Many of them have been ordered to work there.

Dr. Snyder made several announcements:

1. The Chinese Psychological Association has certified our training programs.

2. Please recruit friends to teach courses and supervise.

3. Xiaolu Hsi, Barbara Katz and Elise Snyder are writing manuals for supervisors. Xiaolu chairs the Admissions committee; 22 CAPA members have agreed to do interviews. We are interested in several criteria: language ability, sincerity, degree of psychological sophistication, and the ability to find long-term cases. We have 50 potential students interested in the 2009 training program.

4. Lana Fishkin chairs the Low Fee Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy & Supervision Committee. Non-training program mental health professionals, who are working with patients, pay for supervisions. She noted that a number of Chinese mental health professionals are looking for therapy via Skype.

5. Chet Berschling asked whether or not Institutes would count these cases for training and/or immersion. Dr. Snyder noted that BOPS had originally agreed, but then had changed their minds.

6. According to Frankel, the malpractice carrier for APsaA: While a Chinese patient could sue in an American court with an American attorney, such an event was extremely unlikely given that Chinese residents earn about $4000/year. We do have psychiatric back up for our Chinese patients.

7. Dr. Snyder passed around a brochure describing CAPA’s fundraising trip to China. It will include a didactic component as well as site seeing. As host, she will lecture at breakfast. Tour members are welcome to provide training to Chinese through lectures, supervisions, and meeting with small groups. They will visit a hospital or clinic for one half day in each city. If this trip is successful, others will be planned.

8. In recent years the Chinese government has made education into a priority. There are 146 universities in Chengdu, which has 10-11 million people and is called “the city of universities.” Each has about 40,000 students; some have suburban annexes with another 40,000 students.

9. Barbara Couteau from the Harvard Business Review will write about psychoanalysis in China. Douglas Kirsner and Elise Snyder have written a chapter for Salman Akhtar’s new book, The Orient and the Unconscious.

We discussed supervising Chinese students. Individual supervision is rare in China. Often Chinese students want help with borderline patients. Dr. Snyder mentioned that we were introducing a new model of therapy rather than helping with patients in an immediate sense. She described the “self-experience” sessions provided by the Sino-German group where students have three to six sessions with a German analyst and a translator and then are told to go analyze themselves. This approach provides consultation, not therapy. Dr. Jeffrey Taxman noted that the Chinese students have a hard time sitting and listening because they want overnight results. They want to learn more about the unconscious, but the government had dismantled the exploration of the unconscious. When someone wondered about a three-year program, where the first year sets more of a foundation including basic principles and differential diagnosis, it was suggested that we see how the two-year program goes. Dr. Stephanie Brody asked how our students are perceived. Usually, they are envied.

Dr. Snyder described the “Hungry Ghost Syndrome” she saw in four women, ages 25-40, whom she interviewed in one day. Each one was not raised by her mother until age 6-8 when she returned to her mother to start school. All were enraged with their mothers and had the same chief complaint: that they wanted to get married but had poor relationships with men. Either they were incredibly demanding or felt that men were “no good.” Dr. Ubaldo Leli mentioned that he had interviewed men with the same kind of problem.

Books recommend on Chinese culture included those by Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan. Xiaolu Hsi recommended a movie entitled “Swing Kids.”

Submitted by Shoshana Adler, Ph.D.

CAPA Secretary

Based on Notes from Marc Luchs, Executive director of CAPA

February 16, 2009

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