“The unique combination of personal analysis, didactic course work, clinical case conferences and individual supervision, all part of psychoanalytic training, enriched my personal life and professional work in innumerable ways. Looking back over the last 30 years since I finished my training, I feel that all the time, effort, hours of study, the personal and professional struggle were well worth it. It has been an ongoing growth experience that fosters self-reflection, lifelong learning and personal renewal over time. ”
— Stefan Pasternack, M.D., Psychoanalyst and Faculty Member
Raising Awareness Through Reaching Out
Psychoanalysis and a psychodynamic approach can provide valuable ways of approaching and understanding many societal problems. When possible, the Florida Psychoanalytic Center participates in a variety of community activities intended to provide needed services and education, as well as to raise awareness about psychoanalysis and mental health issues. Each year, the Center and its members provide many hours of service to the community and its institutions. Our members donate their time, experience, and expertise, fostering the personal and professional growth of students, colleagues in the mental health professions, and members of the community. We provide high-level continuing education to mental health professionals and students through our scientific meetings, seminars, mini-courses, supervision, and formal training programs.
Our Psychoanalytic Clinic offers low-cost, high quality psychoanalytic treatment. Our members have recently provided pro bono psychoanalytic psychotherapy through our past partnerships with two community based programs.
A Home Within is the only national nonprofit organization focused exclusively on the emotional needs of foster children and youth. The Florida Psychoanalytic Center has partnered with the Miami chapter of A Home Within to offer pro bono psychotherapy to children in foster care.
The Veterans Project of South Florida – SOFAR (2008-2012) was a group of about 35 psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers and other mental health professionals who volunteered to provide free, confidential counseling, psychotherapy and other mental health services to Iraq and Afghan war troops, veterans and/or their families. The Project was jointly sponsored by the Florida Psychoanalytic Society and the SouthEast Florida Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (SEFAPP), which is a local chapter of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association. Support for this project was provided by The Dade Community Foundation’s BRAIVE Fund and The American Psychoanalytic Foundation.
The Project was started because there were not sufficient mental health resources available to meet the needs of the troops deployed in those wars and their families. 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan showed symptoms of PTSD, substance abuse, depression, and family problems. Many did not seek VA treatment because of stigmatization. Their spouses and family members, who suffered from the collateral damage of military life, were usually not eligible for VA services. The Project aimed to fill some of these gaps in services. Psychoanalytic clinicians have unique expertise in psychotherapy and family dynamics.
Psychoanalyzing the Movies film series, which is offered from time to time, features psychologically evocative films which illuminate the fantasies and conflicts that underlie our mental lives. Each film is accompanied by a discussion from a psychodynamic perspective, with lively audience participation. The evenings are entertaining as well as intellectually and professionally enriching.
We will continue to expand and develop opportunities to share psychoanalytic ideas with the South Florida community. We invite you to join us in expanding our community connections. Please contact the Center to invite our participation and assistance with any area of activity where psychological stresses and pressures present problems of social significance.