Director’s ColumnBy Seth Warren, Ph.D.
September CPPNJ Newsletter
I am writing at the start of another new year, our second full academic year as the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of NJ. I hope that all have had good and restful summer breaks, have survived our somewhat calamitous recent weather, and are ready for the challenges and opportunities of the coming year.
I want to take the opportunity to welcome our seven new candidates: Dorothy O'Keefe Diana, LSW; Beth McGovern, LCSW; Wendy Newman, LCSW; Sherree Pecci, LSW; Tom Jones, LCSW; Sara Kossove, LCSW; Alexandra Granville, LCSW and Madine DeSantis, Ph.D. I am very pleased to welcome our new candidates to CPPNJ, and also would like to take the opportunity to thank our Admissions chairperson, Susan Masluk for her extremely helpful work on the admissions process, and to also thank all those members who assisted Susan in bringing about another very successful incoming group.
I am also very pleased to announce the appointment of three new faculty members: Kenneth Frank, Karen Heffernan, and Lisa Lyons. Each one of them brings particular areas of strength, expertise, knowledge and experience, and we are fortunate and grateful to have them join our community. My thanks to our Dean of Faculty Tom Johnson and all the members of the Faculty Committee who have worked to continue to expand and enlarge our faculty membership, adding to its diversity and to the training opportunities we can offer our candidates.
It is clear that, in spite of the many challenges we face as an institute, we are clearly continuing to flourish, thanks to the hard work and devotion of those of our members who participate on all of our active committees, something for which I can express gratitude as well as pride and a feeling of celebration.
As for the coming year, I would like to raise an issue for all our members to become informed about and so to be in a position to help formulate an institutional response. Many of you may already be aware that the issue of New Jersey state certification of psychoanalysts has arisen, again, as a revised set of rules were published in July of this year with a public comment period ending September 3. Some of our senior members who have been involved in monitoring and addressing the issue of state licensure of psychoanalysts helped to get passed a 60 day extension to this public comment period, which now ends November 3.
While complicated, having both historical and legal intricacies, I hope it is clear to all of our members that the issue is one that will affect CPPNJ, regardless of the outcome. At present, because CPPNJ is an unaffiliated institute (not accredited by any national psychoanalytic accreditation body), we may be at some risk of exclusion from the state certification process. While our graduates are in no way at risk of any limitation to their practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, which in any case can continue as it has under the scope of practice laws of our respective professional licenses, a new category of “NJ Certified Psychoanalyst” would be implemented. Some of our members who are most familiar with the law and the proposed rules are very concerned that the standards set by the law are not sufficient to protect the public, and would diminish and dilute the reputation of existing psychoanalytic practitioners who have been trained under much more careful and thorough standards. In fact, to some of us it appears that the law provides a “fast track” to independent clinical practice for individuals who in some cases will have had no prior clinical training of any kind. And even though CPPNJ (including IPPNJ and CCAPS) is one of the larger (if not largest) and oldest psychoanalytic training programs in the state of NJ, we have had no input of any kind into the process to develop this state certification.
I am asking all our members to review the law and the proposed rules for implementation, to consider their own thoughts and concerns, and to contribute to the formal public comment process. The volume of our response will matter! I will make sure to have the law and rules, as well as my own response as Director of CPPNJ, posted on our listserv. In particular, any of our members with legal knowledge or experience, or legislative experience, are encouraged to step forward and contribute to our institutional response. Whatever happens, we should be prepared to respond effectively to protect our own interests both as individual psychoanalytic practitioners and also as an institution as a whole.
My best wishes to all for a rich and productive year --