I thought it fitting in this election year, when freedom of choice and rights to healthcare for women in the USA are again under attack, to note the birth date of Lucy Stone, born on this date in 1818. An American abolitionist and suffragette, she inspired Susan B Anthony, after Anthony heard her speak, to take up the cause for a woman’s right to vote. Women were granted the right to vote on August 18, 1920 by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Stone had been dead 27 years.
I often wonder what makes us so afraid of the liberty of others, what affront to our sense of self will occur should difference be allowed, let alone embraced. When I decided to switch from Family Practice to Psychiatry, and then become a psychoanalyst, a friend from high school thought I was making a politically incorrect decision for she erroneously thought mental health professionals unduly influence others to accept the status quo, to learn to live within a reality of constraint and even oppression, particularly for women, for example, to accept an unhappy marriage. Far from this type of acceptance or submission, in my view psychoanalysis helps people see a larger range of possibility. One female patient, in an unhappy marriage for over a decade, through analysis found the courage to imagine a life on her own without her abusive husband.
Lucy Stone advocated not just for the rights of woman to vote, but for the rights of women to divorce, to retain property and childrearing responsibilities after divorce, and, married herself, was the first American woman known to retain her own name after marriage. In other words, like psychoanalysts, she advocated for all people, including female persons, to live up to an panoply of potential based on inner resources and not on chromosomes.
Lycia Alexander-Guerra, M.D.
Welcome to "Contemporary Psychoanalytic Musings," the blog of the Tampa Bay Institute for Psychoanalytic Studiesor, as it is conveniently known, T-BIPS. We invite you to post your comments on psychoanalysis and books, film, conferences, the media, art, theory, clinical situations, current controversies, social issues, and anything else as seen through a psychoanalytic lens. We look forward to a spirited dialogue with you. Lycia Alexander-Guerra, M.D. TBIPS President Gabcast! Welcome! #3
Tampa Bay Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies
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In 2005 a group of psychoanalysts & psychoanalytic psychotherapists convened to explore possibilities for meeting the educational needs of clinical professionals in the Tampa Bay area. Out of those discussions evolved a new institute, the Tampa Bay Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. Consistent with the spirit of collegiality, openness, and diversity that inspired its development, the new Institute is non-authoritarian and democratic. Training programs utilize progressive and classical concepts which have been endorsed by contemporary critiques of psychoanalytic education. Believing that the capacity to think psychoanalytically best develops in an atmosphere of inquiry, open dialogue, and active participation the founding members sought to integrate these values into the structure of the new Institute and into the process of training. A precedent of collaboration and mutual respect for the contributions of all faculty and candidates was established enabling our mission to gain immediate representation in our actions.