Welcome to WMAAPP

Welcome to The Western Massachusetts and Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (WMAAPP) website. WMAAPP is an interdisciplinary association whose members share an interest in psychoanalytic theory and practice. We are psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, mental health counsellors, psychiatrists, nurses and others who seek to support each other in our scholarly and clinical work. Through seminars, educational programs, local study groups and discussion groups, we hope to join with others in keeping the psychoanalytic community alive and well in Albany and Columbia County, New York, as well as the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley areas of Massachusetts.


WMAAPP came into being in 1986 through the organizational activity of several area psychologists desiring a collective space for psychoanalytic thought and conversation. From the beginning, the group has been open to participation by any interested professional. We have maintained an open and pluralistic approach, embracing the diversity of psychoanalytic discussion.

Our region has always been steeped in a rich psychoanalytic tradition. The literary and artistic contributions of Hawthorne, Melville and Dickinson emphasize themes of psychological depth and complexity. The Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge (a therapeutic community offering intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy), welcomed psychoanalytic clinicians (including Erik Erikson, Margaret Brenman Gibson, Roy Schafer) beginning in 1948, and has continued with contemporary contributions to the psychoanalytic landscape. WMAAPP extends the psychoanalytic dialogue to all area clinicians — those working in community mental health clinics, university psychology departments, psychoanalytic institutes, psychiatric facilities and in private practice, as well as to students in graduate school and psychoanalytic training, and to other interested professionals.

WMAAPP offers a variety of activities to further psychoanalytic interest. We sponsor programs, courses, study groups, and discussion groups highlighting current psychoanalytic thought and issues. Speakers have included: Sophie Freud, Thomas Kohut, Carol Gilligan, Stephen Mitchell, Christopher Bollas, Anna Ornstein, Adam Phillips, and Darlene Ehrenberg, to name a few. Topics have included termination of analytic treatment, free association, dreams, treatment of trauma, psychotherapy and creativity, terrorism and narcissistic rage. We also address issues of professional practice, including the role of psychology in the military, practice in small communities, and the intrusion of third parties into the psychoanalytic situation.

WMAAPP programming has continued throughout this COVID period, with excellent presentations and lively discussions that many of you have participated in.  The Zoom format has allowed us to widen inclusion of more distant colleagues and presenters and will continue this fall.  For many it has provided a welcome opportunity to keep our professional selves vital.

Our association is an umbrella group for those from diverse orientations: classical and neo-Freudian, object relational, self psychological, interpersonal, Jungian, and others. Together we have witnessed the rise in cultural influence of short term, superficial approaches to deep inner experiences. In the face of this tide, WMAAPP continues to represent the importance of a pluralistic psychology, with its emphasis on the richness for theory and practice of individual life study in depth.