Book Reading and Reception

You are invited to an Outside Book Reading and Reception
Tuesday, June 29 at 5.30 pm

At the Kinsey Memorial Garden behind the Jones Library
43 Amity Street, Amherst, Massachusetts
Django Ellenhorn will read as Jelliffe,
Jane Kristal as narrator of footnotes,
and Tricia Everett as Mabel

We will have refreshments and chairs set up to space apart as you’d like.
With gratitude to Amherst Books and the Jones Library.

(Rain date:  Thursday, July 1 at 5.30 pm)



Saturday • November 2 • 2019 8:30-3:00

The Western New England Psychoanalytic Society

The Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology

Joint Conference

Otto Kernberg, MD

Diana Diamond, PhD
Frank Yeomans, MD, PhD

New Haven Lawn Club 193 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut 06511

Link to online brochure

For online registration

Somatic Experiencing: Expanding the Psychodynamic Dialogue – David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP, SEP

Somatic Experiencing: Expanding the Psychodynamic Dialogue

David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP, SEP

Professional Education Seminar at Smith College School for Social Work

Saturday, July 20, 2019


Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a bio-psychological model originally developed by Peter Levine for understanding and treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has been expanded to treat psychic/somatic/nervous system dysregulation more generally. SE provides perspectives and approaches that are especially helpful in our work with clients who are prone to states of intense over-activation (anxiety, panic, terror, agitation, rage, mortification, etc.) or under-activation (freeze, numbness, emptiness, deadness, etc.). A central aim of SE is to facilitate the restoration and enhancement of the client’s intrinsic regulatory capacities, with the larger goal of bringing a more highly resourced self to the task of processing life’s ongoing experiences (including experiences in the psychotherapy context). SE has particular relevance for people who are vulnerable to the triggering of dissociative states related to trauma.

After many years of practicing psychodynamic therapy and psychoanalysis, Dr. Levit trained in SE. He will discuss his efforts to integrate this approach into psychodynamic psychotherapy. On the theoretical level, he will discuss and contextualize central principals and techniques of SE in terms of psychodynamic paradigms. On the clinical level, he will present psychotherapy process material to illustrate his attempts to interweave this non-psychodynamic approach into psychodynamic treatment. He will also discuss ways in which the weave is not seamless.

Continuing Education Credits or Units

Six Continuing Education Credits or Units are available for social workers and for psychologists.

For Further Information and to Apply


David Levit, Ph.D., ABPP, SEP. Diplomate in Psychoanalysis and in Clinical Psychology. Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). Faculty positions: Faculty and Supervising Analyst, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis (MIP); Co-founder, Co-chair, and Faculty, MIP Postgraduate Fellowship Program-West; Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School; Adjunct Instructor in Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. His office is in Amherst, MA where he has been in private practice since 1989. He provides individual therapy and psychoanalysis and consultation for colleagues.


Bromberg, P. M. (2008). Shrinking the tsunami: Affect regulation, dissociation, and the shadow of the flood. Contemporary Psychoanalysis 44, 329-350.

Eldredge, C. B., & Cole, G. W. (2008). Learning from work with individuals with a history of trauma: Some thoughts on integrating body-oriented techniques and relational psychoanalysis. In F. S. Anderson (Ed.) Bodies in treatment: The unspoken dimension, 79-102. New York: Analytic Press.

Levine, P. A. (2010). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley, CA.: North Atlantic Books.

Levit, D. (2018). Somatic Experiencing: In the Realms of Trauma and Dissociation –What We Can Do, When What We Do, is Really Not Good Enough. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 28(5).

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. NY: Penguin Books.

A new book by Sandra Buechler, Ph.D.

Sandra Buechler, Ph.D., a valued and popular speaker at a number of WMAAPP programs, has a new book out:   It is titled Psychoanalytic Approaches to Problems in Living: Addressing Life’s Challenges in Clinical Practice and published by Routledge.

She describes the book:
People often seek treatment for help dealing with one or more of life’s fundamental dilemmas. Should I give in to aging or fight it? Let mourning take its course, or push myself to “move on” to a new relationship? This book applies literature, clinical experience, and analytic theory to the task of addressing these challenges as they make appearances in sessions. The topics include the capacity to be alone, bearing life’s uncertainties and unavoidable suffering, forgiving others, and, given its inherent pain, forgiving life itself.

Lewis Aron (1952 – 2019)

Lew was a giant figure in relational psychoanalysis. He was a long-serving Director of NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, the founding director of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP), and a past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39). He edited the Relational Perspectives Book Series and was a co-founder and co-chair of the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School. With his dear friend and close colleague, Stephen Mitchell, he was one of the founders of Psychoanalytic Dialogues: The International Journal of Relational Perspectives. His edited volume with Mitchell, Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition (1999) and his book A Meeting of the Minds: Mutuality in Psychoanalysis (1996), are essential readings in the relational canon. Lew was recently a named a Fellow of the College of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (2016-2020) and a Professor in the School of Psychology Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.

Lew’s intellectual curiosity knew no bounds. Though he was an admitted relational partisan, he was also deeply Freudian. His writing explored a wide diversity of interests, including the patient’s experience of the analyst’s subjectivity, the legacy of Sandor Ferenczi, mutual regulation and mutual recognition, gender, ethics in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic writing, controversies in psychoanalytic education and institutions, religion and spirituality, the development of psychoanalysis in America, the historically defined distinction between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, and critiques of relational theory. His most recent work, Dramatic Dialogue: Contemporary Clinical Practice (2017), was co-written with his partner Galit Atlas, and explored the prospective function and therapeutic action of enactment.

A highly sought after and internationally-renowned teacher, clinician, organizational consultant, and speaker, Lew was also well known for his lively and thought-provoking reading groups on psychoanalytic theory in New York and internationally.

Lew is survived by his partner Galit Atlas, his 3 children with his former wife, Jane Ades, and Galit’s 3 children.

Sexual Assault Is About Power

Lyn Yonack has published a blog entry with the title Sexual Assault Is About Power. 

Here is an excerpt,

Despite its name, sexual abuse is more about power than it is about sex. Although the touch may be sexual, the words seductive or intimidating, and the violation physical, when someone rapes, assaults, or harasses, the motivation stems from the perpetrator’s need for dominance and control.

To read the full text go to:

Dreams help us connect to our inner world

Paul Lippmann has published a blog entry with the title Dreams help us connect our inner world.

Here is an excerpt,

November 4th is the 118th anniversary of the publication Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, his masterpiece which brought the significance of dreams into our daily lives. More than a century later, does Freud’s work remain relevant? What is the value of dream interpretation in contemporary life?

To read the full text go to:

Marilyn Charles Receives Award for Leadership

We are delighted and proud to announce that WMAAPP board member Marilyn Charles, Ph.D, ABPP, was recently honored with a leadership award at the American Psychological Association’s Division 39 Spring Meeting. The awards committee selected Dr. Charles for her significant contributions “to the advancement of psychoanalytic psychology as a discipline and practice.” Dr. Charles has been an active member of Division 39 for many years, serving on the board, as well as a number of committees. In her work within Division 39, she has been instrumental in promoting and supporting the involvement of early career professionals (ECPs), creating opportunities for mentoring, developing special programs, and chairing a vibrant Early Career Committee, which seeks to ensure that the interests of ECPs are represented in the division. The award was presented at the opening ceremony of the spring meeting, at which Dr. Charles received a standing ovation. We at WMAAPP are indeed lucky that for years Dr. Charles has brought to our community the same leadership and vision for which Division 39 has now formally recognized her.