Diversity Initiative

The Diversity Committee

WCSPP expressed its desire and commitment to examining issues related to diversity and inclusion with the formation of its Diversity Committee in 2014. Since then, the committee has taken deliberate action to foster a broader dialogue and to enhance reflection and understanding of issues that matter to our community.

The Committee’s mission statement reads:

The Diversity Committee (“DC”) seeks to understand and influence the ways in which issues of diversity, which includes but is not limited to, race, gender, sexual orientation, social class and economic disparities, impact the mission of WCSPP and psychoanalysis at large. The DC seeks to address diversity, equity and inclusion within the recruitment, education, and training of candidates at WCSPP.  As well, the DC aims to create conscious consideration and curiosity about the personal and professional impact of diversity, equity and inclusion within the WCSPP community.”

The Committee endeavored to create more space for conscious consideration of topics in curriculum development, the training and supervision experience, our clinical work, and personal lives. A richer dialogue grew in committee process groups, book groups, film nights, Scientific Meetings, Town Halls, retreats, and trainings.

Some highlights of our community’s efforts include:

Book Club

  • How I Shed My Skin, Jim Grimsby
  • Between The World and Me, Ta Nehisi Coates
  • Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
  • Hillbilly Elegy, J D Vance
  • A Cup of Water Under My Bed, Daisy Hernandez
  • A Human Being Died That Night, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
  • She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, Jennifer Finney Boylan
  • White Fragility: Why Its So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, Robin DiAngelo
  • There There, Tommy Orange

Film Nights

  • “Psychoanalysis in El Barrio”. Q &A – Carlos Padron LP and Christopher Christian PhD
  • “A Better Life”. Q & A – Executive Director of Neighbor’s Link – Carolla Otero Bracco
  • “Rabbit Proof Fence”
  • “El Norte”
  • “Daughters of the Dust”

Scientific Meetings

  • “Black Analysts Speak” – Q & A – Craig Polite, Kirkland Vaughn, Alexandra Woods


  • He Said, She Said: Understanding the Transgender Community – Jack Pula
  • Facing the Other: Implicit Bias, Hate and Transformation – Sue Grand, Anton Hart
  • Living with Otherness: The Not-Me in Me and You

Online Study Groups

  • “Fascist State of Mind” – Article by Christopher Bollas
  • “Surviving Hating and Being Hated: Some Personal Thoughts about Racism from a Psychoanalytic Perspective”, by Kathleen Pogue White.  Online Discussant – Kathleen Pogue White.
  • “Far From the Tree”, Movie by Andrew Solomon. Online discussant – Andrew Solomon

Town Meetings

  • “Cultural and Racial Diversity” by Jonathan Rust, PhD
  • “What’s the Difference: A community discussion of how we address or avoid difference in treatment relationships”

Faculty Diversity Training

  • Micro-aggressions. Diane Goodman, PhD

Current members of the committee:

  • Edward Ballen
  • Mikaela Bernthaler
  • Suzanne Burger
  • Mary DeVivo
  • Erica Forest
  • Geri Friedman
  • Leslie Gibson
  • Patricia Gordon
  • Katie Hall
  • Cindy Heller
  • Dalphine Meadows
  • Barbara Messer
  • Rob Muller
  • Chris Nardozzi
  • Jonathan Rust
  • Jean Seibel
  • Vera Stein
  • Ron Tanner
  • Kate Washton
  • Janet Zuckerman
We welcome new members. If you are interested in joining, or in learning more about our committee, please reach out to one of us. We would love to hear from you.
Irene Studwell Co-Director

Irene Studwell

Rob Muller

Julie Willstatter