Dr. Blumenfield Assumes Presidency of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry

Posted on May 18th, 2012 by Dr. Blumenfield

The American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry (AAPDP) is an organization made up of  psychiatrists who are interested in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory and the application of it to various aspects of psychiatry and human behavior. At the conclusion of the annual AAPDP meeting this May in Philadelphia I assumed the two year presidency of this organization. The following is my first official message as President which will be published in the AAPDP Newsletter. If you would like more information about this group please look at our website or you may reach me with the contact information given at the end of this blog.

Message From Michael Blumenfield, MD.

President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry


I am very pleased to begin my two year term as President of AAPDP. Cesar Alfonso has done an outstanding job during his presidency by both expanding the membership and unifying our organization. During this time we have seen an increase in our membership especially among our younger colleagues. The success of the Teichner Scholar Program and the establishment of the Scott Schwartz Award have been two very important highlights of the past two years. We have also seen the successful passing of the torch from one great editor of our journal, Doug Ingram, to another great editor, Richard Friedman, who will be assisted by his outstanding co-editor Jennifer Downey. Just as significant has been the changing of our journal name to Psychodynamic Psychiatry, which will widen our connection with the body of psychiatrists who share our interests in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theory and therapy. In addition, our Forum magazine under the able editorship of Jerry Perman continues to provide interesting articles about our members and our organization as well as creative pieces on a variety of pertinent subjects.

We all know that there are evolving changes in the delivery of mental health care. Many psychiatrists who value a psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspective frequently find themselves in settings where they don’t have a chance to discuss these concepts and case formulations with colleagues. While applying these skills in various settings related to psychopharmacology, C/L psychiatry, short term therapy, inpatient hospitals etc , they are often isolated from colleagues who have a psychodynamic background. Even those psychiatrists who do long term therapy need a home to share their interest in their work and that home is the Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry.

Now is the time to surge our membership. I am proposing that over the next two years each member invite at least one new colleague to join AAPDP each year. I believe that we could double our membership in the next two years, which would allow us to expand our programs and activities. Not only should we be inviting our junior colleagues (residents, medical students and early career psychiatrists) to join but we should also offer our seasoned colleagues an opportunity to join AAPDP. I have been pleasantly surprised to see some of my old friends and colleagues quite receptive to being invited to join our organization. I know that many of you will be glad to chat by phone with a perspective new member in order to be the second sponsor needed to join, as Membership Chair Jerry Perman, Past President Cesar Alfonso and I have done this past year. The membership application is easily accessed from our website ( or from our office.

As we engage in a membership drive, we need to highlight the benefits of membership as well as expanding them. I have already mentioned our publications, which include this Academy Newsletter. Whether or not you were able to attend our recent annual meeting in Philadelphia, I hope you appreciate the outstanding program that was put together by Kim Best and Gene Della Badia. I have asked overall Program Chair Eugenio Rothe to serve a second term and I have appointed Mary Ann Cohen to lead the efforts in putting together the 2013 San Francisco meeting. Already there is a great program committee planning this meeting with the theme, Psychodynamics: Essential to the Issue of Suicide and Other Challenges to Modern Day Psychiatry.  We have a mentorship program for our younger members and also have Grand a Rounds Program, which helps identify speakers for programs throughout the country. I have appointed Joanna Chambers as the new Chair of the Education Committee. I am looking forward to our organization exploring the possibility of developing Special Interest Groups that can meet at our annual meeting or online during the year, Peer Supervision Groups, and also exploring how we can interface with long distance learning and the social media. I have appointed President-Elect David Lopez as Chair of the Public Relations Committee and Mims Cohen will continue as Chair of our Web & Electronics Committee.  Our website looks great and we will continue to build on it (

Being a medical organization, we have always been very close to the American Psychiatric Association. We have an outstanding Representative to the APA Assembly in the person of Eric Plakun who was a candidate for Assembly Recorder this past May. The Academy is an Allied Organization of the APA and some of our members are on various APA committees. We also continue to interact with our colleagues in other specialty organizations, which many AAPDP members also join and vice versa. We organize and plan various joint panels at their meetings and at our own annual meeting.

The world we know is getting flatter all the time. In the past few years, we have been expanding our international interactions. Joan and Matt Tolchin have established a close relationship with OFIFER (Italian Psychoanalytic Group), Cesar Alfonso led a study tour to Thailand and has been invited back for a second time. Several of our members are teaching in the CAPA program (Chinese American Psychoanalytic Alliance) via telepsychiatry on the Internet. There have been yearly CAPA tours to China on which several of us have participated in lecturing and sightseeing. Dr. Elise Snyder, the remarkable founder and leader of CAPA continues to recruit teachers and supervisors from AAPDP for CAPA. We also anticipate expanding our connection with the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). Last year our Executive Council accepted the recommendation of our International Task Force and lowered the dues for international members making it more feasible for our international colleagues to join AAPDP. We hope to develop further connections with our international colleagues, which can include hospitality arrangements, joint panels and presentations at various international meetings. I have appointed Sylvia Olarte as Chair of our new International Task Force.

I will be communicating with all of you on a regular basis about new developments in AAPDP. Please be sure that we have your correct email address. I also need and want your ideas for AAPDP. Please write or call me anytime.


Best regards.

Michael Blumenfield, M.D.

President- American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry

Tel: 818 564-4207


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