Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Psychoanalysis On and Off the Couch

Apr 12, 2020

There is not just one pandemic right now, there are really two concurrent pandemics. The first one is the pandemic of the virus, but the second one that is closely tied to the first is a pandemic of anxiety. I want to be really clear that I am not just using that as a figure of speech, I am actually quite serious about that, I think anxiety is reaching epidemic proportions and I think it has major consequences for how all of us and certainly how leaders of organizations of any size lead.”


Description: In times when we are all facing a crisis of unprecedented proportion, we are going change the focus of the podcast: we will now be interviewing psychoanalysts from all corners of the globe to discuss how their local communities are coping with this situation, how their clinical work has been affected by the situation, and how the internal worlds of both the analysts and the patients have been impacted by this virus as it touches both our real and imaginary fears. This is an opportunity to gain great wisdom, empathy, and hope.


Steven Rolfe welcomes Kerry Sulkowicz to today’s episode. Dr. Sulkowicz is the President-elect of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is founder and Managing Principal of the Boswell Group LLC, a management consultancy based in New York since 1998. Kerry serves as a trusted advisor on people and culture to some of the world’s most well-known and respected CEOs and corporate boards. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Texas Medical Branch and is now a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, where he received the Distinguished Teacher Award. He also received the Edith Sabshin Teaching Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association. A passionate advocate for human rights, Dr. Sulkowicz is the past Chair of the board of Physicians for Human Rights, a global human rights organization that has shared in the Nobel Peace Prize, and serves on the Advisory Council of Acumen.


Key takeaways:

[5:21] Kerry Sulkowicz talks about the challenges the American Psychoanalytic Association and private practitioners currently face.

[9:08] The transition to virtual work has been exhausting for many practitioners.

[10:28] Kerry Sulkowicz talks about the current crisis in New York.

[11:57] It is a critical time for Physicians for Human Rights.

[13:30] Human rights violations have not stopped with the pandemic.

[15:16] Kerry Sulkowicz shares his long term vision for the American Psychoanalytic Association.

[16:40] Psychoanalysts share unique basic values.

[19:06] The effects of the absence of human touch.

[20:08] It is a golden time for psychoanalysis.

[20:55] Kerry’s approach for leaders of organizations.

[24:15] The denial of anxiety is on one extreme while panicking is on the other.

[25:13] The right amount of anxiety is actually highly adaptive.

[26:05] Leaders need to lead with their values.

[27:03] A quote on 1918 Spanish flu.

[29:18] The role of leaders is to give hope that is embedded in reality.

[31:05] How leaders can help their organizations.

[34:07] Leaders need to model the importance of maintaining social ties.

[36:50] Kerry Sulkowicz talks about the effects of anxiety on all of us.


Mentioned in this episode:

IPA Off the Couch