Celebrating not Pathologizing Sexuality: An Exploration of Marian Tolpin’s View and Beyond
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Robert Morris University, 401 St. State, Room 803 (take the elevator to the 8th floor)
Presented in Collaboration with the Institute for Clinical Social Work
Presenters: R. Dennis Shelby, PhD (moderator), Thetis Cromie, PhD, and David Garfield, M.D.
In a brilliant but too-little-known paper, the late Marian Tolpin, one of the Society’s most-revered members, explored sexuality within a self-psychology context. Addressing the emotional fulfillment of sexuality and considering the self-structure needed to carry out sexual and love relationships, she developed an egalitarian, non-pathological approach, a dramatic step forward from the emphasis on sexual pathology that had dominated psychoanalysis. A panel of psychoanalysts who were influenced by Marian Tolpin look at her view and propose ways of applying it to the world of today and carrying it farther. Discussion with the audience is welcome.
Anyone who would like a copy of Tolpin’s paper, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send a copy. The paper is: Marian Tolpin, (1997), The Development of Sexuality and the Self, Annual of Psychoanalysis, 25:173-187.
Our panelists are two analysts who supervised with Marian Tolpin during their candidate years. Both have had interesting paths to becoming an analyst.
Thetis R Cromie, PhD, DMn is a graduate of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, the Institute for Clinical Social Work, the School of Social Service administration AND the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. She is on the Faculty of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, Adjunct Faculty at Loyola University School of Social Work and is on the faculty of Si Chuan He Guang Clinical Psychology Institute of Chengdu China. Thetis has published a number of papers on clinical and theological topics with intriguing titles. Highly relevant to tonight is one entitled Supervision with Marian Tolpin: The total transference. I should add that this paper has found its way onto many Self Psychology syllabi.
David Garfield MD is a graduate of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, University of California Medical School and did his psychiatry residency at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Prior to embarking on his medical career, David was awarded the Newton prize with highest honors in English Literature from Haverford College. He is professor emeritus in the department of clinical Sciences, Department of Psychiatry at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science at the Chicago Medical School. He is on the faculty of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute. He is the author of “Unbearable affect: A guide to the psychotherapy of psychosis,” and with Stienman, “Self Psychology and Psychosis.”
Ron Krasner died, so unexpectedly, over the Christmas break. It was a shock to us all.
Ron was a former President of this Society. In that role he brought a rare level of administrative expertise that he had honed over the years. He helped us put a rather shaky house in order, and one testament to his work is that we’re still here.
I first met Ron almost 30 years ago when I began working at the Lakeside VA, which at that time was part of Northwestern, where Ron was residency director and later associate chair. Ron’s psychoanalytic acumen came across during our in person reviews for the residents I supervised. He always helped me to say more about the residents than I intended to say, which was helpful to me and to the residents, whose learning needs were paramount in his mind.
Ron was truly one of a kind, as at that point he was the only psychoanalyst in Chicago to have a major role in a major psychiatry department. This was all the more remarkable as the Chairman of Ron’s department was a major advocate of the managed care approach that was changing the shape of clinical practice. Against that tide, Ron was a voice for psychoanalytic values. He held the line.
Being a defensive lineman was true to Ron’s stature. He was a big man, a natural leader, whose empathy and essential kindness came as something of a surprise, at least to me. He was a formal, dignified man, and a rather conservative one, not necessarily what you would expect from a man with a rather blue collar background and an inner city Chicago upbringing.
Ron leaves behind many friends in our community, with whom he played poker, studied, shot baskets, and dined. And there are countless others who he taught, mentored and inspired. In other words, Ron was the kind of analyst who engaged. All of us will miss him.
-Neal Spira, MD, former President of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society