As President, I warmly welcome you to the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society Website. 

The Chicago Psychoanalytic Society (The Society) is a professional organization offering educational events, a forum for discussing psychoanalytic ideas, and resources for mental health professionals and the community at large, which because of our capacity to offer Zoom meetings, has expanded to include participants from all over the world

We are beginning the academic year with an exciting LIVE celebration.   Chicago’s own, and the Society’s own Jonathan Lear will be giving a talk which will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.   The talk, GRATITUDE, AND MEANING will be at the University Club, 76 East Monroe, Chicago, September 27 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.  For those who cannot attend in person a Zoom link will be available.

The last few years have been difficult for us given the prevalence of the pandemic. All of our presentations were on zoom over the last two years and although this enabled us to reach a large audience, we feel it is now safe to resume with some live presentations.   Jonathan Lear’s talk will be our first one of the year and we are hoping that this is a cause for celebration—that we can all get together as Society members, as psychoanalytic thinkers, practitioners and as friends and colleagues.  I deeply hope that you will be able to join us for this talk, September 27.  Although the talk and reception are free, CEU credits are only available for members.  - Lucy Freund, PhD


Organized June 8, 1931 and accepted as a Constituent Society by the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1932, the Society's mission is to advance the field of psychoanalysis through the promotion of education and research by its members and the the community-at-large; to maintain and promote professional and ethical standards of the profession; to promote professional activities of its members by assisting career development and generating marketing opportunities; and to enhance the vitality of the Society by encouraging a diversity of opinion, assessing the interests of its members, facilitating member involvement in Society activities and fostering a collegial community.

The Society is committed to maintaining an educational environment free from sexual harassment, sexual violence, and discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by law. It also strives to initiate, welcome, and maintain ongoing conversations and discussions related to inclusivity among its members and the community-at-large.


Upcoming Program

Gratitude and Meaning

Presenter: Jonathan Lear 

September 27, 2022 6:30 - 9:00pm Central Time
In Person: University Club, 76 E. Monroe, Corner of Michigan Ave, Chicago 60603 and virtually by Zoom 

Drawing on a life-time of psychoanalytic experience and delving into traditions of western European thinking, Melanie Klein laid down envy and gratitude as two fundamental polarities in human life.  An enormous amount of psychoanalytic thinking has since been devoted to figuring out how envy works, though the phenomenon remains puzzling.  Gratitude has been almost ignored -- though it too has its puzzles. For example, how is it that even when things go well for a person, she feels gratitude rather than merely feeling satisfied?  And what is so good about that? What makes gratitude part of our flourishing? Of course, there are answers offered from evolutionary biology and the social sciences.  But psychoanalysis seeks insight into the inner logic, the psychodynamics, of what it is like to be creatures capable of gratitude.  It also seeks normatively to endorse gratitude as a mode of our flourishing. 

Jonathan Lear, PhD, is one of the two or three foremost thinkers who employ a psychoanalytic perspective in exploring social, psychological, and philosophical questions.  He is a member of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society and a faculty member of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.  As a Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he teaches philosophy and courses on psychoanalytic theory and practice.  In addition to his PhD in philosophy from the Rockefeller University, he trained as a psychoanalyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. His books include Freud; Wisdom Won from Illness: Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis; Therapeutic Action: An Earnest Plea for Irony; A Case for Irony; and Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation.  His new book, Imagining the End: Mourning and Ethical Life, will be published this autumn.  Professor Lear is a member of the Friends of the Ukrainian Psychoanalytic Society.

After attending this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Explain the function and dynamics of gratitude;
  2. Elucidate how patients in psychotherapy makes use of, or fail to have a capacity for, gratitude. 

Admission is free. Registration is required in order to receive the zoom link, and for in-person attendance.  Continuing Education Credits are offered exclusively to Society members in all membership categories and those intending to join.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.  The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

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