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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

Patrick Perkins - Passion for Psychoanalysis Now and Beyond

Spring Meeting 2003

by Patrick Perkins, M.A.

I appreciate the Students’ and Trainees’ Association of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society for financially contributing to my recent trip to Boston.  Not only did the scholarship help make it possible for me to attend the meetings, but it also validated my own longstanding interest in psychoanalysis. 

I entered the weekend with the experience of having previously attended one other American Psychoanalytic Association national meeting.  Nevertheless, I was somewhat nervous and intimidated as I found myself surrounded by a group of highly distinguished analytic minds.  Despite my trepidation, I was eager to meaningfully engage in learning from this group’s wisdom, and I could feel my confidence growing as I began to meet a number of people and attend presentations throughout the weekend.  

One of the first presentations I went to was “The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Eating Disorders,” a topic that is germane to my dissertation and long-term clinical interests.  I was excited to finally hear a presentation from an analytic perspective on eating disorders, and I gained valuable information and new insights from this talk.  As the weekend continued, I attended a variety of sessions on subjects including patients who self-mutilate, sports and psychoanalysis, paternal transference, and conflict in contemporary clinical work.  In addition, I went to a symposium regarding the revitalization of the American Psychoanalytic Association, which focused on the current image of the Association and ways to promote future growth and stability.  This issue is particularly important to me and directly ties in with my membership on the APsaA Student Associates’ Committee, where I hope to offer ideas on how to generate and sustain interest in psychoanalysis among my peers.  I was appointed to this committee following the winter meetings in New York, and I met with committee members for the first time in Boston.

Overall, my experience at the Boston meetings further solidified my passion for psychoanalysis and helped to advance my knowledge of this field.  Through interacting with students and analysts, I was able to feel more connected to a larger psychoanalytic community.  This in turn has engendered my strong sense of commitment to APsaA and my desire to remain actively involved in this organization.  I would like to thank SATA and MPS again for providing me with this scholarship.

Patrick Perkins, recipient of a SATA scholarship for the Boston APsaA meeting, is enrolled in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Michigan State, and this fall is applying for a clinical internship, which he would begin next summer. His dissertation is examining personality clusters and family functioning in women with eating pathology.