CSPP History


The Connecticut Society of Psychoanalytic Psychology (CSPP) is a multi-discipline group devoted to clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Stanley Rosner and Dale Ortmeyer realized their wish for such an organization in Connecticut by 1986. Rosner was asked to organize a CT chapter of the Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39) of the American Psychological Association (APA). 

The Beginnings
Fifteen psychologists and one social worker began Sunday morning organizational meetings in Rosner’s home. There was unanimous agreement that such an organization had to offer its members meetings with prominent leaders in the forefront of the ever-changing areas of 
1) human development, 
2) psychoanalytic clinical work, 
3) psychoanalytic theory, and 
4) the applying of psychoanalysis to related fields. 

The group established an Executive Board, By-laws, a Program for Continuing Education and a Newsletter to offer psychoanalytic articles and news to every member. Membership was open to psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, and professionals and students who had an interest in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. These organizational standards have remained excellent through today.

The Early Days 
The first officers in 1986 were: President, Stanley Rosner; Secretary and Membership Chair Wendy Stewart; Treasurer, Michael Davies; Program Chair, Ira Moses. From an initial membership of fifty, CSPP has nearly quadrupled its membership. In the spring of 1988 the second President was Dale Ortmeyer. Also in 1988, the Newsletter began publication two to four times a year under the Editorship of Rosalie Greenbaum and Michael Davies. The Newsletter provided an additional forum for the discussion of theoretical and clinical issues and the activities of the Society.

In 1988, under Ortmeyer’s Presidency, an ad hoc committee co-chaired by Wally Spear and Sue Bender, in collaboration with the Connecticut Society of Clinical Social Workers, laid the groundwork for a three-year training program, the Connecticut Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Center (CPPC). By 1991, CPPC became an independent non-profit corporate training program with Richard Briggs as Director. The Center had an outstanding faculty of psychoanalysts from diverse Institutes and excellent candidates of different professional backgrounds. Two succeeding classes of eight candidates graduated over eight years.

Now and Tomorrow
In the intervening years, Executive Committee members have spent much time and creative energy in developing and expanding continuing education opportunities available to our members. In 1996, regional mini-meetings were introduced. These gatherings were and continue to be held in members' homes. Mini-meetings have featured intimate discussions of movies, lectures and social events. Clinical study groups have also been formed, and continue to meet in members' homes and offices. In 1997, we changed our name from the Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychologists to the Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology to more accurately reflect our commitment to a diverse membership. In 2001, Dale Ortmeyer was awarded the first Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a member who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the Society. Subsequent awards were given to Wendy Stewart (2006) and Barbara Marcus (2012). Also in 2006, an event was held to celebrate CSPP's 20th anniversary. 

In more recent years, the Executive Board has developed a listserve and more user-friendly, informative website. An Early Career Committee was established to focus on the particular needs of our early career members. The first Early Career award was given to Rachel Torello in 2012, and second to Jane Keat in 2014. Another newly formed committee that is working hard is the Diversity Committee, which seeks to discuss and address the intersection of psychoanalytic theory and multiculturalism. The Executive Board continues to be a beehive of creative energy.

By Dale Ortmeyer, PhD and Wendy Stewart, PhD


For a list of our past elected officers, click:  Past CSPP Officers

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