GW SMHS announces new educational and research affiliation with WCP

The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is pleased to announce a new educational and research affiliation with the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis (WCP) that will provide educational opportunities for GW's medical students and residents, as well as consultative relationships with the SMHS medical humanities program. As a new academic division within the Department of Psychiatry, the WCP will be well positioned for collaborations with other schools across GW's campus.

As the only affiliation between a psychoanalytic institute and a psychiatry department in recent history, the chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, James Griffith, M.D., says that he "hopes the presence of the WCP will help solidify a national identity for our department as a center of excellence for psychotherapy practice, training, and research."

Psychoanalysis is both a treatment for mental illnesses and a systematic method for examining human subjectivity - a field of study that examines the private world of a person's interior experience of living. While the use of psychoanalysis in our overall health care system has decreased due to the development of psychotherapies that are shorter in duration and less expensive, it is still used as a method for phenomenological inquiry that tracks patterns of a person's lived experience within contexts of family, workplace, community, and culture. As such, a psychoanalytic perspective can add a depth of understanding to clinical treatment, psychiatric education, medical humanities, and psychiatric research.

"This affiliation will provide our students and residents with experiences that are not as easily attainable at other medical schools. With an understanding and appreciation for psychoanalysis, our students will be better prepared to understand and treat their patients," said Griffith.

In July, 2013, the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis moved into the physical setting of GW's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at 2120 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, which provides an ideal setting for teaching and meaningful collaborations.

"Many Center members have been teaching and/or supervising in the Department of Psychiatry for many years, and formalizing this union makes great sense for both organizations," said David Cooper, Ph.D., president of the Center. "We look forward to a mutually enriching collaboration, as there are exciting possibilities for psychoanalytic clinicians and scholars to engage in the university setting." Cooper noted that WCP past President David I. Joseph, M.D. spearheaded this important effort.


GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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