- to inform and help build a sense of community for MICP&P graduates, students, society members, and faculty; and
- to provide information to mental health practitioners who are interested in learning about MICP&P and participating in future events and/or programs.
To introduce myself, your editor Derek Prowe: I am a 3rd-year student/candidate in MICP&P’s Program in Psychoanalysis. I am a psychologist in private practice in South Minneapolis and downtown Minneapolis. The newsletter is released under the auspices of the Outreach Committee of MICP&P.I hope you enjoy this issue. I am happy to accept feedback, suggestions for future issues, ideas or contributions for articles, etc. The intention is to release a newsletter quarterly.Thanks for reading!
Derek Prowe, PsyD LP
MICP&P was founded in 2003 as a Contemporary Psychotherapy Program and has graduated 6, 2-year classes and has it’s the halfway through their training. In 2009 the Program in Psychoanalysis was added to the programs offered and by May 2017, our second cohort of candidates will finish their coursework. Our Psychotherapy Program is made up of both local and national faculty, while the Psychoanalytic Program is almost entirely made up of a national faculty.
Along with our two major programs, we offer Study Groups, Saturday Salons and twice a year major conferences with national and international presenters.
Our programs are based on Contemporary, Relational, and Developmental principals. A key aspect of our programs is that we strongly draw from the evidence-based work or infant development and attachment research. This information has been gathered from several prospective, longitudinal studies such as those conducted by Dr. Alan Sroufe at the University of Minnesota. We see that individual development occurs within a relational matrix and this guides us in our treatment endeavors. We find this enlivens our treatments significantly.
Interview with Cally Fuchs, Psychoanalyst
By Derek Prowe, PsyD LP
C: It is years. I was in therapy myself, with someone who did psychodynamic therapy. I went to the division 39 workshop that was in Minneapolis around 2000, and I went alone. I just went there to learn more. As I walked from workshop to workshop, I realized I really didn’t know what I was doing.
D: So you had been in practice before that, as a therapist.
C: I had worked at DAP (Domestic Abuse Project) starting 1996, until 2003. So this was before I left DAP. I didn’t have a theoretical orientation when I finished graduate school. I wanted to do really good work, and I didn’t feel like I had enough to do that. So at the conference, I thought “Well, you’re going to have to learn more about this.” So I walked to this table and there was this yellow piece of paper saying they’re going to start an institute, and I said: “I need to do that.” It was just like that! (laughter) I didn’t know anything about other orientations within psychodynamic; I had learned a little in school, but I didn’t know much about it.
D: So you weren’t like selecting self-psychology vs. ego psychology vs…. this is just what you found, and you went with it. And so you did the 2-year program first?
C: That’s right, I just went with it. I knew I needed that–you can tell when you know how to do something well, and when you don’t. I was one of the first people interviewed for the psychotherapy program, so I was in the first class starting in 2003. Then I went to work for Pierce County, so while I was in the 2-year program I was working for the county and seeing seriously and persistently mentally ill clients. I loved it. It just opened my eyes to a whole new world of doing therapy; I thought it was extremely fun.
D: Then later, you went on to the program in psychoanalysis?
C: Yes, after the two-year program, there were study groups, and I would go every single time. And then when they decided to do an analytic program, I decided to do it too. Again I was in the first program, and I was the first one to complete it; it was kind of crazy.
D: So how does your MICP&P training fit into your overall development as a therapist? There was a before vs. after the Division 39 workshop?
C: Right, I worked at DAP and they had a very specific orientation: CBT. And I had been a Weight Watchers leader for 9 years, and that’s all CBT. What I learned from Weight Watchers was that CBT did a really good job of helping you right now, but it wasn’t a long-term thing. It didn’t change people; they didn’t lose weight and keep it off. In fact, I was the rep for Weight Watchers, selling it to corporations all over the Twin Cities. One corporation I work with was concerned about this, and they made us track all the weights for 5 years of meetings. And no one lost any weight in total. They lost weight and gained it, lost weight and gained it. So I could see there were some benefits to CBT, but it wasn’t helping people to change their lives.
D: Interesting, so you had a very concrete measure of CBT seems to be helpful to people, but then it’s not sticking.
C: Right, very concrete.D: So you’re in private practice now? Please tell us about your current work setting and your practice, and how that’s going.
C: I am. So I have a home office, and I do about 50% play therapy or child/adolescent, and 50% adults, and a few couples. It’s part time, because of my age and… I don’t have any trouble getting clients at all.
D: Are a lot of your clients longer-term, they stick with you?
C: Yes, in fact, this year I have some clients finishing up, and I’ve had them 7-8 years. I’ve seen three to four people multiple times a week. I don’t see kids multiple times a week.
D: Well that was one of my questions–you have a handful of people you see several times a week?
C: Yes. I try to keep my clinical hours to 15 a week, plus I probably spend 5 hours doing… stuff. Right now I just have one person coming several times a week, but other times I have had several. Gary kind of taught me how to do that, think about who it would work for, and it has to work for them financially, so I have to think about that. I haven’t had trouble getting people to work more intensively when it’s appropriate. What I think I have the most struggle with is I just get so many clients that I don’t have spaces for people to come, because I want to limit how many hours I’m doing it.
D: That’s a good problem to have.
C: It is a good problem to have!
D: What do you attribute that to?
C: Well, it was shocking when I went on my own that I didn’t have trouble getting clients. I brought a caseload, that’s one thing. I’m on Psychology Today, and insurance companies call me. I think it’s that I see kids, I think that’s part of it. And, it’s a small town [Hudson, WI]. I’ve lived here since 1979, so people know me.
D: I think that’s something people are interested in–once you’re geared up with all the training and you’re prepared to see people multiple times a week–it sounds like half or less than half of your clinical time are intensive cases?
C: Yes, and that’s enough. If I decided to put my attention just to intensive cases, I think I could do that, I think anyone could do that. But there’s another issue I have, I also am 71 and I’m not taking the hardest cases anymore because I see grandchildren and have other things I do. So I’m picking and choosing more, which I wouldn’t have 10 years ago.
D: It’s interesting, the course of your career, and you’re at a stage. So going back to the training itself, what did you find most rewarding about the 2-year program?
C: The 2-year program just turned me on. I just loved it, I loved what was happening with my clients, it was just exciting and fun. I learned about things and got to meet people I never thought I would have met. I loved my group of people; we had about 8 people for that first group.
D: So you had a really good cohort?
C: We had a great cohort, yes, it was just plain fun.
D: And then when you went into the subsequent psychoanalytic training, what would you say was most rewarding about that? By then you had a lot of exposure, you had learned some of the theory.
C: Yeah, so what I think what was most rewarding is that’s where I really learned to do it. I wasn’t just turned on now, I was… I think of it as an art, and the analytic program was like having great teachers teach you how to be an artist. Before that, I knew how to do it, but I didn’t have it in my bones. Now I do. I focus on feelings in a different sort of a way and try to figure out how that’s getting expressed in a way they’re not able to see themselves. The kinds of relationships I get with people are very deep and they go very fast.
D: That’s neat… and what would you say was the most challenging aspect of your training?
C: Well, I felt very supported… In the analytic program, I think exhaustion was the challenge… I got really overtired. I did my analysis, I started supervision, um… when I finished the coursework, I had almost finished it all, I just had to write two papers.
D: So while you were taking the coursework, you got the other parts done as well.
C: Yes, and I should not have done that. I got way overtired. So I have spent time rehabilitating physically and… it was too much. But I’m fine now.
D: So, for future classes, would you recommend, while you’re in the coursework don’t try to take on too much of the supervision and the personal analysis?
C: Yes, that’s right. I like it that people are coming in in different stages in the program now, so you don’t think you have to do it all at once. I mean, in my class we all started together and ended together. I like what they’re doing now [rolling admission to analytic program] because I think you’d have more permission to not do it all at once. I also think dual relationships can be a challenge. I think if there was a way to support people in taking more time and finishing, that would be for the best. And that’s one of the things I’m trying to do by being on committees, make it so people can actually accomplish this, and not feel the way I did. I’m on the other side now, and I can see some things that could be adjusted, improved, and I want to be a part of that.
D: So now that you’re finished with the training, how do you continue developing or stay fresh, involved?
C: Well, in my area here I’m alone. So I’ve sought out case consultation. Right now I’m organizing a case consultation group, for anyone that’s been through the 2-year program. And it’s for myself. I’m not going to charge; I recognize it’s a plus to have an analyst in the group, but I want to talk to other people. I think it keeps it fresh and alive and exciting.D: So then my final question: what input would you have for a therapist who’s considering training with MICP&P?
C: I would say go for it. It will give you a richness, no matter what you decide to do. The other thing I believe is people should finish, including writing the papers. When you’re on the other side, and you’re finished, you think about it in a different way than when you’re in it. Writing the papers, when you sit down and you put the concepts and write them out, about someone you did it with, and you have to be accountable for what you wrote, you integrate it in a completely different way. It becomes yours in a way that it wasn’t before you do that.
D: Well Cally, thanks again for speaking with me today.