Voices of Experience

 

COMMENTS FROM OUR GUEST FACULTY

“It has been my great pleasure to be involved with the New Directions program since its inception. The faculty is among the most thoughtful and innovative group of teachers with whom I have worked. The curriculum facilitates creative critical thinking, and supports students in conceptualizing and developing their personal writing projects.”
Jay Greenberg, Ph.D.
(William Alanson White Institute)

“This excellent program provides an integration of reading, thinking and writing that is unique in the field. It permits an in-depth treatment of subject matters which creates its own consuming excitement. I warmly recommend it.”

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., FBA
(Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University College, London)

“New Directions is well-named, for the program provides the crucial support, encouragement and fellowship so many clinicians need to turn those percolating ideas for papers into reality. Non-clinicians can take their academic interests and careers in new directions as well, as they benefit from on-going involvement in a structured group setting where the application of psychoanalytic ideas to their own areas of expertise is really appreciated and understood. Why struggle to write alone when there’s such a terrific – and fun – program that helps would-be writers make strides together?”
Susan C.Vaughan, M.D.
(Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research)

“I have found the New Directions program to be one of the most valuable programs in the country for mental health professionals who wish both to update their knowledge of current issues in the field and to improve their writing skills. It offers a unique opportunity for therapists to develop professionally in both these ways and I highly recommend it to all those who seek to expand their knowledge and skills in these areas.”
Theodore Jacobs, M.D.
(New York Psychoanalytic Institute and NYU Psychoanalytic Institute)

“New Directions is a pioneering and unique program for learning to write in the field of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Refuting the prevailing sense that such programs are often advocated but rarely carried out, New Directions offers exciting opportunities, fresh methodologies, and creative dialogue with skilled writers in our field. The result of participating in the program is renewed vigor and enhanced skill for the aspiring writers amongst us!”
Salman Akhtar, M.D.
(Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute)

“New Directions really is a new direction, both for attention to writing in our field and for attention to mentoring as the means to make the writing process relational, that is, appropriate to our accumulating clinical tradition.”
Elisabeth Young-Bruehl,
(Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research)

“Bringing together talented psychoanalysts and mental health professionals with aspiring and already published writers makes for an extraordinary catalytic experience. The program affords participants the combination of the sheer pleasure that comes from playing with the craft of words and the provocative experience of thinking deeply about the individual meanings in a story well told. New Directions should be sampled time and time again.”
Linda Mayes, M.D.
(Yale Child Study Center)

“What touched me most on first encounter with New Directions was the ambiance of consistently considerate warmth, the air of comfortable candor. Status and hierarchy had no presence. Rather, all shared freely their common love for the struggle to translate experience and knowledge into language. As a result, the thinking and the language were never tediously predictable.

A serious writer writes in order to learn how to write. New Directions succeeds as an intermittent writer’s camp, one offering both beginners and those who have often published a safe opportunity to practice learning to write in the company of thoughtful and respectful others.”
Warren S. Poland, M.D.
(Washington Center for Psychoanalysis)

THE EXPERIENCE OF OUR STUDENTS

‘”New Directions has been a life-changing experience for me. It almost feels like re-experiencing college—/ have learned to think more critically (through a psychoanalytic focus), and I have learned to write and express my ideas better. Like in college, I have developed deep, long-lasting friendships while in a supportive, holding environment at New Directions weekends. The mix of experiential small groups and a variety of larger didactic seminars keeps me engaged from start to finish. The caliber of the speakers and small group facilitators is top notch, and they, like the group of students and alums, have quite a breadth of clinical experience and writing modalities. I found my writer’s voice, and have subsequently written a memoir and published some pieces that I would not have had the courage to write without the support of my New Directions family.”
Liat Katz, LCSW-C, Class of 2014

“When I heard about New Directions I imagined that it would be a terrific way to continue my education as a psychotherapist while providing a springboard for writing about my clinical practice and experiences. New Directions is all about that, and so much more. The weekend conferences are the perfect interweave of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking with the creative process of writing, be it for a journal article, fiction, poetry, or a blog, to name but a few. What emerged for me, especially through the weekend writing exercises, was a stronger voice for memoir and creative non-fiction than I had anticipated. I was delighted to find in New Directions a kind and supportive group of like-minded folks that I feel simpatico with, and challenged by, in so many ways. I found a unique writing community that is both playful and serious, and I’ve developed deeply satisfying friendships as a result. Most importantly, I learned not only that I can write, but how to be a better writer.”
Don Chiappinelli, MSW, Class of 2010