SOLASTALGIA by Hattie Myers

“Ever since college, I have had only one goal: to become minister of education and change the system in Afghanistan […]. I have worked so hard to reach this goal. Every night before going to sleep, I imagined myself in a ministry chair as secretary of education, but now I find myself imprisoned in the corner of a room.” With “tears in (her) eyes” a psychology student from Kabul University recalls August 15, 2021, the day her “palace of dreams” was shattered. 

LEAVING THE HOLE by Susanna Stephens

It’s been more than a year in semi-lockdown, and I have to push myself to leave the hole I’ve been working and sleeping out of—the hole that is my bedroom, a kind of symbol of my libido, somehow both empty and bottomless. I know there is sun outside; I know it to be lovely, just as I know the woodcocks and catbirds are chirping; and if I close my eyes and open the windows, I can almost pretend I’m on a deck by the ocean, still alone.

I NEED A GUIDE by Sandy Silverman

Early in the pandemic, I realized that what I needed was an instruction book that would tell me how to survive. I pictured it, a guide tailored to my personal needs, the first section titled How to be a Psychotherapist During a Pandemic and the second, How to Have a Homeless Brother During a Pandemic, and the last one, How to Not Give Up.

BLACK AND BLUE by Lee Jenkins

We talk about the blues as sadness and transcendence of sadness. As an American Black, my experience tells me that it certainly seems to be both of these things simultaneously—contradictory things existing together, something we psychoanalysts know about. To me it’s about acceptance of the inexorable challenge…

CLOSE UP by Hattie Myers

“An urgent sense of the possible contributed to my pursuit of psychoanalytic training over a decade ago, back when CO2 levels were still below 400 ppm. At the time, my analyst and my own analysis were introducing me to an unanticipated world of depth, beauty, and tolerable terror from which I rarely wanted to surface.” So begins Susan Kassouf’s essay, “A New Thing Under the Sun.” Kassouf quickly recognized that her new profession did not lend itself to thinking about the “more than human” environment, let alone climate catastrophe. “There was no useful language to describe what I was sensing,” she writes, so she creates the word she needs. Elaine Zickler understands Kassouf’s drive to find the right words.