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HFI 2021 Annual Open House set for May 15 on Zoom

Please join us for the Institute’s annual Open House on Saturday May 15 from 1-3 pm to learn about our clinical training programs in the community to become a psychoanalyst. Applicants need to hold at graduate degree in any discipline – allowing individuals from across the humanities, sciences and social sciences to enter the field. Training to become a Licensed or Certified Psychoanalyst usually takes 4-5 years part-time, though swifter advancement is possible.

To register for HFI’s Open House, Saturday May 15, please click on this Zoom link.

Since 1991 we have worked to train tomorrow’s diversity-sensitive psychoanalysts by taking training and treatment out to the community in small clinical sites that we operate in Harlem and Northern Manhattan, where our candidates provide free and ultra-low-fee clinical services to children, families, adolescents and adults through both psychotherapy and play therapy.

a man assisting a young child with play therapy

Through play therapy, we offer youngsters a safe space to express their feelings, to learn to use their strengths to manage the challenges they face every day, and to discover new ways to relate to the world.

We have served hundreds of parents and children through our school- and community-based playroom treatment centers, where we offer consistent, long-term therapy and play therapy. Clients meet with their therapist in a safe, pleasant space where they work together to address difficult issues through play or talk.

The candidates studying in our programs – many of African American or Latino heritage, including clergy, from Harlem and the city’s most diverse communities – are able to develop careers as advanced mental-health professionals. The Institute’s more than 90 faculty members come from many of the city’s and nation’s psychoanalytic institutes, drawn by its unique mission. The institute can admit suitable candidates, whether licensed or not, who hold a graduate degree in any discipline. Graduates of our Licensure-Qualifying Program may immediately sit the state exam to become Licensed Psychoanalysts. 

Our founding Trustees included Dr. Margaret Morgan Lawrence, MD, the nation’s first African American woman pediatrician and first African American psychoanalyst, who died in December 2019 aged 105. Our leadership includes Board Chairman Dr. Gilbert W. Kliman, MD, Honorary Dean Dr. Kirkland C. Vaughans, PhD, Executive Director Michael Connolly, MPA, LP, Training Director Dr. David Abrams, PhD, Clinical Directors Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Fanny Brewster, PhD, MFA, LP, and Ernest P. Smith, LCSW-R, and child & adult psychoanalyst Ann Marie Sacramone, MSEd, LP.

Gilbert Kliman, MD
HFI Board Chairman
Kirkland Vaughans, PhD
Honorary Dean

In addition to taking psychoanalytic training and treatment out to the community, the Institute aims to deepen an understanding of diversity and inclusiveness among tomorrow’s psychoanalysts.  Created in 1991 to help children and families at a small independent elementary school in Harlem, HFI seeks to draw individuals of all cultures and backgrounds as it helps them develop psychoanalytic skills in working with children, parents, adolescents and other adults. It operates small neighborhood therapy sites in schools, community centers and houses of worship in Harlem and Upper Manhattan. It offers evening classes and supervision in faculty members’ offices. It also offers supervised clinical-experience programs for students in graduate programs in psychology, LMSWs and others. The Institute is currently working to develop a bigger Harlem clinical and child-development operation, where it hopes to offer not only individual psychoanalytic work and psychotherapy for adults, adolescents and children, but also group work for pregnant women, mothers & babies, parents & toddlers, Reflective-Network Therapy Nurseries for Preschoolers, and adolescent groups.

David Abrams, PhD
Training Director
Fanny Brewster, PhD
Clinical Director
Ernest P. Smith, LCSW-R
Clinical Director

If you hold a graduate degree in any discipline and would like to become a psychoanalyst equipped to work with children, families, adolescents and adults in Harlem and nearby communities of New York’s great’s diversity, this event will help you get started by learning about the Institute and our training programs.

Ann Marie Sacramone, MSEd, LP
Senior Faculty Member

To register for HFI’s Open House, Saturday May 15, please click on this Zoom link.

HFI, which aims to take psychoanalytic training and treatment out into the community, grew out of a 1980s psychotherapy program created by psychoanalyst Stephen Kurtz, LCSW to help children at the Children’s Storefront School on East 129th St. In addition to Mr. Kurtz and Dr. Lawrence, founding Board members included Robert Coles, MD, the Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who devoted much of his career to researching and writing about the moral and spiritual life of children, including the book “Children of Crisis,” George Getzel, CSW, Tamar Turin Opler, LCSW-R, poet Ned O’Gorman, who founded the Children’s Storefront School, and attorney Elisabeth Radow, the Institute’s first chair, who did a mountain of pro bono legal work to set up the Institute and win its needed New York State approvals.

HFI Founder Stephen Kurtz, LCSW, with Founding Trustees Margaret Morgan Lawrence, MD, and Robert Coles, MD

HFI’s current Board Chairman Dr. Gilbert Kliman, MD, was the 2020 recipient of the American Psychoanalytic Association President’s humanitarian award for “his lifetime psychoanalytic leadership in treating and advocating for underserved and traumatized children worldwide,” and the 2020 Rieger Award of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for his Reflective Network Therapy in the Preschool classroom, which shows significant and regular IQ gains in the children who have participated in the treatment. Dr. Kliman has also created a series of guided-activity workbooks for children, including most recently, “My Pandemic Story” (see below), which has been translated into 13 languages. Dr. Kliman also provides expert-witness testimony to help victims of abuse and trauma pursue actions against their abusers. Intended recipients of such work in future include victims of police and vigilante violence and their families.  

Leading psychoanalyst and HFI Honorary Dean, Dr. Kirkland Vaughans, has drawn wide attention for co-editing with Warren Spielberg, PhD, the seminal, 2014, two-volume book “The Psychology of Black Boys & Adolescents.”

To register for HFI’s Open House, Saturday May 15, please click on this Zoom link:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqfu2sqjgqGNc0dym5zDcTLdPIlKXXxjvD

More information about the Institute and its psychoanalytic training programs is available in its 40-page Catalogue.