The Reorganization Continues

Welcome by our president, Michael Connolly, to our 2012 Holiday benefit

With the Holiday season upon us again, I’d like to welcome all of you here tonight as we celebrate and thank every one of you for helping our Harlem Family Institute. Hanukkah begins in a week, and Christmas and Kwanza are just weeks away

While the Institute is like New York’s many other psychoanalytic-training institutes in being both a post-graduate school and in offering clinical services, it has two very special roles.

It is focused on offering clinical services in poor neighborhoods – especially in schools – and in training people especially from those communities who want to learn how to do this work and to go on to become psychoanalysts.

And remember that psychoanalysis is now an independent licensed profession in New York. You no longer need to be first a physician or a psychologist or a social worker to be a licensed professional practicing as a psychoanalyst.

But we couldn’t do this without the help of every one of you.

We couldn’t do it without the professional psychoanalysts from many institutes or various orientations who offer their services as instructors, as casework supervisors and as personal analysts to our trainees.

We couldn’t do it without our administrators who plan, arrange and coordinate everything – especially our clinical and training director, psychologist Kim Arrington; our program administrator, Sandra Fell; and licensed psychoanalyst Tom Wagner, who fills out our vital training committee. In addition, there’s Brian Peterson, our development director, and Sheila Johnson, our alumni-affairs coordinator.

We couldn’t do it without our 13-member board of trustees, led by our chairwoman – Harlem social-worker and psychoanalyst Angela Rita-Farias.

We couldn’t do it without our trainees who give their time and money and energy and pastion to learn how to do this work through our five-year training program – for which we plan to seek the highest status early next year – state registration of our training program, which will allow us to resume accepting unlicensed applicants.

We couldn’t do it without every one of you and your vital role in supporting the Institute and in coming here tonight to help us pay tribute.

While the Institute’s administration continues to be immersed in our reorganization in preparation for applying to the State early next year – which means we’re nearing the end of Stage 1 of our revitalization, there are exciting new developments

Among these:

We’re expecting soon to begin working in Harlem in a new project with single parents and their children.

The state Board of Regents recently approved revisions to our charter that allow us to operate beyond Harlem and anywhere in the city, though we’ll continue to focus most on poor neighborhoods, and also to offer children psychological evaluations for the school system to help us raise funds for the Institute’s other operations.

We recently published our first illustrated, color annual report and our first significant brochure in years. Copies are available on the table out front for those of you who haven’t seen them.

The next stage of our reorganization, which I hope will begin early next year, will involve lifting our profile so we can reach out more to the community to create alliances with other organizations, including foundations that can offer us financial support.

An early step in this process early in 2013 will be the creation of a new website, with the vital help of our designer, Tom, Kenny, who has been invaluable in helping us with our beautiful annual report and photographic color brochure.

And we hope that will allow us to open our own facility in the Harlem area where we can work with parents who can’t visit our school-based playrooms during school hours. The facility would work in the evenings and at weekends.

So to you and all who are helping us with our transformation project, we offer our thanks.