Category Archives: Announcements

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:

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

“My Pandemic Story” – Guided Activity Workbook for Children and Teens Now Available

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. Children and teenagers are especially vulnerable to the mental and emotional stressors of the crisis: their world has been turned upside down just as they were beginning to discover their own place in it.

The new guided-activity workbook “MY PANDEMIC STORY,” by our own HFI Chairman, leading child psychiatrist Dr. Gilbert Kliman, was created to support young people and their families and educators during these troubled times. Based on Dr. Kliman’s own Reflective Network Therapy and backed up by the authors’ decades of experience and evidence-based findings in disaster response, this workbook is for everyone grades K-12 and their families, educators and caregivers. It encourages learning and healthy emotional expression, introduces young people to appropriate coping and recovery skills, and encourages scientific thinking. 

The Harlem Family Institute is honored to offer this workbook, in cooperation with the Children’s Psychological Health Center, in electronic format for purchase on our website. Pricing starts at $3.99 for an individual copy, with major discounts available on bulk licenses for organizations and educational institutions. For more info and to purchase:

BOOK LAUNCH: “White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives” by Dr. Neil Altman – Saturday, Dec. 12

Dr. Altman will discuss his new book over Zoom on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at 11:30 AM EST, in conversation with integrative arts psychotherapist Eugene Ellis, MA, and child & adult psychoanalyst Ann Marie Sacramone, MSEd, LP.
The book launch will inaugurate the Institute’s new Public Programming, under the leadership of HFI senior Faculty member, Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Fanny Brewster, PhD, MFA, LP.

In “White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives,” Dr. Altman examines the significant role race and the concept of unearned “white privilege” plays in society and in clinical practice, suggesting that there are hidden assumptions in the idea that perpetuate the very same prejudicial notions that are purportedly being dismantled.

This book examines in depth the polarized, black-and-white, socially constructed racial categories that rest on fallacious ideas of physical or psychological differences among peoples. Neil Altman also critically examines related concepts including privilege, guilt, and power. He suggests that the polarization of our political positions also contribute to stereotyping between people with different political leanings, foreclosing mutual respect, dialogue and understanding. Finally, Dr. Altman’s book explores in detail the implications for the theory and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Drawing on Neil Altman’s rich clinical experience and many years of engaging with racial and societal problems, the book offers a new agenda for understanding and offering analytic practice in contemporary society.

Admission cost: a donation of any amount to the nonprofit Harlem Family Institute

Dr. Neil AltmanPhD, is a member of the faculty at the William Alanson White institute in New York. He is Joint Editor Emeritus of “Psychoanalytic Dialogues: the International Journal of Relational Perspectives,” and a member of the editorial board at “Ricerca Psicoanalitica,” “The Journal of Child Psychotherapy,” “The Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy” and “The International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies.” He is a member of the Harlem Family (Psychoanalytic) Institute’s Advisory Council.

He is author of “The Analyst in the Inner City: Race, Class, and Culture through a Psychoanalytic Lens” (Routledge, 2010) and “Psychoanalysis in Times of Accelerating Cultural Change: Spiritual Globalization” (Routledge, 2015). He has written numerous articles on clinical work with underserved and marginalized people, as well as his new “White Privilege: Psychoanalytic Perspectives” (Routledge, 2020).

Eugene EllisMA, Dip. PSA accredited, is an integrative arts psychotherapist practicing in the U.K. He has worked for many years with severely traumatized children and their families in the field of adoption and fostering, as well as in private practice. He has a special interest in body-orientated therapies and is also the founder of the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network.

His coming book “The Race Conversation: An essential guide to creating life-changing dialogue,” explores not just the cognitive and historical development of the race construct but also focuses specifically on the nonverbal communication of race, both as a means of social control and as an essential part of navigating oppressive patterns.

He is the author of many articles, including Silenced: the Black Student ExperienceTowards a Rainbow-Coloured Therapeutic CommunityUpdating Psychotherapy training: equality and diversity issues in psychotherapy training and Why strong black people do go counselling (Voice newspaper).

Ann Marie SacramoneMSEd, LP, is Chair of the Schools committee at the American Psychoanalytic Association, and Co-Chair of the Child, Adolescent and Parent Committee at the International Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She is also a senior faculty member at the Harlem Family (Psychoanalytic) Institute

The basis of Ms. Sacramone’s approach to fostering change with clients is based on the developmental processes that we understand through neuroscience, video microanalysis and attachment research. We influence and respond to each other when we interact with each other. Over time, those interactions can change how we think, feel, work, play and have relationships.

In her practice, Ms. Sacramone views that influence, response and change as a  therapeutic process. She practices that process in ways that lead to the vital growth of the client.  Part of that vital growth is the development of rich and fulfilling relationships in love and work. Ms. Sacramone treats adults and children.  In addition to her private practice, she has designed innovative models for school and community interventions that help both children and adults.

She has published and presented widely on psychoanalytic perspectives and applications in large social groups.A selected list can be found here.

Dr. Fanny BrewsterPhD, MFA, LP, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Philadelphia. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute of New York and is a New York State Licensed Psychoanalyst and Certified SchoolPsychologist. She is a senior faculty member at the Harlem Family (Psychoanalytic) Institute, where she is establishing the Institute’s new Public Programs. 

She is the author of several recent books, including The Racial Complex: A Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race,” 2019; Archetypal Grief: Slavery’s Legacy of Intergenerational Child Loss,” 2018; and African Americans and Jungian Psychology: Leaving the Shadows,” 2017.

The Harlem Family Institute Stands in Solidarity With Victims of Police Abuse in France


by Dr. Gilbert W. Kliman, MD, Chairperson

At The Harlem Family Institute, we hold in our hearts and minds that all of us in the world must unite against systemic racism.  We are in solidarity with victims of abuse as we recognize the social responsibility of all people of all races for the behavior of their police officers. We help psychoanalysts rise above being bystanders.  We recognize that all persons are the aggressors, bystanders and ultimately the police of a complexly interactive world.  As psychoanalysts of many colors at this unique place called The Harlem Family Institute, we have a special mission: It is to deepen and extend conscious responsibility to as many citizens of the planet as possible.

As Chairperson of The Harlem Family Institute, a New York psychoanalytic training institute, I know that at this Institute we have great knowledge about the great social damage done by lynching, beating and killing of black persons. These seemingly old abuses still occur, conspicuously by wrongful police action. But here at The Harlem Family Institute we know these abuses are also widely present in other societal forms. They greatly affect children directly and indirectly for generations to come.  The ways of affecting children are often unconscious.  We want to raise consciousness of the complex processes, to combat the abuse of human beings by human beings.

Our unique psychoanalytic institute is established to train people of all ethnicities, people of all colors and diversity more generally to become psychoanalysts. We train as well as treat oppressed people.  We offer forensic expert training in our acquired knowledge about the effects and actions of racism in this continuing crisis.  In our forensic and other community-oriented psychoanalytic trainings, we use our specially acquired knowledge. We often benefit from our clients’ gifts of their voices. Thus, we use recorded evidence of wrongdoings against children of color and those in poverty, not just adults.  We teach about the way the evil playbooks of racism travel through time, across generations. 

We support those who take leadership in expressing the ultimate consciousness of responsibility borne by all citizens of France and, by extension, the world.

Gilbert W. Kliman, MD


The Harlem Family Institute

New York