Dr. Daphne S. Stolorow Memorial Essay Award

The Dr. Daphne S. Stolorow Memorial Essay Award

Each year, ICP gives the Dr. Daphne S. Stolorow Memorial Essay Award for the best essay by a candidate or a graduate of not more than one year. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 prize, and the winner’s name is added to a plaque hanging in the ICP library.

The award was established by family and friends to memorialize Dr. Daphne S. Stolorow (December 20, 1956 – February 23, 1991) and her precocious capacity for psychoanalytic scholarship. It is less well known that Dede, as she was called by loved ones and friends, played a significant, albeit painful, role in the creation of ICP. In 1988, Dede and two other applicants were accepted for psychoanalytic training by the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, but were denied a “waiver” of the MD requirement by the American Psychoanalytic Association–a denial that was intended to bar them from beginning their training. Ludicrously, Dede was told that she was “too young and inexperienced” to begin psychoanalytic training, despite the fact that two of her treatment cases had been published or accepted for publication in prestigious psychoanalytic journals. The American’s refusal to grant Dede a waiver was especially incendiary, as she had been an ongoing participant in a consultation group attended by 10-12 training analysts at the Southern California Institute, all of whom had become acquainted with and had come to admire Dede’s superb clinical thinking and therapeutic work. Consequently, the Education Committee at the Southern California Institute voted overwhelmingly to begin training Dede and the other two applicants, in defiance of the American. Then came the backlash, with threats of expelling the Southern California Institute from the American, whereupon the Education Committee voted again to continue training the three candidates, but this time by only a one-vote margin. Tremendous acrimony was created among the membership of the Southern California Institute, which became heatedly polarized over the issue of local autonomy versus control by the American. In the context of this acrimony, Louis Breger and Robert Stolorow met to discuss plans for establishing a new psychoanalytic institute based on the principles of local autonomy, democratic process, and academic freedom, and the rest is history.

Dede fell gravely ill during the period in which ICP took form. She decided that, when she recovered, she would continue her psychoanalytic training at ICP. Tragically, she did not recover. The American granted her her waiver shortly before she died.

We are all grateful to Dede both for her wonderful contributions to psychoanalytic discourse and for the indirect role that she played in the coming into being of ICP.

References

Socarides, Daphne D., & Stolorow, R. D. (1984-85). Affects and selfobjects.
Annual of Psychoanalysis, 12/13:105-119.

Stolorow, Daphne S., & Stolorow, R. D. (1989). My brother’s keeper: Intensive treatment of a case of delusional merger. Internat. J.
Psycho-Anal., 70:315-326

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