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~ Saturday, June 15th - The 2019 VAPS Biennial Ethics Conference will be held on at the Davis Auditorium-UVM in Burlington. Renowned psychoanalyst, Dr. Frank Summers, of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis will be our speaker for the day. His presentation is entitled Understanding Violence, American Exceptionalism, and the Current Political Crisis: The Contribution of a Psychoanalytic Ethic. Please click on this event from our Events page to see all details and download the brochure for this exciting presentation!
Please visit our Events page under Community Events to see latest announcements of upcoming events offered by our Allied Groups: VIP and VPGS!
December 21, 1952 – February 28, 2019
On February 28, 2019, Lewis Aron passed away after a long battle with cancer. A psychoanalyst who made significant contributions to the field, particularly within relational psychoanalysis, Lew was the partner of Galit Atlas, the speaker at our November 2018 scientific meeting. Many within VAPS have expressed their deep sympathy for Galit and sadness about her loss, and the loss to all of us of a passionate, generous, and gifted clinician, theorist, writer, mentor, teacher, and lecturer.
On behalf of the VAPS community, the executive committee sent a letter of condolence to Galit and a gift of fruit and nuts to her and her family.
Some members of the VAPS community knew Lew personally; many others have been influenced by his teaching and ideas. Below, Claire Dumas shares a little of what Lew Aron meant to her.
-- Devon Jersild
The saga of how Lew Aron came into my life started the year after Stephen Mitchell suddenly died. The shock had subsided some but the mourning continued. Many of us had been eagerly following the flowering of Mitchell’s ideas, and there was a conference to be held in NYC--actually it was the first International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP) conference. The conference's mission, as I remember it, was to witness and recognize Mitchell's contribution and to ponder and reflect on his teachings. My friend Hal was going. I felt like I had to go. My friend Stella also felt: "I have to go." So all three of us got in a car and drove to NYC. It was January 2002. This was a very important meeting, a coming together. The hall was jammed full, overflowing. We all knew why we were there. I'm sure Lew was there, but he's not who I remember. I remember Jody Messler Davies presenting a case telling of a session when she was "still sick" and the following day her patient having brought her a warm, nourishing and healing brew which she drank (“mutuality in psychoanalysis,” as Lew might have said). I do know however that Lew was one of many that worked to establish the IARPP and was certainly there that day. In many ways, he picked up the banner for Stephen Mitchell.
What I'm somewhat uncertain about is whether Lew taught a course at NTP during my training. I'm increasingly more certain that he did not. However, he was present with us. He was at our table, not embodied physically, but in spirit and mind and heart just as were Freud, Ferenczi, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Sullivan, etc. I do remember the last time I saw him and heard him speak. It was two years ago (2017) at Division 39 in NYC. He spoke on a panel where Galit Atlas and Steven Kuchuck presented. Actually, he didn't sit on stage with the panel but stood in the back of the room until it was time for him to present. Then he walked up to the stage with no notes, no paper to read, just himself, totally present. And he spoke seamlessly, powerfully, clearly, and brilliantly. At the end I thought: "Wow, what a remarkable teacher. I understood everything he just said. Amazing." Amazing because of his remarkable ability to make sense and bring clarity to complexity. I long for that kind of teacher who can pull me out of my confusion and muddle and up into a clarity of mind and liveliness of thought. It is my longing, my thirst for knowledge, for understanding, for Lew's knowledge, his deep understanding that feed my mourning him. This is what he represents to me.
Who will do that for us now? No ONE person. We must do it for and with each other. Lew picked up the banner of Stephen Mitchell. We must all pick up the banner of Lew. He left many works to guide us and feed us. And now we have to partake of his legacy, learn from his teaching. He was a man of remarkable energy, curiosity, and liveliness. His presence was big--big enough to reach out to us and make a difference.
Thank you, Lew, for all you have done.
-- Claire Dumas