Fearful Symmetry: Shared Trauma in
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Psychoanalytic Dialogues 2013
Reports from the Front: The effects of
Hurricane Katrina on Mental Health
Professionals in New Orleans.
Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2013
Professional Obligation or Moral
Psychology 2012, #29: 318-324.
Plea for a Measure of Imagination:
Response to Harvey Peskin’s ‘Man is
a Wolf to Man’: Disorders of
Dehumanization in Psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 2012, #22:
Staying the Course, Review of
Beyond the Reach of Ladders by
Elizabeth Goren. Contemporary
Psychoanalysis, 2012, 48:278-283
Ghislaine Boulanger, Ph.D.
When I was writing my dissertation in the late seventies, I
joined a congressionally mandated team that had
undertaken an epidemiological study of Vietnam veterans. I
was particularly interested in what had caused the
psychological breakdown of so many veterans on their return
home, and I wanted to understand this Post Vietnam
Syndrome, as we then called it.
My findings were so unexpected that they led to a career of
treating survivors of catstrophes, and to writing and teaching
about the psychodynamic causes and consequences of adult
onset trauma--a topic that had been largely ignored by
American psychoanalysts until September 11, 2001.
I am also particularly interested in working with people who
are facing cross cultural dilemmas and questions of so called
"assimilation." Whether they have come to America by
choice or whether the decision was made out of necessity,
immigrants find that these issues play a crucial role in their
lives and in the lives of their children.
In November 2009, after years of struggling to
reverse American Psychological Association policies
growing out of their complicity in illegal and
inhumane detentions in the “war on terror,” a
number of psychologists concluded that the APA
had demonstrated such profound ethical failures
that they could no longer, in good conscience,
remain affiliated with the organization.
These actions, among others, have led us to take this
- The composition, deliberations, and process
of the 2005 APA President’s Task Force on
Psychological Ethics and National Security
that constituted a series of violations of
APA's own bylaws.
To read this section in detail click this line.
1971 The Life and Work of Wilhelm Reich by Michel Cattier. The
Horizon Press, N.Y.
1971 The Affair of Gabrielle Russier, Introduction by Mavis
Gallant, Preface by Raymond Jean Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y.
1971 The Fig Tree, a novel by Francoise Xenakis. Walker and
1970 My Sister Edith Piaf, by Simone Berteaut. London; Allen
1968 Negritude and Jewishness in Dominated Man by Albert
Memmi. Orion, N.Y.
I am a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. Since 1982, I have worked with adults
individually and in couples both intensively and in brief psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I also treat adolescents and their
families. My Ph.D. is from the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University (1981), and I have
completed postdoctoral training at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy (1986) and at the New York University
Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy(1997).
Currently, I am a member of the teaching faculty at NYU's
Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
I was previously on the teaching and supervisory faculty at
the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College,
Columbia University, where I taught the Dynamic
Psychotherapies course for over ten years (link to curriculum
for that course). In addition, I am invited to teach in
psychoanalytic prorgrams and institutes both here in the
United States and internationally.
|Resigning from the American Psychological
|Working in Post Katrina New Orleans
|It is my privilege to have been invited to join the Far
Fund Project, a New Orleans based program
operating under the auspices of the New Orleans
Birmingham Psychoanalytic Center, exploring
Hurricane Katrina's effects on the therapeutic
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster of the
magnitude of Hurricane Katrina, there is intense
media attention and everyone clamors to get
involved; outsiders flood the area offering help that
is more and less useful, even as clinicians who are
immediately impacted struggle to maintain some
continuity with their own professional responsibilities.
In the end, however, the spotlight moves on and
the local clinicians are left to their own resources.
Our website, therapistspostdisaster.com, describes
the program designed to meet the needs of
psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers
facing the challenging task of helping their patients
recover from Hurricane Katrina, while simultaneously
dealing with its effects on their own lives. We
learned many lessons in the course of that work,
those lessons are summarized here.
To read an early account of the impact of the storm
on this community go to