Circling by Loren Sobel

Looking out the window from my airplane seat, I anticipated seeing the familiar landmarks of the valley city below—Phoenix, Arizona—as they came into view during the flight’s descent.[…]But then there was a sudden change into the unfamiliar. The body—my body—has a way of communicating when it’s thrown from the familiar, dislodged from regular rhythms. I quickly felt disoriented. A second later, as my mind caught up to what my body already knew, I started to worry. The plane rolled.[…]In the (re)ascent, each individual’s seemingly solitary world gave way to a collective sharing. Suddenly we were all very aware of one another.

Speaking the Impossible by Shelley Rockwell

I live directly across the street from our neighborhood elementary school, and on 9/11 I sat on this school’s playground with my young children as they circled in a mix of playfulness and aimlessness. They knew something terrible was around[…]In this essay I will explore several poems as they mark a moment of estrangement, terrible disjuncture.[…]As psychoanalysts, poets in a sense, we must manage this same tension between the veridical, the real times we live in and what we and our patients confront…

PPhoto by Leolintang /

LEAVING THE HOLE by Susanna Stephens

It’s been more than a year in semi-lockdown, and I have to push myself to leave the hole I’ve been working and sleeping out of—the hole that is my bedroom, a kind of symbol of my libido, somehow both empty and bottomless. I know there is sun outside; I know it to be lovely, just as I know the woodcocks and catbirds are chirping; and if I close my eyes and open the windows, I can almost pretend I’m on a deck by the ocean, still alone.

Photo by AR

I NEED A GUIDE by Sandy Silverman

Early in the pandemic, I realized that what I needed was an instruction book that would tell me how to survive. I pictured it, a guide tailored to my personal needs, the first section titled How to be a Psychotherapist During a Pandemic and the second, How to Have a Homeless Brother During a Pandemic, and the last one, How to Not Give Up.


BLACK AND BLUE by Lee Jenkins

We talk about the blues as sadness and transcendence of sadness. As an American Black, my experience tells me that it certainly seems to be both of these things simultaneously—contradictory things existing together, something we psychoanalysts know about. To me it’s about acceptance of the inexorable challenge…