At the October 2022 meeting of its Board of Trustees, the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) awarded Union Theological Seminary faculty member Rev. Pamela Cooper-White, MDiv, PhD, LCPC, the status of Honorary Member.
As described in NPAP’s By-Laws, Honorary Members are members who have been recommended to and voted upon by the Board of Trustees for eminence in the field of psychoanalysis or distinguished public service in the field of interpersonal relations.
“I am very honored to receive this award, not only for myself, but for its recognition of the rich possibilities of bridging the study of psychoanalytic theory, history, and religious studies,” said Rev. Pamela Cooper-White of her award. “I am happy to join a community of scholar-practitioners who stand in Reik’s legacy of interdisciplinary inquiry!”
The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2023, is one of the oldest and largest psychoanalytic membership organizations and training institutes in the country. Its founding principles were established by Theodor Reik, a protégé of Sigmund Freud’s, who came to the United States in June 1938 seeking refuge from Nazi persecution. By way of honoring and upholding the vision handed down from Freud and Reik, NPAP is committed to psychoanalysis as an independent profession (not limited only to medical doctors and psychiatrists), with the goal of providing sound training for competent practice to all qualified applicants, and to furthering public understanding of psychoanalytic principles.
Pamela Cooper-White is renowned in her scholarship including Freud (her book Old and Dirty Gods: Religion, Antisemitism, and the Origins of Psychoanalysis, Routledge 2017), Spielrein (co-editor of Sabina Spielrein and the Beginnings of Psychoanalysis: Image,Thought, and Language, Routledge, 2019), and topics such as gender-based violence, and Christian Nationalism. She is the author of ten books, including Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004), and Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy in Relational and Theological Perspective (Fortress, 2007), which have made psychoanalytic theory accessible to new generations of spiritual caregivers, chaplains, and pastoral counselors. Her newest publication is The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn in, and How to Talk across the Divide (Fortress, 2022), which contributes to the mental health field including the psychology of religion and her pursuit of an applied psychoanalysis in dialoguing with the alt right. She presented at the President’s NPAP Summer Series on this new book to an engrossed audience.