[act-ma] May 3: in Brookline: Torture and the American Psyche

Amy Hendrickson amyh at texnology.com
Mon Apr 14 09:36:47 PDT 2008

=== please share with your lists ===

May 3: Torture and the American Psyche
Here's an announcement of an upcoming forum on culural and psychological aspects of our society's tolerance on US torture, and on the role of psychologits and other health professionals in that torture. A flyer, suitable for printing and posting, is available here:

Torture and the American Psyche:
Blurring the Boundaries Between Healers and Interrogators
Saturday, May 3, 2008,
9:30 am - 12:30 pm

First Parish Unitarian Church,
382 Walnut Street,
Brookline, MA

admission is free


Every day the news brings further details about our country's recent use of torture and other detainee abuse in national security, and of the debates among our leaders and citizens of practical, legal, and ethical implications of this use. We invite concerned citizens and members of the mental health professions to join together in an open discussion of the far reaching human and moral implications of our nation's use of torture.

We will discuss the emotional and ethical consequences of being members of a society that sanctions torture and that uses psychologists to make sure abuse is medically and "ethically" conducted. We will have three speakers, followed by a discussion among the panelists and with the members of the audience on the diverse aspects of this topic. Our aim is to facilitate a discussion which will include the emotional, ethical and spiritual dimensions of this topic and allow room for all to participate.

We understand that the topic will give pause to all who consider attending and care will be taken to ensure that the discussion will not devolve into a political diatribe or an immersion into a graphic depiction of torture. We hope that some perspective on feasible actions may emerge from the discussion.


Eric Fair currently a divinity student at Princeton will speak from his experience as a civilian contract interrogator in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Abu Ghraib in early 2004. He will lend his first person account to our conversation.

Leonard Rubenstein, J.D. President of Physicians for Human Rights, a Nobel Prize winning organization, is an attorney and veteran of many human rights struggles. He will speak of the role of torture in our contemporary political culture.

David Sloan-Rossiter, Ph.D. will bring his long standing interest in using a psych oana¬lytic perspective to aid communities to the role of moderator of the program. He is co-chair of the Curriculum Committee at Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Stephen Soldz, Ph.D. a local psychoanalyst, social activist and Professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, is one of the nation's leaders in opposing psycholo¬gist participation in torture and abuse. He will speak to the history of that struggle in the context of the broader struggle for human rights.


Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Institute for the Study of Violence
Boston Institute for Psychotherapy
Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
Brookline PeaceWorks
Coalition for an Ethical Psychology
First Parish of Brookline
Massachusetts Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology
Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis
Physicians for Human Rights
Psychoanalytic Institute of New England
Psychologists for Social Responsibility-End Torture Action Committee

Registration is not required but would help us anticipate attendance. If you are interested in attending this program, please email MLoug23 at aol.com by Monday, April 28, 2008.

Download flyer here.

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