Our Distinguished Doctoral Recipients

2018

Coralie A. Trotter, Doctor of Psychosocial Intervention

Fellow, The Parkmore Institute.  Doctoral Project: The Mark of the Life Esidimeni Decanting: Expert Testimony for the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Process.’”  All too often, brilliant psychoanalysts and teachers of psychoanalytic thinking are challenged to apply their insights and their expertise outside their consulting room and their seminars.  The Board of Directors, the Faculty and the Fellows of the Parkmore Institute are honored to award this “Doctor of Psychosocial Intervention” as an outstanding exception to the foregoing generalization. In 2015‑2016, a human rights travesty occurred in South Africa, wherein the government culled the population of mental health patients in its charge, torturing and killing many of these individuals and leaving their families and loved ones uninformed about the fate of the patient they cared about, unaided, and helpless (for more information on this travesty, see the article titled, “South African government culls psychiatric patients for financial and political gain,” posted March 2018 on the Commentaries pages of this website). In the face of this horror, Dr. Trotter rose to the challenge both of supporting the bereaved in the face of this human rights travesty and of testifying, against vicious governmental opposition, in the “Alternative Dispute Resolution” process.  The latter was established to determine how the government should act in the relation to the human rights’ abuses and the grievous harm its actions had caused. Having recruited a team of mental health professions to interview and support the survivors of this travesty, not only did Dr. Trotter produce an exemplary piece of psychoanalytically‑informed expert testimony, but she gave oral testimony with a skill that was witnessed throughout South Africa and beyond.  It was very clear to all who followed the Resolution proceedings, that the diligence and thoughtfulness of her work, as well as her insights into the effects of mass killings and associated human rights abuses, made a clear and considerable difference to the outcome of this process, in relation to the presiding Judge’s verdict.  For all that she has achieved in her distinguished career and for this courageous and dedicated act of psychosocial intervention, the Parkmore Institute is honored to offer her our Doctoral Degree in Psychosocial Intervention. Although Dr. Trotter worked very independently, her Doctoral Project was monitored by two Parkmore Institute Faculty Mentors, Professor Jerry Piven and Professor Tod Sloan.

2017

M. Cedar Barstow, Doctor of Psychosocial Intervention

Fellow, The Parkmore Institute Doctoral Project: “The Development and Implementation of the Concepts and Training Programs in Ethics and “Right Use of Power.” The ethics of power and all the questions surrounding its use and misuse are topics of unparalleled importance in the struggle for social and personal change towards freedom and justice in today’s world. Since 1988, Dr. Barstow has devoted her energies to the study of ethics and in 2003 she decided to use her additional skills as a Hakomi psychotherapist to develop a program called “Right Use of Power.” She has refined and implemented this program over the past twelve years, publishing three books that present her approach: The Right Use of Power Training Manual (2003); The Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics (2005/2015); and with her husband, Dr. Reynold Feldman, Living in the Power Zone (2013). This program offers detailed procedures and processes by which the ethical issues of power in personal relationships may be examined and reconsidered. Dr. Barstow has taught this approach in over a dozen countries, often combining it with her teaching in body psychotherapy. Additionally, she has held Adjunct Faculty appointments at institutions such as Naropa University and she is widely sought as a consultant on ethical issues and grievance processes, serving on the ethics committees of several professional organizations. For her doctoral project with the Parkmore Institute, Dr. Barstow submitted a detailed report of work she has accomplished with the “Right Use of Power” program. Dr. Barstow’s doctoral mentor was Professor Greg Johanson.

Robert Irwin Wolf, Doctor of Psychoanalytic Studies

Fellow, The Parkmore Institute Doctoral Project: “A Mind’s Eye View: Processing Psychoanalytic Treatment through Artwork.” Published in Psychoanalytic Review 104(2), 203‑229. In today’s world, ‘healing’ is all too frequently conceptualized reductively and behaviourally. It is considered in terms of symptom removal or increased adjustment to external conditions. Such conceptualizations produce clinical criteria such as adaptation and maturation, both of which suggest that healing must necessarily be assessed as a matter of the patient’s integration with his or her socio-political and cultural environment. The implication of these criteria easily bleeds into the tenet that healing entails certain sorts of ideological conformity to practices and structures that are external to the patient. In this context, the pioneering work of Dr. Wolf is greatly to be appreciated. In his doctoral project, he sets out to assess and process the course of psychoanalytic treatment not in terms of symptom remission or social conformity, but rather as the unleashing of the patient’s inner sources of creativity and self‑expression. This is not an entirely new idea and Dr. Wolf acknowledges the influence of Dr. Arthur Robbins’ important work on expressive therapy as well as Dr. Otto Kernberg’s earlier discussion of patients who need to be given avenues of nonverbal expression in the course of depth‑oriented treatments. However, to my knowledge, no one has tracked the psychoanalytic journey in terms of the patient’s unfolding creativity in the way that Dr. Wolf has achieved. This is a fascinating piece of work and a published paper that should be read by every psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. Dr. Wolf’s doctoral mentor was Professor Jerry Gargiulo. Dr. Wolf’s doctoral project and his biographical sketch may be downloaded via this link.

The Parkmore Institute has offices in South Africa (Johannesburg, Gauteng) and the USA (Wilmington, Delaware).  However, it is currently expanding and welcomes applications from prospective students, as well as potential Faculty and Fellows, from all parts of the world.