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The Paul Graves Myerson Award

The Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis grants the Paul Graves Myerson Award to a member of the MIP community for outstanding contributions to the growth of our Institute or psychoanalysis in general.  Dr. Myerson’s forthright and unstinting commitment to MIP in its founding days was consistent with the nature of his intellectual contributions to the field of psychoanalysis.  His courage, vision, openness to ideas and plainspoken voice transcended limitations and constraints on the freedom of institutional and intellectual growth.  In this spirit, MIP continues to honor noteworthy contributions to our community and our field with the Paul Graves Myerson Award.

The Paul Graves Myerson Award was established in 2001. Nominees are put forward by the chairs of MIP committees and voted on by this same group.  

Paul Myerson Award 2023: Richard Frankel, Ph.D.

Presented by Joyce Klein on 6/3/2023

Richard it is an honor to give this award to one of our most dedicated faculty members and supervisors at MIP. 

I believe you began teaching as soon as you graduated the four-year analytic program. Always lending your mind and creativity in teaching to our candidates and fellows. A true believer in comparative psychoanalysis, often bringing in new theorist and ideas to aid in the multiplicity of thought and to challenge us. Whether its Dreams, which I remember very well, Freud or the full year Comparative Psychoanalysis course, you have been a faculty member, the curriculum chairs, the candidates and fellows can rely on to be there.

In addition to your participation on the faculty you have presented at many of our programs, as both the main speaker and as a discussant. Here your enthusiasm for teaching, clarifying, interpreting, offering new viewpoints continues to benefit us all, those who are MIP members and beyond.

Your “outstanding contributions to the growth of our Institute” can best be summed up in the words of Dennis Plant, (past curriculum co-chair for 6 years and now co-chair of the academic outreach committee.)

In Dennis’s words- the words he used when he gave the nomination for Richard.

Richard is among the most highly regarded instructors at MIP, across the Adult Training Program, first year Fellowship and Dimensions.  And he teaches very demanding topics: Freud to first-year fellows, Comparative Psychoanalysis to first-year candidates, Dreams. He has supervised several candidates in the training program along with past and current fellows. Richard possesses great curiosity about the theory and practice of psychoanalysis, and his inquisitive spirit is infectious to those who meet him. And let’s face it, Richard is learned: He is a voracious reader, not only of psychoanalysis but of broad cultural, intellectual, and artistic pursuits. This is an important component of what Richard brings to us: a person who is affected by multiple influences while still offering something singular within himself. This manifests in his writing endeavors as well, which are varied and stimulating. His writing seems animated by a desire to learn something original with you with an imagination to follow out a line of inquiry wherever it goes. This captures something about his character as a psychoanalyst: he seeks with you what you don’t already know, no matter what it might be, or if you don’t arrive at a definite resolution.. This aspect of Richard has a definite Winnicottian vibe to it, something like a spirit to play. One of the best parts of play is that it doesn’t demand a satisfying end point from you and therefore it never really has to end. Maybe this is why when you encounter Richard through his psychoanalytic teaching, his writing, his clinical work or simply a conversation — you feel enriched by it and will want to go back for more. 

Thank you, Dennis

And as for your “contribution to psychoanalysis in general”. I would like to site the two book awards you received during this past year.

The 2023 Courage to Dream Book Prize by the Committee on Psychoanalysis and the Academy of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the 2022 Gradiva® Award for “Best Book – Philosophical & Psychoanalytic Exploration”. from The National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Both awards were for your book, “Human Virtuality and Digital Life,” co-authored with Victor J. Krebs. The Courage to Dream prize is awarded to an American scholar whose book best promotes the integration of the academic world and the clinical world of psychoanalysis.

The Gradiva® Award is given annually to recognize literary and artistic achievements that promote psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

Pretty amazing honors for you Richard and they also become an honor for us at MIP-.

Your exploration of the meanings and effects of the virtual world together with your earlier book, The Adolescent Psyche: Jungian and Winnicottian Perspectives, co-authored with Mary Watkins, published 1998, clearly puts your knowledge and your ideas in the forefront of contemporary thought and social issues, 

As a teacher, Richard in our seminars or in the broader world of psychoanalysis we have much to learn from you about the dreamlike worlds in which we are living, the effects on each of us as individuals and the complexity of our current society and its changing ways,

So, Richard, with deep appreciation and great pleasure, on behalf of the MIP community,  we grant you the Paul Graves Myerson Award 2023.

Myerson Award Recipients

2022 Richard Geist
2021 Deborah Dowd
2020 Elizabeth Corpt
2019 Anna Ornstein
2018 Lynne Layton
2017 Ginger Chappell
2016 Ellen Wilson
2015 Bobbie Knable
2014 Laurence Chud
2013 David Doolittle
2012 Jonathan Slavin

2011 Barbara Pizer
2010 David Power
2009 Linda Luz-Alterman
2008  Jaine Darwin and Kenneth Reich
2007 Andrew Morrison
2006 Stuart A. Pizer
2005 Gerald Stechler
2004 Susan Rowley
2003 Malcolm Owen Slavin
2002 Mary Loughlin