Stephen Soldz

"Talk and action are complementary ways
of changing personal and social realities"

Therapist
Researcher
Teacher
Social Activist

Therapist

I am a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist. In treating patients I draw on both classical and modern psychoanalysis, as well as the best of cognitive and constructivist approaches. Therapy, in my view, aims at helping a person understand their desires and motivations so that they can act to channel them in constructive rather than destructive directions. The analytic process involves exploring the stories that people construct to explain their behavior and how their lives got to be the way they are. The therapy process also, however, involves people taking action to change both their destructive behavior patterns, and to improve the circumstances in which they live.

Clinical Experience

Researcher

My research has spanned several areas of mental health and public health. I have worked on problems in psychotherapy process and outcome, personality processes in development and pathology, substance abuse, and youth tobacco use. Two themes underlie much of my work:
  1. One is the building of bridges between the research and practice communities. In this regard I co-edited a book: Reconciling Empirical Knowledge and Clinical Experience: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, published by the American Psychological Association.

  2. The second theme is a profound appreciation of research as a difficult, slow, and fallible, but essential process of increasing human knowledge. I love the process of research design and data analysis in whatever area I approach. There is a thrill in taking data and making it tell a tale that was not obvious to begin with. As a scientist I then have to skeptically question the truth of my carefully constructed tale by carefully reexamining the data. I sometimes facetiously describe myself as the only psychoanalyst who is also a data analyst.

My research work has included research undertaken just for the thrill of discovering the answer to a question, evaluation research to improve individual intervention programs, and work conducted for policy-makers at the state and federal level who seek to use data to improve social service delivery. I have been Director of Research for three research and consulting organizations, and currently am Director of the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Program Development at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, where I also teach and practice.


Publications List

Research Experience

Research Grants

Teacher

Teaching and mentoring have also been essential to me. I enjoy the process of helping others understand complex ideas and get a thrill when someone gets excited by the process of learning. I have taught clinical, theoretical, and research courses. Each, of course, poses its own challenges to convey the essence of a difficult subject while teaching the process of critical thinking. I have taught at many universities in the Boston area, and currently am Associate Professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis where I help students integrate clinical and research learning and use the research process to further their understanding of, and develop a critical perspective on their psychoanalytic clinical work.

Teaching Experience and Academic Appointments

Social Activist

I have always felt that personal change, as is facilitated by therapy and analysis, needs to be complemented by social change that will reduce the environmental causes of human suffering. We have to create social institutions that increase the likelihood of people acting constructively and reduce the likelihood of destructive action. Like many in my generation, I grew up in the anti-Vietnam war and other social justice movements of the 1960's. The current trend toward permanent war and the imminent breakdown of our already inadequate network of social services have led to a revival of my activism. In response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I have gathered a group of my psychoanalytic colleagues and students in Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice. We hope that analytically-informed colleagues elsewhere will form similar groups. For PPJ, I have constructed a web site with extensive reources on the Iraq war and its aftermath . Another web site focusses on Where is the US Headed. I am also active with people in the community where I live, in Roslindale (MA) Neighbors for Peace and Justice.


My Web Pages

Psychoanalytic Resources Online

A set of Resources for the Study of Violence

A collection of Research Resources for psychoanalysis and related fields

A collection of Statistics Resources covering topics from basic to advanced.

Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice,
a site maintained for PPJ.

IRAQ: Occupation and Resistance Report, documenting the occupation and the resistance.

My blog Psyche, Science, and Society,
including commentary on war and peace, social change, psychoanalysis, public health, and research methods.

Iraq Antiwar Resources,
of archival value, covering the war and its immediate aftermath.


Contact me:

Stephen Soldz, Ph.D.
Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 277-3915

ssoldz@bgsp.edu

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