From the Editor’s Corner

by Shannon Suo

As you can tell by the Steven and Liz’s articles, excitement is in the air for the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego. Personally, I look forward to the chance to visit with old and new friends and participate in lively discussions on a multitude of topics pertaining to psychiatry and culture!

I continue to look for new and innovative ways to make the newsletter lively, interactive, as well as informative for our members. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments or suggestions!

In addition to the newsletter, I am working with the Board on revision and improvement of the website and PayPal.

With our first corporate sponsor, the newsletter enters an era of advertising that will present new challenges and opportunities. We hope that you find the advertisements and sponsorships of benefit and appreciate our sponsors’ support of the organization.

This is one way that the Board has sought to keep dues down and the Annual Meeting affordable for all.

Please let me or Liz know of any potential advertisers or sponsors—we’re always on the lookout! Enjoy the rest of the winter and I look forward to seeing you in May in San Diego!

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

The Tenement Museum Tour in New York was a huge success, and many of you told us you’d like to have extra-curricular activities and opportunities to have dinner with other attendees. This year we have facilitated a few activities which, although not part of the SSPC meeting, are primarily for SSPC attendees and their guests. All will occur on Friday, May 16 and are within walking distance of each other and the Fairfield Inn.

Survivors of Torture International is offering a special one hour tour of their facility for SSPC meeting attendees at 6 pm. The agency was founded in 1997 for the purpose of building a healing community for survivors of politically-motivated torture who live in San Diego County. Since its founding, Survivors has served more than 1,500 torture survivors from more than 80 different countries. During this Journey to Healing Tour you will learn about how Survivors is creating a Safe Haven for torture survivors, helping them to re-build their lives, and building a welcoming community for all survivors. There is no charge for this tour and you will not be asked to make a donation, but your feedback will be more than welcome. Attendance is limited to 20 -25 persons. For further information and to register, please contact Suzanne Bacon at and identify yourself as part of the SSPC group. The tour is just a couple of blocks from the restaurants where the dinners will be held.

On this same evening there also will be two communal dinners. SSPC Old Timers – you know who you are, but everyone is welcome – will meet at 7 pm at O’Hungry’s, 2547 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110, just a few blocks from the hotel. The prices are unbelievable and the setting befits the nature of the event. To reserve in advance please contact Armando Favazza at

Two of our members, Ted Lo and Mami Ishii will be hosting a My Delicious Moments dinner and cultural event at 7 pm at the Cafe Coyote, 2461 San Diego Avenue, also a few short blocks from the hotels of Old Town. The restaurant won the best restaurant in San Diego award in 2013.

The concept of Delicious Moments is derived from healing practices in traditional cultures and contemporary psychology. It can be integrated into a holistic and integrative approach to mental health, enhancing both personal wellness and professional practice. To facilitate the experience of Delicious Moments, a special dining occasion is created by Mami & Ted in collaboration with the chef. This dining learning is preceded by a brief introduction to the Delicious Moments concept, followed by guided exploration through savoring the four-course meal along with each of its components. This event is also a great social and professional networking opportunity for attendees to spend time with likeminded people and share their passion and interests.

Reservations for this four course set dinner are limited to no more than 30 people and will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is approximately $50.00 per person, including tax and tip (but not alcohol). For further information please visit and to sign up for this event contact Mami at

Whatever you do, enjoy your evening!

From the Desk of the Executive Director: You Told Us What You Want and We’re Responding

by Sylvanna Vargas and Elizabeth Kramer

Thank you to all who participated in our anonymous survey and the luncheon discussion groups during the 2013 annual meeting. We were especially gratified to receive so many responses from long-term members. You gave us lots of good feedback, some of which will take further deliberation by the Board, or more money than we currently have, but we already have begun to do some of the things you suggested.

You told us you like the format of the meeting, so basically we will stick with it. We will do our best to facilitate networking and dialogue among participants.

We will schedule more time for clinical supervision of trainees during the meeting. In addition, a small committee headed by Sadeq Rahimi is investigating both the work involved and the expense of updating our website. In addition to making it more attractive, we hope to offer web-based teaching and case consultation, as well as possibly operate a clearinghouse.

The membership committee has been charged with developing a first class brochure aimed at both recruiting and retaining members. The brochure will include information about the Spiegel and Hughes awards. As part of the recruitment effort, the brochure will be sent to all of the academic psychiatry programs in North America and to all of the residency programs on the AADPRT list as well as to the SAMHSA minority lists.

We now have a regular quarterly newsletter, edited by Shannon Suo, which is emailed to all members and available at our website. This is a good way to keep in touch with everyone. Perhaps someday we will have a blog.

We also have a recently formed research committee, headed by Albert Yeung. We will ask them to organize a research workshop for new investigators during the 2014 meeting, and we will try to have a few clinically focused workshops. We also will have a poster session next year.

Many of you wanted us to partner with other organizations. This year we will have participation by Survivors of Torture International, a San Diego-based organization on whose board Jim Jaranson sits. Many of you expressed interest in having a meeting in Boston, and we are exploring the feasibility of doing that in 2015, quite possibly in concert with the Society of Psychological Anthropologists.

These are just a few of the things that are happening. Please stay tuned for further developments.