Public Release: 

Conference on youth and violence to be held May 12-13, 2000

American Psychoanalytic Association

The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis announces the Conference on Youth and Violence. The two-day event, which will address the widespread societal problem of youth violence, will take place May 12-13, 2000 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street, conveniently located at the corner of Washington Street and Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Cosponsors for the Conference are the American Psychoanalytic Association, DePaul University School of Law, the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Jewish Council of Urban Affairs.

Early prevention and intervention efforts directed toward children at risk for violent behavior is a central focus of the its Conference on Youth and Violence. The conference will present state-of-the-art research on innovative violence intervention and prevention programs and will present the findings of research on biological factors, including genetic or congenital problems as well as delineation of environmental factors ranging from juvenile involvement in illegal drug trade to the lack of meaningful or responsible societal roles for teenagers. Presentations will address psychological dimensions, such as what a violence-prone child is experiencing, what his or her actions are likely to be, and the relationship of violent acts to early personal exposure to violence.

"Violence in our communities and in our schools is one of the most important challenges facing us as a society today," stated Robert L. Pyles, M.D., President of the American Psychoanalytic Association. "The psychoanalytic understanding of the roots of violence is a critical factor in understanding this problem and effecting a solution. The American Psychoanalytic Association is focusing its organizational and individual resources on helping to understand and solve this major problem."

The Conference on Youth and Violence will provide an opportunity for those who work with youth to learn more about the problem of violence. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn about youth violence from multi-disciplinary perspectives, understand more about the causes of youth violence, hear about innovative programs to treat and prevent violence, and learn about available community resources.

"The fragmentation of efforts to address issues of youth and violence is a major threat to effective work in this area," commented psychoanalyst Robert M. Galatzer-Levy, M.D., Chair of the Conference on Youth and Violence. "By including experts from education, law, social science and mental health in every aspect of the conference from its planning through its programming we will help develop a unified community effort."

"The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis feels that those who deal with the problems connected to youth and violence frequently pay insufficient attention to the inner worlds of offenders, victims and those in the immediate school or family environment," said Jerome Winer, M.D., Director of the Institute for Psychoanalysis. "Psychoanalysis concerns itself not only with motivation but also with meaning and how the past so often repeats itself in the present and casts its shadow on the future."

The public will be offered a valuable tool on addressing the problem of violent youth in a special Forum, free and open to the public, on Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The forum will be moderated by John Callaway, award-winning former host of PBS's Chicago Tonight. The Public Forum is chaired by Mark D. Smaller, Ph.D. (Chicago psychoanalyst and Chair of the Public Forum) and panelists include Isaiah Anderson, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA), Steven Marans, Ph.D. (Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT), and Paul Vallas, CEO, Chicago Public Schools.

Hours for the Conference on Youth and Violence are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Friday's session includes a Conference Dinner and Keynote Speaker, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Breakout discussion groups led by representatives of community programs and Institute faculty will be held on Friday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in classrooms at DePaul University, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, and the Institute for Psychoanalysis, 122 South Michigan Avenue.

The Conference on Youth and Violence is being made possible by the generous support of the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; and by the Siegel Foundation. Seed funding was provided by the Irving B. Harris Foundation. For more information, call the Institute at 312-922-7474, ext. 550 or visit the Institute web site at http://www.chianalysis.org.

The Institute for Psychoanalysis, founded in 1932, is a singular resource for mental health education and affordable mental health services in the Chicago area. The Institute currently has three postgraduate education programs and a fellowship program, and sponsors 20 workshops and seminars every year. The Institute's conferences have brought together leading researchers and practitioners from all over the world on a variety of topics.

Through such educational activities, the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis has maintained its reputation as an internationally recognized educational institute. The Institute was founded in 1932 with psychoanalyst Franz Alexander, one of Sigmund Freud's foremost students, as is first Director. Graduates and faculty of the Institute are leaders in psychoanalysis and in the mental health filed at large. Some of its noted graduates and faculty include Michael Basch, Therese Benedek, Merton Gill, Arnold Goldberg, Roy Grinker, Sr., Karen Horney, Heinz Kohut, and Karl Menninger.

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For more information, contact: Dottie Jeffries 312-782-6960, djeffries@djeffries.com

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