The Institute for Clinical Social Work


Three Graduates Receive Doctorates at 2013 Commencement Ceremony


Andrea Alpert, Mary-Beth Golden, and Maria Nanos completed their dissertations and were awarded their doctorates at this month’s commencement ceremonies, held June 1 at the Robert Morris Auditorium at 401 S. State St. in Chicago.

ICSW's 2013 Graduates

Andrea Alpert (Jennifer Tolleson, Dissertation Advisor) examined the vicissitudes of hope in five seasoned clinicians over the course of their professional lives. From the data that she collected, Dr. Alpert constructed a detailed psychoanalytic understanding of the meaning of hope for these participants.

Dr. Alpert found that the sense of hope for these participants stemmed from a larger and more expansive experience of the self. She learned that hope develops over time through the integration of experiences, of which professional experience is but one facet. The vicissitudes of hope were found to be an inevitable and valuable part of the treatment process and that they could be used to facilitate the treatment process and deepen the participants’ self-understanding. Dr. Alpert also explored how the participants actively regulated their hope over time to maintain hopefulness through an ongoing process of self-expansion and self-protection.

Mary-Beth Golden (Joan DiLeonardi, Dissertation Advisor) explored how the adult daughter and mother relationship changes when the daughter requires IVF to get pregnant. Through employing a mixed-methods approach in which she gathered quantitative data and qualitative data, Dr. Golden explored how the adult daughter understands the complexity of the relationship with her mother and whether the IVF process changed that dyad. Her research encompassed concepts in developmental psychology and psychoanalytic theories. Dr. Golden found that adult daughters felt that going through the process of IVF did change the relationship with their mothers and that an earlier close relationship with their mothers continued through the process of IVF despite unexpected disappointments in the mother. Conversely, Dr. Golden found that if the earlier relationship with their mothers was distant and strained, adult daughters did not look to their mothers for emotional support when trying to get pregnant via IVF.

Maria Nanos (Joan DiLeonardi, Dissertation Advisor) conducted a study that employed a narrative approach to interview African-American grandmothers who have taken legal custody of their grandchildren. From these rich and enlightening in-depth interviews, Dr. Nanos developed an understanding of that experience from the grandmother’s point of view. Using a self-psychological framework to interpret the interviews, five themes emerged; grandmother’s sacrifices, the event that precipitated placement, the grandmother’s vs. mother’s role, legal issues, and life today. Dr. Nanos’ research provides us with a more full and detailed understanding of the dynamics and experience within a heretofore understudied family form.

Commencement Speakers Marcia Dobson and John Riker

Marcia Dobson has taught at Colorado College in the Classics Department since 1976. In addition to a PhD from Harvard University in Classical Philology, Professor Dobson received a second PhD, in Clinical Psychology with an en emphasis on depth psychology, where her dissertation crossed the lines of disciplines, focusing on ancient Greek epic and tragedy in relation to modern psychological notions of transitional space and experience. Dr. Dobson initiated the psychoanalysis minor at Colorado College, and now teaches classes in contemporary psychoanalysis at Colorado College and at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago during the summer. Her recent research and publications consider classical texts in their relation to psychoanalytic thinking and theory. She is also an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology.

John Riker has taught philosophy at Colorado College since 1968. He chaired the department for 14 years and has been named the Judson Bemis Professor of Humanities. Dr. Riker was also the Kohut Professor at the University of Chicago (Fall 2003). He has been named teach of the year four times, advisor of the year once, and was the initial recipient of the victor Nelson-Cisneros Award for the person most involved with aiding diversity on campus. His areas of interest in philosophy are ethics, history of philosophy, Greek philosophy, psychoanalysis, American philosophy, and metaphysics. His research interests center of the intersection of a psychoanalytic understanding of human nature with ethics.

ICSW Graduate on NPR’s Voices in the Family


ICSW graduate Michael McNulty, PhD, LCSW, recently participated  in the NPR  program, “Voices in the Family.” Mike, certified by The Gottman Relationship Institute (TGRI), represented TGRI’s method of couple’s therapy in a discussion on the challenges of maintaining a healthy marriage.

Mike graduated from ICSW in 2000 and is currently in full time private practice in Evanston and Highland Park, IL. He is also affiliated with the NorthShore University Health System’s Department of Psychiatry, and is a top trainer for TGRI.

Mike maintains that the level of clinical training he received at The Institute for Clinical Social Work has helped position him and other graduates to be leaders in a variety of clinical settings.

New Faculty Publications: Sholom and DeLyser


ICSW Faculty member Allan Sholom recently saw his paper, “Managed Care’s Assault on Our Hearts and Minds,” published in the February 2013 issue of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work.

Gail DeLyser, Ph.D., LCSW, has published her article, “At Midlife: Intentionally Childfree Women and Their Experiences of Regret” in the Clinical Social Work Journal. The paper, based on qualitative research, is currently available on line at AAPCSW.  Dr. DeLyser is a graduate of ISCW.

Joseph Palombo: The Man of the Hour, The Man of the Year


The winner of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient also celebrated his 85th birthday with his ICSW family at ICSW's Spring Benefit on April 21st.

Joseph Palombo, the founding dean of The Institute for Clinical Social Work, is a licensed clinical social worker of national distinction. He received a master’s degree in philosophy from Yale University and a master’s degree in social work from the University Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Mr. Palombo specializes in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.

In addition to his private practice, Mr. Palombo serves as a faculty member at ICSW and at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in the Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program, which he directed for several years. He is a founding member of the Rush Neurobehavioral Center from which he received the Pearl H. Rieger Award for having made a significant contribution to the lives of children with neurobehavioral issues. Mr. Palombo was the co-chair of the committee on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Disorders of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Task Force of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM).

In addition to other honors and awards, he is the recipient of the Edna Reiss-Sophie Greenberg Davis Chair, Reiss-Davis Child Study Center,  Los Angeles in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of child and adolescent mental health. Mr. Palombo has contributed numerous articles to the literature and two books, Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: A Clinical Perspective and Learning Disorders & Disorders of the Self in Children and Adolescents. More recently he co-authored the textbook, Guide to Psychoanalytic Developmental Theories, used widely in courses on development.

Elizabeth Jacob Scholarship Awarded


Mead Goedert, a Third-Year Doctoral student, is the current recipient of the Elizabeth Jacob Scholarship. The Scholarship was established at ICSW to honor its namesake, who was committed to finding and following a thoughtful approach to treating families challenged by poverty, immigration, and trauma.

Mead entered the field of social work driven by a strong passion to serve individuals and families plagued by urban poverty. He has spent the majority of his career working with children, adolescents, adults, and families in inner-city Detroit. In his work, he has gained an intimate understanding of how environmental stressors affect the lives of his clients. Feeling unable to practice psychodynamically within an agency setting, and feeling increasingly constrained by the managed-care system, Mead started his own private practice where he strives to offer quality psychodynamic psychotherapy to clients from a broad socioeconomic and cultural spectrum.

According to his faculty advisor, Jennifer Tolleson, PhD, “Mead has the capacity to weave complex theory with very complex clinical and social situations without losing his connection to the humanity of the people involved and the pain they endure….He is able to bridge psychoanalytic thinking with concerns for social justice.”

Case consultant Patricia Seghers, PhD, agrees that “Mead is an amazing person with the curiosity and desire to learn, as well as the ability to embody the essence of psychodynamic psychotherapy.” She adds, “He is a gentle soul….and his initial experience working with high-risk kids and their families grounded him in ways beyond words.”

Those who have worked and studied with Mead agree the he is talented, good humored, compassionate, and the ideal beneficiary of Elizabeth Jacob’s legacy.