The Sándor Ferenczi Center

Arts in Mind

“We Deal with It by Talking About It”

Thursday March 26, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
The New School’s Kellen Auditorium

Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 5th Avenue
Free event

The New Yorker’s Edward Koren in conversation with Richard Gehr about neurosis, comedy, and the art of cartooning.

Moderated by Joshua Wolf Shenk, essayist and author & Jeremy Safran, Ph.D., professor of psychology, The New School for Social Research.Artist Edward Koren’s brilliant and distinctively bushy cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker since 1962. Koren did graduate work in etching and engraving with S. W. Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris and taught at Brown University for many years. He lives with his family in Vermont, where he is a member of the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Department. His work is currently on view at Luise Ross Gallery in Chelsea.

Richard Gehr’s writing about music, books, art, and television has appeared in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Spin, Artforum, The Comics Journal, and elsewhere. His latest book is I Only Read It for the Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists.

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The Truth of Imagination: A Conversation On Acting & Psychology with Josh Radnor

September 30, 2013, 7 p.m.
The New School’s Arnold Hall
55 W. 13th St., New York City

Seating is limited and first-come, first-served.

Psychosis is a break with reality. But some artists break with reality and make things more real. As Sanford Meisner said, the performer’s job is to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” But where writers, say, enter an imagined world slowly and offer it to audiences on the page, actors do this in real time—and in their own bodies. How do they do it? How do they fully inhabit a character’s mind without losing their own? How do they emote with authentic passion under Klieg lights? And what’s it like when they return to their “real” lives, and face a public that confuses characters they’ve feel so close with and the actors they really don’t know at all?

Join us for Arts in Mind, a conversation series on the arts, psychology, and mental health, as we take up these questions with a renowned performer, director and screenwriter. A star of Broadway productions including The Graduate, Josh Radnor is best known for his role as Ted Mosby in the Emmy-Award winning sitcom How I Met Your Mother. His screenwriting and directorial debut, happythankyoumoreplease, in which he also starred, won the Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Roger Ebert called his second film, Liberal Arts, “an almost unreasonable pleasure.”

Going Sane

This Moth StorySLAM is part of Arts in Mind series at The New School, investigating the intersections of the arts, creativity and mental health

Friday, March 15th Theme: GOING SANE
Co-hosted by: Dan Kennedy and Joshua Wolf Shenk
7:00pm Doors open 7:30pm Stories begin
Tishman Auditorium at The New School 66 W 12th St

Prepare a five-minute story about losing your marbles and then finding them again. Facing nerve-racking situations and keeping your wits about you. The great unraveling contained and rewound. The lost and found adventures of your mind.

Arts in Mind Festival

On Friday March 15, Arts in Mind and The Moth present a Moth StorySlam on the theme “Going Sane,” hosted by Dan Kennedy and Joshua Wolf Shenk, at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium at 66 W 12th Street. Doors open at 7 p.m. and stories begin on-stage at 7:30 p.m. At Moth Slams, all attendees are invited to put their names in a hat and 10 people are picked to tell 5-minute stories. While all other festival events are free and open to the public, the Moth event will be ticketed and will likely sell out. Tickets go on sale March 1. I will forward the announcement when it comes; you can also sign up for the Moth mailing list here.

On Saturday March 16, at 11 a.m., leaders of innovative programs on the arts in mental health gather for a colloquy to share their lessons and questions. Includes representatives fromFountain Gallery, the Living Museum, theAusten Riggs Center, Access Programs of theMuseum of Modern Art, and The Bridge. At the New School’s Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St.

At 2:00 p.m., join the bestselling author Lois Lowry and the scholar Ellen Handler Spitz for a conversation on what we can learn from the perennial controversies about children’s books that are “too dark.” At the New School’s Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St. This event is co-sponsored by the School of Writing at the New School.

And at 4:00 p.m., the festival concludes with “What’s Your Hang-Up,” in which a psychologist and art critic investigate the work of two artists to try to determine their central preoccupations-their “hang-ups.” The artists themselves will be on hand to respond and discuss. Featuring the artists Edwina White andShantell Martin. At the New School’s Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St. Co-curated by Amanda Stern.

Arts in Mind is hosted by the Sandor Ferenczi Center at the New School and is made possible by support from the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center.

Arts in Mind: A conversation series in New York City with top artists — across the literary, visual, multi-media, and performing arts — whose work touches on mental health issues.

Seating is limited and first-come, first-served.

This Piece Saved My Life

This Piece Saved My Life

7 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2012 at The New School, 55 W. 13th Street, NY

Andrew Solomon among the panel of distinguished writers and artists

Join us for an evening of testimony on the art that has brought succor, or even actual rescue, in vulnerable times, featuring short presentations by these illustrious writers and artists:

Nick Flynn, Yance Ford, Jeremy Safran, Anna Schuleit, Andrew Solomon (pictured) and Lynne Tillman and Arts in Mind Curator and Host Joshua Wolf Shenk.

Dr. M. Gerard Fromm, director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center, will comment on art and the psyche, following the presentations.

Can you can identify a piece that saved YOUR life? Please tell us on Facebook or Twitter (#artsinmind) or just reply to this email and tell me. I’ll read some of the responses at our event.

For my part, I have considered talking about Van Gogh’s Starry Night, or the movie Ordinary People, but my top-choice right now is Marion Bataille’s ABC3D.

Those details again: 10/25, 7 p.m., The New School’s Arnold Hall, 55 W. 13th St.

Cracking Up: The Inner Lives of Comics An evening with Maria Bamford

Wed, May 9, 2012, 8 pm
The New School,
Arnold Hall, 55, West 13th Street, 2nd Floor, NYC

It’s no accident that “cracking up” is a central metaphor for madness and hilarity both. It’s also no accident that the funniest people in the world-and the most incisive and brutally truthy-are so often intimate with the wilds of the mind. What’s the nexus between the raw power of comedy and the raw agony of suffering? What’s the difference between what an audience finds crazy funny and a psychiatrist finds just plain crazy?

On May 9, Arts in Mind returns for a program on the real lives of stand-up comics, featuring a performance by Maria Bamford, with commentary from journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc and psychiatrist Donald Rosen, medical director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center.

Maria Bamford is a celebrated comic whose credits include appearances on The Tonight Show, Conan!, and Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, among many others. A subject of several Comedy Central specials, she is also the creator of The Maria Bamford Show, a web series that explores the many worlds and characters in her life and in her head in the wake of a classic crack-up. Maria’s albums include Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome and The Burning Bridges Tour. She also starred in the Comedy Central series, The Comedians of Comedy and Netflix’sComedians of Comedy: The Movie.

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, a journalist renowned for her immersive reporting, has spent the last TK years writing a book on the real lives of stand-up comics. Adrian’s 2003 book, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx, was a New York Times bestseller and was chosen by over 20 publications as one of the top ten books of that year.

Poetry as Survival: An Evening with Poet Gregory Orr

Poetry as Survival: An Evening with Poet Gregory Orr

The New School,
Arnold Hall, 65 West 13th Street, 2nd floor, NYC


Gregory Orr is the author of 10 collections of poetry, a Guggenheim and NEA fellow and a longtime professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia. Arts in Mind welcomes Orr for a presentation and conversation with Dr. Donald Rosen, medical director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center.

How do the pains and idiosyncrasies of mental illness intermingle with the joys and distinctiveness of creative art? What draws working artists to the themes of struggle and recovery? Where do the concerns of artists overlap with the interests of psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and clients? How does the creative process relate to the broader process of emotional growth? What does it tell us about how people make meaning? Join us for conversations with top artists ranging across the literary, visual, multi-media, and performing arts whose work touches on mental health issues.

Art As Mental Health

Monday, October 10, 2011, 7 pm
MoMA Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater)
Location: Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, 4 West 54th St., NYC

Visual artists with a history of mental illness join representatives of major organizations where art fosters community, creativity, and healing. For our first talk this season, we will turn around the ordinary conversation about the ravages of tortured artists: How does artistic practice actually create mental health? Is it possible that the desire to create even defines mental health? What role can museums and galleries play? This panel discussion brings together artists, clinicians, museum staff and others interested in art as mental health.

Inside The Journals of Spalding Gray with Editor Nell Casey

Wednesday, October 19, 8pm
Location: The New School, Wollman Hall
65 West 11th St., 5th floor, NYC

In his searing, riveting, comic monologues like Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box, Spalding Gray seemed to tell all. Now, with the publication of his intimate diaries, we can see even deeper into the brilliant artist who ended his life in 2004. Join Nell Casey, editor of The Journals of Spalding Gray (to be released the day before this talk) for a conversation about Gray, his creative process, the conflicts that fueled his heights and brought him low-and Casey’s work to bring his massive body of private ruminations to the public.

An Evening with Allen Shawn

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 8pm
Location: The New School, Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th St., 5th floor, NYC

The celebrated composer Allen Shawn has published two memoirs–Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life and, most recently, Twin–that shed vivid light on the creative mind at work. Join us for a talk about making music, navigating fears and unpacking family secrets.

Arts in Mind was created by the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center and is hosted in New York City by the Sandor Ferenczi Center at The New School. Our partners include:

Active Minds, Baltic Street, Community Access, Fountain Gallery, Fountain House, JBFCS, MHA of Connecticut, MHA New Jersey, NAMI-NYC Metro, and The Bridge

If you’re interested in partnering with or sponsoring Arts in Mind, or if you have questions about the series, please write

For more information about events, see

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About the Sándor Ferenczi Center

The goals of the New School Ferenczi Center include 1) sponsoring lectures, conferences, and workshops relevant to Ferenczi’s legacy of clinical innovation, 2) promoting Ferenczi’s legacy of social and political progressivism, and 3) contributing to the ongoing vitality of psychoanalysis as a cultural, intellectual, therapeutic discipline.

TO MAKE A DONATION to the Ferenczi Center please click on this link.

TO MAKE A DONATION to the Jeremy D. Safran Memorial Student Fellowship please click on this link.

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Jeremy Safran 4/23/1952 – 5/7/2018

With great sadness, we announce the passing of our founder and dear friend, Dr. Jeremy Safran. His dedicated commitment to psychoanalytic inquiry and his unflagging support for psychoanalytic scholarship is embodied by his co-founding of the Sándor Ferenczi Center. It was through his motivation and energy that we have offered, over the course of years, a steady stream of events, talks, book launches, screenings, and more. His passion for interdisciplinary community lives in this project and stands as a testimony to his hard work and unparalleled regard for the history, present, and future of relational psychoanalysis. For so many, Jeremy was a mentor and friend, a challenger, a supporter, and a provider of so many rich opportunities. May we as a community continue to provide for one another in his honor and memory an enduring dedication to the things he loved and taught.

Interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran

Please enjoy the following interview with Lewis Aron by Jeremy Safran, two of the founders of the Sándor Ferenczi Center:


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