Fellowship makes psychodynamic concepts tangible for Community Fellow Nora Frazin

Nora Frazin in clinic officePhoto, right: Nora Frazin, MSW works full time at Jewish Children and Family Servies and is improving her skills in the psychotherapy of adults using psychoanalytic principles through the Psychotherapy Clinic Fellowship. She is receiving substantial support for the program as a Community Fellow, a therapist in a community or agency setting.

Five months into a Psychotherapy Clinic Fellowship thanks in part to a scholarship as a Community Fellow at the Institute, Nora Frazin, MSW, says the experience has helped her see her work as a clinician at Jewish Child and Family Services in new ways.

“I didn’t even realize how psychodynamic the work I was already doing was, until I learned more in this Fellowship,” says Frazin, 31.

After college, Frazin spent several years working as a college counselor and in other roles in education.  She realized she wanted to help in a deeper way when students confided personal concerns in between conversations about career planning.  That led her to University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where she graduated in 2017.

She found work at JCFS with a program for caregivers and children funded by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.  “We were doing intensive work with caregivers to help children who have been through trauma, as all kids in DCFS have,” Frazin says.  She now sees a range of clients in the Skokie office of JCFS.

As a Psychotherapy Clinic Fellow at the Chicago Institute, Frazin sees several patients each week at the Institute's office in the Loop.  She receives weekly supervision of these cases with an Institute psychoanalyst and attends meetings with Adult Clinical Services therapists, among other benefits -- all in addition to full-time work at Jewish Child and Family Services. 

Her supervisor there told her about the program, Frazin says.  As a clinician working in a community setting, she was eligible to apply to be a Community Fellow, enrolling in the Psychotherapy Fellowship with the aid  a substantial scholarship. The aim of this scholarship program is to make advanced psychotherapy training accessible to clinicians in the public sector early in their careers.

The Institute training complements her job, Frazin adds.  “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to pick apart sessions ‘under the microscope,’ really diving in deeply and considering a case in detail with my supervisor at the Institute, Caryle Perlman.”

Committed to working in the community,  Frazin says the Institute Fellowship helps improve her skills:  “This isn’t my first go round in the professional world, but I’m early in my career as a social worker,” she says.  “I’ve only been doing the Fellowship a few months, and already feel like I have such a stronger grounding.”


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Franz Alexander Legacy Society profile: board member Eva Lichtenberg

Eva LichtenbergThe Franz Alexander Legacy Society honors individuals who have included the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute in their will, trust or other charitable planned gift.  Legacy Society members envision the future and are determined to keep Franz Alexander’s mission, to better understand human beings and help them live better lives, alive forever. This is the first in a series of profiles of Franz Alexander Society inaugural members.


Setting an example & supporting psychoanalysis: board member Eva Lichtenberg

Former board chair and current board member Eva Lichtenberg, a clinical psychologist, says she might have become an analyst herself if the profession had opened to non-MDs sooner.

“With my family income and background, medical school wasn’t in the cards,” Lichtenberg, 85, recalls. She and her family arrived in Chicago in 1941 from Czechoslovakia via Japan as Jewish refugees.  Scholarships covered the cost of her education but not living costs. She calculated that she could work as a teaching assistant while earning her PhD in psychology, unlike in a medical doctor program.

The year she applied, University of Chicago’s psychology department accepted 17 students: “[T]wo were women and the rest were men. They told me, ‘you’re taking the place of a man… you’re going to get married, stop working and waste a place.’ I said, ‘I’m qualified. Let that be my problem.”

Lichtenberg did marry—her husband was a successful businessman who “could make 5 out of 2 and 2—legally,” she jokes—and had a son.  She started her still-running private practice as her son grew up (After her first husband passed away more than 30 years ago, she met and married Institute faculty member Arnold Tobin).  

Lichtenberg joined the Institute board in 1998. Around 2008 she decided to include the Institute in her will.  “I have to say, planned giving is relatively painless,” Lichtenberg says. “I am a firm believer that you give your kids an education and after that, unless they are ill, then they should be able to independently fend for themselves.

“But one thing people worry about is ‘will I have enough money left to take care of myself until the end of my life?’ With planned giving … that’s not an issue,” Lichtenberg says.

Initially, she gave as a board member and leader.  But she continues to enjoy the programs of the Institute, such as continuing education and to support the mission of sustaining psychoanalysis as a clinical practice and a theory of mind.

“People take it for granted, but psychoanalysis is the trunk of the tree from which virtually all other therapy models branch off,”  Lichtenberg says. But, psychoanalysis is also important for the way it is taught across a range of disciplines, she adds: “Our whole discourse about people, movies, theatre, music has been changed and made more understandable by psychoanalytic thinking.”

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