The Sigourney Award-2023 Honors Four Recipients for Outstanding Work Advancing Psychoanalytic Principles Globally

Distinguished Panel of Judges Select Extraordinary Psychoanalytic Work by Individuals From Argentina, Italy, and the United Kingdom

SEATTLE, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Sigourney Award Trust annually rewards achievements that advance psychoanalytic thought and principles worldwide with international recognition and a substantial cash prize. This year, distinguished judges evaluated exceptional submissions and selected four whose work, during the past ten years, merits winning The Sigourney Award-2023. Robin A. Deutsch, PhD and Analyst Co-Trustee of The Sigourney Award Trust, announces the recipients, including: Vittorio Lingiardi, MD (Rome, Italy); Rosine Perelberg, PhD (London, England); Daniel Pick, PhD (London, England); and Virginia Ungar, MD (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Mary Sigourney founded The Sigourney Award Trust in 1989 to recognize and promote exceptional work that advances psychoanalytic principles and their ability to better humankind. The 2023 recipients’ achievements are infused with uncommon interdisciplinary approaches and distinct psychoanalytic perspectives seeking to mitigate human suffering based on sexual and gender identity, race, or religion, and oppression by authoritarian regimes. 

“Each of the recipients’ work has helped elevate the awareness and beneficial impact of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic thinking globally, supporting Mary Sigourney’s intended vision,” says Dr. Deutsch. “Our international assembly of judges, each respected for their professional contributions, identified the work that most closely fulfills Ms. Sigourney’s directives and offers new pathways to positively impact humanity through psychoanalysis.”

Work Meriting The Sigourney Award-2023 (In alphabetical order)

Vittorio Lingiardi, MD (Rome, Italy)
Professor Vittorio Lingiardi’s pioneering work in psychodynamic diagnosis and LGBTQ+ issues demonstrates an ability to bridge the gap between the richness and complexity of psychoanalytical clinical practice and the need for empirical soundness; all the while finding novel ways to extend psychoanalysis’ reach and effect. On these topics he has been able to reach key audiences through books, articles, editorials, TV programs, and social networks. A psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and full professor at Sapienza University of Rome, Lingiardi splits his clinical practice focus on working with patients from marginalized groups and serving people with personality and interpersonal problems. His research in the LGBTQ+ field has helped change a “classical” and often pathologizing psychoanalytic viewpoint. He helped formulate and publish the Italian guidelines, endorsed by the National Board of Italian Psychologists, for psychotherapy and counseling with LGBTQ+ patients and has often spoken publicly in defense of minoritized groups and families’ civil rights to increase social acceptance.

Additionally, Lingiardi’s work focused on “resuscitating” the word diagnosis in psychoanalytic culture and clinical practice. He and Nancy Williams co-edited the second edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2). Their revisions embedded an empirically based psychoanalytic approach to diagnosis and placed personality and its traits in a broader psychoanalytic diagnostic framework. Closely interconnected with the patient’s mental functioning and symptomatology, grounded in research, and systematized in the PDM-2, the Manual now reaches an international audience in multiple languages. 

Rosine Perelberg, PhD (London, England)
Professor Rosine Perelberg’s open-minded work coalesces psychoanalytic thought and social anthropology expertise to offer a forward-looking framework for the understanding of temporality, sexuality, and antisemitism. Offering an innovative interpretation of paternal and maternal functions, in both clinical practice and social phenomena, as well as a psychoanalytic understanding of the Shoah (Holocaust) her work emphasizes the relevance of psychoanalytic insights in navigating contemporary societal challenges. Perelberg’s integration of British clinical traditions with French, American and Latin American conceptual psychoanalysis has profoundly influenced international psychoanalysis’ ability to acknowledge and learn from the varying application.

A practicing psychoanalyst and visiting professor at the University College London, Perelberg’s clinical work is innovative, poetic and rigorous. An acclaimed author, Perelberg’s work is informed by her anthropological training with topics focused on phantasies of origin, exploring the infantile ‘s unconscious drives related to the symbolic functions of the maternal and paternal. The distinction between the murdered father and the dead father plays a crucial role in enhancing understanding of pressing social and political issues. In Sexuality, Excess and Representation she offers a ground-breaking psychoanalytic framework for the understanding of bisexuality and sexual difference. Under her leadership as president of the British Psychoanalytical Society (2019-2022), her international influence helped guide protocols for virtual teaching and practice of psychoanalytic work virtually through the pandemic. Her seven-minute film, The Empty Couch, created at the onset of the pandemic had great social impact as it amassed nearly 5,000 views.

Daniel Pick, PhD (London, England)
Professor Daniel Pick’s engaging and interdisciplinary work has investigated how psychoanalytic thought has been mobilized to face some of the most dire political challenges of modern times. Drawing on clinical experience and humanities studies expertise, his projects have mapped the extent and impact of clinical involvement in wartime intelligence, debates on denazification and the Cold War, and the consolidation of post-war liberal democracy. Over the last decade, his work as historian and a psychoanalyst generated new information and discussion about unconscious processes inside the mind, and at work between people. Moreover, it has illuminated how demagogues and other mind manipulators harness the passions of crowds (on the street and online).  

In an era of political catastrophes, his research has helped underscore how psychoanalysis is shaped by history and can deepen interpretations of historical processes. Ranging across debates on fascism, brainwashing, totalitarianism, populism, groupthink, conspiracy theory, online radicalization, and advertising, Pick’s findings are communicated through non-traditional pathways integrating film, books, radio documentaries, podcasts, and more. His work delves into unfamiliar sources and considers afresh the historical consequences of Freud’s “revolution in mind.” Through his books Brainwashed: A New History of Thought Control (2022) and The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts (2012), he shows how psychoanalysis and the serious study of history can engage with each other. Pick’s work is part of a wider endeavor by historians exploring, explaining, applying, and/or historically contextualizing psychoanalysis.

Virginia Ungar, MD (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Dr. Virginia Ungar’s leading-edge work in “the feminine,” and in child, adolescent, and adult analysis, coupled with her leadership achievements in transforming current and future psychoanalytic training have significantly impacted the future of psychoanalysis. Her psychoanalytic approach established a radical new model of incorporating child and adolescent psychoanalytic training as part of an analysts’ clinical curriculum. The additional training has contributed to primary prevention in childhood. Ungar has also carved out a contemporary interdisciplinary approach to “the feminine,” not limited to a female body but found in women, men, children, adults, and works of art. Her work unites gender theories born in anthropology and sociology and provides cultural context for where psychoanalytic processes take place. Ungar’s professional path led to her becoming the first woman president of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA).

To broaden psychoanalysis’ scope and fully develop its potential around the world, in 2018 Ungar crafted the program, IPA in the Community. Partnering with psychoanalytic societies, international organizations, and humanitarian groups, the program supported broad demand and participation in the community. The initiative increased the visibility of psychoanalysis and engaged young professionals by working directly with teachers, professors, lawyers, social workers, doctors, and nurses to connect to the most vulnerable populations around the globe (women, children, migrants and refugees). Faced with the unprecedented challenges posed by a global pandemic, Ungar’s work helped hold the psychoanalytic and mental health communities together through online activities, including the acceptance of remote training during that period.

“The Sigourney Award’s tenets have not changed. With Mary Sigourney’s direction and a wholly independent perspective, we annually reward exemplary work completed in the recent 10 years by a group, organization or individual. We hope future applicants and nominees are inspired by our recipients’ accomplishments and continue to pursue their own original approaches to positively impact the value and reach of psychoanalytic principles,” says Barbara Sherland, JD, Attorney Co-Trustee of The Sigourney Award Trust.

Visit The Sigourney Award to review all recipients’ announcements. Applications for The Sigourney Award-2024 open March 1, 2024 for qualifying work completed between 2013-2023. Follow social platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn @SigourneyAward, and X (Twitter) @sigourney_the.

About The Sigourney Award
The Sigourney Award Trust, a wholly independent nonprofit organization established by Mary Sigourney in 1989, annually bestows The Sigourney Award as international recognition and reward for outstanding work that has advanced psychoanalytic principles. Ms. Sigourney was a psychotherapist, publisher, and community activist who had a passionate interest in psychoanalysis and understood its ability to benefit and extend human conversation across various disciplines. Since 1990, The Sigourney Award has rewarded and promoted outstanding work. To date, 145 Award recipients from 22 countries represent her global vision. Judges of The Sigourney Award remain anonymous to ensure an unbiased and thorough evaluation practice. Work honored by The Sigourney Award has significantly contributed to human affairs on topics ranging from clinical psychoanalysis, neuroscience, feminism, and political oppression.

SOURCE The Sigourney Award Trust