Winter is here as we approach the cadenza of our personal and collective symphony of 2023. The crisp cold air whispers and seeps into each inhaling breath, evoking a signifier to slow down, reflecting on the compelling tunes we have played and heard in 2023.

What are the private and collective themes of life music we have orchestrated and witnessed this year? What are our old leaf patterns that need to be decomposed to nourish the trees of our psyche for 2024? What is possible and hopeful amid overwhelming suffering? In this time of conflict and pain, it could be challenging to emotionally engage in the intensity of crisis emerging in our world. 

As the interconnectedness within all existence is present, the mental links between the external world and our inner world can be activated, resulting in feelings of fatigue, fear,  hopelessness, powerlessness, hurt, inadequacy, frustration, anger, or rage. The question arises, in what way can we remain connected to humanity when numerous forms of suffering manifested as social injustice, wars, and ecological peril are experienced on Earth? The instinctual response may pull us into a safe personal cocoon through defense strategies like numbing, avoidance, withdrawal, or distraction to insulate our emotional core from the danger and suffering of the world. Nevertheless, many of us ask, how can we fulfill the human innermost desire to share and contribute, bringing forth our capacity to make a difference?Supporting a meaningful cause helps sustain and renew our connections with the world. It is an activism of the heart to deliberately evoke the energies of generosity and kindness that contain the power to break through self-enclosure, emanating a pathway into strengthening collective well-being.

Supporting WILA’s dedication to providing affordable psychotherapy and working to connect individuals with their minds and communities

Reflecting on an adage: changing the world begins with changing our internal world, Wright Institute Los Angeles has served the diverse communities of greater Los Angeles areas since 1974 by carrying out a vision to provide high-quality long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy at an affordable cost. WILA has provided over 14,000 hours of psychotherapy per year to empower people by telling their stories in a safe and nurturing therapeutic container, facilitating a reflective inquiry into understanding themselves and making life changes. Through exploring personal psychological reality and how it contributes to symptoms, relational conflicts, recurring life themes and events, and struggles with life transition, psychotherapy at WILA helps metabolize emotional energies and experiences, transforming old narratives to improve personal life quality and the immediate community.

A 2023 survey from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that an overwhelming majority (87%) of Californians identify a mental health crisis in the United States (Baldassare et al., 2023). We cannot ignore this desperate call from the collective psyche as the individuals’ distress and social suffering are inseparable. The splits of the social-psychic and public-private domains indicate what is called an “attack on linking,” whereby the unconscious forces pull individuals into dissociating from the social context and wherein this split between the world and personal psyche has been normalized (Layton, 2006). In addition, the century-old Cartesian psyche-soma rupture has resulted in overemphasizing the symptom-reduction and dismissing the depth approach to address the original causes of mental affliction. Sigmund Freud, who is considered the father of the science of psychology, understood symptoms as the return of what has been repressed from the unconscious to the conscious. Depth psychotherapy, which honors Freud’s original ideas as well as of his many “successors” is oriented toward serving and tending the psyche-soma’s unrealized messages that desperately seek expressions through the disturbing symptoms to get our attention.

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: Brief Origins and Current Work at WILA

The tradition of psychoanalytic psychotherapy began in the late 19th century from Freud’s work on the unconscious dimension of the psyche with an emphasis on early emotional experiences. The psychoanalytic tradition has been developed into four primary schools that challenged, expanded, re-interpreted, and refined classic Freudian theories while continuing the legacy of theoretical diversity by rethinking psychoanalysis to engage in emerging concerns of the contemporary world. Danto (2007) revealed historical evidence that a number of early psychoanalysts, including Freud, shared a commitment to treat the low-income populations with the hope to challenge predominant social and political conditionsWILA’s visionary activism has faithfully followed the original social vision of the psychanalytic founders for five decades with a resilient response to the limitations and paradigmatic shifts in  psychoanalysis, advocating for social justice and diversity.

Further, recognizing the paucity of affordable psychoanalytic training for clinicians, WILA developed a clinical training program with national recognition for its orientation in psychoanalytic theories and clinical approaches while integrating perspectives from cutting-edge theories and social thoughts. WILA has been dedicated to aligning its curriculum at the forefront of the therapy movements, responding to the growing awareness to restore the disconnected social-political dimension in psychoanalysis by engaging in emergent perspectives on gender, race, sexuality, cultural diversity, and other critical discourses. Psychoanalytic therapy helps us understand and communicate with the internalized and external Others manifested as conflict and wars in our intrapsychic and interpersonal relationships, the breeding grounds for collective violence in our world. In order to awake from the personal dissociation that many experiences from social issues, the activism of the heart is a small step yet it exudes catalyzing forces to take us home to our inborn nature to contribute and share our gifts.

We invite you to help us carry on WILA’s golden cause. Your donation enables WILA to continue offering low-cost therapy as our source of support has always depended on private donors and community members without relying on government funding. One person at a time, your gift of the therapeutic opportunity can reverberate throughout the receiver’s lifetime and be woven into the changing tapestry of our social psyche. We appreciate your contribution and assure your donation will provide immediate help for those who need high-quality therapy but cannot afford it. We also appreciate your additional support for our work by following us on

INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER. Please click here to find out more about our services, our team of culturally competent therapists, our projects on

social actions, and what WILA is all about.

Here is to the next fifty years of psychoanalytic psychotherapy at WILA to our Angeleno Community members!


Baldassare, M., Bonner, D., Mora, L., & Thomas, D. (2023). PPIC statewide survey: Californians and their government. Public Policy Institute of California.

Danto, E. A. (2007). Freud’s free clinics: Psychoanalysis and social justice, 1918-1938. Columbia University Press. Layton, L. (2006). Attacks on linking: The unconscious pull to dissociate individuals from their social context. In L. Layton, N. C. Hollander, & S. Gutwill (Eds.), Psychoanalysis, class and politics: Encounters in the clinical setting. (pp. 107– 117). Routledge.