Who we are

Tina and Sue

Founders Tina Adkins, Ph.D., and Sue Fairbanks, MSSW, LCSW

Dr Tina Adkins

Tina Adkins, Ph.D.

Director & Founder


Dr. Tina Adkins is a Research Assistant Professor with the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, the Director of the Sue Fairbanks Psychoanalytic Academy, a Research Fellow with the International Psychoanalytic Association, and a practicing psychotherapist. She has an MA in Counseling from Texas State University, an MS in Developmental Psychoanalytic Psychology and a Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Studies from University College London (UCL). Dr. Adkins has worked her entire career in the field of child welfare. She began as a Child Protective Services worker and went on to become a psychotherapist and then specialize in attachment and child development.


After graduating from UCL, Tina combined her previous experience working in the child welfare field with her understanding of psychoanalysis and applied it to the creation of an intervention called Family Minds. Family Minds is an evidenced-based short psychoeducational program for foster and adoptive parents that is based on attachment theory, neuroscience and psychoanalytic theory.


Tina travels extensively, collaborating with international researchers and clinicians in countries such as the UK, France, Italy, Canada, Australia and Chile. She also is a sought-after public speaker and regularly delivers trainings both internationally and nationally. She lives in Austin with her furry menagerie that includes two dogs and a cat, and enjoys outdoor adventures such as kayaking, hiking and cycling.

Sue Fairbanks

Sue Fairbanks, MSSW, LCSW

Sponsor & Founder

This Academy is made possible by a generous endowment by Sue Fairbanks


Sue Fairbanks is a 1981 graduate of the Master of Science in Social Work program at The University of Texas at Austin. Fairbanks retired in July 2018 after 36 years of maintaining a full-time private practice in Austin with adults in individual and couples therapy and providing clinical consultation and supervision. She is a former board member of the Austin Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology and a former member of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work Dean’s Advisory Council. 

Fairbanks began her professional career as an airline stewardess in the 1960s. During those years, she explored much of the external world while discovering the deeper inner world of the psyche. After graduating from the master’s program at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at UT Austin, Fairbanks completed training to become a Certified Bioenergetic Analyst. Over the years, she trained and developed expertise in post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual abuse, dissociative disorders, gerontology and adoption. Most recently, she completed a two-year training program in psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapy sponsored by the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston, Texas.

The thread that brought Fairbanks’ different trainings together, along with her concurrent inner search, came about when she entered her own analysis. Fairbanks had the time and space to deeply reflect on her life as she has lived it. The exploratory and reflective nature of psychoanalytic thought knit together her inner search and different trainings into a complex ever-expanding whole. Fairbanks wishes to introduce psychoanalytic knowledge, in its many faceted forms, to students and the helping community so they, too, can have access to the rich knowledge base out of which so many subsequent psychological therapies have been formulated.

Joan Berzoff

Joan Berzoff, MSW, Ed.D.

Director of Certificate Courses


Dr. Joan Berzoff is Professor Emerita at the Smith College School for Social Work where she co-directed the doctoral program for 13 years, chaired or co-chaired the Human Behavior in the Social Environment Sequence for 20 years and founded and directed the End of Life Certificate Program for 15 years.

She is the author and co-author of four books, including: Dissociative Disorders: The Controversy in the Diagnosis and Treatment, Living with Dying: A Handbook for End of Life Care Practitioners, Falling through the Cracks: Psychodynamic Practice with At Risk and Vulnerable Populations and Inside Out and Outside In: Psychodynamic Theories and Practice  in Multicultural Settings and is working on the fifth edition of that book. 


She is the author of over 45 journal articles, has presented nationally and internationally in over a l00 venues including in Sweden, Israel, Bulgaria, Italy and Hong Kong. Dr. Berzoff received the Outstanding Teaching Award from Mass. NASW, The Outstanding Scholar Award from National Academies of Practice, The Project on Death in America Leadership Award, the Social Work Leadership Award from the Soros Foundation’s Project on Death in America and more recently, the Professional Writing Award from the American Association of Psychoanalytic Social Work. She is in private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts.


Advisory Group

Stephen Sonnenberg, MD,  Professor of Psychiatry, Dell Medical School

Dale Sonnenberg

Ryan Parker, LCSW,  Psychotherapist

Additional Contributors

Kate McKerlie, MSSW, MPH, Communications Director

Allie Long, Digital Communications Coordinator


Special thanks to Christine Winston, LCSW, and Kery Rowden, LCSW, who were part of the Academy planning committee and contributed to its initial development