Conference Reflections 2012
by Doris Brothers
The 35th Annual IAPSP conference that was held in Washington, DC. was jam packed with thought provoking and emotionally meaningful presentations and discussions, but little time was set aside for your reactions to them. Please use this space to let your colleagues know your reflections on the conference. Even a line or two would be welcome. Send them to: .
Patrick M. Lockwood, MA
I am a 24 year-old, pre-licensed, doctoral student out in southern California. I have been reading about self-psychology for years, grew up with a therapist father who, with great perspicacity and zeal, impressed upon me early on the importance of empathic connection with others in and outside of the consultation room. The privilege to come to D.C. and be among people I have only read about, and read their works, was both heartening for my future analytic career aspirations and corrective for some relational traumas of my past. I learned so much! I got to talk with clinicians like Eleanor Lee, Steven Siegel, and Bruce Herzog about theory, technique, and just life.
Thank you all for the opportunity to be part of this society as a student, and for the warm acceptance at the conference. I look forward to many more conferences and trainings!
Deborah A. Deliyannides, MD
I am a new member of IAPSP and this was the first such conference I attended. Here's my two cents:
Overall the conference was a very positive experience for me as a newcomer. It was well organized and run: Registration packets were comprehensive but concise. Beverages and snacks in the foyer were perfect. Maria Slowiaczek and her welcoming committee arranged ample opportunities for those of us who were new to meet and mingle; they did a great job (and she went out of her way to meet/greet me in person ... beyond the call!). One of the 3rd floor meeting rooms was not sound-proof and the presenter in the adjacent room caused so much interference poor Aviva Rohde couldn't be heard giving her presentation ... oh well. I did not stay at the Marriott as the conference block was booked by the time I registered (3 weeks before the conference) so I cannot comment on the hotel accommodations, but I did book at a hotel close to the Marriott address given on the brochure, which was NOT the Washington Marriott. Fortunately, my hotel was about half-way between both Marriott Hotels.
My main problem ... bewildering actually ... was the distraction caused by projection on the screen (and page-turning of said manuscripts by most audience participants) of the written lectures AS SIMULTANEOUSLY READ by each presenter!!! WOW! I understand that some presenters prefer to read their presentations. Fine. We can all then, if we chose, obtain a copy of the written manuscript after the presentation is over. But to force this format on every presenter not only poses a distraction to the audience (talk about multi-media over-stimulation: Do I listen to the speaker? Watch him/her read the manuscript? Watch the screen? Watch my peers flip their pages? ... way too much going on in the room), but far worse, puts the more gifted speaker, the one who's at his/her best when speaking impromptu-eyeball-to-eyeball, at a gross disadvantage in the very act of communicating! And isn't this what we're all about? I just couldn't get over the irony that here we were, assembled together pow-wowing all weekend about the mighty dyad, never really allowing our leaders to make face-to-face contact with us because they were handcuffed by having to read their material in the most mechanical manner! Fosshage came up with this great presentation but he looked like he was in a straightjacket ... I have to say I wanted to scream. (At least he got a few free words in). There were a few others who took license to speak off-the record ... but who on earth came up with this write-and-read-your-speech format????? And why do we have to watch it projected on the screen as we listen? Not good, I think. We are not in kindergarten. Nor are we taking tests on the material. Really. Please allow us just to be there and have the unbridled experience of LISTENING to these presenters!
Anyway, if I'm not kicked out by now, I thought it really was a great conference and I hope to attend again.
The title was "Is self an illusion?" It was an excellent and very relevant title, although I heard it as a question to be considered, not one to be answered!
The main thing I wanted to comment upon was the way the plenary sessions were arranged. I like to pay attention to the people who are presenting, to hear their voices and see their faces, to take in the whole experience. It helps me connect with the presentation in a personal way, to have a sense of the relationship. This is also true when the people who comment speak, hearing how carefully they hold both the presenter and the patient in mind as they speak their thoughts and present theory relevant to the situation.
I found it a bit of an irritation to have the big screens with the texts rolling up and down in my peripheral vision. This was compounded by the operator losing the places and having people grumble and tut and eventually get up and go to sort it out, for a while anyway. This process along with the paper waving of people who like to "read along" was very distracting. (I am aware that some do not have English as their first language and that's understandable.)
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and both the pre-conference workshops. They were challenging and put a new zest and enthusiasm into my ongoing everlasting quest for my own sense of competence, confidence and a sense that I can continue to be useful in my work and to my colleagues in my working life. You and all your colleagues in this country have been so generous to me over the years in making my attendance possible and I assure you that very good use is made of what I receive. In closing, I send my appreciation and warm good wishes to you, and your colleagues in IAPSP.
Neville Taylor PhD CPsch
I was honored to have been given the opportunity to present a paper at this year's conference. I was amazed and delighted that 40 people ! showed up at 8am on Sunday morning to hear what Larry Christensen had I had to say. The problem was that only one and a half hours were allotted for both of us to present, and still leave time for comments by our moderator, Rosemary Segalla, and questions from the attendees. Both Larry and I had to edit the length of our papers, and even then the time remaining for questions was very limited. I would suggest that, in future, there should never be a scheduling of two papers in 1 1/2 hours.
In all other respects it was a great conference. Thanks for all your hard work.
I hope to be in Chicago next year.
- IAPSP Interviews
Interview with Amanda Kottler
- Feeling, Relating, Existing
A blog by Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
- Huffington Post Blogs:
'Inside the Mind of a War Vet' & 'Trauma and the Hourglass of Time'
by Helen Davey & Robert D. Stolorow
- TRISP's Bystanders No More Conference: A Ground Breaking Event
by Susanne Weil
Conference Panel Summaries:
- PANEL 2: Intersubjectivity, Complexity, and Specificity: Re-viewing Self Autonomy and Context Embeddedness in Clinical Practice
The IAPSP eForum is the annual online forum of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. Edited by Doris Brothers, Ph.D.
- Editor's Introduction
by Doris Brothers
- Notes from the President
by Estelle Shane
- We, the Analyst: Thinking Differently about the Current Crisis
- by Michael Pariser
- Practicing, Providing and Prevailing in a Suffering Economy
by Susanne M. Weil
If you are interested in contributing to the eForum, please
The views and ideas expressed in these articles may not be shared or endorsed by the governing body of IAPSP and its members. Any opinion written in the eForum is solely that of the author of the article.