Conference Reflections 2013
by Doris Brothers
I doubt that I'm alone in feeling that the 36th annual IAPSP conference in Chicago was one of the best ever! Once again, I'm very pleased to post your reactions to the conference as well as to the 13 pre-conference events on eForum. Perhaps you'd like to share what the most memorable events were for you, or what parts of the conference you'd have conducted differently. But I welcome any of your thoughts, feelings, inspirations, and questions. Please send your reflections to me at: .
Judy Teicholz, PhD
I agree with Doris that this was one of the most profound and stimulating conferences, across the board, that I have ever attended.
While perusing an art book last night I came across this quotation from Anni Albers which for me expresses one of the cross-currents (or implicit messages) floating through many of the weekend's presentations:
"Our world goes to pieces; we have to rebuild our world. We investigate worry and analyze and forget that the new comes about through exuberance and not through a defined deficiency... [But] --
Out of the chaos of collapse we can save the lasting: we can have ... the absolute of our inner voice and we will know beauty, freedom, happiness.....unexplained and unquestioned."
With profound gratitude to all of you who created, contributed to and attended this conference,
Estelle Shane, PhD
I have found myself in the past several days saying quite spontaneously, in response to causal questions from colleagues inquiring about the proceedings in Chicago, that this was best psychoanalytic conference I have ever attended, surprising both myself and them in the process. When I think over each of the four panels, the David Terman's Kohut Memorial Lecture, and the paper sessions I attended, the theoretical and clinical material introduced continues to amaze me with its freshness and originality. Too often, on reflecting on a conference that has passed, I have wondered, on balance, whether, in all, it really was worth the time and effort involved, despite some truly excellent presentations. But somehow, this conference seemed all good. We can thank both Scott Davis and Amy Eldridge as Co-Chairs of the Program Committee,as well as the efforts of all involved, including the enthusiasm of the participants: In my view every one deserves the highest commendation!
Niquie Dworkin, PhD
I loved Ariette Slades' reading of Sharon Olds' Bathing the Newborn, a perfect evocation of the deep emotional resonance of secure attachment...
Joshua Burg, Doctoral Student
As a first-ever conference experience, I have to say that the IAPSP conference this year was amazing. From the wonderfully human and beautifully connected presentation given by Dick Geist, all the way to the closing remarks of Donna Orange (who reminds us all how difficult it can be for us to "hold lightly" the theories we invest so much in) I was simply in awe. In reflecting on my experience I can remember how intimidated it felt to "walk amongst the giants" of the self psychological community, but as I was able to connect and converse with both presenters and attendees - I came to realize how welcoming our community truly is.
Out of the plenaries, I will especially remember Joe Lichtenberg's words during the technology plenary. I believe his discussion of the "new" we are faced with in regards to technology, and his point that the question of good vs. bad is irrelevant, will stick with me for years to come. Joe truly exemplified his message of flexibility and adaptability by being the only plenary presenter to talk to the audience without reading from a prepared paper.
Outside of the plenary presentations - both Shelley Doctors and Ida Roldan gave the most amazing papers. I must continue to encourage Ida to publish her work - it was a stunning example of humanity, connection, and the vulnerabilities we face through working with our clients (and I'd love to read that paper again). So often the change in our clients is preceded by a change in the analyst (though I borrow this idea from Chris Jaenicke, and I'm sure countless others who've come to this conclusion).
In short, the theme of this conference was connectedness and after this weekend in Chicago I feel my own connection to a community I hope to be a part of for many years to come. Thank you all for such a wonderful time, especially those that took the time to talk with an intimidated graduate student hovering around coffee and books.
Book NewsA new column to announce a book you have written or review a book you love. We have so many talented writers among us. We want to provide a space to shine! Please send submissions to Anne Paris, PhD at
- IAPSP Interviews
Interview with Eldad Iddan
- 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:
- Keynote Address: Progress in Self Psychology and its Impact on Contemporary Clinical Practice
by Anna & Paul Ornstein
- PLENARY II
by Scott Davis, Frank Lachmann & Arietta Slade
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
- Letter from the President
by Lucyann Carlton
- We, the Analyst: Thinking Differently about the Current Crisis
- by Michael Pariser
- Practicing, Providing and Prevailing in a Suffering Economy
by Susanne M. Weil
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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.