Home > Conference > 2017 Conference

Empathic Depths and Relational Leaps:
Creating Therapeutic Possibility

40th IAPSP Annual International Conference 2017


Click here for the Conference Registration page

· Link to Conference Brochure (PDF)

· Thursday, October 19th Pre-Conference Workshops (PDF)
· Panel Session Descriptions (PDF)
· Saturday, October 21st Paper and Panel Session Descriptions (Session A) (PDF)
· Saturday, October 21st Paper and Panel Session Descriptions (Session B) (PDF)
· Sunday, October 22nd Paper and Panel Session Descriptions (Session C) (PDF)

· Welcome
· Post-panel discussion groups
· IAPSP Special Interest Groups
· IAPSP Welcoming Program
· Saturday Evening Entertainment: Special Guest Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame!
· Accommodations and Conference Venue
· Airfare and Rental Car Discounts


We warmly invite you to join us for IAPSP's 40th annual international conference, as we explore how deep empathic connection and new ways of relating can mutually influence each other, help resolve clinical impasses, and promote therapeutic growth and change.

As we think you will agree when you see the details, the conference promises to be an intellectually stimulating and very clinically relevant learning experience for clinicians and scholars of all levels of experience - from those very well-versed in contemporary self psychology and relational psychoanalysis to those just discovering psychoanalytic thinking or our IAPSP community.

Please download the conference brochure here and note these highlights:

*Please Note: Due to a link between the keynote address and Plenary panel I, we encourage attendees to arrive at the conference Thursday for the keynote session.

We are looking forward to a great conference and hope to see you there.

Scott Davis, MD and Carla Leone, PhD, Conference Co-Chairs


2017 Pre-Conference Chair:
Jill Gardner, PhD

2017 Paper Co-Chairs:
Denise Davis, LCSW and Elizabeth Feldman, PhD

Other Committee Members:
Richard Geist, EdD; Karina Goldberg, PhD; Daniel Goldin, MA; Bruce Herzog, MD; Steven Knoblauch, PhD; Janna Sandmeyer, PhD, Maria Slowiaczek, PhD and Steven Stern, PsyD



One of the best parts of IAPSP conferences are the small group discussions that follow each of the first three plenary panels. Facilitated by well-known senior clinicians and scholars, the discussion groups (which stay consistent throughout the three panels) offer participants the opportunity to discuss reactions to the panels in a smaller, more intimate setting, ask questions and get to know each other better.



IAPSP has several subgroups of members with a particular interest that are open to all IAPSP members at no additional fee. Some of these groups have listserv discussions throughout the year and/or sponsor online "Journal Club" paper discussions. For more information about any of them, please contact the group's chairperson at the following addresses:

The Couples Therapy Interest Group - Carla Leone, Co-chair,

The Child and Adolescent Initiative - Denise Davis, Chair,

The Social Justice and Ethics Interest Group - Margy Sperry, Chair,

The Teaching Listserv - Elizabeth Carr, Chair,

The Students and Candidates Committee - Joshua Burg, Chair,


Meetings and Activities Sponsored by IAPSP Special Interest Groups at the 2017 Conference

The Couples Therapy Interest Group will hold a brief meeting followed by a discussion of the topic Partners Who Think They Have THE Reality: The Problem of Psychic Equivalence in Couples Therapy on Friday 10/20 from 12:15-1:30pm. The discussion will begin with a case presentation illustrating this common problem, followed by open discussion of the case and overall topic.

The Child and Adolescent Initiative will sponsor an invited panel on Friday 10/20 from 12:15-1:30pm, entitled And the Analyst Makes Three: Reaching Empathic Depths in the Treatment of an Adolescent and Mother, involving a case presentation and discussion.

The Social Justice and Ethics Interest Group will hold its first meeting on Saturday evening 10/21 from 5:45-6:45 pm.

The Teaching listserv group will meet on Friday morning 10/20 at 7:15am.

The Students and Candidates Committee will hold a meeting on Friday 10/20 from 12:30 - 1:30 PM, consisting of a discussion facilitated by Richard Geist, Ed.D., which is open to all student and candidate conference registrants. This meeting will include an open Q&A as well as a discussion of Dr. Geist's paper, "From Self-Protection to Relational Protectiveness: The Modification of Defensive Structures," which will be emailed to all student and candidate conference registrants before the conference. The committee is also hosting a Students and Candidates Reception on Friday from 5:30 - 6:30 PM to allow student and candidate conference attendees to get to know one another and learn about all that IAPSP has to offer them.

Note: All meetings and activities listed above are open to all conference registrants, whether members of IAPSP or not. Attendees at the Friday lunchtime panels and meetings are welcome to bring a lunch (purchased on your own).



If you are a newcomer to the IAPSP Conference, we would like to invite you to participate in our Welcoming Program. This program is designed to make the conference more enjoyable and useful for you, and to help you to get the most out of your experience. We also hope that it will help you to make new social and professional contacts so that it will be easier for you to participate in the Self Psychology community after the conference is over.

If you choose to participate, you will be assigned to a welcomer, an experienced member who has volunteered to spend some time to help newcomers join in socially and professionally. Your welcomer will contact you to address any questions you might have prior to the conference. Your welcomer will also arrange to meet you at the conference. In addition, we will send you a schedule of times when welcomers and newcomers will get together, usually meal times or coffee breaks. Our goal is just to help you to get acquainted and to have other people to have lunch or dinner with. You are free to choose any of these times to join in. The program is designed to be flexible so that each newcomer can decide how much 'welcoming' they would like.

If you are interested in participating, please email me at so that I can connect you with a welcomer.

Maria L. Slowiaczek, Ph.D.
Chair, IAPSP Welcoming Committee



Special guest Peter Yarrow: We are delighted that our Saturday evening entertainment will feature artist/activist Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Mr. Yarrow is the co-founder of Operation Respect, a nonprofit organization that uses music and the arts to promote emotionally safer school communities.




The Palmer House Hilton Hotel
4-star hotel

USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards named The Palmer House Hilton as one of the most historically significant hotels in America. Narrowed down to just 20 hotels by Historic Hotels of America for the public to vote, Palmer House Hilton secured the number four spot on the list of top 10 winners.

A city within a city, the Palmer House encapsulates the very essence and energy of Chicago. Have your mind read at the Magic Parlour, take the grand tour with Ken Price on the Palmer House Hilton History is Hott Tour, sip on our specialty label bourbon, have high tea at two at the Mez, recharge yourself at The Spa at Palmer House or re-energize at Balance Fitness Center.

Or walk to countless Chicago attractions outside the hotel. The Palmer House Hilton is just steps to all the action along State Street including Macy's, Nordstrom Rack, American Apparel, H&M, Block 37 Mall and the Chicago Theatre District. Walking distance to The Art Institute, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Cadillac Theatre, Jeweler's Row, Millennium Park and more!

The Palmer House Hilton is offering the Annual IAPSP Conference 2017 attendees special conference rates of $259.00 single or double, plus applicable state and local taxes. Please be sure to mention the IAPSP Annual Conference 2017 to receive these discounted rates. IAPSP Annual Conference discounted group rates apply until the reservation deadline of September 15, 2017 or until all so-designated rooms are booked, whichever occurs first.

Reservation requests received after this date will not be guaranteed and will be confirmed based on space and rate availability. IAPSP Annual Conference discounted group rates apply until the reservation deadline of September 15, 2017 or until all rooms in the group have been reserved, whichever occurs first. A first night's room deposit or credit card will guarantee your reservation. Check-in time is 3:00pm. BE SURE TO MENTION THE IAPSP ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017 TO QUALIFY FOR THE GROUP RATE!

To make reservations, contact the hotel directly:
Palmer House Hilton
Phone: +1 312.726.7500 or 1.855.271.3617
Booking Website:

Website: http://www.palmerhousehiltonhotel.com/




SkyTeam is a global airline alliance that comprises 20 world-class carriers serving destinations in 177 countries. We selected SkyTeam as our Official Alliance Network because it provides you with industry-leading discounts of up to 15% off the lowest fares, or promotions if they are even lower.

To book your travel now, click here:
or visit
www.skyteam.com/GlobalMeetings and enter your Event ID# 3545S.

Avis has assigned a specific discount number for the 2017 IAPSP Conference in Chicago, IL. The Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) # is D016372. Special discounted rates are available for conference attendees. Be sure to protect your transportation needs by making a reservation at least two weeks in advance. Phone the Avis Meeting & Group Sales Desk at 1-800-331-1600 for reservations and further information.


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