Conference Reflections 2016

by   Doris Brothers

Please share your reactions to this most recent conference in Boston by sending short comments to me at: . Let your colleagues know what worked for you, what didn't, which presentations were most meaningful to you, and what else you would have liked to see.




Heather Ferguson,
New York City

The musicality of words and actions, along with the analyst's expressive freedom, were subtle potent themes, for me, during the 39th IAPSP conference in Boston--from Mal Slavin's spontaneous arm chair drumming as a way of making contact with a quietly despairing young male patient to Beatrice Beebe and Frank Lachmann's masterful rhythmic non-verbal matching as affective attunement. Bruce Herzog, during the Kohut Memorial Luncheon, shared a moving story of his beloved classical guitar teacher's "forward edge" interpretation of his errant thumb use preceding his discovery of Self Psychology.

Steven Stern's paper, Holistic Thinking and Therapeutic Action, and William Coburn's equally masterful discussion, highlighted a welcome holistic move in contemporary self psychology--the "fittedness" of an emergent moment-- building on the earlier work of Howard Bacal and Joseph Sandler. Peter Kaufmann and Diane Lidofsky touchingly demonstrated the co-creative dimension of empathy with case material during their pre-conference workshop, How Contemporary Self Psychology and Relational Perspectives Expand our Understanding of Empathy and the Empathic Bond.

On the last panel-- the Analyst's Affect-- Judy Teicholz, in her discussion, highlighted the value of the analyst's actions, along with words, as an important dimension of conveying empathy to traumatized patients. I think this rich idea was beautifully demonstrated by Jackie Gotthold's deeply moving work with a young teen, when the act of baking cupcakes served as a powerful co-constructed goodbye ritual, complexly (and perhaps incompletely) registered.

Finally, I delighted in the embodied creativity of IAPSP members Bradley Jones and Rosalind Chaplin Kindler during the Saturday evening cabaret (featuring Paul Binder and Dana Mierlak). Many thanks for the stewardship of the conference co-chairs, Richard Geist and Judith Teicholz.

Annette Richard,
Montreal

The afterglow of the Boston Conference is still with me as I write this, having heard so many excellent clinicians and thinkers offer their work in four tightly scheduled days. The quality of the presentations, I found, was generally remarkable this year. A special mention for Jackie Gotthold, Sandy Hershberg and Ros Chaplin Kindler for their brave and successful attempt in giving us such a beautiful interactive panel, with the help of Ron Bodansky! I wish to thank all the presenters I was able to hear, the planning committee and its co-chairs, Judy Teicholz and Dick Geist, for putting this rich meal on the table for us. The only criticism I have is for the tight schedule which did not leave us much time to breathe and digest.

Click here to read the responses to the 2015 Conference

Click here to read the responses to the 2014 Conference

Click here to read the responses to the 2013 Conference

Click here to read the responses to the 2012 Conference

Click here to read the responses to the 2011 Conference

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