Winter Meeting, 2006
I would like to thank SATA for the grant that allowed me to attend the 2006 winter conference of the American Psychoanalytic Association in New York City. This was quite simply a wonderful experience. In what was a whirlwind trip, I thoroughly enjoyed a range of scientific meetings, paper presentations, talking with other conference attendees, and catching up with friends.
Throughout the conference, it was nice to bump into familiar faces from the South-East Michigan area and acquaint myself with others whom I had only meet previously in passing. The paper presentations that I attended were very engaging, well attended, and generated insightful and intense discussion. I was particularly impressed by both the complexity of the ideas presented and the humility and openness of the presenters; the analysts presenting case material were very open about their own feelings and counter-transference reactions, discussed their mistakes, and seemed actively engaged in a process of revising their understanding of the material. As someone who is new to the field of clinical psychoanalysis, I found the presentation about understanding the conceptual and technical differences between psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis to be particularly interesting and useful to how I understand my own work. In addition, a presentation about transgenerational trauma by a Lacanian trained analyst was also a highlight: although this discussion was intensely difficult to listen to due to the nature of the material (horrific stories of WWII concentration camp survivors), the complexity of the clinical material and enlivened participant discussion made these difficulties well worth it.
Overall it was a fun, engaging and memorable trip. I can strongly recommend it to those who are new to the clinical field as the conference provides the rare opportunity to meet people from all over the world- psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, students, private scholars, and educators- engaged in thinking and working with psychoanalytic ideas.