Winter Meeting - 2006
I would like to express my gratitude to the Student and Trainees Association of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society for the financial assistance provided towards my attendance at the winter meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Without such financial assistance, I would have been unable to attend and participate in a personally and professionally enriching experience.
Despite a bumpy and snowy plane ride to New York, I felt both awe and excitement as I entered the Waldorf Astoria and took in the rich array of clinical presentations offered. Although I had intently examined the program prior to arrival, I felt overwhelmed by the numerous and fascinating presentations offered. I began feeling torn between my original selections and new sessions which caught my eye. Choosing what sessions to attend felt like a daunting task, as there were so many interesting topics and fascinating presenters to choose from.
I immediately selected Dr. Zerbe’s session on the psychoanalytic treatment of eating disorders. As a follower of Dr. Zerbe’s work, it was a personally rewarding experience to hear her speak on a long standing professional interest of mine. I left the session thinking about a familiar topic in new and fascinating ways.
In addition to learning more about long held interests, the meeting of the American also exposed me to new theories of thought, ultimately impacting my thinking and clinical technique. I was particularly stimulated by Dr. Kilborne’s program on Shame Dynamics. The openness in which the experience of shame was discussed served to heighten my awareness regarding the possible pervasiveness of shame in patients’ experiences. I particularly became intrigued by the role shame may play in preventing patients from sharing aspects of their experience within the hour.
Equally stimulating was the session chaired by Dr. Levenson on Paul Gray’s approach to listening for affect and defense in approaching the analysis of conflict. This session was thought provoking and exposed me to new ways of intervening in session when faced with patients’ defenses. Further, the humor and insight associated with Dr, Akhtar’s presentation on the process of engaging the patient impacted me in many ways, most significantly by teaching me new ways to respect and understand the courage associated with a patient’s venture into treatment.