I have the dedicated passion of a convert. Not too many years ago–maybe 5 or so–I really couldn’t see the value of an analyst in the US (that would be me) paying much attention to international psychoanalysis–or even regional psychoanalysis. It seemed to me that we had so much in APsaA–so much going on, so many problems, so many possibilities, that paying attention to the rest of the world and what was going on psychoanalytically there seemed if not unnecessary, then something I didn’t have space in my head for or time in my day. I no longer think that way.
The Mexico City Congress is now concluded and it was an event I am sorry you missed if you didn’t go. I love Mexico City (and its passionate psychoanalytic community) more and more the better I get to know it.
For me, the most riveting part of the experience of being a part of an international psychoanalytic event is learning about practices, programs and innovations outside of our psychoanalytic universe. Often, these ideas that come from Europe or Latin America are utterly importable.
I’ll just mention one in this post. I learned of a program in Stockholm that just knocked me over with its simplicity and “out of the box” creativity. It is called Freud’s Bar. Publicized to students on Facebook and twitter, the program involves a psychoanalyst being present at a designated time and place (the place being a nice bar–the kind where you can get a drink) and giving a 15 minute talk about psychoanalysis and then answering questions.
Some six hundred students attended the Mexico City congress as compared to less than 25 at previous IPA congresses. Their attendance was in part due to a blitz via Facebook and twitter. Obviously, the congresses must be set up to provide sessions that are attractive to students. APsaA is ahead of the IPA on this and could be of help.