In this issue

From the Graduate Student Committee

Highlights of the "The Leading Edge of Creativity" conference in Santa Fe, NM

By Ankhesenamun Ball

My Experience

This year I had the opportunity of attending the Division 39 Psychoanalytic conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico entitled, "The Leading Edge of Creativity." Admittedly I was unsure as to what to expect. I was however, pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness, openness, and interest of those attending the conference.

This year the conference schedule was replete with a variety of topics which ranged from bullying to "How the Brain Tells our story." I was truly amazed to hear about how many analysts wear so many different hats. I realized, like many with such a narrow frame of reference, how easy it is to assume anything when never confronted with reality. I too once assumed that analysis never or rarely ventured beyond the consulting room. This notion was challenged and over turned as I was able to meet with and discuss the many projects that various analyst are engaged in. From play to foreign policies, psychoanalysts during this conference demonstrated not only diversity in their thinking and their work, but also in their experiences.

Santa Fe, New Mexico was a prime location to house such wondrous event. Amongst the beauty of the adobe style architecture, we analyst were able to play with ideas on how to create a positive image of psychoanalysis and increase diversity amongst our organization. This opened up many lively discussions about where psychoanalysis is, and where it will be in the next 5, 10, or 15 years. Overall, the belief seemed that psychoanalysis will thrive, provided that we as an analyst and analytic therapist, are open to change. Increased diversity within our membership and on our Board will be important indicators of our commitment to change. There has even been a call for a change to how we share our work, as in how we write, as Carlos Stranger states, " refraining from turning Psychoanalysis into a religion" and then preaching to the choir. Writing in a dynamic, and natural way, will allow us as practitioners of psychoanalysis to continue to grow and attract new faces with new interests and ideas.

There was a lovely mix of old friends and new faces. The Early Career Psychologist (ECP) and other smaller committees and organizations seemed to invest a great deal of time and energy into incorporating the many new faces attending this year. There was a strong, and much needed push, to help ECP's connect and feel connected to the overall organization. The small groups continue to make others feel welcome and make them aware of the many opportunities available within division 39. Also in the area of information, research in psychoanalysis was also a very prominent topic. As the push for evidenced base practices envelops the western world, psychoanalysis has been diligently managing to keep up and keep us all informed. I was truly surprised and inspired by hearing about all of the latest research findings related to "insight oriented treatments."

Overall, there were so many different awe inspiring activities taking place and so many different opportunities to hear about the beauty, benefits, and efficacy or our work. As we continue to grow and learn as a discipline, I believe that we are in the throes of a paradigm shift. I think it will be this shift that will allow psychoanalysis to flourish, not only as it once did. With time and continued communication of the various efforts, interests, and contributions of those within our field, I believe that we will no longer be on the leading edge of creativity but once again at the forefront of best practices.