Candidates Committee News

By Hilary Offman (Canada) and María José Mezzera (Chile)
Co-chairs, Candidates Committee

Led by Margaret Black Mitchell (USA), our group consists of candidates from all over the world who come together to create a place where the focus is specifically on and for students of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and early-career psychoanalysts.

Our Candidates Committee had a busy time in Sydney. We hosted a very well-attended reception on the first day of the conference, where students and newer analysts enjoyed getting to know and chatting with senior analysts in an atmosphere of camaraderie and great food. This reception has become a tradition at IARPP’s annual conferences, and we are already looking forward to hosting the next one in New York City in 2018.

Our yearly candidates’ panel took place on the third day of the conference in Sydney. The theme this year was “Navigating Complexity: Considering the Relationship Between Theory and Practice.” Of the many papers submitted, we chose four from candidates representing four different countries. Paola Cesari (Italy), Mehr-Afarin Hosseini (Canada), Adrian Jones (Australia), and Gidi Levin (Israel) presented very interesting clinical papers in which they each discussed issues, difficulties, and challenges when working from a relational perspective. We were fortunate to have Joyce Slochower (USA) as our discussant. Joyce did a fantastic job weaving together her commentary on the four papers with her own experiences and reflections on her clinical practice. It thrilled us that three of the four presenters were non-native English speakers, and we were proud to have sponsored a truly international endeavor.

Our next event will be our yearly online candidates’ webinar coming up in January. Jody Messler Davies (USA) has generously agreed to lead our webinar, and we are looking forward to three weeks of learning and conversation. Stay tuned for the details on the topic and instructions for registering.

For the upcoming conference in New York (June 14-17, 2018), the committee has already put out a call for papers for our candidates panel. The theme of our panel will be “Hope and Dread: Becoming a Therapist in an Uncertain World.

Relational psychoanalysis has encouraged us to embrace uncertainty in the clinical realm. In this panel we will explore what happens when uncertainty in the world at large feels more destructive than constructive, or threatens to overwhelm us from without. For this panel, we are looking for papers that offer a clinical perspective on what it’s like to be a candidate in training at a time of such widespread insecurity and accelerating geopolitical, technological, and ecological upheaval.

This panel is open to candidates and students who are currently in training or those who have graduated within the past five years. All those submitting proposals must be members of IARPP.  Proposals should be written in English, be no longer than 250 words, and should capture something about the author’s clinical work as it relates to our theme.

Proposals should be sent to Hilary Offman ( and María José Mezzera (

Those whose proposals are accepted will have until March 1 to develop their finalized presentations, which should be 15 minutes in length and will be written and presented in English.

We invite candidates and early career analysts to submit their proposals by October 15.

Hillary Offman Co-Chair Candidates Committee

Hilary Offman, MD, FRCPC
121 Balmoral Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1J5 Canada





mezzeraphoto0216wwwMaría José Mezzera
Av. Kennedy 5770, of. 706
Vitacura, Santiago Chile