News from IARPP Chapters

Chana Ullman

Chana Ullman

Neil Altman

Neil Altman

We are pleased to present reports from local IARPP chapters in Chile,
United Kingdom,
Co-chairs for IARPP Local Chapters Committee are Chana Ullman (Israel) and Neil Altman (USA)

Report from IARPP-Australia

By Marianne Kennedy

Marianne Kennedy

Marianne Kennedy

The Australian Chapter of IARPP (SCIARPP) has grown over the past year. We now have over one hundred members and have seen a growing interest in relational perspectives and ideas within the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic community here, particularly in Sydney, where we have had some very successful events in recent months.

In June 2014 and again in February 2015, we hosted two seminars in Sydney in what is known as the “Building Bridges” series.  These seminars are held twice a year and provide a forum for sharing ideas and exploring the communality of thinking among members of different psychoanalytic organizations in Sydney.

In June the discussion focused on the 1989 video of Stephen Mitchell talking about the “Challenges Facing Psychoanalysis,” which had not been seen here previously. Mitchell’s talk elicited a lively and open discussion among members of a panel representing a range of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic orientations and an equally wide-ranging audience.

In February this year, Donnel Stern joined us via video conference to present his paper on “Relational Freedom and Therapeutic Action,” which was also followed by a very stimulating exchange of ideas with a large and diverse panel and audience.

Last September Aaron Balick talked with us, also via video-conferencing, about the “Psychodynamics of Social Networking,” helping us think about some of the ethical and practical implications for our practices. We hope to continue this discussion in the near future.

In October, Philip Ringstrom paid a short but intensive visit to Australia. He offered a seminar on improvisation in psychoanalysis, a workshop on his relational model for working with couples and a master class on couples work. Phil’s presentations were much enjoyed by the participants and he was very generous in making himself available. It was great to meet Phil and we would love to extend an invitation to others who would be interested in paying us a visit in the next couple of years!

Recently, SCIARPP member Gerard Webster gave an excellent talk on understanding the perpetration of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church through the lens of Relational Psychoanalysis.  A national investigation into institutional responses to child sexual abuse is currently being conducted in Australia and is a subject of much discussion and distress here, as in many other countries.

Looking forward, between April and November this year there will be a great series of monthly seminars, taught via video-conference with Estelle Shane, Adrienne Harris, Steven Kuchuck, Darlene Ehrenberg, Stuart Pizer, Galit Atlas, and Mal Slavin. This will be SCIARPP’s first ongoing program of this type and we hope to develop more such education programs as well as other resources over the next couple of years.

A really significant advance for us has been the recent introduction of online participation in our seminars. The seminar with Don Stern was viewed live from many parts of Australia and also from New Zealand. We are really excited that the improved quality and affordability of web conferencing means that we can now offer much more to members and others throughout Australia, as well as linking with our near neighbors in New Zealand.

On a practical and administrative level, in the last six months we have converted both our mailing and event registrations to online systems, which has significantly reduced the workload for our small committee. This will also make it much easier for us to keep in touch with members. In 2015 we plan to launch a website.  We also hope to complete an update and revision of our constitution.

At the annual general meeting in late March, I came to the end of my term as chair of SCIARPP and Roberto D’Angelo has taken over as chair. Roberto has been a very active member of the executive over a number of years and both he and the other committee members bring considerable experience, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the ongoing development of SCIARPP. The committee for 2015 includes: Roberto D’Angelo, Annette Conradi, Margie Chodos, Mary Bayles, and Lyn Abery.

Marianne Kennedy, MA
Registered Psychologist and Psychotherapist
Level 1, 215 Darling St
Balmain, NSW 2041
email Marianne Kennedy

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Report From IARPP-Chile

By André Sassenfeld, Chair


André Sassenfeld

Last year, after board elections, we finally constituted our ethics committee, which now includes Marta del Río, Margarita Díaz and Analía Stutman. Fortunately, they have not had too much work! For 2015, we have planned a seminar on ethics in relational psychoanalysis, the details of which still are being worked out.

In Chile, our local chapter has been organizing activities around four or five times a year. In 2014, we had activities on the body in relational psychoanalysis, on mindfulness, and a very interesting seminar organized by the child and adolescent work group on a relational perspective regarding child maltreatment. Starting in 2015, in January we had a visit by Miguel Hoffman, an Argentinian analyst and researcher, who spoke to our group about “Actualizations on Self Development and Early Emotional Development.” The use of videos of mother-infant dyads made his presentation very interesting. It was followed by a brief exchange between Miguel and the local president chapter, André Sassenfeld. In January, we also had a social activity to close 2014 and open 2015.

There are already three further activities organized for 2015 besides the seminar on ethics: relational psychoanalysis and psychosomatics, clinical work with early relationship issues, and relational psychoanalysis and regulatory disturbances. The growing variety of topics speaks to the growing participation of our members in proposing and organizing new activities.

Our editorial committee is working on a book that will include a collection of papers from the 2013 IARPP international conference in Santiago, Chile. Also on the editorial front, we are very happy to have a paper by María Isabel Castillo and Margarita Díaz published in Psychoanalytic Dialogues, as well as publication of André Sassenfeld´s book on clinical principles of relational psychoanalysis, published in German by Psychosozial Verlag. We were also very happy to hear that in 2014 our member Irene Dukes received the child and adolescent prize for her paper “Dilemmas and Openings Regarding Dreaming” at the 30th Latin-American Congress of Psychoanalysis in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Finally, but not less important, our webpage has been updated and is working after a long process. Membership applications now function through the site. Additionally, the IARPP-Chile blog, run very well by Catalina Scott, interestingly has had thousands of visits from many places around the world. Catalina is always posting new information of local and international relational interest, including reports and announcements of local and international relational events.

André Sassenfeld, MA
email André Sassenfeld

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Report from IARPP-Israel

By Offer Maurer, Chair


Offer Maurer

I am happy, excited, and thankful to all of you for the warm welcome as I begin my term as Chair of IARPP-Israel, also known as the Israeli Forum for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. I would like to congratulate our good friend and colleague Dr. Chana Ullman for her election to the important role of president of IARPP. Knowing Chana’s amazing track record of important contributions to IARPP and to our field, I’m confident this new role will enable her to keep and also expand on her creative and thoughtful agenda when her term begins in 2016.

I’d like to also thank my dear friend Dr. Sharon Ziv Beiman who labored for years as the Israeli Relational Forum’s Chairperson. Sharon’s achievements in this role are numerous, including chairing the IARPP’s International Conference that was held in Tel Aviv, as well as numerous local conferences that Sharon has initiated and is leading to this day, entitled “Relational Circles.”

I’d like to tell you about some of the activities we’ve been running and about some future plans. Our local clinical evenings attract therapists from all schools of thought. Our new website, launching very soon, will enable us to easily communicate with one another in online colloquia in Hebrew that we will run each year. The clearest example of the Forum’s spirit of openness and willingness to meet with the “other” is our annual Relational Circles Conference, a conference that at its core includes discussion groups and workshops enabling many meetings of many others, many of whom do not consider themselves to be “relational” at all. On March 12 and 13th, this year’s conference took on the multi-layered topic of doing therapy in 2015 Israel, with special emphasis on contextual elements influencing our daily clinical work.

In addition, I want to thank my friends and colleagues at the Relational Forum’s Board, a very special, talented and dear group of people with whom work is ever so playful and creative. I’m looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you and learn from your experience, as we participate in developing and promoting relational thinking and practice worldwide. Thank you for making me feel at home.

Offer Maurer, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Chairperson, The Israeli Forum for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Faculty, The College for Academic Studies:
Director, The New School for Psychotherapy:
Director, Gay Friendly Therapists Team:
Co-Director, The Israeli Institute for Schema Therapy:
email Offer Maurer

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Report from IARPP-UK

By Aaron Balick, Chair

Aaron Balick

Aaron Balick

The relational community in the UK has had a very productive year hosting a series of events looking at the state of relationality today in the UK. Realizing that relational thinking is now mainstream in a number of training organizations, and further recognizing that across our multiple modalities, relationality is perceived in a variety of different ways, we wanted to take another fresh look at the contemporary state of affairs. After our workshop on “Meeting what can’t/won’t be met,” we followed up with a further workshop on “Relationality: Unfulfillable Promise?” at which we had clinical presentations from our members followed by discussion groups. It was very productive and well received.

Most recently we teamed up with the online continuing professional development provider Psychotherapy Excellence and the International Association of Relational Transactional Analysis (IARTA) to put on a series of webcasts on the theme of “Relational Psychotherapy: its praises and pitfalls” (  This was followed by a live event in mid February. This live event was open to all, but special discounts were afforded to members of The Relational School (TRS), IARPP-UK members, and IARTA members in an effort to get the various strands of relationality in the UK together.

The webcast featured speakers from home and abroad. Participants were requested to watch the webcasts ahead of time and to bring their heads full of ideas, questions, and comments and discuss them through large and small group work in real life. On the day, some of our homegrown speakers were present, including Andrew Samuels, Helena Hargaden, Michael Soth, Tom Warneke, and myself, while others such as Carmen Ablack, Jessica Benjamin, Maria Gilbert, Susie Orbach, and Phil Ringstrom remain available to be watched by webcast or listened to via MP3. This was a brand new venture for us and it went off very well.

In addition to our regular teaching and learning events we have also instigated a regular hosted film discussion group. Our inaugural film launched our annual general meeting with Lars and the Real Girl; the film Catfish will be screened and discussed in the summer. We have also completely renewed our online discussion list and website to which our membership is responding well []. Our website now has a password protected “Members’ Area” where members can find out more about each other, particularly enabling those that live outside of London (where all of our live events are) to network more readily. We have also added a “Members’ Events” section to the homepage of the website so we can facilitate events put on by our members, but not organized by the executive committee. Due to all these changes our memberships is growing into a healthy community here in the UK, and we look forward to further developments.

Aaron Balick, PhD
55 St. John Street
London EC1M 3AN
email Aaron Balick

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