IARPP Conference 2018 – New York

June 14 - June 17 , 2018

Roosevelt Hotel, 45 East 45th Street, NYC
New York City, USA

Hope and Dread: Therapists and Patients in an Uncertain World

In the spirit of the title of this conference, derived from Stephen Mitchell’s book “Hope and Dread”, Relational Psychoanalysis continues to reinvent itself and acquire new meanings as it contends with the ongoing social and political upheaval around the world. How do our theories and our various clinical styles make room for national and international crises that profoundly alter our surroundings and fellow humans? What is the relationship between the political consequences of a national maelstrom and the analytic dyad that attempts to make sense of and process what is going on around them? How do our respective individual histories interact with large-scale historical events that are unfolding in real time as we traverse the mental landscape in the consulting room?

The themes of this 15th IARPP conference emerged from our shared concerns about the massive political changes that are occurring in the United States. We are currently a nation rife with divisions; inundated with hate, competing claims on truth, paranoia, and a distrust of the Other. For some, a primary concern is the debasement of moral practices that all democratic collectivities depend on; Populism in the US and around the world threaten critical thought, empathic identification, collective determination, and community building. For others, there is a chronic feeling of inequality, disempowerment, and a lack of change over time that has fueled the bitterness and animosity that pervades the current political climate. This conference will address immediate matters of concern that have a long history such as immigration, racism, and national/international trauma.

Our hope is that this conference may provide a forum to join together in examining political and social crises similar to the one currently going on in the United States, and in doing so examine what we can learn from living through troubled times, both about the self and the world. We will  seek to understand the repetition of trauma to explain in part how we arrived at a certain point in history as well as more deeply grasp its nefarious and complex impact on both members of the analytic dyad. We will consider the place of truth and objective fact alongside that of postmodern constructivism, multiplicity, and holding the complexity of experience and its inherent ambiguity. We will examine as well the persistent assault on ‘otherness’ and difference, and think about negotiating the transference and countertransference terrain within an impinging political context.

We want to join emergent progressive forces by making our own kind of noise.

As clinicians and theorists confronting an “uncertain world’, we are committed to considering how these massive social forces affect and infect the working of minds in the consulting room and in our everyday lives. How, as clinicians, can we encourage positive change in our world?

We will come together as an international community to share experiences and lessons learned from experiences of political and social trauma, as it affects our patients and ourselves. Apart from the plenary sessions the program includes a number of Invited panels along with many submitted papers and panels demonstrating the creativity and scholarship of the membership of our organization.

We look forward to seeing you in New York.

Margaret Black Mitchell and Hazel Ipp
Conference Co-Chairs, 2018

2018 Conference Steering Committee:
Steven Kuchuck, Virginia Goldner, Jody Davies, Spyros Orfanos , Malcolm Slavin, Chris Bonowitz, Kim Bernstein, Rachel Sopher

2018 Local Conference Committee:
David Brand, Chuck Finlon, Alan Kintzer, Cynthia Medalie, Mimi Spiro, Bonnie Zindel

IARPP 2018

We welcome all IARPP members to submit PROPOSALS ONLY for individual papers and/or panels pertaining broadly to the conference theme.
(If you are not a member and would like to submit a paper you may join online here:

To be considered, proposals for individual papers MUST BE BETWEEN 500 AND 600 WORDS IN LENGTH. Panels should include no more than three papers on a chosen topic. Proposals for panels should be no longer than 1200 words in total, and should consist of both an overview and abstracts of individual papers. Quality of writing, originality, integration of theory and awareness of current literature, clinical implications, and contribution to the field will all be considered.

The Conference Committee may group individual papers that are accepted for presentation with other papers in any session. Discussants for panel may be suggested, but cannot be guaranteed.

FINAL PAPERS will only be requested upon the acceptance of your proposal for the conference. Final papers should not exceed 3000 words and will be due by and no later than MAY 1, 2018. 

All papers are to be submitted in English.