While the term relational was initially used to bridge theories of internal object relations and the intersubjective field, in the past decade its meaning and scope have evolved dramatically, opening myriad questions for further study.
The term "relational" applies, most broadly, on three levels:
- The understanding that all ideas, including psychoanalytic wisdom, are historical, linguistic, political and contextual.
An appreciation that individual experiences and intrapsychic structures derive largely from and are transformations of relationships with significant others.
- The discovery that therapeutic change operates, at the same time, both intrapsychically and interpersonally and is most usefully explored in terms of the evolving relationship between patient and therapist.
- Fundamental to this outlook is an appreciation that all ideas, including psychoanalytic conceptions and accumulated wisdom, are historical, linguistic, political, and contextual. Individual personality and intrapsychic structures are constructed and derive substantially from personal transformations that come into being in the context of human relationships.
The Association will make it possible for individuals in different contexts and locales to share common interests, experiences and resources. The Association will be working in conjunction with the newly established "Center for Relational Psychoanalysis." The Center will plan conferences and courses on line and in person and foster discussion groups. IARPP members will receive substantial discounts to all Center activities.