Welcome from Rich Simon
We live in a world where the amygdala is having a field day. Over the course of our careers, few of us have had to contend with the level of outrage, turmoil, and sheer overstimulation that’s currently rocking our society. The therapy hour is no longer a haven from the messiness of the outside world. Beliefs about race, immigration, the environment, sexual harassment, and women’s rights have led to a furious polarization, which often seeps into our consulting rooms, whether we acknowledge it or not. Many clients are coping with an unprecedented degree of anger, vulnerability, and sense of helplessness, their personal issues shaped and intensified by the supercharged emotional field our society has become. They don’t know what to do with their feelings. They want our help.
And of course, we want to give it—but how? How can we best respond to the new challenges we face without just becoming an extension of the political turmoil that seem to roil everywhere? How might we make a different kind of contribution amidst the chaos and uncertainty of our times? This year’s Symposium—Therapy in a Challenging World: Enhancing Our Tools for Engagement—will bring together the field’s most innovative contributors to explore the range of ways that therapists might bring a measure of sanity and kindness into a world where compassion and vision often seems in short supply. If we ever needed an opportunity to come together to experience community, inspiration, and fresh possibilities, this is it.
As always, we’ve designed the Symposium to be as emotionally compelling—and as much fun!—as it is intellectually stimulating. With more than 150 workshops that span the spectrum of clinical methods and viewpoints, we hope your time with us will deepen your grasp of therapeutic craft and open your eyes to new dimensions of clinical engagement. But we also expect that you’ll enjoy strolling through Rock Creek Park, schmoozing and communing with friends in the art deco elegance of the Omni Shoreham hotel, and feeling the beat at the Friday night dance party.
In short, the Symposium is both a chance to reflect on the most important issues facing our field today as well as engaging and expressing your whole self—both top-down and bottom-up. We look forward to sharing the glory of springtime in Washington, DC with you.
Editor, Psychotherapy Networker